Joseph D. Healy


Joseph D. Healy
Sgt. Joesph D. Healy.gif
Greenland c. 1943
Born(1912-04-29)April 29, 1912
DiedJuly 1, 1971(1971-07-01) (aged 59)
Known forAntarctic exploration, namesake of Cape Healy, My Gal Sal (aircraft) rescue mission

Denis Joseph "Joe" Healy (April 29, 1912 – July 1, 1971) was an American explorer who was a member of the United States Antarctic Service Expedition.

Early life and education

Healy was the third of ten children of Irish immigrants, Hannah and John Healy. He was born in Scituate, Massachusetts in an area known as the Glades, part of the small seaside community of Minot, Massachusetts, which overlooks Minot's Ledge Light. Educated in local schools, Healy continued his education at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy.[1]


Having served as a dog driver with Richard E. Byrd on the Second Antarctic Expedition,[2] Healy was accepted as a dog driver on the United States Antarctic Service Expedition. Healy and Lytton Musselman were members of the Southeastern-Eternity Range Survey trail party, led by J. Glenn Dyer. The trail party departed East Base with Finn Ronne and Carl R. Eklund on November 6, 1940, separated from Ronne and Eklund on November 21, and proceeded on their expedition until their return to East Base on December 11.

After his return to the U.S. in May 1941, Healy joined the Army Air Corps. He served in Greenland under the command of polar explorer/pilot Bernt Balchen. Healy participated in several search and rescue missions, including the rescue of twenty men from the B-17, My Gal Sal.[3] By the end of the war, Healy had earned the rank of master sergeant. [4]

Upon his separation from the military Healy settled in Pembroke, Massachusetts, and spent the remainder of his life working as a poultry farmer. Healy died suddenly on July 1, 1971, from a heart attack.

Cape Healy at the entrance to Lamplugh Inlet, on the east coast of Palmer Land, Antarctica, is named for him.

Personal life

Healy married Anna C. Finn. They had no children.

Awards and honors


  1. ^ Antarctica of Joe Healy
  2. ^ United States Antarctic Service 1939-1941 East Base (Byrd Antarctic Expedition)
  3. ^ ""MY GAL SAL"". National Museum of the USAF. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  4. ^ US Army Air Forces, Air Force Magazine, October-December, 1943