3 Replies Latest reply on Oct 18, 2021 9:09 AM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking documentation of insubordination by Per Fredrick Scholander

    Tobi Bodway Wayfarer

      Looking for any documentation to confirm that Captain Per Fredrick (P.F.) Scholander (AAF Proving Ground, Eglin, FL) was courts-martialed for insubordination relating to a CO order not to parachute to a C-47 crash near Cold Bay, AK. Scholander (and two others) ignored the CO's order and jumped to the scene on March 19, 1945.  He was initially awarded a Soldier's Medal for his participation in the rescue efforts, but it appears that he was not actually given the medal until 1963 (18 years later) which seems to confirm what his biographer noted - that Scholander was court-martialed, but it was eventually dismissed. The biographer gave no evidence, just hearsay.


      Incidentally, March 19, 1945 was the beginning of Project HULA-2 in Cold Bay. So it seems likely to me that the Navy did not approve of an AAF Captain choosing to ignore the Commanding Officer's order at the beginning of such an important and clandestine operation, and would have sought a courts martial after the war. Any help confirming or tracking down these documents would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

        • Re: Seeking documentation of insubordination by Per Fredrick Scholander
          Elliot Schneider Ranger



          Also Here is something I found and the tail number and pilot who was flying that C47 (KCR) refers to Killed in Crash. But not known if this was after looks like according to photos he may have been alive.

          450318 C-47A 42-2386754TCS 11 KCR 4 Alexander, Joseph R USAAK Ft Randall/ 32mi NE


          Also found some pictures for you back and front side of photo












          Found some information on your guy. http://www.nasonline.org/publications/biographical-memoirs/memoir-pdfs/scholander-per.pdf



          FYI********** It states he did receive the Soldiers medal in 1945, He received the Legion of Merit in 1964




          In March of 1945, Scholander led an unauthorized rescue mission after learning that an airplane had crashed on the peninsula. Survivors had been seen from the sky, however, rescue teams were unable to reach the site overland due to the rough terrain and deep snow. Scholander, along with a medical officer and a chaplain jumped down to the site -with no prior parachuting experience. For his actions, Scholander was considered a hero and was highly recommended to be decorated or cited. Major George M. Sutton wrote to Lt. Col. Irving that it was “Scholander’s single-purpose determination to get to those injured men which finally turned the trick; which gave the two other men courage and resolve.” He received the Soldier’s Medal on April 23 1945, for which the citation reads: “On 18 March 1945, a C-47 aircraft of the 54th Troop Carrier Squadron crashed approximately thirty miles northeast of Fort Randall, Alaska, while enroute to that station from Fort Richardson, Alaska. Wreckage of the aircraft was soon sighed from the air, and some survivors of the six people who had been aboard the plane were seen moving about on the ground. When word that the missing aircraft has been located was brought to Fort Randall, the three officers mentioned above immediately volunteered to parachute down into the tiny valley were the plane had crashed, though this was considered to be a highly dangerous undertaking. However, due to the rugged nature of the country, it was known that ground rescue parties would require several days to reach this isolated spot. The three officers mentioned were, therefore, flown over the site of the crash, and although two of them had never before made a parachute jump, they all unhesitantly parachuted to the ground. Because of the deep snow, the required from one to two hours to reach the wrecked aircraft; Captain Scholander was the first to arrive. Captain Weston, upon his arrival, administered medical aid to the three survivors, one of whom was in critical condition and might have died if help had not arrived so promptly. Captain Weston was assisted by Chaplain Mullen, while Captain Scholander set up a small kitchen in the undamaged lavatory of the C-17 where he prepared medals for everyone present until all were rescued on 23 March. The unselfish courage displayed by Captain Weston, Chaplain Mullen, and Captain Scholander is in keeping with the finest traditions of the service.”


          Following their service in the Air Force, Scholander and Irving established a research laboratory in Point Barrow, Alaska, with support from the Navy. The main focus of the research was on the measurements of the metabolic heat production and insulation necessary for warm-blooded animals to keep warm in the Arctic. In 1951, he married Susan Irving. Scholander later attended Harvard University as a research fellow, and by 1955 he was back at the University of Oslo, working as a professor and director of a new institute of zoophysiology. He became a professor at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1958 and later established the Physiological Research Laboratory at Scripps in 1965. He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1961, and the American Philosophy Society the following year. In 1979, he received the Nansen Award for Polar Research. On June 13, 1980, at the age of seventy-four, Scholander died in his home in California.





