Charlie Gibbs

Charlie Gibbs was born in Australia in May 1908. He recognised the potential for aviation and joined the RAAF at an early age. He was a member of a party formed by the Australian Government to rescue an American aviator, Lincoln Ellsworth, and his pilot, Herbert Hollick-Kenyon, when their plane was forced down through lack of fuel in Antarctica in December 1935. They had set out in November 1935 to attempt the first trans-Antarctic flight and after their final landing they abandoned the plane and travelled by sledge to the safety of the Little America base to await their rescue. With Charlie Gibbs on board, the Australian ship Discovery II set out in January 1936 to find the aviators. It was an adventure Charlie would never forget. This is his story:

Immediately prior to the Ellsworth expedition, Charlie Gibbs was employed in the RAAF as an aero fitter in the Engine Overhaul section of No. 1 Air Craft Depot, Laverton since 1933. In 1934 he helped with the maintenance of aircraft involved in the England to Australia Air Race. Aircraft at that time were very rudimentary.

“It was known as the “stick and rag” era. The first metal aircraft that I ever did see, real, and able to touch was at the conclusion of the Air Race in 1934 which finished at Laverton station where I was employed at the time and the aircraft of note then that were metal were Boeing, Douglas and a few others – Douglas and Boeing came on to be the world recognised powers in aviation. The Air Force undertook to house, fuel and generally give attention to essential maintenance on the aircraft that were finishing the England Air Race in 1934 and that range of aircraft varied from a number of aircraft of the “stick and rag” era right up to the DC2, Douglas. “The British aircraft called D.H. Comet had three entries in the race. Two of the aircraft broke down on their way. One survived and that aircraft was the winner of the race on a time basis. But it had no room for passengers of any shape of form [the fuselage had been filled with extra fuel tanks]. That aircraft had to be extensively overhauled before it was turned around to go back home to England and it fell to me to assist in carrying out that work which was performed by a De Havilland engineer on the basis of working non-stop until finished. It flew back to England and made another speed record.”

Charlie knew little about Ellsworth prior to being asked to go on the rescue expedition.

“I was going about my daily tasks at No. 1 Aircraft Depot, which was a scene of a lot of specialised work being carried out as part of the preparation of the Ellsworth expedition and as I was employed in the engine overhaul section of Laverton, I was then asked would I be available to go to Antarctica. I indicated my willingness. In fact I was definitely eager to go, being a young man and single and very happy to go on any expedition. Other Air Force personnel on the expedition came from Point Cook.

“I knew little about Ellsworth, apart from a brief mention in the newspapers, as an article of overseas news interest. Also it was still remembered in aviation circles that Charles Ulm had recently lost his life whilst flying the Pacific Ocean. Charles Ulm was a colleague of Kingsford-Smith. The expedition was reported in our daily “routine orders” which were the source of information to ranks.

“I joined the Discovery II, a British research vessel at Williamstown, Melbourne. I was greatly interested in the structure of the Discovery II, bearing in mind that we were obliged to go right through the ice pack down to the Polar Continent. The interest being focussed on the fact that the hull of the ship was, in my opinion, and in the opinion of naval authorities, almost inadequate to penetrate into the frozen waters which we did. That was one of the first hazards. Its duty as a research ship was well attended to from a construction point of view in that it didn’t penetrate into the ice-bound ocean at large. It skirted along the fringes of the ice which are so fairly well defined that they are printed on maps as being the limit of the ice. As far as I know, it was the only ship that was able and capable to attempt such a task as it had been called on to do. We took on board the aircraft – a Westland Wapiti and De Havilland Moth.

“During its layup at Williamstown getting ready for the journey, the Discovery II required modification to accommodate the fuel and bulk of the aircraft themselves, as well as the extra food that would be required. Modification of the ship involved the removal of the Samson post. The Samson post being part of the cargo lifting equipment normally found on the vessel of this size and nature and in the place of the Samson post, a deck was built to accommodate the fuselage of the Wapiti aircraft. The De Havilland Moth aircraft was stored on the flat top of the radio shack and hospital cabins which were a complete unit on the aft portion of the ship.

