Commander Richard E. Byrd
~ First Antarctic Expedition
1928 ~ 1930
 
Page 2

The following notes were received from Dr. David Larson, a collector of polar postal history:
 

The majority of the expedition-members sailed back to the US on the Expedition ships "City of New York" and "Eleanor Bolling".  A select few took commercial passage, which was considerably faster.  Byrd and a few staffers (R. W. Konter and Charles E. Lofgren) took the RMS Rangitiki from Wellington to the Canal Zone, where Byrd wrote his book with a ghost-writer.  They departed after 3 April 1930 and arrived in theCanal Zone on 14 May 1930.  Konter, as special souvenirs of the trip, had Adm. R. E. Byrd autograph a few postcards.  The postcards show a photo captioned:"N.Z.S  CO.'S  17,000 TONS  MOTOR VESSEL 'RANGITIKI'".  This postcard is shown on your web site "as another". 

 

The above signed card is not the one that Dr. Larson mentions in his notes above.  This one (front and back above) was found on eBay.
Alas, my believed-to-be generous bid was woefully inadequate to secure its purchase.  An unsigned example is shown on the Postcards page.

Further notes from Dr. Larson:

I learned from these scans that the entourage with
Byrd included:
   Russell Owen (NY Times)
   W. C. Haines (weather)
   L. V. Berkner
   R. W. Konter
   C. E. Lofgren
I was unaware of the first two, so I have learned something valuable to me.  The cachets on the reverse
were used on the return voyage by this small group - hence, they are very very, scarce.  Sorry that I
missed this item on eBay!

~oo0oo~
Later on in 2006, I was fortunate enough to purchase the photograph below from another London auction house.  THis photograph is featured on several postcards I have in my collection, but none have the original signatures of Cdr. Byrd, and Messres. Haines, Lofgren and Konter as does this photograph.  The Byrd Antarctic Expedition is also an original impression, but has faded quite a lot.

The auction house notes offer the following:

Richard Byrd.  Leader
Richard W. Kotner.  Crew Member, "City of New York"
William C. Haines.  Meteorologist
Charles E. Lofgren.  Personnel Officer

also that "Haines & Lofgren were in the "Winter Over Party" with Byrd at :ittle America.