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Eugene Rodgers on: Dean Smith's Diary
Eugene Rodgers Q: What happened with Dean Smith's diary?

ER: During the winter at Little America the men had time on their hands. One way Dean Smith filled this time was to write a diary, a voluminous diary by all accounts. He'd write down apparently everything that happened on the expedition, write down his opinions of what happened. Byrd knew that Dean Smith was not devoted to him. Dean Smith did not got the piloting assignments that he felt he deserved, that he felt he had bargained for with Byrd. He felt Byrd hadn't been entirely square with him. He was a bit resentful. So Byrd wondered what was going to be in his diary and what it might do to his own image. After the expedition on the plane the ship voyage from Panama to New York City Dean Smith was on board. And he kept his diary in his locker, and he kept it in a case. And one day he went to his locker and found the locker door had been jimmied open. And he rummaged inside and saw the diary case empty. Someone had broken into his locker and stolen the diary pages. He reported this immediately to Byrd. And Byrd says, well, I'll mount a search and try to find it. But the diary was never found. Dean Smith admitted later to me that the Hearst Corporation had offered him money for this diary, after he composed it. He said he hadn't done the diary with publication in mind or at least sale to Hearst in mind. But certainly that was the motive later on. And Byrd was always afraid of Hearst getting something like this and turning it against Byrd. Smith felt that the culprit behind the theft was Byrd himself. Smith claims that he heard from others afterwards that Byrd indeed had stolen the diary. He said, Harold June admitted to him later on that he, June, had stolen the diary on Byrd's orders. This is what Dean Smith says.

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