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   United States Antarctic Expedition Medal
Service: Navy, Coast Guard
Instituted: 1945
Authorized: DOD 1348-33-M
Issuing Country: ( US ) - UNITED STATES
United States Antarctic Expedition Medal
Back of Medal
  1. Authorized by Congress, September 24, 1945.
  2. Awarded to members of the United States Antarctic Expedition of 1939 through 1941. Intended to recognize their contributions to the Nation in the field of polar expedition and science.

  1. The United States Antartic Service was a short lived organization. Headed by RAdm Richard E. Byrd, it was founded in 1939 to promote continued exploration of the South Pole.The demise of the USAS was forced by World War II after only one expedition. That expedition occurred from 1939 - 1941 which the one for which the medal is named.
  2. This medal was created by an Act of Congress on 24 September 1945. The medal was authorized a total of 160 times. It comes in three degrees, Gold, silver, bronze. Of the original 160, 60 were gold, with the remaining 100 being divided equally between silver and bronze. RAdm Byrd's medal was, of course, of the gold degree.