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Admiral Richard Byrd Stunning Photo Archive

Seven black and white photos of Admiral Richard Byrd, each 8" x 10". Several are copyright from the Byrd Antarctic Expedition taken by Wide World Photos with their attached typed release statements. Most are in near fine condition, please see images for specific conditions of each photo.

Byrd’s first Antarctic expedition (1928–30), the largest and best-equipped that had ever set out for that continent, sailed south in October 1928. A substantial and well-supplied base, called Little America, was built on the face of the Ross Ice Shelf, a wide plain of shelf ice fronting the Ross Sea near an indentation in the ice cliff named the Bay of Whales. Flights were made from this base over the Antarctic continent. A range of high mountains, named the Rockefeller Mountains, was discovered, and a large tract of hitherto unknown territory beyond them was named Marie Byrd Land, after Byrd’s wife. On November 29, 1929, Byrd, as navigator, and three companions made the first flight over the South Pole, flying from Little America to the Pole and back in 19 hours with no mishap. Byrd was afterward promoted to rear admiral for this achievement.

In 1933–35 a second Byrd expedition visited Little America with the aim of mapping and claiming land around the Pole; he extended the exploration of Marie Byrd Land and continued his scientific observations. During the winter of 1934 (from March to August) Byrd spent five months alone in a hut at a weather station named Bolling Advance Base, buried beneath the ice shelf face 123 miles (196 km) south of Little America, enduring temperatures between −58° and −76° F (−50° and −60° C) and sometimes much lower. He was finally rescued in a desperately sick condition, suffering from frostbite and carbon monoxide poisoning. This was perhaps his most controversial exploit.

At the request of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Byrd took command of the U.S. Antarctic service and led a third expedition to Antarctica in 1939–41, this one financed and sponsored by the U.S. government. Bases were located at Little America and Stonington Island, off the Antarctic Peninsula. Byrd’s discovery of Thurston Island greatly decreased the length of unexplored coast of the continent.

His five Antarctic expeditions made progressively greater use of ski-planes, ship-based seaplanes, and even helicopters (in 1946-47) to transport men and equipment and to carry out systematic reconnaissance and mapping programs using aerial photography. The expeditions yielded a wealth of new information about the continent, and operations High Jump and Deep Freeze in particular were milestones in the history of sustained, permanent scientific polar research. The aerial sextant and wind-drift instruments that Byrd invented in the years following World War I considerably advanced the science of aerial navigation and were of great use in his own explorations.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.

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