The race to be first.

This is the story of the brave men who were inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s 1927 transatlantic flight to attempt one of aviation’s greatest triumphs.  In 1919 Alcock and Brown were the first to fly across the Atlantic, an amazing feat in an open cockpit WW1 bomber.  Then in 1927 Lindbergh had proven that a man could fly from New York City to Paris.

But there remained a question that had dogged aviators from the very beginning;  was it possible to fly across the Atlantic with a woman on the plane?  Aviators knew from previous men of daring that it was indeed possible to fly an airplane with a woman on board.  And of course they knew it was possible to fly across the Atlantic without a woman on board.  Given these two facts, shouldn’t it be possible to fly across the Atlantic with a woman in the plane?  In theory it seemed feasible, but few aviators of the day were willing to risk their lives on such a theory.  No one knew for sure what would happen if a woman were on board over the middle of the Atlantic.  Would she have an uncontrollable urge to redecorate the plane in mid flight, damaging the aerodynamics?  Would she make so many sandwiches the plane became off balance?  Few men were willing to face these risks.

But some men were willing to take the risk for the opportunity to be first.  No one remembers the second man to fly from NYC to Paris, and no one would remember the second man to fly a woman across the Atlantic;  it is only the man who is first who secures his place in history.  Lindbergh’s amazing feat had set the stage for this next aviation breakthrough;  the race was on.

George Halderman, October 11 1927

The first to try was flight instructor George Halderman.  Halderman decided that a seaplane would be his best bet for such a risky crossing, but he also knew he would need to have a woman on board for the flight to have any meaning.  Halderman decided this role would be filled by Ruth Elder, one of his students.  In October 11, 1927 Halderman took off from Roosevelt Field with plenty of fuel and of course his essential cargo, Ruth Elder.

For days no one heard from Halderman.  The time came and passed when he should have made it to land, but still no word came back.  Spectators were left to wonder;  had the existence of a woman on the plane caused the disaster they all feared?  Soon they had the happy news that engine problems had caused Halderman to land the seaplane next to a Dutch freighter 350 miles off the Azores.  The plane was lost, but Halderman and his cargo were retrieved safely aboard the freighter.

Wilmer Stultz,  October 17 & 23 1927

Halderman hadn’t made it, but his flight did seem to prove that a woman would not explode once a plane reached the middle of the Atlantic, nor would she doom the flight via an uncontrollable urge to decorate or make sandwiches.  Still, this left the nagging question;  was there something about having a woman on board that would cause an aircraft’s engine to fail over the Atlantic?

Wilmer Stultz was willing to bet his life that it was possible to fly a woman across the Atlantic.  The machine he would use was a Sikorsky S-36 amphibian named Dawn.  He carefully selected his cargo, Frances Grayson, and on October 17th 1927 took off from Roosevelt Field headed for Newfoundland to start the transatlantic flight.  Unfortunately Stultz had to return due to fuel system problems.  With the fuel problem fixed, Stults loaded Grayson back into his plane and tried again on October 23rd.  However, he was again forced to turn back, this time due to engine problems.  Stultz then decided that it was now too late in the season for another try.

Frank Koehler, December 23 1927

Frank Koehler saw his opportunity to cross the Atlantic with a woman on board once Stultz decided to hold off for the season.  Knowing that Stultz had been turned back twice already in his attempt, he loaded Grayson onto the Dawn and took off for Newfoundland on December 23, 1927.  Unfortunately, Koehler, Grayson, and the two others on the plane were never heard from again.

Wilmer Stultz,  June 17 1928

Undeterred, Stultz decided to continue to try to prove that this could be done.  Koehler and Grayson had gone down in the same plane Stultz had originally tried with, so Stultz now needed both another woman and another plane.  In a stroke of luck, both problems seemed to be suddenly solved in the person of Amy Phipps Guest.  Guest purchased a plane and indicated that she would be willing to be the cargo, but her family objected to such a wealthy woman taking the risk.  Guest agreed to honor her family’s wishes if another, more suitable, cargo could be found.  Famous publicist George Putnam was enlisted into the venture and quickly located a cargo which met the approval of Guest.  Her name was Amelia Earhart, and she had the look and image Guest was looking for.

