[WORLDKINGS] On this day - May 9, 2023 – The 97th anniversary of Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett becoming the first men to fly an airplane over the North Pole (1926)


(Worldkings.org) Polar explorer Richard E. Byrd and pilot Floyd Bennett flew over the North Pole in a Josephine Ford, a triple-engine Fokker monoplane. It would have been the first time an airplane flew over the top of the world.

Floyd Bennett and Richard Byrd came to know each other when Byrd was in flight school in Pensacola, Florida. Afterwards, the two took part in the Navy-MacMillan Polar Expedition in Greenland. Over the years, Byrd came to consider Bennett his best friend.

Byrd named Bennett as his pilot for an attempt to reach the North Pole by air in 1926. The expedition was financed by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Edsel Ford, Vincent Astor and T. F. Ryan.

On May 9, 1926, famed American explorer Richard Byrd took off from the Norwegian Arctic island of Spitsbergen along with his pilot, Floyd Bennett, in an attempt to be the first to fly to the North Pole. About 16 hours later, the pair returned to the island in their Fokker tri-motor airplane, the Josephine Ford, saying they had indeed accomplished the feat.

Byrd submitted his navigational records to the U.S. Navy and a committee of the National Geographic Society, one of his sponsors, who confirmed the accomplishment, according to the Ohio State University Libraries. Byrd was hailed as a hero, and went on to fly over the South Pole, as well as achieving many other polar exploration milestones.

Both Bennett and Byrd received the Medal of Honor, as well as the Navy Distinguished Service Medal for this feat. Upon their arrival in the United States, Byrd was awarded the Hubbard Medal of the National Geographic Society and Bennett was awarded a gold medal from the society in recognition of their achievement.

According to Nbcnews.com & Wikipedia

Kyna ( Collect) - WORLDKINGS (Source of photos: Internet)


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