Rear Admiral Richard Byrd was a trailblazing pilot and explorer who served as the leader of several polar expeditions. He is credited with the first flight over the South Pole during his first Antarctic expedition. The admiral made four subsequent expeditions to the Antarctic. On the second trip, Byrd singlehandedly manned a meteorological station for five months. This effort was immortalized in a U.S. postal stamp. His final expedition in 1946 is still the largest mission ever assembled.
He was awarded the Medal of Honor, the Lifesaving Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross and numerous other awards and decorations for his ground-breaking efforts. A bust of Admiral Byrd by Felix de Weldon is located at McMurdo Station on Antarctica. A monument to Byrd is located alongside Memorial Drive, the road leading into Arlington National Cemetery. The statue was erected by the National Geographic Society. It commemorates his achievements and courage.