“A necessary item of support as regards the aircraft themselves in use over water and on land near water was a motorboat. The Discovery II was of course fitted with a motorboat in the interests of its own activities, particularly as a scientific vessel to manoeuvre about the enclosed spaces of the scattered ice. However, on close examination of the motorboat which we as Air Force people knew would be required in service of the aircraft found some shortcomings which would require attention for its safe use and its usability in the cooler latitudes to which we were moving. The task of attending to those items concerning the motorboat were allotted to myself and an edict was issued by the ship’s captain that the motorboat, whenever it went into the water on this expedition would also have to have as part of its crew AC 1 [Air Craftsman Class 1] Gibbs.

“Antarctic clothing has undergone a vast change since then. Our clothing consisted of long-johns, and thick clothing such as socks and outer garments as worn in submarines, plus mittens which were worn always, tied together by a long cord strung around your neck so that you would never lose or find yourself out of reaching distance to get to the gloves. And the fur lined headgear commonly found in other activities overseas. And boots, they were boots commonly used in submarines.

“We experienced the cold soon after leaving Dunedin, New Zealand which happened to be our last port of call to take on and top up our tanks of fresh water and oil for the ship itself and ensure supply of fresh vegetables. The duration of our expedition was completely unknown, except that if we had to withdraw from the expedition, due to its apparent inability to find the aviators, by a certain date we would then have been locked into the ice and we would have then had to survive on our available cargo.”

The ship Wyatt Earp had brought the aircraft for Ellsworth’s transpolar flight down to Dundee Island off the Antarctic Peninsula and served as the support and communication base for the flight. Radio contact was lost some six hours into the flight. Ellsworth’s flight of about 16 hours took 14 days to complete with landings to refuel and they were finally forced to land and wait out bad weather. Ellsworth and Hollick-Kenyon then walked to Little America for a further eight days before securing safety. “British food of that time did not have any appeal to me and my regard for British food was not improved with the food that I had on the Discovery. When we met up with the Wyatt Earp which was only for a short period in terms of days and nights, I discovered that the crew were Scandinavian in the main and that fact had its appeal to me too. As well as it had on board a number of Americans who were the support of the aircraft which the Wyatt Earp had brought down to the Antarctic to join in the search. Apart from those people, I then found myself among a very friendly group and the Scandinavian menus had their attraction and I developed a liking for Scandinavian food and they made me welcome to put my foot under the table any time.”

Charlie took his own camera down to Antarctica.

“I’m not too sure what the make of the camera was. The Leica, that’s a miniature type 35 ml camera was very dominant in the camera world at the time and the Americans brought out a competing type camera which was very good and reasonably priced. That was the camera which I used when I went down there.”

As they sailed south to the ice floes they came upon a breathtaking landscape.

“The scene was very impressive. It was late in the day, but late in the day at that particular latitude meant that it was still bright sunlight. The spectacle which we Aussies beheld was impressive. It was overwhelming and the horizon was ice from east to west. And utter silence except for the odd sea bird flying around and then we were waiting, I was waiting anyway, to feel the first thump of the hull of our ship coming in contact with this ice which was relatively thin ice compared to what we were to encounter. This is the feature of the ice wherever you head south this is the type of ice that you encounter because the larger ice in the form of icebergs is lying in wait for you to encounter further south, bearing in mind that we were heading through this particular ice and thicker ice for a time lapse of about 10 days and the ice was getting thicker. But our first impact on myself anyway was one of great impression, very impressive.

“Some of the ice was absolutely craggy everywhere. Some of it in the course of a season gets impacted to another piece of ice and you get these tremendous objects of ice which you can’t move! You can’t handle except by nosing into it. The wings of our aircraft were initially stored in timber frames, lightly covered to suit the occasion and stored on the deck and when we removed the contents of these packages they became a nuisance so rather than throw them overboard, somebody had the bright idea that when we got into the thicker ice that we would build two platforms out of the back of the ship and then we would then have what we called poleing teams. Certain fellows were detailed to be such and they were given poles and on this platform that had been built out over each side of the stern of the ship, ropes hung with a loop in the bottom for them to slide down, do their job on the piece of ice that they are on with fellows up on the other side getting on to another piece of ice and pushing the ship against the ice. And the other fellow’s pushing the ice away from the ship and then this would take a little while to do of course. The ship meanwhile is nosing its way between these two masses of ice and when we reckoned it was time to do so, these fellows would jump onto these ropes with the loop in the bottom and wait until they got to another floe. So that’s the way we made progress.

