Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Richard Evelyn Byrd

  • Graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1912.
  • In 1925, he led the Naval Aviation Unit accompanying the MacMillan expeditions to Greenland.
  • Received the Medal of Honor for his epic flight over the North Pole in May of 1926.
  • Led an expedition to Antarctica in 1928 and established the “Little America” base.
  • Participated in a flight in November 1929 over the South Pole making him the first man to fly over both poles.

Returned to Antarctica with his second expedition in 1934 and spent many months alone making detailed weather observations. His 1940 expedition colonized a portion of Antarctica and further expanded exploration. After distinguished service during World War II, Byrd headed a massive Navy expedition in 1946-47 that extended a U.S. claim to part of the continent. He returned once again in 1955 to head the U.S. Antarctic programs. For adding enormously to the knowledge of the vast Polar Regions, Byrd received the Medal of Freedom.

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