(Although Germany was not at war with the United States at this time, Adolf Hitler had been serving as Führer of the German Reich since 1934, and invaded Poland the next year.). In this service Admiral Byrd exercised fine leadership in gaining the united effort of civilian, Army, and Navy experts. [43] He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. The name was changed to R.E. How to cite this page:>Eugene Rodgers,"Richard Evelyn Byrd (1888–1957)," Dictionary of Virginia Biography, Library of Virginia (1998– ), published 2001 (http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/dvb/bio.asp?b=Byrd_Richard_Evelyn_1888-1957, accessed [today's date]). While at Pensacola Byrd was assigned to investigate the cause of airplane crashes. The fantastic speed with which the world is shrinking – recalled the admiral – is one of the most important lessons learned during his recent Antarctic exploration. [37] Byrd was present at the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. [44], Byrd was an active Freemason. Byrd spent only one week in the Antarctic, and started his return to the United States on February 3, 1956. [29], After their return to the United States, an elaborate dinner in their honor was held in New York City on July 19. The armada arrived in the Ross Sea on December 31, 1946, and made aerial explorations of an area half the size of the United States, recording 10 new mountain ranges. In recognition of his service during World War II, Byrd was twice awarded the Legion of Merit.[38]. In 1921, Byrd volunteered to attempt a solo nonstop crossing of the Atlantic Ocean, prefiguring Charles Lindbergh's historic flight by six years. On the other hand, he always put the well-being of his men before his own, risked death several times to save others, and remained unswervingly loyal to those similarly devoted to him. Dick Byrd, as he was usually known, received his early education at Shenandoah Valley Academy. Byrd received flight training and won his wings on 17 April 1918. Our Source: "Byrd Gets CBS Award." Arriving over France the next day, they were prevented from landing in Paris by cloud cover; they returned to the coast of Normandy and crash-landed near the beach at Ver-sur-Mer (known as Gold Beach during the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944) without fatalities on July 1, 1927. He was released from active duty on October 1, 1945. 1, Washington, DC, on March 19, 1921, and affiliated with Kane Lodge No. Made 5 Polar Expeditions. His next assignment was to the gunboat USS Dolphin, which also served as the yacht of the Secretary of the Navy. He flew his first solo flight after only six hours of dual instruction. After their first winter, their expeditions were resumed, and on November 28, 1929, the first flight to the South Pole and back was launched. On July 14, 1912, he was assigned to the battleship USS Wyoming. [17], Since 1926, doubts have been raised, defenses made, and heated controversy arose over whether or not Byrd actually reached the North Pole. Admiral Byrd is the only person to have three ticker-tape parades in New York City (in 1926, 1927, and 1930) given in his honor. On December 8, 1954, Byrd appeared on the television show Longines Chronoscope. This distinction was given to "American citizens whose achievements in outdoor activity, exploration, and worthwhile adventure are of such an exceptional character as to capture the imagination of boys ...".[47]. Rank and organization: Commander, United States Navy. Return to the Dictionary of Virginia Biography Search page. Born: October 25, 1888, Winchester, Va. Memorials to Byrd can be found in two cities in New Zealand (Wellington and Dunedin). World RenownByrd became one of the most famous explorers of his generation. The others were Admiral George Dewey, General John J. Pershing, and Admiral William T. Sampson. Richard Evelyn Byrd (25 October 1888–11 March 1957), aviator and recipient of the Medal of Honor, was born in Winchester, the son of Richard Evelyn Byrd (1860–1925) and Eleanor Bolling Flood Byrd. Rear Admiral Richard Evelyn Byrd Jr. (October 25, 1888 – March 11, 1957) was an American naval officer and explorer. In 1929, Byrd received the Silver Buffalo Award from the Boy Scouts of America. [citation needed], On January 20, 1915, Richard married Marie Donaldson Ames (d. 1974). Byrd started to form a third private Antarctic expedition but merged his enterprise with the new United States Antarctic Service. On February 10, 1945, Byrd received the Order of Christopher Columbus from the government of the Dominican Republic. Report of the Adjutant General of Rhode Island. This hazardous flight was made under extreme conditions of cold, over ranges and plateaus extending nine to ten thousand feet above sea level and beyond probable rescue of personnel had a forced landing occurred. He qualified as a naval aviator (number 608) in June 1918. Byrd asked a fellow officer if that kind of thing happened often. After the war, Byrd volunteered to be a crewmember in the U.S. Navy's 1919 aerial transatlantic crossing. As he was only 41 years old at the time, this promotion made Byrd the youngest admiral in the history of the United States Navy. The expedition discovered Marie Byrd Land, comparable in size to Alaska and named for the commander's wife, and two mountain ranges. [8][9] While serving in this position, he was commended by Brigadier General Charles W. Abbot, the adjutant general of Rhode Island, for making great strides in improving the efficiency of the militia, and on April 25, 1928, was promoted to captain by act of the Rhode Island General Assembly in recognition of his flight to the North Pole in 1926. Byrd used New Zealand as his departure point for several of his Antarctic expeditions. Due to reductions in the Navy after the First World War, Byrd reverted to the rank of lieutenant at the end of 1921. They  agreed. EARLY LIFE Richard Evelyn Byrd was born in Winchester, VA on October 25, 1888. A base camp named "Little America" was constructed on the Ross Ice Shelf, and scientific expeditions by snowshoe, dog sled, snowmobile, and airplane began. Admiral Richard E. Byrd Middle School, located in Frederick County, Virginia, was opened in 2005, and is decorated with pictures and letters from Byrd's life and career. [6] While at the Naval Academy, he suffered two injuries to his right ankle (one was by playing football and the other was while dismounting gymnastic rings during a competition). Byrd commanded the aviation unit of the arctic expedition to North Greenland led by Donald B. MacMillan from June to October 1925. United States Naval Academy Midshipman – May 28, 1908 (Class of 1912), First Distinguished Service Medal citation, Second Distinguished Service Medal citation. As Byrd's image is on both the first and second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medals, he was the only American entitled to wear two medals with his own image on them. He was raised (became a Master Mason) in Federal Lodge No. To finance and gain both political and public support for his expeditions, Byrd actively cultivated relationships with many powerful individuals, including President Franklin Roosevelt, Henry Ford, Edsel Ford, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., and Vincent Astor. An Episcopalian, Byrd in the 1930s began a longtime commitment to Moral Re-Armament, a movement that promoted religious values and a conservative political agenda. Byrd retired from the navy in 1916 with the rank of ensign after he was declared physically unsuitable for promotion because of a fragile foot that he had broken several times. 1917. The interview appeared in the Wednesday, March 5, 1947, edition of the Chilean newspaper El Mercurio, and read in part: Admiral Richard E. Byrd warned today that the United States should adopt measures of protection against the possibility of an invasion of the country by hostile planes coming from the polar regions. Byrd's third expedition was the first one financed and conducted by the United States government. In 1925 the National Geographic Society backed a private expedition by. The airship broke apart in midair, killing 44 of 49 crewmembers on board.