Commander Richard E. Byrd established his Little America base camp on the Ross Ice Shelf at the Bay of Whales. He brought three airplanes and he flew one of them, a Ford tri-motor, on the first airplane flight to the South Pole and back on November 29, 1929. It took Byrd 18 hours to fly the same 1,600 miles that had taken Amundsen 99 days by dog sled in 1911. Congress promoted Byrd to Rear Admiral.