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LITTLE AMERICA AERIAL EXPLORATION IN THE ANTARCTIC THE FLIGHT TO THE SOUTH POLE.
New York,: G. P. Putnams, 1930.. First Edition. Signed by Admiral Byrd. With 74 illustrations and maps. This copy is signed by Bryd on the half-title. Tall 8vo,, publisher's original blue cloth, lettered in gilt on the spine panel and decorated in gilt on the upper cover, xvi, 436 pp. A bright, clean and handsome copy, very well preserved. IMPORTANT FIRST EDITION SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. 'Byrd was a pioneering American aviator, polar explorer, and organizer of polar logistics. Aircraft flights in which he served as a navigator and expedition leader, crossed the Atlantic Ocean, a segment of the Arctic Ocean, and a segment of the Antarctic Plateau. Byrd's claim to have been the first to reach the South Pole by air is generally supported by a consensus of those who have examined the evidence. Byrd was a recipient of the Medal of Honor, the highest honor for heroism given by the United States. In 1928, Byrd began his first expedition to the Antarctic involving two ships, and three airplanes: a Ford Trimotor called the Floyd Bennett (named after the recently deceased pilot of Byrd's previous expeditions); a Fairchild FC-2W2, NX8006, built 1928, named "Stars And Stripes" (now displayed at the Virginia Aviation Museum, on loan from the National Air and Space Museum); and a Fokker Universal monoplane called the Virginia (Byrd's birth state). A base camp named "Little America" was constructed on the Ross Ice Shelf and scientific expeditions by snowshoe, dog-sled, snowmobile, and airplane began. Photographic expeditions and geological surveys were undertaken for the duration of that summer, and constant radio communications were maintained with the outside world. After their first winter, their expeditions were resumed, and on November 28, 1929, the famous flight to the South Pole and back was launched. Byrd, along with pilot Bernt Balchen, co-pilot/radioman Harold June, and photographer Ashley McKinley, flew the Ford Trimotor to the South Pole and back in 18 hours, 41 minutes. They had difficulty gaining enough altitude, and they had to dump empty gas tanks, as well as their emergency supplies, in order to achieve the altitude of the Polar Plateau. However, the flight was successful, and it entered Byrd into the history books. After a further summer of exploration, the expedition returned to North America on June 18, 1930. This expedition was honored with the gold medal of the American Geographical Society. Byrd undertook four more expeditions to Antarctica from 1933-35, 1939-40, 1946-47 and 1955-56. Byrd's third expedition was his first one on which he had the official backing of the U.S. government. The project included extensive studies of geology, biology, meteorology and exploration. Within a few months, in March 1940, Byrd was recalled to active duty in the Office of the Chief of Naval Operations. The expedition continued in Antarctica without him. From 1942 to 1945 he headed important missions to the Pacific, including surveys of remote islands for airfields. On one assignment he visited the fighting front in Europe. He was repeatedly cited for meritorious service and was present at the Japanese surrender. The fourth culminating expedition, Operation Highjump, was the largest Antarctic expedition to date. In 1946, US Navy Secretary James Forrestal assembled a huge amphibious naval force for an Antarctic Expedition expected to last six to eight months. Besides the flagship USS Mount Olympus and the aircraft carrier USS Philippine Sea, there were thirteen US Navy support ships, six helicopters, six flying boats, two seaplane tenders and fifteen other aircraft. The total number of personnel involved was over 4,000. The armada arrived in the Ross Sea on December 31, 1946, and made aerial explorations of an area half the size of the United States, recording ten new mountain ranges. The major area covered was the eastern coastline of Antarctica from 150 degrees east to the Greenwich meridian. As part of the multinational collaboration for the International Geophysical Year (IGY) 1957-58, Byrd commanded the U.S. Navy Operation Deep Freeze in 1955-56, which established permanent Antarctic bases at McMurdo Sound, the Bay of Whales, and the South Pole.'
      [Bookseller: Buddenbrooks, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2018-02-26           Check availability:      Biblio    

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