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Fliers At Seattle End World Flight of 27,000 Miles

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« on: September 28, 2009, 07:14:31 am »

Fliers At Seattle End World Flight of 27,000 Miles
Huge Crowd Cheers and Sirens Shriek as They Land 175 Days From Start Received by Gen. Morton He Lauds Their Epoch-Making Flight in the Name of President and Army Coolidge Sends Message Promises in Message to Each Aviator to Ask Congress to Aid Promotion


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Seattle, Wash., Sept. 28 (Associated Press).--The American army round-the-world fliers completed the circuit of the globe this afternoon, landing at Sand Point Field at 1:36 P. M., Pacific Time, after hopping off from Eugene, Ore., at 10:02 A. M.

Sirens shrieked as the planes flew over the city and thousands of voices roared a welcome at the field. Among the first to greet the fliers was Major Martin, who commanded the flight at the start.

Lieutenant Smith was the first to land. He was followed by Lieutenant Wade and then Lieutenant Nelson. The Commander landed at 1:36, the others at 1:37:50 and 1:38:35, respectively. Flying conditions were ideal as the aviators made their last lap.

Two minutes after they stepped from their planes each of the six aviators received the following telegram from President Coolidge:

"On final completion of your flight I desire to again offer my congratulations and express to you the thanks of your country.

"Under the law I do not understand that I have authority suitably to reward you by promotion and other appropriate action.

"I wish, however, to announce to you that on the convening of Congress I shall recommend that such authority be granted in order that your distinguished services may have a practical recognition from your country."

More trouble with Lieutenant Wade's engine, which had delayed him on the San Francisco lap, caused the fliers to land at Vancouver. Repairs on the Boston II were quickly made and the flight was resumed at 11:37 A. M.

Kisses Great One Flier

Lieutenant Leslie Arnold was hugged and kissed when he alighted by his mother, Mrs. Cora Arnold, and his sister, Mrs. Frances Cole, of Spokane, Wash., who had not seen him since he started on the flight.

The airplanes on landing taxied in a large circle to the reviewing stand with the Chicago at the left, the Boston II in the centre and the New Orleans at the right while a band played.

Ropes were strung around the machines and the reception committee gathered to greet the fliers. Lieutenant Smith stepped from the cockpit of his machine and made a short address to the committee. The crowd that had gathered was so large that the reception was curtailed merely to a shaking of hands and "glad you're here" from the reception committee.

Each of the fliers received a large bouquet of dahlias which they took with them to a private luncheon aboard a yacht.

A huge "Welcome" sign with letters twenty feet high had been erected and as the planes flew over the city whistles and automobile horns sent up shrieking greetings. Among the vessels on the lake awaiting the fliers was the Canadian destroyer Patrician, whose officers had been delegated by their Government to extend the congratulations of Canada.

Nine airplanes from Sand Point, under the command of Major D. C. Emmons, commander of Crissy Field, San Francisco, left the field just before the fliers were expected to escort them. The world circlers were accompanied from Eugene by Lieutenants J. A. Brockhurst and George W. Goddard, who made a photographic record of the flight across the country, and Lieutenant Burdette Wright and Sergeant J. F. Kennedy.

Lieutenant Wright acted as advance officer of the flight and was the first of accompanying airplanes to arrive, making a graceful landing at 12:25 P.M. He did not stop at Vancouver Barracks.

General Morton Praises Feat

The informal ceremonies immediately following the landing over, the fliers were taken to Madison Park, where they were greeted by approximately 5,000 persons. From there they were taken by automobiles to Volunteer Park, where a formal reception was given them. Lieutenant Smith rode in a car covered with flowers. His name was spelled out with dahlias in front.

The crowd that awaited the fliers at Volunteer Park was estimated at 50,000. Short talks were made here by Major Edwin J. Brown, Lieut. Gov. W. J. Coyle, Rear Admiral J. V. Case and Major Gen. Charles G. Norton, who represented President Coolidge and Secretary of War Weeks.

He said in part:

"The conquering by air for the first time in history of the hitherto uncharted air route over the Pacific Ocean by the perilous traversing of typhoon-swept areas of Japan and China; the pushing on through days of sweltering heat and tropical rains in Indo-China. Burma and India; and, after the comparative safety of Europe, the unflinching answering of the formidable challenge of the fog encompassed and icelocked stretches of the North Atlantic--these are facts that are dipped in an indelible dye--the nucleus of a story that will fire the imagination of old and young alike as long as appreciation of human accomplishment shall endure.

"The flight clinches beyond further dispute the argument for strengthening our national air forces. It also proves the urgency for commercial aviation, a branch related to our country's air defense. One of the most valuable features of our pioneer globe flight is that it has drawn the family of nations a little closer together.

"The encircling of the globe has been an acid test and a brilliant proof of expert flying and mechanical ability; it has meant the complete subordination of the individual to his task; the unflinching acceptance of terrific hazards; the overcoming of what appeared to be almost insurmountable difficulties. I can but reiterate our gratitude to you, our gratitude for bringing to America, the birthplace of aviation, the gift that it has rightfully inherited--world air prestige."

