Nathaniel Palmer was the
first American to sight the Antarctic continent in 1820 while scouting
for seals. The peninsula he sighted bears the name Palmer Land.
commanded the first American exploration of the Antarctic Ocean in
1838. In 1899 he sailed as far south as possible and described the
coast of the continent.
Richard E. Byrd
Richard Byrd's first polar
expedition was in 1926 as the navigator on the first plane to fly over
the North Pole. Byrd made five expeditions to Antarctica. On the first
in 1928-30 he established "Little America" as his base camp and mapped
a large part of the continent. He also make the first airplane flight
to the South Pole. In 1933-35 he proved that Antarctica was a single
continent, and studied the polar weather. He also made an
expedition in 1939-41, commanded Operation High Jump in 1946-47,
and participated in the first phase of Operation Deep Freeze in
1955-56. A stamp issued in 1933 commemorated Byrd's expeditions to
Lincoln Ellsworth made the
first Trans-Antarctic flight, from Dundee Island to the Bay of Whales,
November 23 to December 5, 1935 on the Polar Star. He reported
the discovery of "Eternity Range," naming it "James W. Ellsworth Land"
(Ellsworth Land) for his father, and claimed it for the United States.
Four landings were made during the 2,300 mile flight, however the
plane ran out of fuel twelve miles short of the abandoned base at
Little America. They walked for six days to reach Little America. He
and his crew were rescued in January 1936.