The CCC improved the Stratobowl, a natural amphitheater in the Black Hills, in 1935. From there, the National Geographic Society and the U.S. Army Air Corps launched balloons to explore the stratosphere. The first Explorer reached 60,000 feet before tearing. The balloon crashed in Nebraska after the crew parachuted to safety. Explorer II carried Capt. Albert W Steven and Lt. Orval A. Anderson to 72,395 feet. After taking data, they landed near White Lake.
Twice during the summer of 1935 members of Company 793 were assigned to police duty at the Stratosphere Bowl during the National Geographic-Army balloon flights.
This "framed" colorized photo was donated in January 2020 to the CCC Museum of South Dakota by Bruce Jordan. Jordan's grandfather, Harry Herbert witnessed the launch in 1935. The souvenir frame, from the time, is made from materials found in the Black Hills.
Bruce Jordan is originally from Harford, SD and wife Sandy is originally from Madison, SD.Framed photo of the Stratosphere Bowl