The Jack Paulus Skiway

the Jack F. Paulus skiway sign
The Jack F. Paulus skiway sign at Pole, February 1981. Photo by CDR Victor Pesce.

CDR "Cadillac" Jack (John F.) Paulus was an extremely skilled, well known and liked VXE-6 pilot who had three tours with the squadron which included nine deployments between 1969 and 1981. Some of his many exploits included piloting the aircraft carrying RADM Kelly Welch and the first six women to visit Pole on 12 November 1969, and piloting the first open field landing at the site of Siple Station on 3 December of that year. A few years later on 4 September 1974 he successfully piloted an LC-130 most of the way from McMurdo to Christchurch on 3 engines after one of them died, per this Antarctic Journal article. He also participated briefly in the search for the crashed Air New Zealand DC-10 in November 1979, although he did not have enough fuel to actually locate the crash site.

1992 VXE-6 skiway map
1992 skiway map from Marty Diller
1994 VXE-6 skiway map
1994 skiway map from Joe Hawkins
2006 Air Force skiway map
2006 map cropped from a flight deck photo
Above, 3 versions of the skiway map. The left two are from the VXE-6 ARAPA (Aircrew Reference and Planning Aid); the right one is a 2006 version used by the New York Air National Guard.

A bit more about the photo at the top of this page. It actually was taken after normal station closing. In addition to the two LC-130's on deck (not visible), the red and white aircraft is Russian. It was most likely piston engined; it had auxiliary fuel tanks strapped down inside, and was carrying a load of Russian scientists.

The 1980-81 season was Jack's last on the ice. He would retire from the Navy and move to Montana in June of 1981 (June 1981 Antarctic Journal article). As for that sign, this is the only photo I've seen of it.