“One time, the inevitable happened. We found that the masses of ice which we were confronted with was accompanied by an iceberg over on the west some little distance away. But we also noticed that that iceberg wasn’t there in a fixed position – that it was moving in our direction. Now this is not a funny or pleasant situation. So special effort was made because the ice berg is seven times the volume of what you see underneath and that exposes the iceberg to undercurrents that are not affecting the general ice nor your ship. It can be operating under the influence of current, not always to your good. So the ice was moving toward us. We were caught in the ice floes to the west, because the iceberg was going that way. And we had only but to wait. We didn’t have to wait long when we were able to push the ice apart. The iceberg continued on ruthlessly, we just had to get out of its way.”

Sir Hubert Wilkins aboard the support ship Wyatt Earp was also looking for the aviators, however, there was no initial contact between that ship and the Discovery II. It seems the Wyatt Earp did not welcome the Australian effort to rescue the aviators despite their request for aid.

“The Australian view definitely was that our expedition was responding to the Prime Minister’s offer, which had been gladly received, of Australia making an effort towards the rescue of Ellsworth and Kenyon in appreciation of the American fleet expending so much time and money on looking unsuccessfully, unfortunately, for Charles Ulm. However, when we did meet up with Sir Hubert Wilkins who was the official mouthpiece of the Ellsworth party, we found that he had not been amused at all at the effort or even need of Australia to have anything to do with the loss of, the apparent loss of the two American aviators. The opinion which we on the Discovery formed about this situation was that, and Wilkins told me this privately, was that it spoiled the “publicity factor” which could flow to Wilkins, especially and the party on the Wyatt Earp to engage in the rescue of the aviators and that we had no need nor right to be there. “As we approached the coastline of the Bay of Whales, our aircraft was launched into the air and commenced to trace a line from the coast where we were to Little America. Little America is a base which was established by the Americans under the leadership of Admiral Byrd some years ago, 1934 I think it was [Little America was established in December 1928]. It is a town which has been built by excavating a huge gash in the ice, like a quarry with sufficient depth to cover a series of huts, connected by tunnels and then the snow pushed back and allowed to fall and ultimately cover the settlement. So all that remained of Little America at the time we were there was a series of pipes giving ventilation and the discharge of gases from the village underneath.

“We had some difficulties getting the aircraft together and over the side. We never did get to start the Wapiti although a lot of work was done to get it ready. After the Moth had been out flying, it would come back and land in the water, and as it landed, spray would form over the wing and cover it with ice. And the exhaust pipe of the engine, I noticed some times when you brought it back on board, had a length of ice tube on the end, hanging there and it would fall off and then another one would form from the steam or vapour. When our chaps then tried to then wipe off the ice on the wing, they only succeeded in putting more ice on because the water would just freeze. I tell you what, it was hell to work there on the engines. You can imagine how I was apprehensive about even getting the engine to start. There was a 25 gallon drum, that’s an empty drum for cooking oil, or something, we found on board and I made a big hole in the side of it with another piece of metal to slide around after I had lit and got burning satisfactorily, a primus stove which I then put inside that box and that box with all the air in it, heated and went up that tube. Now that tube is a piece of piping wrapped around with asbestos rope and it connected into a blanket which covers a whole of the engine and what we did when we wanted the aircraft out so, it takes so long to heat it up, so we’d light up this, get it burning. I’d play around with the engine getting it all organised for a start then it would start.

“To get the aircraft off the ship and into the water, we had what a we called a cradle that was bolted on to four points of the aircraft and from that cradle, a chain went up so long with a loop in it and over here was a crane. The crane would be moved around over the aircraft. Now, the propeller is spinning and its – there’s no coming back from a broken propeller. So we always had to be sure that the hook that looped into this loop, was clear of the propeller which was rotating and couldn’t be seen. Then we’d get it secure and we would close down the engine and, swing the aircraft over the water and then into the water all in very quick motion where there would be a fellow in a rowboat. I’d be up here, there’d be a rowboat, attended by the motorboat first towed out a bit and then the motorboat would retract and leave the two fellows in the row boat to manoeuvre close to the aircraft, the pilot being in it of course, and has gone over with the hook and then one of the fellows would stand on the bobbing around row boat and swing the propeller. That’s the way we had to start it. And it all had to be done quickly and precisely – you know, no fooling around.

