National Geographic : 1963 Jan
He had the Society's financial backing when, in 1909, he made his final dash. "Stars and Stripes nailed to the Pole," the jubilant explorer radioed to the world. The Far North was the early proving ground of another famous explorer long iden tified with the Society, Richard E. Byrd. As a young naval officer, he led an aerial group attached to the 1925 expedition of Lt. Comdr. (now Rear Adm., Ret.) Donald B. MacMillan, cosponsored by the Society and the Navy. Daily the expedition maintained contact with the outside world by the new marvel of short-wave radio, and people around the First to Fly Over the South Pole, Byrd's Plane Fights for Altitude As the trimotor Floyd Bennett labors to sur mount a glacier in the hostile Queen Maud Range, U. S. Navy Comdr. Richard E. Byrd (right) orders Ashley McKinley to jettison a 150-pound bag of food. Another bag fol lowed, lightening the plane enough to con tinue its 1,600-mile round-trip flight between Little America and the Pole on November 29, 1929. Harold June shouts advice. Bernt Balchen peers back from the pilot's seat. Admiral Byrd credited the Society with playing an important part in the success of his early expeditions.