By Richard E. Byrd

Whilst Admiral Richard E. Byrd set out on his moment Antarctic day trip in 1934, he was once already a world hero for having piloted the 1st flights over the North and South Poles. His plan for this most recent experience was once to spend six months by myself close to the ground of the area, accumulating climate information and indulging his hope “to flavor peace and quiet lengthy sufficient to grasp how strong they truly are.” yet early on issues went extraordinarily incorrect. remoted within the pervasive polar evening with out desire of free up until eventually spring, Byrd started soreness inexplicable indicators of psychological and actual sickness. by the point he chanced on that carbon monoxide from a faulty stovepipe used to be poisoning him, Byrd was once already engaged in a huge fight to save lots of his lifestyles and protect his sanity.

When on my own was once first released in 1938, it grew to become an immense bestseller. This version retains alive Byrd’s unforgettable narrative for brand new generations of readers.

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In the course of my first Antarctic expedition, I was struck by the thought that the most valuable source of meteorological data was still left untouched. What data existed had for the most part been collected at fixed bases on the Antarctic coast or on islands adjacent to the coast; by ships exploring contiguous waters; and by field parties poorly equipped for research making fast summer dashes inland. Meteorologically, the interior of Antarctica was a blank. No fixed stations had ever been advanced inland; no winter observations had ever been made beyond the coast; and the fragmentary data collected by sledging parties covered only the comparatively mild summer months.

All this had a bearing upon the fate of Advance Base. Time was lost that could not be redeemed, and the energies of the men were depleted by that much more. The pity is that it seemed like so much labor lost. No sooner were we done than the seas abated, the outrush of the ice ceased, and the freeze-up set in almost at once. Wearily the tractor men returned to their preparations. At midnight on February 15th, by the light of gasoline flares, the Advance Base shack was dismantled; and the sections were piled on two tractor sledges.

And this alone gave me pause. As to the moral aspects of my leaving fifty-five men leaderless at Little America, that did not trouble me a bit. My officers had a comprehensive idea of what was expected of them during my absence. We talked almost steadily from midnight to dawn. In charge, with the title of Second-in-Command, I put Dr. Poulter, the Senior Scientist. He is a physical giant of a man. Though attuned to the quiet of the university campus, he had the practical judgment and intellectual balance which are indispensable for the leadership of men who like to call themselves men of action—as if by that they put themselves beyond the penalties of rashness.

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