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Richard Evelyn Byrd , Jr.

Date of birth: October 25, 1888
Date of death: March 11, 1957
Burial location: Arlington, Virginia
Place of Birth: Virginia, Winchester
Home of record: Charlottesville Virginia

Richard Byrd graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Class of 1912. He retired at a Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy.

AWARDS AND CITATIONS

Medal of Honor

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America, in the name of Congress, takes pleasure in presenting the Medal of Honor to Commander Richard Evenly Byrd, Jr. (NSN: 0-7918), United States Navy, for distinguishing himself conspicuously by courage and intrepidity at the risk of his life on 9 May 1926, in demonstrating that it is possible for aircraft to travel in continuous flight from a now inhabited portion of the earth over the North Pole and return.

Action Date: May 9, 1926

Service: Navy

Rank: Commander

Division: Byrd Expedition

Navy Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Cross to Rear Admiral Richard Evenly Byrd, Jr. (NSN: 0-7918), United States Navy, for extraordinary heroism in the line of his profession as Commanding Officer of the Byrd Antarctic Expedition I, in that on 28 November 1929 he took off in his "Floyd Bennett" from the Expedition's base at Little America, Antarctica and, after a flight made under the most difficult conditions he reached the South Pole on 29 November 1929. After flying some distance beyond this point he returned to his base at Little America. This hazardous flight was made under extreme conditions of cold, over ranges and plateaus extending nine to ten thousand feet above sea level and beyond probable rescue of personnel had a forced landing occurred. Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, U.S.N, Retired, was in command of this flight, navigated the airplane, made the mandatory preparations for the flight, and through his untiring energy, superior leadership, and excellent judgment the flight was brought to a successful conclusion.

Action Date: 1928 - 1930

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral

Division: Byrd Antarctic Expeditionary Team (I)

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Commander Richard Evenly Byrd, Jr. (NSN: 0-7918), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States, in demonstrating, by his courage and professional ability that heavier-than-air craft could in continuous flight travel to the North Pole and return.

General Orders: Letter Dated August 6, 1926

Service: Navy

Rank: Commander

Navy Distinguished Service Medal

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Navy Distinguished Service Medal to Rear Admiral Richard Evenly Byrd, Jr. (NSN: 0-7918), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in a position of great responsibility to the Government of the United States as Commanding Officer of the U.S. Antarctic Service. Rear Admiral Byrd did much toward the difficult task of organizing the expedition, which was accomplished in one fourth of the time generally necessary for such undertakings. In spite of a short operating season, he established two Antarctic bases 1,500 miles apart, where valuable scientific and economic investigations are now being carried on. With the U.S.S. BEAR, he penetrated unknown and dangerous seas where important discoveries were made; in addition to which he made four noteworthy flights, resulting in the discovery of new mountain ranges, islands, more than a hundred thousand square miles of area, a peninsula and 700 miles of hitherto unknown stretches of the Antarctic coast. The operations of the Antarctic Service have been a credit to the Government of the United States. His qualities of leadership and unselfish devotion to duty are in accordance with the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service.

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Legion of Merit to Rear Admiral Richard Evenly Byrd, Jr. (NSN: 0-7918), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States while in command of a Special Navy Mission to the Pacific from 27 August 1943 to 5 December 1943 when thirty-three islands of the Pacific were surveyed or investigated for the purpose of recommending air base sites of value to the United States for its defense or for the development of post-war civil aviation. In this service Admiral Byrd exercised fine leadership in gaining the united effort of civilian, Army, and Navy experts. He displayed courage, initiative, vision, and a high order of ability in obtain data and in submitting reports which will be of great present and future value to the National Defense and to the Government of the United States in the post-war period.

Action Date: August 27 - December 5, 1943

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral

Legion of Merit

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Awarded for actions during the World War II

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting a Gold Star in lieu of a Second Award of the Legion of Merit to Rear Admiral Richard Evenly Byrd, Jr. (NSN: 0-7918), United States Navy, for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the Government of the United States as Confidential Advisor to the Commander in Chief, United States Fleet and Chief of Naval Operations from 26 March 1942 to 10 May 1942, 14 August 1942 to 26 August 1943, and from 6 December 1943 to 1 October 1945. In the performance of his duty Rear Admiral Byrd served in the Navy Department and in various areas outside the continental limits of the United States, employed on special missions on the fighting fronts in Europe and the Pacific. In all assignments his thoroughness, attention to detail, keen discernment, professional judgment and zeal produced highly successful results. His wise counsel, sound advice and foresight in planning constituted a material contribution to the war effort and to the success of the United States Navy. The performance of duty of Rear Admiral Byrd was at all times in keeping with the highest traditions and reflected credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service.

General Orders: Board Serial 176P00 (February 4, 1946)

Action Date: March 26, 1942 - October 1, 1945

Service: Navy

Rank: Rear Admiral

Distinguished Flying Cross

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Awarded for actions during the Peace Time Awards

The President of the United States of America takes pleasure in presenting the Distinguished Flying Cross to Commander Richard Evenly Byrd, Jr. (NSN: 0-7918), United States Navy, for extraordinary achievement while participating in aerial flight; in recognition of his courage, resourcefulness and skill as Commander of the expedition which flew the airplane "America" from New York City to France from 29 June to 1 July 1927, across the Atlantic Ocean under extremely adverse weather conditions which made a landing in Paris impossible; and finally for his discernment and courage in directing his plane to a landing at Ver sur Mer, France, without serious injury to his personnel, after a flight of 39 hours and 56 minutes.

Action Date: June 29 - July 1, 1927

Service: Navy

Rank: Commander