Flight Took 5 Months 22 Days

The historic flight which ended today was started officially by four planes from Seattle at 8:30 A. M. on Sunday, April 6, under command of Major Frederick L. Martin in the flag plane Seattle, and was completed in five months and twenty-two days by two of the original machines and the Boston II, a spare air cruiser sent to Pictou Harbor, N. S., for Lieutenant Wade, whose machine was wrecked near the Faroe Islands on Aug. 21.

The personnel of the flight included Major Martin, commander, and his mechanician, Staff Sergeant Alva L. Harvey, who were missing for ten days after the Seattle was wrecked on April 30 on a mountain in Alaska and they were forced to quit the expedition; Lieutenant Lowell H. Smith, commander after Major Martin's accident and pilot of the flag plane Chicago; Lieutenant Erik H. Nelson, pilot of the New Orleans; Lieutenant Leigh Wade, pilot of the ill-fated Boston, and Lieutenants Leslie P. Arnold, John Harding Jr. and Henry H. Ogden, mechanics.

The route of the aviators traversed or touched twenty-one foreign countries and twenty- five States and one Territory of the Union. A total of fifty-seven hops were made, with an average of 483 miles to each jump.

With each air cruiser consuming twenty gallons of gasoline in an hour of flying, the three planes used, in approximately 351 flying hours, 21,060 gallons. Each plane used about thirty gallons of oil every 2,400 miles.

Army to Reward Aviators

Washington. Sept. 28.--Arrival of the army world fliers today at Seattle, officially completing the first air circuit of the earth, will be followed by the preparation of a report by them from which valuable data will be extracted, for the benefit of all Government agencies having to do with aeronautics. In this way their experiences and the lessons they learned will be made available not only to their brother officers but to the Navy, Post Office and other departments engaged in phases of aerial navigation, both military and commercial.

Agencies interested in the scientific results of the flight today said its real value would be found, not in historical reckoning but in the scientific account of the aviators' experiences.

Major General Patrick, chief of the Army Air Service, declared it was the intention of the War Department to do everything in its power to compensate the aviators fully and Secretary Weeks also is pledged to see that they are treated in accordance with the broadest reach of the law and army regulations regarding promotion and financial considerations.

The War Secretary has stated his intention to have the fliers repaid for any personal financial loss either by the department of by special authorization of Congress. Should these fail, he has said he would dig down into his own pockets.

Round World Records Shattered

Four world records were shattered when the army planes completed their 27,000-mile flight.

The first was broken when the Americans crossed the Pacific Ocean from Attu Island to Paramashiru Island in the Kuriles of Japan. This 900-mile stretch was the longest jump of the entire trip. It was made in twelve hours and five minutes of flying time. The second title came when the fliers crossed a 500-mile stretch over the China Sea from Kagoshima, Japan, to Shanghai, China. This was the first time the China Sea had been crossed by air. The third honor was the completion of the round-the-world flight, a feat never before achieved by man in heavier-than-air machines.

Lastly, the intrepid Magellans of the air theoretically set a speed mark for traveling around the globe. The entire 27,000-mile trip was made in approximately 366.71 hours of actual flying, although the expedition was on the trip nearly 150 days after leaving Seattle.

When the birdmen reached Constantinople, Turkey, they had covered 16,180 miles in 225 hours of flying, or an average of 76.36 miles an hour.

By encircling the globe in the flying time of fifteen days, six hours, the army aviators surpassed the notable feat of John H. Mears, who, in 1913, went around the world by ship, train and other modes of travel in thirty-five days, twenty-one hours, thirty-six minutes. He had broken the records set by Nellie Bly, who, as a reporter, in 1889, circled the globe in seventy-two days, six hours and eleven minutes; by Henry Frederick, who, in 1903, cut her time to fifty-four days, seven hours and two minutes, and by Andre Jaeger- Schmidt, who encircled the earth in thirty-nine days, nineteen hours, forty-two minutes and thirty-eight seconds in 1911.

For the 27,000-mile flight of the army officers special Douglas air cruisers were built in California. Each was driven by a 400-horsepower Liberty motor and had a cruising radius, with auxiliary gasoline tanks of 1,500 to 2,000 miles. They were the only planes of their type in the world.

Attempts of Other Nations

Aviators of three other nations made attempts last Summer to fly round the world.

Major Sarmento De Beires and two other Portuguese officers flew from Lisbon to Macao, wrecking one plane, replacing it and landing the other in a cemetery whence they could not take off and where the machine was dismantled.

Major A. Stuart MacLaren and two other British soldiers left Calshot, England, March 25, in one plane, put a new machine into service at Akyab, India, and wrecked the latter by hitting a heavy sea when trying to avoid a small island in alighting near Nikolski Bay on August 3.

Major Pedro Zanni of Argentina started at Amsterdam, July 26, and at last account was pushing his way through the Orient, intending to follow the route of the Americans in the reverse direction.

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« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2009, 07:14:58 am »

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