U.S.S. 'Bowdoin' crew, Greenland, 1941
Like many other privately-owned vessels, the schooner Bowdoin was purchased and commissioned into the U.S. Navy during World War II. Lt. Commander Donald MacMillan, in uniform and white cap at left, was recalled to active duty to captain his own vessel along the west coast of Greenland. Among other work, the vessel surveyed the coast and aided the building of two U.S. airfields in Greenland.
Here, MacMillan stands near the schooner with his U.S. Navy crew in 1941. Later, MacMillan was recalled to the Navy's Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C., where the military consulted him on Arctic work and Inuit language.
The schooner returned to serve in Arctic waters between 1942 and 1945 under Lt. Stuart Hotchkiss. She required extensive reconditioning when MacMillan repurchased her from the government after the war.