A lesser man would have turned back, but Stultz believed it was possible to fly a woman across the Atlantic, and he knew others would be trying.  It would only be a matter of time before someone made it across the Atlantic with a woman on board, Stultz reasoned.  With a new woman and plane secured, Stultz again tried what he and at least two other men had previously failed to accomplish.  On June 17, 1928 Stultz and his copilot/mechanic Louis Gordon secured their cargo and took off from Newfoundland headed to Burry Port, Wales.  This time man and machine performed flawlessly, and Stultz proved to the world that it was possible to fly a woman across the Atlantic!

This entry was posted in Amelia Earhart, Charles Lindbergh, Envy, Feminists, Satire. Bookmark the permalink.

43 Responses to The race to be first.

  1. Pingback: The race to be first. | Neoreactive

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  3. Opus says:

    I don’t find this funny atall! One day some years ago I and a few others were invited to a local grass airstrip and given the opportunity of a half-hour fight in a four-seat Cessna. The passengers comprised myself and another male in the rear seats and in the front seats the trained-pilot and a female who I knew to be three slices short of a cut-loaf, which she made up for by being very cute. Had I been romantically involved? I forget. Once up in the sky she persuaded the pilot and against the pilot’s better judgement to allow her to fly the plane. It was not long before the airplane was falling out of the sky. I breathed a sigh of relief when the pilot and not too quickly either retook the controls and righted the flying-machine. Once safely landed back at the airstrip I swore that I would never allow myself to be flown again in such a plane. I have stuck to my vow.

  4. honeycomb says:

    As a (previously) professional (bush, flight instructor, regional, major airline and corporate) pilot .. and now a commercial nuclear power operator ..

    What a great blog DalRock .. these last two posts have put a big smile on my face.

    [D: Thank you.]

  5. M.W. Peak says:

    “it’s bad luck to have a woman on board, too. Even a miniature one.” – Mr. Gibbs, Pirates of the Caribbean

  6. feeriker says:

    Too funny!

    Thanks, Dalrock!

  7. JDG says:

    Would she make so many sandwiches the plane became off balance?

    What??? Impossible!!! There is no such thing as a woman making too many sammiches. I submit that making sammiches was the only worthwhile reason to bring a woman on such a flight in the first place.

  8. Pingback: The race to be first. | Reaction Times

  9. Yoda says:

    What??? Impossible!!! There is no such thing as a woman making too many sammiches.

    Dunno about this I do.
    What if TrigglyPuff make many sammiches for herself she did?

  10. “No one knew for sure what would happen if a woman were on board over the middle of the Atlantic. Would she have an uncontrollable urge to redecorate the plane in mid flight, damaging the aerodynamics? Would she make so many sandwiches the plane became off balance? Few men were willing to face these risks.”

    ROFL!!!! HAhahahahaha! Good stuff.

  11. Moral of the story: If you entice a woman to do something dangerous with you under your care and guidance, she’ll get the idea that she “can do anything a man can do” to disastrous effect. LOL.

  12. Random Angeleno says:

    you go girl has way long since gone …

  13. Lost Patrol says:

    That’s mighty high “high ground” back there for Normandy. Sure enough, even maximum PC snopes (trademark, etc.) calls it out.
    http://www.snopes.com/red-cross-nurse-normandy-beach/

    This blog is no end of entertaining and informative. It’s giving me a new lease on life and a great, and greatly overdue, education.

  14. feeriker says:

    No one knew for sure what would happen if a woman were on board over the middle of the Atlantic. Would she have an uncontrollable urge to redecorate the plane in mid flight, damaging the aerodynamics? Would she make so many sandwiches the plane became off balance? Few men were willing to face these risks.