“A small parachute was made up whilst we were heading south by the two aircraft riggers. The intention of the use of this parachute was to fold it in the recognised fashion and tie some note of greetings and a few chocolates and as they flew over Little America or wherever they did find them, they would drop this – and it worked. I believe that the parachute is now on display in America. It’s referred to in the National Geographic magazine issue July 1936.

“Our aircraft had no difficulty at all in locating Little America. However, there was a phenomena which was encountered by the aviators flying the aircraft called a “white-out”. A “white-out” is a condition that prevails when the sky is overcast with cloud that reflects the sunlight into the air entrapped between the cloud and the local landscape which itself is white and featureless and you then find that you have no horizon to orient yourself where you are – whether you’re upside down or whatever and this you experience even on the ground itself and in an aircraft it’s quite terrifying. Eric Douglas, the pilot, explained that he flew a course which consisted of flying in circles over the path he was trying to follow which gave him an opportunity every time he passed a point where he could see the ocean and that kept him straight and level. He gradually flew in a course made up of a series of circles, at all times making sure that he didn’t collide with the ground. Whilst he was flying along, he saw Kenyon. Ellsworth was confined to bed with some condition to one of his feet. Recognition of Kenyon who was waving was given by the aircraft by dipping its wings and flew back to the ship and reported what the scene was and how there seemed to be only one man.

“The motorboat was then called into action and we went to the shore and walked along the trail which was indicated by a series of yellow coloured flags on small posts. And ultimately Kenyon reached the shore and then was greeted and taken to the ship. We then found that he was hale and hearty. Kenyon, by the way, was a bush pilot, an Englishman and Canadian by adoption. When the land party reached Little America where he and Ellsworth had been laid up, Ellsworth was found to be in not very good shape – some leg condition was his trouble and that was attended to when he was brought to the ship. He was brought to the coastline and then by motorboat to the ship.”

Charlie was not able to anchor the motorboat in the usual manner when landing near the ice so used unconventional means.

“We couldn’t penetrate the ice satisfactorily with the anchor or pick, as they call it and we soon learnt that you don’t even try to do that. You got a bucket, which is made of leather and you lean over into the water and you pull out a bucket of sea water and you pour it over the pick, lying on the ice and it turns into ice and you keep doing that until you – but leave a piece of the anchor out so that you can grasp it later on, keep on pouring enough water on it and it freezes solid as can be and one push of it will break it.”

“We saw plenty, plenty of wildlife, but a very narrow range of life. That is, there were Skua gulls, which are birds, rather vulture like birds. There were penguins, whales – whales like nobody’s business. In fact one time we were making a journey from our ship to the seashore which is ice, by the way, and a whale surfaced, looming towards our ship with its mouth open and it so happened that a junior member on the ship was sitting up on the combing of the motor boat, watching all the activities and when this mouth opened up to him in front of his boat, he virtually whizzed along to the back of the boat to escape it, but the mouth shut and just dived under us. We thought nothing of them. They’d even rub up against the boat – it was lovely. When I saw this, I had no qualms, I thought “No its mouth’s open, just take no notice of it.” It’ll shut and just dive down.

“The young lad, Bobby Dalton, was a boy scout from one of the troops in Melbourne. He was 16, a nice lad. The Scouting Association had been invited to nominate a lad to join the ship for experience. Incidentally, this practice goes back to the days of Scott and was carried on in the days of Mawson. One of the scouts who figured in the Mawson expedition thought so much of it that he made it his career and he was on the Discovery II.
“We on the Discovery were surprised at the apparent and obvious difference there was in the attitude of both the rescued gentlemen. There was an age difference certainly, but as has been noted by explorers in other fields, they get to hate each other without realising that they’re drifting to that point. We never did on any occasion notice any friendliness between the two fellows. It didn’t surprise some people that this was so because it has been shown to be often the case and there were serious differences between the makeup of the two men. We didn’t ever see them together. They were never together when any of our people met them. They were always seemed to be apart.

“When we met Kenyon, he smoked his pipe in a very contented fashion and his words were “It was nice of you fellows to drop in on us.” I think they’re famous in another connection, but they were the words spoken by Kenyon. And he had a very clipped English accent which contrasted with Ellsworth. There were nothing similar in the two fellows.

