Harry Darlington 3rd


U.S. Naval Reserve

General Duty

East Base





At 19 years of age, Harry Darlington III was the youngest member of the expedition.He had been educated at private schools in the United States and in France.Darlington attended Princeton University, but left prior to earning a degree.His previous employment was with the American Express Company.††† He was the son of Mrs. George Angus Garrett, Washington, D.C. His father died when Harry was a child.


Darlington represented the United States in two- and four-man bobsledding world championships in Cortina, Italy, and St. Moritz, Switzerland.He was a licensed private pilot, lived in Europe for two years, bicycled through six countries, and spoke French fluently.†† During the summer of 1939, Darlington accompanied Sir Wilfred Grenfell on a humanitarian mission to Labrador.††


As general duty personnel, Darlington became a radio operator on sledge journeys, most notably the Weddell Coast Sledging Party, led by geologist Paul Knowles.


An interesting and true story about Darlington was the fact that he smuggled twenty-two bottles of whiskey (cognac, rye, and rum) to Antarctica.At the first opportunity, he buried it in the snow. Darlington apparently believed he could keep the supply a secret on an island measuring 2500 feet by 1000 feet that was inhabited by twenty-six men, some of whom were exceedingly thirsty.†† During the winter night several men suspicioned that Darlington had buried whiskey because they noticed his trips outside with a gee pole that he used to poke into the ice.It was believed that he was checking to make sure his secret whiskey was safe.After a period of time a couple of men removed fourteen of the bottles and hid them in three separate caches.More men began hunting for the wandering whiskey, one small group found it, and reburied it in a new location.Darlington was furious that his whiskey had been stolen, the original thieves were incensed that the whiskey they had stolen had been stolen from them, and the small group that had final possession of it got very drunk.


Prior to departing from Boston on the USMS North Star, Darlington had joined the U.S. Naval Reserves.In August 1940, he sent a radio message to Admiral Byrd in Washington expressing his desire to become a deck officer in the Navy.Byrdís reply indicated that Darlingtonís lack of naval experience and his lack of two years of college would prevent him from earning a commission in the USNR. However, upon his return from Antarctica, Darlington was immediately ordered to active duty in the USNR and was sent to sea.Darlington soon decided he wanted to become a commissioned naval aviator, but without the required two years of college, he did not qualify.Admiral Byrd intervened and Darlington was accepted into the flight program.He received his wings in Pensacola in 1943, was assigned to patrol duty in the South Atlantic, later receiving orders to England to fly combat missions in support of the RAF.


After World War II, Finn Ronne recruited Darlington to serve as chief pilot on the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition.Ronneís wife and Jennie Darlington accompanied the expedition.††††


Darlington died from a stroke in 1996 in Virginia.


Antarctic Service Medal Gold


Geographical Feature: Cape Darlington


Contributions:Darlington served as the radioman for the Weddell Sea Sledging Party






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