Talk:Richard E. Byrd

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Missing RADM Richard Cruzen Kudos[edit]

The third culminating expedition, Operation Highjump, was the largest Antarctic expedition to date.

Byrd also commanded Operation Deep Freeze,
which established permanent Antarctic bases at McMurdo Sound, the Bay of Whales and the South Pole in 1955

Re*Cycling RO/CS USCG Lessons Learned[edit]

geoWIZard for Prairie Pasage Flyways @

"In March 1947 the icebreaker Eastwind was returning from Antarctica where it had
... ADM Cruzen, in charge of the ships of HIGHJUMP, reported ...
RJBurkhart 22:14, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

The US Navy also strongly emphasised that Operation Highjump was going to be a ...
under the military command of Rear Admiral Richard Cruzen (above, left). ...

US Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) Eastwind in Greenland waters (23 March 1945)

Eastwind and Southwind were the only two Wind Class icebreakers to see active service during the war. Both were involved with the capture of the German trawler Externsteine in Greenland.

Operation Nanook - On February 12, 1946, Congress approved Public Law 296 directing the chief of the U.S. Weather Bureau to establish "an international meteorological reporting network in the Arctic regions of the Western Hemisphere". The Weather Bureau turned to the army and navy and together, the three agencies came up with a plan to build reporting stations that summer at Thule, Greenland and at the southern tip of Melville Island in the Canadian Arctic.

The U.S. Atlantic Fleet commander, Admiral Marc A. Mitscher, selected a few ships, designated them Task Force 68, and appointed Captain Richard Cruzen as commander of "Operation Nanook". Admiral Curzen's first orders, issued May 31, 1946, called for a general plan whose second phase consisted "of operations to establish weather observation and reporting stations of the U.S. Weather Bureau" in the Canadian Arctic and Greenland.

Additionally, Cruzen ordered one icebreaker, the USCGC Eastwind, along with a seaplane tender, the Norton Sound, to operate "in the general vicinity of the southern limit of the ice pack which is expected to be encountered in the Baffin Bay area". This may have been a peaceful project to make weather observations in the Arctic, but an interesting argument could be made that these stations would be additionally used as intelligence gathering sites.

With these two projects the U.S. Navy began its effort to systematically expose men and machine to the rigors of polar life.);

He claimed pioneering experience guiding US Navy ships through the treacherous ...
Thomas, backed by the courage of Rear Admiral Richard Cruzen, made that ...
RJBurkhart 20:46, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

North Pole controversy[edit]

A recent addition to the North Pole section of this article lead me to do some searches — on the two inline citation that were in place.

  • The Rawlins reference. The Wikipedia article on Rawlins is currently POV and points to "his website". If the DOI journal is his website, this leads one to wonder about it. Self-published works are not generally considered to be reliable sources. I've yet to find any credentials for Rawlins.
  • The Joseph Portney "Polar Flap" citation is on a website that provides credentials for Portney, which seem quite credible.

The "fact" of Byrd's missing the pole is certainly not established. See

I think it important that Wikipedia not portray this dispute as factually established.

ERcheck (talk) 12:37, 14 July 2007 (UTC)

1. The Rawlins reference was co-published with the Scott Polar Research Institute, so the claim of self-published work is dubious at best.

2. Portney's website appears to be down or unavailable via Google search at this writing. DIO, the International Journal of Scientific History, of which Rawlins is publisher, has on its board a number of well known scholars, including E. Myles Standish of Caltech, Charles Kowal of Johns Hopkins, and Robert Headlund of the SPRI. Rawlins seems at least as credible a source as Portney if not more so.

3. Byrd took a sextant reading of the Sun at 7:07:10 GCT. His erased diary record shows the solar altitude to be 19°22'34", while his later official typewritten report shows the same 7:07:10 altitude to be 18°15'32". (See Goerler 1998, compare pages 84-85 to page 154.) The bottom line is that Byrd knowingly falsified the navigational record of his flight and then tried to cover it up. If there is an innocent explanation for this, I have yet to hear it, from Portney or anyone else. Until then, the case against Byrd's 1926 claim should be considered to be factually established. I have indicated as such in the main article.

