National Geographic : 1962 Apr
tor No. 608. He conceived the idea of flying the Navy's new NC-1 flying boat across the Atlantic, with a stop in the Azores, to deliv er it for service in Europe. Armistice Day arrived before the idea could be put into practice, but it was typical of the imagina tive planning that animated Admiral Byrd throughout his life. "He once wrote, 'From the moment I be came a full-fledged Navy pilot, my ambition was to make a career out of aviation. Not merely in the sense of routine flying, but rath er in the pioneering sense.' Few men have so well fulfilled an ambition. The young offi cer's career as polar explorer began when he was given command of the Naval Aviation Unit that accompanied the 1925 Arctic Ex- Old comrades hear John B. Connally, Jr., then Secretary of the Navy, praise Byrd's "determi nation and sheer grit." The Secretary's bandage covers a cut made by an accidental rifle blow during an inspection a few days earlier. For the Byrd family, Senator Harry Flood Byrd, the Admiral's brother, expresses thanks to the Society for the memorial. A former Vir ginia governor, the Senator has held his pres ent post since 1933, continuing a tradition of public service that began when his family first came to Virginia in the 1600's. Family and friends gather on Arlington's Me morial Avenue for the dedication. Front row in cludes Mrs. Byrd; son Lt. Comdr. Richard E. Byrd, Jr., (USNR); six grandchildren; daughter Mrs. Robert G. Breyer; and (leaning forward) brother Thomas B. Byrd.