Former Navy meteorologist reunited with wallet lost 53 years ago during Antarctica assignment

by Laura Mize · Feb 11th, 2021 3:19 pm

Last Updated Feb 12th, 2021 at 9:55 am

More than five decades after he lost his wallet on assignment as a U.S. Navy meteorologist in Antarctica, 91-year-old Paul Grisham had the belonging returned to him a couple weeks ago.

Grisham served at McMurdo Station for 13 months starting in 1968, looking out for incoming vessels bearing personnel and supplies. The temperature at McMurdo would sometimes be as cold as -65 degrees Fahrenheit, the veteran recalled. At some point in his stay there, he misplaced the wallet.

Recent demolition at McMurdo Station led to the wallet's discovery, and a team of good Samaritans then launched a weeks-long campaign via email and social media to find the owner.

Grisham had retired from the Navy in 1977 after 25 years of service.

When Grisham received his wallet back, he found a beer ration card, a guide on what to do in the event of various types of disaster, a military identification card, and more.

"The one thing that really made life worth living down there was the people that were there," Grisham said of the men who served at McMurdo with him and passed the days with poker games. "We wintered 180 men and they were the most congenial, likable men that I ever had the pleasure to be around."


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