--Keithpickering (talk) 19:37, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

There is a link to the Portney footnote in the article, which was accessible yesterday and today. Saying he "knowingly falsified" takes absolute proof — it implies one can read his intentions/thoughts. Certainly there is controversy about the claim that he reached the North Pole, and that can be captured in a NPOV. — ERcheck (talk) 00:29, 20 November 2007 (UTC)
This article — "The North Pole Flight of Richard E. Byrd: An Overview of the Controversy". Polar Archival Program, Ohio State University. Retrieved 2007-11-19.  — by a reliable source, presents both sides of the controversy. The article shows that Rawlins' interpretation is not incontrovertible, i.e. not factually established. — ERcheck (talk) 02:14, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

But we have absolute proof that Byrd knowingly falsified his report. It is the original sextant observations in Byrd's diary, which do not agree with the report. What more could anyone ask in the way of proof? Once again, I await an innocent explanation for this, and once again it has not been forthcoming from any source. I am aware that there are a lot of Byrd apologists out there in academia and elsewhere. What I am not aware of is how anyone gets around the evidence in Byrd's own hand of deceit at least, and outright fraud at worst. You have not provided an innocent explanation, Portney has not, and OSU has not. As encyclopedists we must state what we know is true, and not what we hope or wish were true. That's what NPOV is all about. Perhaps you hope or wish that the evidence were equivocal. But it's not. Byrd's own hand condemns him. --Keithpickering (talk) 07:09, 20 November 2007 (UTC)

I'm reverting the extensive anonymous edit of Nov. 27, 2009, which is little more than a puff of Lisle Rose's biography. Rose's arguments are not new, and fail to address the critical issue of data falsification. --Keithpickering (talk) 17:34, 6 February 2010 (UTC)

Byrd's diary[edit]

From the article:

The discovery of Byrd's diary of the flight in 1996 revealed erased (but still legible) numbers. Dennis Rawlins interpreted these numbers to be sextant readings, and concluded that that Byrd did travel most of the way to the Pole before turning back. These erased numbers have also been viewed as being the "serial numbers of Peary's chronometer watches."

The source given ( doesn't even mention Byrd. It's defending Peary's claim, and the reference is to numbers in Peary's diary, not Byrd's. Is this paragraph getting confused or am I? Matt 02:27, 5 August 2007 (UTC).

About that, could someone make an abstract of it? It's a bit long. Peacekeeper II, too lazy to log on since -06 12:32, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Richard Byrd at Virginia Military Institute[edit]

Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd attended the Virginia Military Institute where he was class of 1908. I am not certain as to whether or not he attended UVA or not, but this article fails to mention this fact.

Fair use rationale for File:Byrd.png[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

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BetacommandBot 15:11, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Book reference: Beyond the Barrier[edit]

I've added to the References section a book, Beyond the Barrier: The Story of Byrd's First Expedition to Antarctica, that I've read and which seems to me to be a good reference on Byrd's first expedition. I haven't used information from the book to edit the article, however. Wdfarmer (talk) 10:40, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Insane asylum?[edit]

Did Byrd end his days in an insane asylum, as I just read elsewhere on the web? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:09, 26 February 2008 (UTC)

No. He died at his home in Boston. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:31, 10 February 2016 (UTC)

Date of death???[edit]

The beginning of the article says Byrd died on March 11, 1957. The end of the article says he died on March 12, 1957. Does anyone know which date is correct?Tishbite37 (talk) 04:19, 3 August 2008 (UTC) I really do not think so, I have only heard that he died on March 11. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Liddyd123 (talkcontribs) 20:02, 10 November 2009 (UTC)

UVa? Va Military Institute? Naval Academy?[edit]

Why is this man categorized in Category:University of Virginia, Category:Virginia Military Institute alumni, Category:United States Naval Academy graduates etc.? If he was related to all these institutions, please add that in the text. Else the categories should be removed. --Ibn Battuta (talk) 19:15, 26 November 2008 (UTC)

"In Popular Culture" article section[edit]

Perhaps some mention should be made of Byrd's purported "missing diary" detailing voyages to the inner earth? 04:50, 17 January 2006 (UTC)

With respect, can "a missing diary detailing voyages to the inner earth" be history? Even the leading "Hollow Earth" organisation considers it now thought to be a forgery. User:Geoffreybrooks 18 June 2006/20 August 2007

I'm all for asking reasonable, well-informed questions on the subject of potential supernatural phenomena, but it seems to me that the two paragraphs devoted to the discussion of unknown facts related to the Antarctic expeditions do nothing to even remotely answer any of the questions, thus being potentially problematic for a biographical article. I wonder whether the rest of you have similar reservations about keeping them in place. Badbilltucker 19:50, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

