Joe was a seaman on the S. S. Jacob Rupert which sailed on Byrd's second Antarctic expedition. Once in Antarctica he helped with the dogs

The Jacob Ruppert left Boston on October 11 1933, stopped at Newport News, and left for the Panama Canal eleven days later... After passing through the Panama Canal, the Jacob Ruppert called at Easter Island on November 16 and reached Wellington, New Zealand on December 5. The ship's engines were overhauled and the William Horlick readied for flight. Another eighteen men were added to the crew before she set sail on December 12, 1933. Additionally, three stowaways were soon discovered. The ship reached the ice pack on December 20 and proceeded along the edge for the next three weeks. On December 21, at 10:53 a.m., Admiral Byrd, Harold June (pilot), William Bowlin (co-pilot), Carl Petersen (radio operator) and Joseph Pelter (aerial photographer) lifted off in the "William Horlick" on a successful four-hour preliminary test flight. Further flights and reconnaissance took place until eventually entering the Bay of Whales, where she was moored on January 17, 1934.

By February 4 both ships were unloaded. At 10:10 p.m. the next day, the Jacob Ruppert left for Port Chalmers, New Zealand, where she arrived on February 18... During the winter 1934/35 layover in New Zealand, both the Bear of Oakland and Jacob Ruppert were reconditioned and loaded with coal. The Bear of Oakland left Dunedin on January 2 1935; on board was Charles F. Anderson, U. S. Postal Inspector, to handle the cancellation of mail at Little America. On January 18 they entered Discovery Inlet and picked up the seismograph crew. The next morning they moored in the Bay of Whales. The Jacob Ruppert left Port Chalmers on January 16 and arrived in the Bay of Whales on January 27. The men hustled to get the cargo loaded aboard but with the ice threatening the thin plates of the Jacob Ruppert, ferrying was necessary between the two ships as the Jacob Ruppert hove to out in the bay. This process continued until only the heavy tractors and planes remained at the edge of the bay. Too heavy for the Bear of Oakland, the Jacob Ruppert slipped in long enough to haul aboard all but Citroën No.2, two snowmobiles and a small amount of various supplies. The two ships moved out of the Bay of Whales on the afternoon of February 5, 1935. On board, headed for the Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI, was the Floyd Bennett., the plane in which Byrd had flown to the Pole in 1929. Both ships stopped in Discovery Inlet long enough to pick up some penguins destined for American zoos and then, on February 7, the two ships departed for Dunedin

This letter dated May 1, 1935 was probably written in Dunedin on the South Island of New Zealand.

This letter was also from Duneden.

In this letter Joe mentions that they "are going to Washington to be welcomed home by the President." They expect to get to Boston the 15th or the 16th of this month.

Byrd Antarctic Expedition stamps

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