Q: Why was the expedition to Antarctica inevitably Byrd's next move? Didn't
he want to be the first?
RG: Byrd's ambition early on stretched to both the North and the South Pole
as early as 1925. After the Greenland Expedition, he predicts an article in
the National Geographic that the airplane will conquer the Arctic and the
Antarctic. And, in his contract with the North Pole flight with Current News
features, the final clause in that contract gives Current News the first option
to negotiate with Byrd about a South Pole flight. So this is all part of the
mix very early on.
Q: Wouldn't that insure his place in history for all time - why?
RG: Byrd would have the remarkable distinction of being the first man and
perhaps at that time, even the only man to fly across both Poles, a unique
place in history and become if you will, perhaps the most stellar of the Byrd
family. So, it was a tremendous opportunity for lasting fame and
accomplish. Someone who had been since 1916, on the retired list of the U.S.
Navy, remarkable good fortune.