Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal
TypeCommemorative medal
Awarded forValuable services to the Nation in the field of polar exploration and science
Presented byUnited States Congress
EligibilityMembers of the first Byrd Antarctic Expedition from 1928-1930
StatusOne Time Award
Established23 May 1930
Ribbon bar
Next (higher)NC-4 Medal[1]
Next (lower)Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal[1]
RelatedPeary Polar Expedition Medal
United States Antarctic Expedition Medal

The Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal is a Congressional medal established by an Act of Congress in 1930 to commemorate the Byrd Antarctic Expedition of 1928–1930.[2] Presented in gold, silver and bronze, the medals were awarded to 81 individuals associated with the expedition, for a total cost of $6,560.[3]


The medal is circular in shape and made of gold, silver, or bronze. The obverse depicts a relief of Admiral Byrd in fur lined arctic clothing. Around the depiction is the embossed wording: BYRD ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION 1928-1930. The reverse bears a relief depicting the sailing ship City of New York surrounded by the text PRESENTED TO THE OFFICERS AND MEN OF THE BYRD ANTARCTIC EXPEDITION TO EXPRESS THE HIGH ADMIRATION IN WHICH THE CONGRESS AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HOLD THEIR HEROIC AND UNDAUNTED SERVICES IN CONNECTION WITH THE SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION EXPLORATION OF THE ANTARCTIC CONTINENT. The medal is borne by a white silk ribbon with light blue center stripe.[4]

Of the 81 men who received the medal, 65 received gold medals, 7 received silver medals, and 9 received bronze medals.

After Byrd's 1934 to 1935 Antarctic Expedition, the Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal was awarded to the expedition's participants.

Noteworthy recipients

Note - the military ranks indicated are the highest the individuals achieved in their careers and not those held at the time of the expedition.


  1. ^ a b 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. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 11 February 2013.
  3. ^ Office of the Historian. "Congressional Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals awarded to Byrd's first Antarctic expedition". United States House of Representatives. Retrieved 13 February 2013.
  4. ^ "Medal, Byrd 1928-1930 Antarctic Expedition Medal". Collections. Smithsonian Institution, National Air and Space Museum. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 13 February 2013.