Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal

The Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal was established by Act of Congress in 1936 to commemorate the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition.

Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal
Awarded by United States Congress
TypeCommemorative medal
EligibilityMembers of the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition from 1933-1935
Awarded for6 months service at Little America or command of one of the expedition ships during the expedition
Established2 June 1936
Total awarded50
Next (higher)Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal[1]
Next (lower)United States Antarctic Expedition Medal[1]
RelatedPeary Polar Expedition Medal

Ribbon bar of the medal


Established by an act of congress on 2 June 1936, the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal was awarded to expedition members who spent six months, the entire winter night, at Little America. Commanders of the expeditions ships, who commanded throughout the expedition from 1933 through 1935, were also eligible.[2] This criteria limited the award of the medals to 50 recipients.[3]


The medal is a circular a silver medallion 1 1/4 inches in diameter. The obverse depicts the figure of Admiral Byrd, in polar clothing with a sled dog standing to the left. To the right of the figure, in two lines, are the dates 1933 1935. The inscription BYRD ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION arcs around the top of the medal. The reverse has a rectangle bearing the inscription, in 14 lines: PRESENTED TO THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE SECOND BYRD ANT- ARCTIC EXPEDITION TO EXPRESS THE VERY HIGH ADMIRATION IN WHICH THE CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HOLD THEIR HEROIC AND UNDAUNTED ACCOMPLISHMENTS FOR SCIENCE UNEQUALLED IN THE HISTORY OF POLAR EXPLORATION. A Ford Tri-Motor airplane appears above the tablet in relief with a dog sled, "Little America" buildings, and the sailing ship "City of New York" around the rectangle. The medal is suspended from a solid white silk ribbon.[4]


  1. The Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America Title 32 Parts 700 to 799. Washington, D.C.: United States Government. 1967. p. 551.
  2. "Department of Defense Manual 1348.33, Volume 3" (PDF). Defense Technical Information Center. 23 November 2010. p. 66. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  3. "Expeditionary Artifacts in the Richard E. Byrd Papers: Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal". Byrd Polar Research Center. The Ohio State University. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
  4. "Medal, Byrd 1933-1935 Antarctic Expedition Medal". Collections. Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum. Retrieved 15 February 2013.
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