1924 round-the-world fliers complete their mission

The proposed route for the Army's 1924 Round-the-World Flight. (342-FH-3B-7965011279AS)
The proposed route for the Army's 1924 Round-the-World Flight. (342-FH-3B-7965011279AS)

At 1:28 p.m. on September 28, 1924, two planes landing in Seattle made history. The Chicago and New Orleans had flown 26,345 miles in 66 days to become the first airplanes to circumnavigate the globe. Four planes had started the journey on April 6, but the Seattle and Boston had been forced down over Alaska and the Atlantic, respectively.

Read the story of this amazing flight and the intrepid pilots in “Magellans of the Air” (Summer 2010 issue of Prologue). On our YouTube channel, you can listen to author Rob Crotty talk about this feat in a short video or watch original footage of the 1924 flight (54-minutes).

One thought on “1924 round-the-world fliers complete their mission

  1. The Round-the-World Flight began and ended at Clover Field in Santa Monica, California, where the cruisers were built and tested by Douglas Aircraft. The original newsreel footage above and numerous contemporaneous news articles confirm that the flight indeed took off from Santa Monica. By the time the fliers reached western Europe, the media began reporting that the flight was round trip from Seattle. Irate Santa Monica leaders contacted General Patrick for an explanation of the sudden falsification of the facts. The General, admitting to the change, replied that if they moved the “official” start to Seattle, the total duration of the trip would be reduced by 19 days because the days spent switching to and testing the pontoon landing gear would not be numbered in the total. It was clear from the beginning that speed benchmarks were not to be a factor in the program which was focussed on completing the trip safely. The fliers themselves were quoted in the paper in defense of the Santa Monica starting point. The Round-the-World Flight took off from Santa Monica, California on March 17, 1924 at 9:32 am and ended on September 23, 1924 at 2:47 pm, within 50 feet from where the cruisers first took to the sky. When we tell the histories of amazing firsts, we need to be careful to stick to the facts and not get drawn in to the propaganda of the day.

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