    What I’m surprised didn’t happen (or maybe it did, but was simply censored out of the written history) was that the woman didn’t aggressively try to “back seat pilot.” I could easily imagine Earhart doing such a thing (again, maybe she tried it once, got slapped down by the male pilots who knew what they were doing, and sat down and STFU having been appropriately chastised).

  15. Spike says:

    The appalling part of this history, Dalrock, is that everyone believes Earhart piloted the plane and flew it herself, that she was an aviator, not cargo. generations of schoolkids, of which I was one, believed this.
    Much like Rosie the Riveter, whose career riveting was actually a month long – a feat that has made her a “We Can Do It” feminist icon ever since – Earhart is a myth. Or shall I say it in Red Pill parlance: a lie.

  16. Earhart didn’t crash! She ended up in the Delta Quadrant- a hero of Captain Janeway don’t y’all know? Don’t bother looking up the episode: It was “The 37’s” which has the distinction of being the worst Voyager episode ever- and that is saying something.

    Dalrock, I promise that women, “men” and other assorted manginas and pestilence will read this and Poe’s Law will strike them down. Look, it’s a bird, it’s a plane. It’s SATIRE! Whooosh!

  17. JDG says:

    Yoda – Dunno about this I do.
    What if TrigglyPuff make many sammiches for herself she did?

    Every sammich made represents a few minutes doing something domestic. While the woman (I’m assuming she is a woman) is doing her domestic duty (albeit for the wrong reason) she is at least preoccupied for those moments and not furthering the degradation of society (at least one hope think so).

  18. JDG says:

    at least one hope think so … should be … at least one would hope so.

  19. JDG says:

    Yoda – Trivia question. Can triggly puff eat more sammiches than sandwich girl?

  20. Yoda says:

    Dunno JDG. And the answer would be?

  21. Yoda says:

    Earhart didn’t crash! She ended up in the Delta Quadrant- a hero of Captain Janeway don’t y’all know?

    Saw that episode I did.
    The trip improved her appearance greatly say I do.

  22. feeriker says:

    It was “The 37’s” which has the distinction of being the worst Voyager episode ever- and that is saying something.

    I was gonna say: was there ever even a mediocre Voyager episode? I know that there was never anything even close to a good one.

  23. Yoda says:

    Wonder if Janeway ever made a sammich she did.
    Not sure if I care if 7 of 9 ever made a sammich she did

  24. They Call Me Tom says:

    7 of 9 gave us Obama… that’s all I remember of her each time her face pops up on a tv screen.

  25. Dave says:

    But there remained a question that had dogged aviators from the very beginning; was it possible to fly across the Atlantic with a woman on the plane?

    This was in 1927? Looks like vagina worship started long before feminism took root in the Wild West.

  26. Opus says:

    This morning I was wondering if this is just an American thing? – Earhart, Rosie the Riveter, The Ghostbustratrixes, (I cringed at the trailer) G.I. Jane, Ellen Ripley. It becomes difficult to distinguish reali-life from fiction. As I mentioned a week or so ago all the superheros are American. There is no British equivalent other than the Python parody BicycleRepairMan (which is obviously a bit sexist).

    I have in front of me a five pound note sterling, the only note presently with a woman on both sides, both curiously named Elizabeth, though who Eliz Fry is or what she did I have no idea. Flo Nightingale (who used to be on the £10 note) seems to have done exactly what was claimed – but a nurse is not exactly in the same league as a Pioneering Aviatrix or Technology Genius.

    This is not however an excuse to bash my American cousins. You may have to endure Eliz Holmes but at least you are safe from Martha Lane Fox, who in the one breath complains about anti-female bias in everything (even though she lives with a Tech entrepeneur – how convenient) yet who at the age of forty-two has just become a mother of twins through surrogacy – I am guessing IVF here. The darling of the media and the political elite and whose views on anything are given rapt attention but who otherwise has demonstrated zero ability at anything other than self-promotion it is conveniently overlooked that far from being self-made she is in fact of aristocratic stock. No black polo-neck jumper for her as she sits in Parliament (unelected) in her Ermine.

