Douglas C/N 12519
Ordered by USAAF as C-47A-10-DK
USAAF S/N 42-92690
Delivered to USN at Mayfair CA in Feb 1944
Assigned to the USMC (USMC) 1944
Assigned to VMR-253 in Aug 1944
Assigned to MAG-15 in Oct 1944
Assigned to VMR-353 in Jan 1945
Assigned to MAG-35 in May
Assigned to MARFAIR WEST ino May 1945
Assigned to MAG-53 at NAS Corpus Christi  TX in May 1945
Placed in storage at Litchfield Park AZ in June 1946
To MCAS Cherry Point NC  in May 1948 Converted to R4D-5L
Assigned to VX-6 on 17 October 1956
Coded XD-7 (JD-7 effective late 1957)
Disposition:  Crashed at Cape Hallett, Antarctica on 15 September 1959

"R4D-5L crashed Sept 15, 1959, while making a landing at Hallet Station.   After the touchdown on the ice at Cape Hallet the starboard main landing gear collapsed.  The plane was declared a strike because it was not economical to repair due to its age"  (Air Development Squadron Six,  Deep Freeze 60)

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Photo from James Waldron
R4D heading south to Beardmore
This looks like just another view of an R4D with mountains in the background. It is however a constant reminder to me that the man piloting that R4D is Lcdr. Harvey Speed, one of the finest aviators I have ever known. Harvey was the picture of "cool" when things got tough and very accomplished in handling emergencies. He handled three engine failures in flight in three days. He made a forced landing on the Antarctic Plateau when there was only one other aircraft on the Antarctic Continent that might have rescued him. He never complained about long hours or lack of recognition. He was a leader of men, and when there was physical work to be done, like digging out snow-covered aircraft he was the first on hand to do the work.Harvey died of MS, long before the time it seems he should have gone. He is missed by many people, myself included.
This picture was taken in September of 1957 when we were setting up a campsite at the foot of the Beardmore Glacier.
Jim Waldron
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