I've no reservations about removing the UFO section from the article -- it reads as though someone else came along and tried to slip in a bit of writing on a totally different topic; the tone of content just doesn't match up with the rest. Also, if it's really necessary to keep some info. on UFOs and Byrd, it'd be best as a small piece of trivia, similar to the trivia section in the Operation Highjump article. Wallless 03:14, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I think the whole section should be excised. Jinian 21:23, 19 August 2006 (UTC)
I have to agree. It's a fascinating tale, I enjoyed finally reading it after having seen it referred to many times among fringe science folklore, but if it can't be authenticated it doesn't belong here.Xot 10:30, 2 September 2007 (UTC)
I think it should be removed, as it makes the article seem contradictory. Earlier in the article it says that Byrd was in the Antarctic as part of "Operation Highjump," which is on the opposite pole. They don't deserve to have their tidbit of hogwash in there if they can't even make their story agree with the real one. -Anonymous 11:00, 1 October 2007 (EST)
And people without screen names should be viewed with suspicion. I think the article is incomplete if there's no mention of the hollow earth story. Even if its fiction, it should be mentioned, because Byrd for better or worse is closely associated with it. --Ragemanchoo (talk) 08:38, 13 August 2008 (UTC)
Agreed --- It needs to be mentioned in the article, in the context that while its an untrue urban legend, it gets repeated ad nauseum by many different people/etc, i.e. George Noory. -- (talk) 20:25, 14 June 2009 (UTC)
It can be mentioned but only if there are citations to back up the assertion that Byrd is indeed associated with the hollow earth myth. Otherwise it's off-topic unverified hearsay or original research. — Loadmaster (talk) 02:45, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

I have added some further parts of the "El Mercurio" text for interest. I can Email a copy of the newspaper clipping if requested. I read Dr Bernard's book "The Hollow Earth" recently. Here Admiral Byrd is the central protagonist of the theory. Whereas the "El Mercurio" article is not mentioned, however, all other quotes attributed to Admiral Byrd, and the "missing diary" which even the leading Hollow Earth organisation nowadays dismisses as a fraud, cannot be substantiated because the reference given is always no more than "in a well-known newspaper article" or "in a well-reported broadcast" Geoffreybrooks 20 August 2007 —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Geoffreybrooks (talkcontribs) 14:57, August 20, 2007 (UTC).

Are we still pretending this urban legend doesn't exist? I believe its BS but its popular enough that it needs mention (in the context of being BS) in the article. --RThompson82 (talk) 01:52, 27 June 2012 (UTC)

I removed these edits that claim to be the text of Byrd's "secret diary" about his alleged trip into the hollow Earth at the North pole. This text certainly does not belong in this article; perhaps it may merit a separate article on its own, but such an article would have to include credible sources. — Loadmaster (talk) 17:27, 4 August 2014 (UTC)

I have renamed this Talk page section from "Mysterious Events"/hollow earth references? to "In Popular Culture" article section. Many articles about historical figures (e.g. Adolf Hitler or Alexander the Great) have sections or articles that are dedicated also to the fictive stories, legends not supported by scientific evidence. If this is also the case of the relation between "hollow earth" (as well as other fictive depictions) and Byrd, then they should be mentioned in this section. Even if the "Hollow Earth" community disregards Byrd being associated with the theory, but the popular culture makes stories about it (stories originating from Worlds Beyond the Poles), they are probably worth mentioning in this section. And it could be expressed like this: "Despite not being accepted by the Hollow Earth community/believers, Byrd is commonly associated with the theory. The earliest association made was in the book Worlds Beyond the Poles by ... (then debate who Amadeo F. Gianinni is :) ), etc." followed by what others wrote in this direction. I am also a non-believer, but I would have liked to have the links to see other people's research on the controversy. Gabipetrovay (talk) 11:25, 28 January 2016 (UTC)

Image of US postage stamp[edit]

User:Gwillhicker has left me a message about "a photo-image (Byrd_Antarctic_Expedition-II_3c.jpg) of a US 3c postage stamp commemorating Admiral Byrd's Expeditions to the Antarctic". I found the image at I leave it to other editors to decide whether to use the image on this article page. -- Wavelength (talk) 02:06, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Postage stamp images made before 1978 are public domain, those made after are still copyrighted by the USPS (see Commons:Licensing). — Loadmaster (talk) 23:07, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
User:Gwillhickers (user name corrected) told me, at User talk:Wavelength#Image of US postage stamp: "It is an engraved stamp, issued in 1934, the year of Byrd's last expedition to the Antarctic ..." -- Wavelength (talk) 00:44, 13 February 2010 (UTC)


This is unrelated, but I think this guy is in my family bloodline. My last name would have been Byrd, if not had it been for my father being adopted. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

I'm pretty sure he is in my bloodline, also. It'd be interesting to be related to a person who is known by more than their close family. . . PitbullAJWarriorsSurvivorsLover (talk) 15:19, 14 March 2017 (UTC)

Copyright violation[edit]

I removed a chunk of text from the section Byrd's later Antarctic expeditions which appears to have been stolen verbatim from [1]. Some guy (talk) 13:00, 20 September 2010 (UTC)


The article (about the 1926 north pole expedition) says that the airpseed of the Fokker F.VII was 85 mph, so it couldn't have made it from one point to the other as fast as the records. But the Fokker F.VII artic says that the crusing airspeed is 170 km/hour, which is about 105MPH (statute miles) or 92 nautical miles per hour. Bubba73 You talkin' to me? 23:13, 5 August 2012 (UTC)