  27. Ron says:

    Its funny because it is completely true.

  28. Tam the Bam says:

    @Opus: “who Eliz Fry is or what she did I have no idea.” Sounds like one of those forever-meddling Quaker busybodies. Probably invented chocolate or something. “Five Boys”? Was that it? Something roils in the abyss of my memories ..

  29. Tam the Bam says:

    And again; Martha Lane Fox? She anything to do with the Pitt-Rivers’es
    Heredity is everything, in Britlandshire, as with La Fry. Middle-class daughters who can literally do no wrong (apart from marrying ‘beneath them’).

  30. TLM says:

    Many years ago I was a part of a cavalry regiment within an airborne division. Back then no chicks were allowed into any cav units. However, other units in our brigade had women and our medics were pooled from the different units that made up the brigade. But whenever we had a jump, only male medics were assigned to us. This story reminds me of this fat (by 80’s standards), slutty, Copenhagen chewing, forerunner to today’s man-jawed women, female medic that was always running her dip stained mouth about how she was going to be the first female to jump with the cav. She was a nasty specimen, especially considering how girls were still very much feminine looking back then. This post made me think of that beast.

  31. Dalrock says:

    @Opus

    I don’t find this funny atall! One day some years ago I and a few others were invited to a local grass airstrip and given the opportunity of a half-hour fight in a four-seat Cessna. The passengers comprised myself and another male in the rear seats and in the front seats the trained-pilot and a female who I knew to be three slices short of a cut-loaf, which she made up for by being very cute. Had I been romantically involved? I forget. Once up in the sky she persuaded the pilot and against the pilot’s better judgement to allow her to fly the plane. It was not long before the airplane was falling out of the sky. I breathed a sigh of relief when the pilot and not too quickly either retook the controls and righted the flying-machine.

    According to this book, when Stultz refused to make a third try because it was too late in the year, Frances Grayson hired another man who would do as she demanded:

    Stultz refused to give it a third try so late in the year. Furious, Frances hired another pilot and navigator, and The Dawn took off from Roosevelt Field, New York, December 23, 1927. It was never seen again.

    Interesting side note: Earhart was evidently the fourth woman Stultz was to fly across the Atlantic (when I wrote this post I thought she was only the third). First it was Grayson, then according to this source it was Mabel Boll, and then Amy Phipps Guest, and finally Earhart.

  32. PokeSalad says:

    What if TrigglyPuff make many sammiches for herself she did?

    That would require the Spruce Goose….

  33. Chris says:

    “Keep the animals off my sandwich, keep the animals off my sandwich!”

  34. feeriker says:

    According to this book, when Stultz refused to make a third try because it was too late in the year, Frances Grayson hired another man who would do as she demanded:

    Now all that is to be done is to locate the contemporary commentary making it clear that Grayson’s death (and that of the MALE pilot flying her) was AllSomeMan’sFault for giving Grayson what she demanded and not knocking some sense into her.

    C’mon … you KNOW it’s out there.

  35. feeriker says:

    What if TrigglyPuff make many sammiches for herself she did?

    That would require the Spruce Goose….

    Since the Goose is a museum piece now, a C5 Galaxy will have to do. Probably at least two of them would be needed.

  36. >was there ever even a mediocre Voyager episode?

    Scorpion part 1 and 2 with the Borg appearing was pretty good.

    >Not sure if I care if 7 of 9 ever made a sammich she did

    Weird History right here- Seven of Nine aka Jerry Ryan gave us….Barrak Hussein Obama! MMMmmmm, MMMmmmm, MMmmmm.

    O-commie was running against Jerry Ryan’s ex-husband (Jack Ryan) for the U.S. Senate and O (in typical O fashion) got a democrat judge to release his divorce records. The strongest allegation was that Ryan tried to have sex with his own wife once and she “felt uncomfortable.” All the women and manginas and other pestilence jumped ship and within days Ryan was out of the race.