“Ellsworth seemed to be very non-committal about everything, offhand. He had very little conversation. He never bothered to come down to see us in the Petty Officers’ mess and he seemed to keep up in the Officers’ mess and from what I gather, speaking with Douglas and the others who were in the Officers’ Mess, there was no great conversation at all. His attitude at that time was very self-contained. Money didn’t mean anything to him but his money meant a lot to other people. He was a wealthy man from his parents’ activities in railway stock. You couldn’t form any opinion of what his likes or dislikes or what his every day-to-day tastes were. I didn’t see it myself, but I believe that one of the points of difference between Kenyon and Ellsworth was that Kenyon found that when they had to walk from their crashed aircraft to Little America, which they knew all about – they weren’t lost in the sense except the world didn’t know where they were! But when they had to pull a sled, to pull their worldly goods across it, Kenyon at one stage found that Ellsworth had brought along a full dinner suit with him. Knowing Kenyon, I don’t think that would amuse him at all. These are the little things that make life interesting don’t they?

“Ellsworth became the guest of the Australian Government by being invited to take advantage of our facilities and return to Australia with us where better medical attention would be available for his leg condition. And to be welcomed by the Australian people at large in Melbourne and then continue to whatever way he wanted to go. Melbourne took Discovery II to its heart and I’m sure overwhelmed Ellsworth. Some of the leading theatres opened their doors to the crew and members of our party and quite a good celebration took place.” Kenyon, after a brief visit to our ship went back to the Wyatt Earp and eventually the Wyatt Earp turned around and went back to America and then Kenyon in turn then went back to his normal form of employment as a bush pilot with a Canadian airline.”

After the rescue and while both the Discovery II and the Wyatt Earp were in close proximity to each other, Charlie had the opportunity to spend time on the Wyatt Earp in very convivial company.
“I like my drink within moderation and came the day of the departure, going our separate ways. My friendship with the crew of the Wyatt Earp was such that I found myself invited to attend a suitable occasion on the Wyatt Earp so I then arranged for our aircraft radio operator to come along to the same gathering and of course the coxswain of the motor boat also attended the farewell party on the Wyatt Earp. We had an excellent night – there had been a death in the Royal family some days before and that event then triggered another name to the toast list and we all of us, both the crew and visitors from the Discovery designed a toast for all the crowned heads of Europe. I’ll never forget it. Each one’s trying to think of another royalty. This party started off with most of our warm clothing and we were that packed in this small cabin on the Wyatt Earp. By the way, the Wyatt Earp was a rather small ship compared to our own. It was only 500 tons, whereas ours was 1,000 ton vessel. It was timber and the engine of the Wyatt Earp ship was only 500 horse power. By comparison, the engine of our Wapiti equalled 500 horse power.

“Returning to the occasion of partying. When the fellows from the Discovery went aboard the motorboat, we were rather unsteady on our feet, so to speak and we headed for the Discovery which was at anchor at some little distance away from the Wyatt Earp. I must explain as a matter of interest that our ship was never at “anchor” in the Bay of Whales. Our skipper was a very prudent man and he believed in keeping the propeller of his ship always rotating. So we never knew, if we were away from the ship, where to find it. However, returning to the Discovery II after being at the farewell gathering on the Wyatt Earp, we established the position of the Discovery and then we headed for it and one of the two other fellows with me on the motorboat said, “Can’t you make this motor boat go quicker?” This was a challenge, whereupon I dived under the combing of the motorboat to reach the engine and override the governor which limited our speed and gave a bit more speed, the coxswain maintaining on a course direct toward the Discovery II. I felt a distinct bump, unusual in those waters. A bump meant either you have hit a whale or an ice floe. I quickly moved out of the combing to see what had happened and I found that we had hit and ridden over an ice floe and it was still bobbing in the water at our rear. A quick inspection of the hull indicated no damage so we continued on our way. That was not a very nice experience. This was our last night in the Bay of Whales. And the three of us could have finished up in the water! And we had all the heavy gear on, none of it impervious to water. The floes down to thickness like this, they’re almost invisible, and we hit one and straight along the back into the water. Blood runs cold when I think of it.