          Per Fredrik Scholander, Marine Biology: San Diego

          Professor Emeritus

          Per Fredrik Scholander was born in Orebro, Sweden on November 29, 1905, and died in his home in La Jolla, California on June 13, 1980. Dr. Scholander received a medical degree and the doctor of philosophy degree (in botany) from the University of Oslo, Norway. He came to Swarthmore College in 1939 and became a United States citizen in 1945. He was made captain in the Air Corps of the United States Army in 1943 and made major contributions to pilot safety at high altitude and to survival in arctic seas. He and Susan Irving were married in 1951, and together they enriched all who knew them. He accepted a professorship at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in 1958. He established the Physiological Research Laboratory at Scripps in 1965, and this facility for conducting biochemical and physiological research was extended to far-ranging places by its research vessel, RV Alpha Helix, a national facility. Scholander was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1961, the American Philosophical Society in 1962 and the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1974. He received the Nansen Award for Polar Research in 1979.

          Pete Scholander was an esthete, enjoying music, fine food, conversation and nature. His greatest joy was to call into question the orthodox account of a natural phenomenon. All his abundant gifts were recruited as he searched for an enlightened view of a biological or physical process. He possessed ingenuity, enthusiasm and motivation befitting a genius, and he could inspire his associates to share his pursuits. All his ideas he subjected to experimentation, and he was the consummate experimentalist. A list of his achievements in animal and plant physiology is long. He anticipated and discovered that hemoglobin could facilitate the diffusion of oxygen and suggested that myoglobin may function in a similar capacity in muscles. He largely explained how the counter flow of arterial and venous blood in the rete mirabile of the swim bladder of some deep sea fishes could maintain a large difference in oxygen and nitrogen with respect to their partial pressures in sea water. He also found one of the clues to attaining



          the high oxygen pressure in the swim bladder. By direct measurement, he confirmed the cohesion theory of transpiration in tall trees, mangroves and desert shrubs. He came to understand the turgor pressure in plant cells must be attributed to pressure exerted by the solutes in the cytosol rather than to intracellular water, the orthodox view. This led to further challenge of the orthodox view of osmosis and osmotic pressure. He enlightened us on such varied subjects as: the role of insulation and metabolism in polar birds, mammals and man exposed to cold; freezing survival in polar insects and freezing avoidance in polar fish; paleoatmospheres preserved in gas bubbles entrapped in glacial ice; the cardiovascular adjustments during diving in marine mammals; and how porpoises ride the bow waves of ships.


          Professor Scholander was a noble person, and he always treated others as if they were no less noble. Jealousy, envy and hatred were unknown in his character; he was never vindictive or imperious. He enjoyed his life, his home, his colleagues and his science to the fullest degree, and to the end he spoke no regrets.

          2 people found this helpful
            • Re: Seeking documentation of insubordination by Per Fredrick Scholander
              Tobi Bodway Wayfarer

              Thank you for all this information, Elliot! So helpful!


              I'm trying to determine why the certificate for the Soldier's Medal is dated December 3, 1963.


              He received it for the bravery he demonstrated during March 19, 1945 (the original commendation) but the accompanying certificate was dated 18 years later.


              I've found three independent authors (two of them very good associates of Scholander) who have specifically described a courts martial that dragged on for years until it was finally dismissed. At which time I assume he actually received that 1945 honor.   


              Puzzling that people who knew him would write about a courts martial if it wasn't true. He was quite an impressive man.

            • Re: Seeking documentation of insubordination by Per Fredrick Scholander
              Jason Atkinson Ranger

              Dear Tobi Bodway,

              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


              U.S. Army general courts-martial (GCM) records from 1917 to 1976 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). For more information about the records, please contact RL-SL via email at stl.archives@nara.gov.


              We suggest that you request a copy of his Official Military Personnel File (OMPF). OMPFs and individual medical reports for officers of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after June 1917 and before 1959 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis. In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued. Please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may omit it or provide estimates (such as for dates), but the more information you provide, the easier it will be to locate the correct file if it survived the fire. For more information see Official Military Personnel Files (OMPF), Archival Records Requests.


              Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL. Also, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter, and those involving the VA Home Loan program. Please refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels.  Please check archives.gov/veterans for updates to the NPRC operating hours and status. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


              Also, we searched online and located the Per Fredrik Scholander Papers, circa 1930-1991 (SMC 116) at the Special Collections & Archives, UC San Diego that may be of interest.


              We hope this is helpful.  Best of luck with your research!


              1 person found this helpful