    HOW DARE HE MAKE A WOMAN FEEL UNCOMFORTABLE!!! This was a slutty starlet who liked to give interviews with her boobs but…dammit…some creepy man tried to have sex with her and she didn’t like it. Off with his head!

    That’s right folks! Clinton raped girls, fondled others, used his office to get blowjobs from young interns, and used his office to cover it all up. Ryan tried to have sex with his wife and made her “uncomfortable” once, so…class, that is how we got stuck with the Muslim mangina- aka “Bathhouse Barry” and his Wookie in the White house.

    One man could not stand up to the truth, look at the camera and say: “I did nothing illegal, immoral, or wrong. A man is entitled to proposition his wife for sex and take no for an answer…next question.”

    Compare with Trump hitting back on his La-Raza judge. I seriously could not believe the news last night or the Speaker Paul Ryan’s (no relation to jack) claim that talking about a judges “Mexican heritage” is “racist.” The pundits claim that is it OK to mention the judges ties to La Raza (he went to college on a full La-raza scholarship and is a current member of La-Raza) but…it it NOT OK to mention “The Race” of the judge.

    Got it everybody? You can mention “La Raza” but you may NOT mention “The Race.” LMFAO!!!

    La Raz MEANS “The Race” in Spanish and it is a radical illegal immigrant organization that seeks to repopulate Azatlan (the American Southwest including Texas, Arizona and New Mexico) with Mexicans and force out the invading Whites. Gee, why wouldn’t Trump want a judge like that deciding his case?

  37. patchasaurus says:

    Dalrock-
    This is a beautiful piece, brother- deeply satirical, sharp-witted, whimsical, illuminating, flowing. Even well beyond your chosen subject matter, you have become a true literary voice. Thanks for sharing your gifts.
    Truly-
    Patch

    [D: Thank you.]

  38. Dalrock, to be fair the cargo did became the first woman to cross that Atlantic on a solo flight in 1932. The real mystery of this girl’s life is why she would try to navigate the Pacific after failing to even master the Atlantic. On her famous solo flight, she ended up crash landing in Scotland rather than making it to the field in France where Lindbergh landed.

  39. craig says:

    Rollo Tomassi, love the photo of women ‘storming’ the beach with purse, coat, and luggage in hand. They look like they’re checking into a hotel.

  40. Gunner Q says:

    feeriker @ 10:13 pm:
    “was there ever even a mediocre Voyager episode?”

    A couple of the episodes developing the Doctor’s character were decent. The only interesting crewman after the Marquis subplot (never properly employed) was discontinued.

    Another episode I can remember was an alien think tank’s attempt to recruit Seven of Nine. She declined after observing how they justified immoral conduct with their pursuit of science or something like that. It resonated with my musings at the time that science is a popular religion because it always asks “Can we?” and never “Should we?”

    bluepillprofessor @ 10:49 am:
    “The pundits claim that is it OK to mention the judges ties to La Raza (he went to college on a full La-raza scholarship and is a current member of La-Raza) but…it it NOT OK to mention “The Race” of the judge.”

    Okay. Charge him with treason for membership in La Raza and we won’t bring up how he looks exactly like the foreign nationals he’s aiding and abetting. Unless the defense brings up motive during the trial.

  41. When someone says, “I checked it out on Snopes.com and the story is bogus” I cringe. It’s not what they discredit, it’s what they don’t discredit that exposes them as the Leftist shills they are.

  42. Lost Patrol says:

    Just A Regular Guy –

    Appreciate the remonstrance about snopes. (I think I’m the only one to drag snopes into it). I do know where those guys are coming from, and indeed they proved your point with the photo. “Yes it’s fake – but girls were there! We will now regale you with much about that.”

    Due to my insecurities I have to make a defense. Rollo Tomassi posted the Nurses of Normandy photo to make a point about illogical gender arguments. But I’ve been to Normandy and was suspicious of that massif in the background. Bluffs like Pointe Du Hoc yes, but that looked wrong.
    When even politically correct snopes backed me up on it, I used it. Apparently ineffectively.

    I’ve got to get myself a Napoleon’s Corporal.

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