21 September 2000
United States Antarctic Expedition, 1928-1930
Richard Evelyn BYRD (1888-1957). - Portrait photograph, [no date but 1928?]. 9 x 7in. (22.8 x 17.9cm.), holograph manuscript presentation inscription in black ink 'To Ernest Boulton with best wishes R.E.Byrd Christchurch N.Z. Nov. 25, 1928', framed and glazed.
A fine half-length portrait of Byrd wearing an animal-skin parka holding a ski-pole in his right hand. The photograph was inscribed shortly before the expedition left New Zealand aboard the City of New York and the Eleanoir Bolling for the south. The expedition comprised over 50 men, 3 aircraft and 95 dogs. They reached the Ross Ice Shelf on Christmas Day 1928, a camp was established to the east of the Bay of Whales and named 'Little America'. A great deal of pioneering work was carried out in the fields of geology and the mapping of the continent, but the popular high point was undoubtedly Byrd's flight over the South Pole: on 28 November 1929 the weather was clear enough for Byrd, Bernt Balchen (pilot), Harold June (radio operator) and Ashley McKinley (photographer) to take off. They left at about 3.29pm, reached the Pole at about 1.14am the following day, and finally returned to 'Little America' after a flight of 15 hours 51 minutes.
The expedition returned to New York on 19 June 1930 and was received with great acclaim: Byrd was promoted to Rear-Admiral and was presented with a specially struck gold medal by President Hoover.
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