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Photo Credit: John C. Behrendt/Antarctic Photo Library
Edward Thiel at work in Ellsworth Station during the Antarctic winter of 1957. The Thiel Mountains and Thiel Trough were named after him following the tragic crash of the P2V in November 1961.

Geographic features named after the five men killed in P2V crash

To honor the fallen crewmembers the P2V, each man had Antarctic features named after him.

The Thiel Mountains and the Thiel Trough honor Edward C. Thiel External Non-U.S. government site. He was the chief seismologist at Ellsworth Station from 1956 through 1958 during the IGY, and he was the leader of a traverse party that discovered a submarine trough in the Weddell Sea. Originally, the trough was named Crary Trough, but was later changed to Thiel Trough at the insistence of Albert Crary for whom the trough had originally been named.

LCDR William D. Counts External Non-U.S. government site, who was on the mission as a Russian translator, also has two features named in his honor. The first is Mount Counts; the second is the Counts Icefall. LTJG Romauld P. Compton External Non-U.S. government site has the ice-filled Compton Valley named in his honor. Chastain Peak was named for Petty Officer William W. Chastain External Non-U.S. government site. Petty Officer James L. Gray External Non-U.S. government site has a rocky spur — Gray Spur, which is next to Counts Icefall — named after him.

It is only fitting that all of the landmarks honoring the men killed in this crash are located together in the Thiel Mountains. They died together and they are immortalized together.

No feature has been named in honor of the four survivors.

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Curator: Peter Rejcek, Antarctic Support Contract | NSF Official: Winifred Reuning, Division of Polar Programs