Trans Antartic Expedition

DAVENET

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Now in color:
 

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sno-drifter

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A question for the TAE experts- County of Kent and "Rose" (shown below) from a later expedition had a very large 'box' on the left hand front hood cowl. This is only on the freighters w/ passenger accommodations. (See very first picture for reference). What got stuck in this box??

Also, Sno-Cat Able continued to put in a hard life on the ice for the New Zealand Antarctic Research Project at Scott Base after the TAE was complete. Would it be appropriate for those pics to go here, or a separate thread? Found a lot of old pics from a NZ digital storage site. That cat had a hard life!

You are right, the NZers ran the tracks off Able. She now has the newer triangle grousers. Your last color photo must be fairly early on with TAE as they properly used the spreader bars and the lifting eyes are not yet welded on. Non smashed air vents too.
 

Aaron Tucker

Active member
can you run the new triangle grousers with the older round ones ? I have just the round ones now and only have the triangle ones for back ups .
 

sno-drifter

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Sunday Dec. 31 at 9:00a.m. pst on the travel channel (channel 277 direct tv) is an interesting show on Shackleton's try to cross Antarctica ( Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition). He never set foot on the continent but had a heck of a time getting home. There are photos and film from the expedition Dec 1914 to May 1916. Worth looking at.
 

sno-drifter

Bronze Member
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Here is a photo of TAE Sno-Cat Able after TAE and before "restoration" for the museum in New Zealand.
 

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sno-drifter

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THE PASSING OF A LEGEND.

David L. Pratt passed away peacefully at his home in London March 13 2019. He is best remembered by the Sno-Cat community for his selection of the Model 743 Tucker Sno-Cat for use in the first crossing of Antarctica by the Commonwealth Trans Antarctic Expedition in 1957-58. He modified four Sno-Cats which were the only machines which made the full crossing. And he modified several other makes, a Muskeg tractor, several Weasels, and Ferguson tractors.Those who attended the first Cat's Meow at Timberline Lodge got to see Rock & Roll, the flagship of TAE which was modified by David. David was the master mind behind retrieving the cats from collapsed crevasses. Thirteen times. David and his other engineer, Roy Homard, overhauled engines, gearboxes, and completed all the repairs to keep the machinery moving at temperatures of -40 F and below.

David also was a tank commander at Normandy WWII. He flew for the Royal Air Force as well. He was asked by the RAF to fly their flag on his machine during the crossing. He drove Sno-Cat "Able" , door code "A". You can identify his cat in the photos by the RAF blue flag with circles.


After CTAE, David developed infrastructure in many third world countries which changed their standard of living.

This is David in both photos assessing and implementing Sno-Cat retrieval.
 

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Blackfoot Tucker

Well-known member
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Sno-Drifter,

Thanks for posting that. Mr. Pratt was a fine example of what Tom Brokaw fittingly called "The Greatest Generation". I wish I had met him. I'm certain he had many great life experiences to share...

BTW, if any forum members haven't read it, Mr. Brokaw's book is an excellent read.
 

sno-drifter

Bronze Member
GOLD Site Supporter
THE PASSING OF A LEGEND.

David L. Pratt passed away peacefully at his home in London March 13 2019. He is best remembered by the Sno-Cat community for his selection of the Model 743 Tucker Sno-Cat for use in the first crossing of Antarctica by the Commonwealth Trans Antarctic Expedition in 1957-58. He modified four Sno-Cats which were the only machines which made the full crossing. And he modified several other makes, a Muskeg tractor, several Weasels, and Ferguson tractors. Those who attended the first Cat's Meow at Timberline Lodge got to see Rock & Roll, the flagship of TAE which was modified by David. David was the master mind behind retrieving the cats from collapsed crevasses. Thirteen times. David and his other engineer, Roy Homard, overhauled engines, gearboxes, and completed all the repairs to keep the machinery moving at temperatures of -40 F and below.

David also was a tank commander at Normandy WWII. He flew for the Royal Air Force as well. He was asked by the RAF to fly their flag on his machine during the crossing. He drove Sno-Cat "Able" , door code "A". You can identify his cat in the photos by the RAF blue flag with circles.


After CTAE, David developed infrastructure in many third world countries which changed their standard of living.

This is David in both photos assessing and implementing Sno-Cat retrieval.
78 years ago today, David Pratt was in the first wave assault at Juno beach. He was a tank commander for the British. Later David flue for the Royal Air Force. He later was drafted by Sir Vivian Fuchs to select vehicles for TAE. He is the one who figured out how to extricate Sno-Cats from the crevasses, 13 times. David drove Sno-Cat Door code A, named Able.
 
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