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Richard E. Byrd: High Flying Polar Explorer

Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957) was a navigational aviator in the U.S. Navy. In 1926 he organized a privately financed expedition to the Arctic with plans to make several flights over the pack ice, including one all the way to the North Pole.

Flying from the Svalbard Islands (Norway), Byrd and his pilot, Floyd Bennett, claimed to have reached the North Pole on May 9, 1926. They were both awarded the Medal of Honor after their return to the United States.

Byrd is also credited with the first tri-motor airplane flight across the Atlantic Ocean to France in 1927, and flying over the South Pole in 1929.

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