Byrd, Richard Evelyn, Jr., RADM

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Last Rank
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Last Primary NEC
131X-Unrestricted Line Officer - Pilot
Last Rating/NEC Group
Line Officer
Primary Unit
1914-1916, 000X, USS Dolphin (PG-24)
Service Years
1912 - 1947
Official/Unofficial US Navy Certificates
Order of the Antarctic Circle
Order of the Arctic Circle (Bluenose)
Order of the Penguin
Rear Admiral Upper Half
Rear Admiral Upper Half

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by Shane Laemmel, MR3 to remember Byrd, Richard Evelyn, Jr. (MOH), RADM USN(Ret).

If you knew or served with this Sailor and have additional information or photos to support this Page, please leave a message for the Page Administrator(s) HERE.
Contact Info
Home Town
Last Address
Byrd died in his sleep on 11 March 1957 of a heart ailment at his Brimmer Street home in Boston.

Date of Passing
Mar 11, 1957
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 2, Grave 4969-1, Map grid WX-32/33

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
Sons of the American Revolution
  1931, Sons of the American Revolution - Assoc. Page

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
Years of service
Other Comments:
RICHARD E. BYRD (1888-1957)

Richard Evelyn Byrd was a very busy man: explorer, naval officer, author, aviator, and writer. He is in our Explorers' Hall of Fame for his explorations of Antarctica.

Richard Byrd was born in Winchester, Virginia in 1888. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1912. In a few months he managed to get assigned to a Navy flying school. During World War I, he commanded an air station in Nova Scotia. After the war, he was promoted to lieutenant commander. In 1925, he led the naval air unit of an expedition to Greenland.

Richard Byrd's first polar expedition was to the Arctic. On this expedition he claimed a vast territory for the United States. He named it Mary Byrd Land after his wife. On May 9, 1926, with Floyd Bennett as his pilot, Byrd navigated the first plane to fly over the North Pole. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for the achievement, but later his claim was seriously disputed.

In 1927 Byrd flew across the Atlantic with a crew of three, just one month after Charles Lindbergh made the first solo flight across the Atlantic. Although the 42-hour flight crash-landed on the coast of France, Byrd and his crew were safe.

After this, Byrd became interested in exploring Antarctica. From 1928 to 1947, he led four major expeditions to this continent.
From 1928 to 1930, Byrd led his first Antarctic expedition. Its main purpose was to map a large part of the continent. Byrd established a research base called Little America. During this exploration, Byrd and a crew of three made the first flight over the South Pole in 1929. In 1930, at the end of the first expedition, he was made rear admiral of the US Navy.
From 1933 to 1935 Byrd returned to Antartica. He then spent five months alone in a hut 120 miles south of Little America to study inland temperatures. He endured temperatures as low as -76 degrees F. Due to a clogged chimney, Byrd became very ill. He refused to call for help. Finally, a tractor party rescued him.

On his third Antarctic mission from 1939 to 1941, Byrd made more flights and discovered the southern limit of the Pacific.

In 1946-47, he commanded a project to discover and map large areas of Antarctic territory called Operation High Jump. During this mission, he made his second flight over the South Pole.
In 1955, Richard Byrd directed Operation Deep Freeze, the first phase of United States operations in the Antarctic. In 1956 Byrd made his last flight over the pole. He died in his home in Boston in 1957, and was acclaimed an international hero.

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Naval Aviator Wings

 Duty Stations
US Navy
  1912-1914, 000X, USS Missouri (BB-11)
  1914-1916, 000X, USS Dolphin (PG-24)
 Colleges Attended 
Virginia Military InstituteUniversity of VirginiaUnited States Naval Academy
  1904-1906, Virginia Military Institute
  1907-1908, University of Virginia
  1908-1912, United States Naval Academy
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