Byrd Elementary School closes doors, completes 66 years of teaching excellence
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — The Richard E. Byrd Elementary School closed its doors June 10 after providing 66 years of quality education to the children on Negishi Housing Annex in Yokohama, Japan.
Students in grades K-5 living on Negishi will be attending DoDEA Pacific Japan District’s Ikego Elementary School at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.
Byrd ES, which opened as Negishi Heights ES on Sept. 20, 1948, was named after Admiral Richard E. Byrd on April 5, 1960. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1912, Richard Evelyn Byrd attended flight training at Pensacola, Fla., in 1917 which was during World War I. He was later assigned as the commanding officer, U.S. Naval Stations in Canada, where he pioneered night and all-weather flying and also designed navigational instruments.
In 1926, Byrd took a leave of absence from the Navy to lead an expedition to the Arctic Circle. On May 9 of that year, he and his copilot, Floyd Bennett, announced to the world that they had flown over the North Pole. Both men were awarded the United States Congressional Medal of Honor for their effort.
In 1929, Byrd was the first to fly over the South Pole. In total, Byrd made five expeditions to Antarctica and contributed more to the geographic discovery of the Antarctica Continent than anyone else until the middle of the 20th century.