|poster for the Oscar winning documentary (mostly silent) from 1930|
Richard Byrd was born in Virginia, USA in 1888. He attended the University of Virginia before transferring to the United States Naval Academy in 1912. He developed a passion for flying while serving with the United States Navy during the First World War. Subsequently he became well known for his aeronautical exploits, notably a claimed flight over the North Pole in 1926. This enabled him to secure financial support for his first two Antarctic expeditions – both of which used New Zealand as a base and had New Zealanders as expedition members.
The New Zealand National Memorial to Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd was unveiled on the top of Mt Victoria in Wellington on 11 March 1962, the fifth anniversary of Byrd's death. Those gathered at the unveiling included the Prime Minister Keith Holyoake, Leader of the Opposition Walter Nash, Mayor Frank Kitts, and Byrd's daughter, Mrs Robert Breyer.