To start with, here is my January 2014 photo of the hangar, at Christchurch International Airport (also known as
Harewood for the suburb in which it is located). The hangar is now used by the New York Air National Guard, and this photo shows its new NSF logo which had just been added in December.
Since Operation Deep Freeze and IGY preparations began in 1955, VX-6 and the USAF occupied space at what was then known as Wigram Aerodrome in a southwest suburb of Christchurch, now closed but still the site of an Air Force museum (Christchurch libraries historical page). The commands had also been using space at Harewood and Weedons (a RNZAF stores depot southwest of Wigram). The offices had been located in a former brewery on Kilmore Street. But with the plans to continue the U.S. Antarctic program, the decision was made to consolidate the Advance Base Headquarters at Harewood. The headquarters offices and barracks were relocated in 1959 to a renovated former wartime RNZAF facility at the roundabout just outside of Harewood (photo and info). Meanwhile, this large hangar was being constructed at the airfield by Seabees from Antarctic Support Activities. It was completed in the 1959-60 season.
Before looking at the hangar construction, below is a photo of Harewood in October 1957.
A "before" photo showing USAF C-124A Globemasters of the 53rd Troop Carrier Squadron on the tarmac in
October 1957. At right top center is a VX-6 R4D-8. But I'm not sure about that USAF aircraft at lower right.
Partly for clarification purposes, here's another 1959-60 era photo that I'm having trouble with:
A view of the early stages of steel erection; the hangar was a prefabricated structure.
Back to the more recent past, here is my January 2004 closeup photo of the hangar pedestrian entrance.
I'll finish up this page with my January 2004 photo of the hangar
Be careful...on another day that January I was walking on the sidewalk across the street from the hangar carrying my camera (in my hand, in its closed case) and the hangar security guards yelled at me not to take any photos.
Credits and thanks...the color photos are mine. And note that a full size version of the photo at the top of this page is available from the Antarctic Photo Library.
Of the B&W pictures...#1 and #7 are from Gateway to the Ice by Tony Phillips, they are © V.C. Browne and Son, used by permission; #2 is from Dave Howell (and I'm asking him for clarification and a better copy), #3 is from the Christchurch Star; #4 and #5 are U.S. Navy photos from the Task Force 43 Deep Freeze 1960 cruisebook; #6 is from their Deep Freeze 1961 cruisebook; and #7 is © V.C. Browne and Son, used by permission.