Carl Robert Disch


Carl Robert Disch

Death 8 May 1965
Burial Monroe, Green County, Wisconsin, USA
Plot Block 37, Lot M10, Row 1
Memorial ID 135528620 View Source
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Age 25, scientist, lost in Antarctica.

From: Boulder Laboratories 50th Anniversary

Antarctic Disappearance

Carl R. Disch, ionospheric physicist for the National Bureau of Standards Boulder Labs, disappeared on May 8, 1965, from the Ionosphere-Forward Scatter station near Byrd station in the Antarctic. Disch was a member of the Boulder Laboratories’ 1964-65 Antarctic research team. The team was spending the year as part of NBS’s contribution to the Year of the Quiet Sun (the period of low ebb for solar activity).

Disch was returning to the main station after a visit to the radio-noise installation when he apparently missed a handline. The temperature at the time was -45 F, with strong winds. In spite of the severe weather conditions the station personnel mounted a lengthy and thorough search for Carl. Not a trace was ever found.

"In all there were 29 (19 military and 8 scientists) and one dog who wintered over. Unfortunately, we lost a scientist by the name of Carl Disch and our Husky dog during the winter months. Carl wandered away from the "life line" that connected the weather tower to the main tunnel on May 8th and Sastrugis "Gus" disappeared August 18. Far as I know they've not been found. We tried in vain to find Carl but at the time the wind was raging with minus 45 temperature. All we could do was tie ropes around our waists, spread out on both sides of the D-8 cat and walk along hoping to stumble over him. Was like finding a needle in a haystack blindfolded. " --Jim Bartley, a former winter-over resident of Byrd Station. He spent 13 months there in 1964 and 1965)

A memorial service for Carl Disch was held in his hometown of Monroe, Wisconsin on May 14, 1965, attended by Dr. T.O. Jones, Head of the Office of Polar Programs, and Stephen Barnes from the Central Radio Propagation Laboratory, National Bureau of Standards. To find out more about Carl Disch, go to .

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