"Twelve-hour shifts with bleak living conditions and two meals a day were the lot of the engineers and technical men in the early days of base construction at Hut Point. Heavy toil in the face of bitter winds and driving snow had its cutting, eroding and glazing effect on personnel. Individually when they could get away from their tasks they would make their way to the mess tent where they hoped to find a colossal pot of steaming hot coffee. Over a mug of java they would seek to relax long enough to permit some personality to emerge from its frozen inanimation. Then again they would have to return to driving themselves hard to forget their hard life."--Commander Standish Backus.