Richard Evelyn Byrd held the title Rear Admiral in the U.S. Navy. He claimed the first North Pole flight in 1926. A year later, he flew non-stop across the Atlantic. He made that trans-Atlantic flight less than two months after Charles Lindbergh’s celebrated trans-Atlantic flight. Making clear that he could fly anywhere, Byrd flew over the South Pole in 1929. This Byrd subsequently received the U.S. Medal of Honor.
A statue of Byrd stands across from the main gate for Arlington National Cemetery. The base of the statue declares “UPON THE BRIGHT GLOBE HE CARVED HIS SIGNATURE OF COURAGE”. Byrd’s head was recently despoiled with considerable bird excrement.