The cruising air speed of 170km (105mph or 92kn) quoted in the Fokker F.VII article is for the F.VIIb 3m model. This was equipped with 3 × Wright J-5 Whirlwind radial engines, 220 hp (164 kW) each. The plane that Byrd flew in was an earlier variant, the F.VII 3m equipped with 3 x 200 hp (149 kW) Wright J-4 Whirlwind radial engines. Effectively Byrd's plane had only 90% of the rated power of the later model, and this suggests (very simplistically) that the F.VIIa's rated cruising speed might be in the order of 95mph. Note that these are the manufacturer's claims. Byrd's own calculations prior to the flight suggested that he expected this particular aircraft (equipped with skis) to achieve a cruising speed of 85mph. Explorer Hubert Wilkins flying a nearly identical model plane in Alaska at the same time recorded a best speed from his aircraft of 90mph (Jeff Maynard 'Wings of Ice' 2010 p.124). Floyd Bennett and Bernt Balchen flew Byrd's plane on a promotional tour of the United States following Byrd's Arctic success. According to Balchen they were considering using the plane to attempt to cross the Atlantic, and consequently carefully logged it's performance characteristics during that tour. Balchen in his 'Come North With Me' (1958) claims that he and Bennett agreed that the plane's average cruising speed was 70mph. Byrd's Polar flight of 1540miles took him 15hours and 30minutes. He claimed to have circled the Pole for approximately 12 to 13 minutes. This leaves 15hours and 17minutes travelling time, which equates to an average speed of 100.8mph. Byrd claimed he had tailwinds heading to, and returning from, the Pole which boosted his 'over the ground speed'. Without these tailwinds - which can't now be proved or disproved - it seem unlikely that the flight could have been reached the Pole. Setting aside the uncertain evidence of the 'over the ground speed', the evidence for and against the flight's success consequently hinges upon the interpretation of the text and sextant readings in Byrd's diary found in 1996. Melanimmi (talk) 06:11, 26 January 2015 (UTC)

Byrd's Integrity North Pole flight[edit]

More has been made out of this than is warranted. The given speed of the Fokker trimotor Josephine Ford was supposed 85 mph. Means nothing, they could've picked up a good tail wind going and coming back, which Byrd may not have calculated into the journey. The reason for the turnaround back to Spitzbergen was because one of the engines on the trimotor Josephine Ford was acting up and she could not fly, or they could not risk continuing on, on the one engine out theory. A more proper ascertation rather than the smearing of Byrd's memory was that as maps were drawn at the time the aircraft reached what 'was' considered North Pole vicinity as opposed to pinpoint North Pole latitude/longitude. thus the trip was still legitimate. Amundsen himself was one of the first to congratulate Byrd and Bennett on the return to Spitzbergen. As much as I respect Balchen for his achievements, he wasn't on that flight and himself should have brought up the aspect that tailwinds could be expected. Don't know the reason of Balchen's trashing of Byrd after Byrd's death. It wasn't in Byrd's character to purposely lie, he risked his life numerous times in expeditions throughout the years. Koplimek (talk) 00:58, 3 February 2013 (UTC)

Removing false statement[edit]

I have removed the following from the article: His South Pole claim is generally supported by a consensus of those who have examined the evidence.

Whether he reached the Pole or not, it is manifestly false to claim that there is a consensus. Its rather the opposite, a controversy. (talk) 21:26, 5 June 2013 (UTC) - Please provide some evidence that there is a controversy about Byrd's South Polar flight. I have studied Byrd to a great extent than most and I have not read anything of someone saying he did not reach the South Pole in 1929. It cannot be assumed that something is false simply because it is generally accepted to be true. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:45, 2 January 2015 (UTC)

Note that while there is some controversy about Byrd's North Pole flight in 1926 there is no controversy that Byrd, in a plane piloted by his critic Bernt Balchen, flew either over or very near to the South Pole in 1929. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:26, 28 December 2014 (UTC)


A bit of trivia about Byrd's son, Richard Evelyn Byrd III or Richard E. Byrd, Jr.; he was known (unbeknownst to him, but probably affectionately) among Navy personnel as "Dickey Byrd". I heard this from my father, who met both Byrds (senior and junior) while serving as a junior officer about the U.S.S. Wyandot during the first Operation Deep Freeze. — Loadmaster (talk) 16:08, 2 May 2014 (UTC)

Richard Byrd III[edit]

The section about Byrd, Jr's son, Richard Byrd III, is long enough to be a separate article. I don't think an article should contain that much in-depth detail about someone else's life. Aimzzz (talk) 21:32, 29 September 2016 (UTC)

I completely agree. The section about Byrd III is too long for an article that is a biography of his father. Libertybison (talk) 03:32, 30 September 2016 (UTC)