These records document the participation of Robert B. Klaverkamp (Enlisted Naval Correspondent) aboard the USS Burton Island (AG-88), flagship of "Task Force 39," a part of "Operation Windmill" (1947-1948). Windmill was the follow-up expedition to "Operation Highjump" (1946-1947).
The Chief of Naval Operations established Operation Windmill as a follow-up to Operation Highjump to train personnel, test equipment, and reaffirm American interests in Antarctica. The expedition gathered a variety of geographic, hydrographic, oceanographic, geologic and meteorological data. Following Operation Highjump, it was determined that the 70,000 photographs taken during the expedition were impossible to reconstruct in any meaningful way because no ground control reference points had been recorded. So, in addition to scientific data gathering and equipment testing, Operation Windmill, and specifically Task Force 39, was charged with determining ground control points from 30 selected locations for use with Aerial photographs taken during Operation Highjump.
The icebreakers USS Burton Island (AG-88) and USS Edisto (AG-89) constituted "Task Force 39." It was their job to plot ground reference points at the 30 selected sites for use with the Operation Highjump photographs. Once the plotting work was done, USS Burton Island stopped at Marguerite Bay, broke through the ice, and freed the Port of Beaumont, a research and support vessel to the Ronne Antarctic Research Expedition (1946-1948), which was a privately funded expedition.
The Smithsonian also participated in "Task Force 39." Malcolm Davis, zookeeper with the National Zoological Park, was assigned to the USS Edisto with the express purpose of collecting penguins, other birds, and leopard seals. See Record Unit 74, box 194 for more information regarding Davis' activities.