1929 American pioneer aviator Richard E. Byrd flew over the South Pole

1929 Richard E. Byrd flew over the South Pole

1929 American pioneer aviator Richard E. Byrd flew over the South Pole

The experience of flying over sea ice and glaciers in western Greenland had fired Byrd with the ambition to fly over the North Pole. On May 9, 1926, Byrd, acting as navigator, and Floyd Bennett as pilot made what they claimed to be the first airplane journey over the North Pole, flying from King’s Bay, Spitsbergen, Norway, to the Pole and back.

The flight lasted 151/2 hours, with no mishaps beyond an oil leak from the starboard engine of their Fokker trimotor airplane. For this feat they were both awarded the U.S. Congressional Medal of Honor and were acclaimed as national heroes.

On Nov 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.

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