The Forty & Eight  Charitable Veterans Since 1920

501(c)(19) non profit, tax exempt

40&8 National Headquarters; 777 N. Meridian Street; Indianapolis, IN 46204-1170

317 634-1804 ~ ~


Contact: M. Anich, 402 884-2428;

40&8 Veterans Honor 1928 Byrd Expedition’s Norman Vaughn


INDIANAPOLIS  September 28, 2004   The national headquarters of the Forty & Eight veterans organization has announced Col. Norman Vaughan, adventurer, war hero, and last surviving member of the first Byrd Antarctic Expedition (1928-1930), will receive the organization’s 2004 Americanism Award at its national convention, October 4 - 7, 2004, in Anchorage, Alaska.

Forty & Eight national commander, Chef de Chemin de Fer William “Joe” Jamnick said, “Colonel Vaughn is a true hero with an awe inspiring lifetime of achievement and service to America.”

Vaughan was the Chief Dog Handler for Admiral Richard E. Byrd’s first Antarctic Expedition.  From November 5, 1929, to January 19, 1930, the expedition’s geological survey team, consisting of Vaughan and five others, sledded 1,500 miles, during which they claimed Marie Byrd Land (all Antarctic land east of 150W) as United States territory and radioed their ground position by which Byrd checked his navigation during his historic first flight over the South Pole on November 29, 1929.  Admiral Byrd’s flight took 18 hour and 41 minutes.  The ground expedition, with Norman Vaughan, took two and a half months.

During W.W.II., as a Search & Rescue officer with the Army Air Corps, Vaughan rescued dozens of allied aircrew men by dog team, he recovered a top secret Norden bombsight from a B-17 crashed on the Greenland Ice Cap, and he led 209 sled dogs and 17 drivers into the Battle of the Bulge.  Colonel Vaughan served with the Pentagon’s Psychological Warfare Department during the Korean War.

Norman Vaughan participated in the 1932 Winter Olympics, he coached an international polo team for the United States, and he salvaged six P-38 planes from the “Lost Squadron” in Greenland.  In 1990, at the age of 84, Vaughan completed his 13th Iditarod Dog Sled race.

Three days before his 89th birthday, on December 17th, 1994, Norman Vaughan climbed Mt, Vaughan, a 10,302-foot peak in Antarctica that Admiral Byrd had named for Vaughan sixty-seven years earlier.  The National Geographic film, “The Height of Courage: The Norman Vaughan Story”, captures the 1994 feat.

Norman Vaught has authored, “With Byrd at the Bottom of the World” and “My Life of Adventure”.

In 1997, at age 91, Vaughan headed the first Alaska “Serum Run” dog sled expedition from Nenana to Nome, an annual race commemorating the 1925 emergency mid-winter arctic dash across 776 miles to bring serum to Nome’s diphtheria victims. --- Of note, the well publicized original 1925 “Arctic Race of Mercy” was the inspiration for the Forty & Eight’s first major charitable effort (1927) that sought to ensure every American child, regardless of means, was inoculated against childhood diphtheria.

Forty & Eight’s Jamnick praised Vaughan.  “Col. Vaughan has lived life as America’s founders dreamed and we all should live; with can-do courage, a real sense of service, and a true love of freedom”.

The Forty & Eight, founded in 1920, is a charitable honor society of American wartime veterans.  Its programs include Child Welfare, Nurses Training, Youth Sports, Flag Education and Americanism.

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