“Immediately after the rescue, the two ships remained in the Bay with the Wyatt Earp tied up to the ice shore at Ross Island and our ship slowly manoeuvring around the Bay and we then made tracks back to Melbourne. However, the scientists took the opportunity of being in waters not normally visited by them and they took samples of the sea water at various levels and other scientific activities and being in the vicinity as we were in terms of hundreds of miles, that is, of the Balleny Islands. The ship made tracks to the Balleny Islands which were some distance away to the west of the Bay of Whales. The interest being that the Balleny Islands up until this time were known to exist but nobody had ever been on the islands because the islands are so often hidden by storm and nobody has been able to approach what few landing places there are to be sure of being able to make a safe landing. So the motorboat was taken into the water as was another type of boat and the motorboat towed this other vessel toward the Balleny Islands with a suitable team of scientists and other observers leaving our ship in perfect weather. But within a few kilometres of leaving the Discovery II a squall came up, whipped up the sea, making it necessary for us to abandon our effort to be the first people to have landed on the Balleny Islands. However, our visit to the Balleny Islands was not entirely wasted because scientific officers took an opportunity to make what they call a “running survey” of the coastline. The method used around 1936 to make a running survey involved the use of a device known as a Barr and Stroud range finder – an optical device.

“The operator of the Barr and Stroud was located on one of the upper decks of the ship which followed a predetermined course along the coastline. This course was some distance from the ship and the Barr and Stroud noted at predetermined intervals the distance of the coastline from the ship. The course of the ship was changed roughly to match the general direction of the coastline in terms of latitude and longitude and the operator of the Barr and Stroud was advised of these changes of ship’s course and the rough outline of the island was established. “On the spot” surveys are made with aerial photography today.”

After it left the Balleny Islands, the Discovery II headed back to Melbourne.

“The Discovery II had performed its duty as soon as we were heading home and from then on the scientists were in command of our daily activities but as we were traversing through the ice, except where there was large patches of open water, the scientists would engage in some minor activity but they were keen to get back into the wide open space where they could get back to where they were dropping down and measuring the life in and temperature of the water.

“On one occasion way over to our port side as we were heading up to Australia, we saw a huge iceberg sufficiently large to gain the attention of the skipper and everybody aboard that we launched the Moth aircraft again and it measured by time flight along the iceberg established it as being 16 miles long and five miles wide. It was sitting in the water tabular, a tabular. This might be an appropriate time to elaborate on the outline of an iceberg. An iceberg is normally at birth, it is tabular, that is, it’s a huge piece of ice with a flat top to it and that top can be as long as 15 or more miles in length. Now that iceberg has seven times the amount of ice under the water as you can see of the berg above the water and it floats along and sometimes its progress will be impaired by some underwater feature which holds up its progress. However, as it drifts around the ocean, currents come to bear on the underwater portion of the iceberg until eventually the iceberg becomes unstable and tends to turn over in the water. And the tabular top of the iceberg is then completely or partially placed underwater itself and when it does that, it then reveals a system of caverns and other ice sculpture which are exposed now to the atmosphere above the water and they present beautiful sights in their craggy outline, quite distinct from their former outline of being tabular.

“The Antarctic continent is roughly constant in its outline. Pieces of ice of varying proportions are continually pushed into the sea by the mass of ice that lies inland. The ice of the polar cap is virtually on the move all the time imperceptible in parts but is on the move and as pieces are dropped off or fall off, the main ice cap, it will usually be seen that under that iceberg when it was further inland sitting on land but as it has been pushed outward to the sea, it then becomes an overhung part of the ice cap and eventually forces take charge of the situation and a piece of ice, commonly known as an iceberg of varying sizes is pushed off. When we were there, there was a continual noise. If you listened, you could hear way in the distance – CRASHHH!!” In 2003 Charlie Gibbs was pleased to receive a citation from the Australian Government in recognition of his participation in the Ellsworth relief expedition in 1936.

“There are many people alive today who have seen the citation and didn’t know that such a thing had taken place. Remember that the centre of public attention on our expedition largely centred on Melbourne and Sydney and so this brought back to the mind of many people who had forgotten or had their interest renewed. I think it’s largely due to the efforts of the Secretary of the local ANARE branch that the government recognised it.”

The expedition renewed Australia’s interest in Antarctica. However, the Second World War delayed further explorations somewhat until 1947.

“If our party had not been there, there would not have been an Australian there since 1931, I think it was, Mawson – huge gap, 1931 to 1947.”

(Charlie Gibbs was interviewed in April 2004).

Ellsworth, Lincoln. July 1936. “My Flight Across Antarctica” in The National Geographic Magazine. National Geographic Society. Washington, D.C. For more information on Antarctica you may like to visit the web site of the ANARE Club (Australian National Antarctica Research Expedition) of which Charlie Gibbs is a member:

Charlie Gibbs died on 12 October 2006.