National Geographic : 1957 Jul
48 Andrew H. Brown, National Geographic Staff Antarctic Veterans Hold a Reunion at Little America Visiting Antarctica for what was to be the last time in December, 1955, Admiral Byrd stands on a familiar site. Snows of three decades had almost buried the 70-foot radio mast marking his 1929 base. His second camp, built atop the first in 1934, lies 40 feet below the surface. Others (left to right): Dr. Paul A. Siple; Maj. Murray Wiener, the Admiral's Air Force adviser; Lt. Richard E. Byrd, Jr.; and Edward E. Goodale, an IGY representative. "How many kindnesses and honors you have given me throughout the years; naming that long mountain range in Antarctica after me and bringing me a piece of rock from the range, presenting it mounted with a silver engraved identification mark on it. Ever since, this souvenir has held the place of honor on the mantelpiece in our home. "Looking today again at our new map of the world (March, 1957, NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC MAGAZINE), I see, not far away from my range, the La Gorce Mountains, another thoughtful kindness given me by honoring my lifelong associate.... I have not words to express how grateful I am for your warm, inspiring friendship. wintering at the To these men "Your whole life exem plifies the highest ideals of America. All America loves you...." For the new United States scientific base at the South Pole, Richard Byrd chose the name Amundsen Scott IGY South Pole Sta tion. It was his way of paying homage to Nor way's Roald Amundsen, who discovered the South Pole in December, 1911, and Robert Falcon Scott, the English explorer who reached it only a month later and died on the re turn trip. When the South Pole Station was dedi cated in January, 1957, Admiral Byrd said: "In this year of inter national activity in the Antarctic, it is fitting that we should honor the mem ories of those two great and gallant men who first reached the South Pole. "... Scott lies gently shrouded in the Antarctic snows he loved and so often traversed. Amund sen lies at the other end of the earth, beneath the waters of the Arctic." In his last article in this issue Admiral Byrd pays tribute to the men now carrying on his work in Antarctica, and in par ticular to the small group South Pole. news of the Admiral's death came as a shock. The flag at South Pole Sta tion flew at half-mast from the day he died, March 11, 1957, until the sun went down to usher in the six-month antarctic night. Admiral Byrd was buried with full military honors in Arlington National Cemetery on March 14, 1957. With the assistance of Mrs. Byrd and of Lt. Richard E. Byrd, Jr., the Admiral's son, the National Geographic So ciety has undertaken the planning and execu tion of a suitable graveside memorial. It will not be easy to devise a monument that can begin to do justice to the memory of Richard Evelyn Byrd.