USS Burton Island (AG-88) at the South Pole, by Unknown, 1947-1948, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, Image of the USS Burton Island (AG-88) at the South Pole. The USS Burton Island and the USS Edisto (AG-89) were the two ships used for Operation Windmill. The caption at the bottom reads: "USS Burton Island At South Pole." Operation Windmill (1947-1948) was an expedition established by the Chief of Naval Operations to train personnel, test equipment, and reaffirm American interests in Antarctica..