1888, Oct. 25

Born in Winchester, Virginia, son of Richard Evelyn Byrd and Eleanor Bolling Flood.


Attended Shenandoah Valley Military Academy and Virginia Military Institute.


Attended the University of Virginia.


Attended the United States Naval Academy.


Assigned to duty aboard the USS Kentucky, followed by an assignment to the USS Wyoming, where he had an accident that reinjured an athletic injury. Reassigned to the USS Missouri.


Assigned to the USS Washington during naval occupation of Vera Cruz, Mexico. The rescue of a seaman in Santo Domingo led to his being awarded Congressional Life-Saving Medal.  Had first flight on an airplane.  Assigned to USS Dolphin, the yacht of the Secretary of Navy.


Married Marie Ames of Boston.  Assigned to Presidential yacht Mayflower.


Retired from active duty and appointed administrator of naval militia of State of Rhode Island. Appointed as a retired officer on active duty to Bureau of Naval Personnel in Washington, D.C. and served as Secretary of the Commission on Training Campus.


Naval aviation cadet at Pensacola.

1917, April

Received pilot wings and became assistant superintendent at Pensacola with responsibility for investigating aircraft crashes.

1918, July

Proposed to fly NC-1 aircraft across Atlantic and assigned to Halifax to establish refueling stations in Newfoundland as part of the trans-Atlantic crossing, but experiment ended when the war ended.

1919, Feb. 6

Assigned to newly created Transatlantic Flight Section of the Bureau of Aeronautics.


Involved in creation of Navy Bureau of Aeronautics.


Navy rejected Byrd's plan for trans-Atlantic flight and assigned him to England to help navigate an airship home. Byrd missed train and lost his space on the airship, which exploded.


Assigned responsibility for creating an air station in Massachusetts to train reserve pilots.


Organized naval reserve units in Midwest. Byrd ordered to assist in planning the flight of the dirigible Shenandoah over North Pole but a storm damaged the Shenandoah.

1924, June

Promoted to Lieutenant Commander, inactive.

1925, August

Commander of Naval Aviation Attachment with the MacMillan Arctic expedition.

1926, May 9

Departed for North Pole from Spitzbergen.

1926, Dec.

Promoted to Commander and awarded Congressional Medal of Honor.

1927, April 20

Crash of America, Byrd's multi-engine plane which was to make a transatlantic crossing.

1927, June 29

2nd take-off and successful landing of America off Normandy coast.

1928, Sept.

First expedition to Antarctica.

1929, Nov.

Completed flight across South Pole.


Returned to U.S. from Antarctica and promoted to Rear Admiral.


2nd expedition to Antarctica commenced.

1934, Feb 3

CBS radio broadcast from Little America at Antarctica.

1934, March 28

Moved to Advance Base to spend Antarctic winter alone.

1934, Aug. 10

Rescue of Byrd at Advance Base.

1935, Feb. 7

Departure from Little America to the U.S.

1935, Oct.-May 1936

Lecture tour visited 156 cities.

1939, July 7

Expedition of U.S. Antarctic Service announced.

1939, Nov.

Commencement of U.S. Antarctic Service expedition with Byrd as Commander.

1940, March

Departed Antarctica for the U.S.


Reassigned to Navy Bureau of Aeronautics.

1942, May-July

Toured Pacific islands to locate possible sites for air stations.


Operation Highjump departed for Antarctica with Byrd as "Officer in Charge."

1947, April

Returned from Antarctica.


Operation Deep Freeze.

1957, Feb. 21 

Awarded Medal of Freedom.

1957, Mar. 11


Return to The Papers of Admiral Byrd Main Page