REAR ADMIRAL RICHARD E. BYRD - AUTOGRAPHED SIGNED PHOTOGRAPH CO-SIGNED BY: FLOYD BENNETT - HFSID 264642
Special Sale Price $1,125.00
RICHARD E. BYRD and FLOYD BENNETTSepia publicity photograph of Richard E. Byrd and Floyd Bennett in front of their plane.Rare Photograph signed: "Floyd Bennett" and "R.E. Byrd Jr." Sepia, 10x8. Pathé News photograph "for theatre lobby display only" picturing the two polar explorers in front of their plane. Lieutenant Commander RICHARD E. BYRD, JR. (1888-1957) and Warrant Officer FLOYD BENNETT (1890-1928) were the first to fly over the North Pole in the Josephine Ford, a Fokker Trimotor equipped with skis. Shortly after midnight on May 9, 1926, navigator Byrd and pilot Bennett lifted off a snow-packed runway at Kings Bay, Spitsbergen. They headed across the Arctic wasteland and at 9:02 A.M. crossed the top of the world, eight hundred miles from their takeoff point. Special legislation resulted in the awarding of the Congressional Medal of Honor to Byrd and Bennett for their Arctic explorations. Following their North Pole exploits, Byrd and Bennett were planning a transatlantic flight. In April 1927, Byrd, Bennett and airplane engineer Anthony Fokker took off on a test flight of Fokker's three-engine plane. The plane turned out to be nose-heavy and went crashing, nose first, before flipping over on its side. While Byrd and Fokker escaped with minor injuries, Bennett broke several ribs, did serious damage to his back and punctured a lung. The injury would prevent him from joining Byrd some months later in his attempt to transport mail over the Atlantic via airplane. Bennett was not fully recovered from his injuries when, in April 1928, he participated in a rescue mission of downed German plane, Bremen, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. During the mission, Bennett contracted pneumonia and had to be rushed to a hospital in Quebec, Canada. As Bennett neared death, Charles Lindbergh volunteered to fly serum to him from New York City; he was not in time. Bennett died on April 25, 1928 at age 37. Byrd was crushed by the death of his close friend and named the plane that would take him over the South Pole after him. On May 23, 1931, Admiral Byrd, New York City Mayor Jimmy Walker and Mrs. Floyd Bennett were at the dedication of Floyd Bennett Field in southern Brooklyn, the city's first municipal airport. Some of the more famous pilots to originate their flights from that field were Wiley Post, Howard Hughes, Amelia Earhart, Roscoe Turner, Jimmy Doolittle, Jacqueline Cochran and Douglas "Wrongway" Corrigan. Signed photographs of Floyd Bennett are rare. This is the first signed photograph of Byrd and Bennett together we have ever seen. Frame slightly chipped. Fine condition. Framed in the Gallery of History style: 19½x27½.
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