|Peary Polar Expedition Medal|
|Awarded for||Valuable services to the Nation in the field of polar exploration and science|
|Presented by||United States Congress|
|Eligibility||Members of the Peary Polar Expedition|
Ribbon bar of the medal
|Next (higher)||Sampson Medal|
|Next (lower)||NC-4 Medal|
|Related||Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal|
Second Byrd Antarctic Expedition Medal
United States Antarctic Expedition Medal
Antarctica Service Medal
The Peary Polar Expedition Medal was a commemorative medal awarded to six of the participants of the 1908-1909 Expedition to the North Pole, led by Robert Peary. Authorized by Congress in 1944, the silver medals were presented by the Secretary of the Navy.
The medal was established by Private Law 78-166 on January 28, 1944. The law was entitled, "An act to provide for the presentation of silver medals to certain members of the Peary Polar Expedition of 1908-1909." The law authorized the Secretary of the Navy to have made at the United States Mint, silver medals with which to reward six individuals for their service to the expedition. The medals were to be presented in the name of Congress. Absent from the list of recipients was Peary himself.
The medal is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. The obverse depicts a figure of Peary in a fur hooded parka, holding the tip of a walking pole in his right hand. Below the figure of Peary are the words in three lines: PEARY POLAR EXPEDITION 1908-09. Around the outside are the points of a compass rose with north being indicated at the top by a fleur-de-lis.
The reverse bears the eight line inscription: PRESENTED IN THE NAME OF CONGRESS IN RECOGNITION OF HIS EFFORTS AND SERVICES AS A MEMBER OF THE PEARY POLAR EXPEDITION OF 1908-09 IN THE FIELD OF SCIENCE AND FOR THE CAUSE OF POLAR EXPLORATION BY AIDING IN THE DISCOVERY OF THE NORTH POLE BY ADMIRAL PEARY. Above the inscription is an American flag with a sled dog on either side. Below the inscription is a space to engrave the recipient's name resting on the depiction of snowshoes at the bottom.
The medal is suspended from a white ribbon with an ice-blue 1/4 inch stripe toward each edge.
The six recipients of the medal, specified in the authorizing act of Congress, are as follows:
- Captain Robert A. Bartlett
- George Borup
- Dr. John Goodsell
- Matthew A. Henson
- Rear Admiral Donald B. MacMillan, USNR
- Ross Gilmore Marvin
Note - Although eligible, for unknown reasons, Admiral Peary was not awarded the medal.
- The Code of Federal Regulations of the United States of America Title 32 Parts 700 to 799. Washington, D.C.: United States Government. 1967. p. 551.
- U.S. Department of the Treasury (1945). Digest of Appropriations for the Support of the Government of the United States. Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 470.
- McDowell, Charles P. "PEARY POLAR EXPEDITION MEDAL (1908) (Navy)". FOXFALL MEDALS. Retrieved 11 February 2013.