Finn Ronne

Chief of Staff


Transportation Engineer

East Base






Finn Ronne was born on December 20, 1899, in Horten, Norway.  His father was Martin Ronne, sailmaker, who accompanied Roald Amundsen to Antarctica in 1911 when Amundsen became the first man to reach the South Pole. Additionally, Martin Ronne was a member of Admiral Richard Byrd’s first expedition to Antarctica, 1928-1929. 


Ronne earned an engineering degree prior to immigrating to the United States in 1923.  Six years later Ronne became a U.S. citizen.  He worked as a mechanical engineer for Westinghouse for more than a dozen years prior to becoming a member of the Second Byrd Expedition, 1933-1935, serving as a dog driver. 


In 1939, Ronne joined the United States Antarctic Service Expedition as (ground) transportation engineer and chief of staff.  It was on this expedition that Ronne and ornithologist Carl Eklund undertook one of the longest sledge journeys in Antarctic history: 1264 statute miles.  As a result of this 84-day journey the two men added 460 miles of coastline to the map and proved that Alexander I Land was, in fact, an island.  For a detailed description of the trail journey, click on the “Farthest South” link.


Ronne returned to Antarctica several times, notably on the privately funded Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition, 1947-1948.  His wife, Edith “Jackie” Ronne, and Jennie Darlington, wife of Harry Darlington, wintered-over as members of the expedition. 


Finn Ronne died on January 12, 1980, in Bethesda, Maryland, and was buried at Arlington Cemetery.  Jackie Ronne died in Bethesda, Maryland, in 2009.



Antarctic Service Medal:  Gold


Geographical Feature: Ronne Entrance (USGS)


Contributions:  84 Day Main Southern Sledge Journey



Ronne, Finn. 1945. The Main Southeast Sledge Journey From East Base, Palmer Land. Antarctica. Amer. Philos. Soc, Proc. 89 ( 1 ) : p13; Sledge Journey






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