Hunter Brothers Record, Stinson SR-10, Convair P2Y-1s in Sitka, Alaska: errata & addemda to book at left, more
Lindbergh-1931 in Sirius, Doolittle-1929 "blind" flight, Amelia Earhart-1937, Pearl Harbor-1941
The flying book referred to is pictured at the left. This web page begins with * Errata, offered by helpful readers.. Following the Errata are Addenda, stories which adds to the book.
Errata Example: No, it wasn't 'Mitchell' Field. But, until January 2013, when reader Phil Gilson informed the author that the Mitchell Field entry here, and in another of my published books, was mispelled, and should be, Mitchel Field, named after a Mayor of New York City.
Addenda Examples: When written, the flying book pictured above contained references to Charles and Anne Lindberghs' trip to the Orient. On that trip in thieir Lockheed Sirius aircraft, a series of harowing letdown attempts that Charles made, I had to make a guess on what was happening in the Sirius cockpit, as described by Anne Lindbergh.in her book, North to the Orient. Later, I discovered what I could only guess at when writing my book. More below in two addenda.
/s/ Franklyn E. Dailey Jr. author.
Published Book Errata: The published book (see cover, upper left) on instrument flight contains five errors. Credit is given to finders. I appreciate their contributions. An interesting "further explanation" on one of the corrections is offered by Northeast Airlines/Delta author/pilot, Robert Mudge. With great sadness, I learrned of Bob's death, which occurred in May 2014.
Following the errata discussion, you will find Add-ons in the following order:
Addendum No. 1. A followup on a "a blind flight " attributed to Jimmy Doolittle, found in National Geographic and Smithsonian citations.
Addendum No. 2. Lockheed Sirius Instrument Panel as aircraft was configured for flight to the Ofient..
Addendum No. 3 Oh! Canada
Addendum No. 4. A Decision to Land at Idlewild,
Addendum No. 5 TheLambert family of Louisiana discovers family records of service on the USS Lexington in 1937, containing USS Lexington's track chart (a rare piece of history not available elsewhere) in the search for Amelia Earhart, plus a scene from the USS Maryland at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
(If you came to this page from this flying book's intro web page, here is a quick way to get back to that page: flying2.htm For more on author/pilot Robert Mudge on this website, go to Northeast Airlines' Yellowbird; memorable moments Boston-LaGuardia by author/pilot Robert Mudge)
Now, the Errata discovered in "The Triumph of Instrument Flight"
Erratum #1: Illustration 2 - on pages ii and 6 of the published book..
The aircraft identified in "near background" on page 6 is not a Stinson Detroiter but a gullwing Stinson. The author uncritically accepted the photo identification from the photo source. The author thanks pilot Mark R. Sellers for first bringing the faulty identification to the author's attention. Pilot and author, Robert Mudge, commented further: "Just to be a real nit-picker, I would add, while it is a gull wing design, and that term was used to describe the wing configuration, I think you will find the model was a Stinson Reliant. Northeast Airlines (NE) flew them (SR-8s, SR-9s and SR-10s) in their instrument flight school in Boston and later at Burlington, VT. They were a great airplane. I flew them at Burlington as a student, then as an instructor before I got on the line. Then I flew them as the corporate pilot for Northeast after its school closed down. Northeast took the best one from the school, an SR-10 model, and painted it all up in NE livery. Not only that, as the "captain," I got 4 bucks an hour. Big money for a copilot in those days!"
Erratum #2 Pilot Schnedorf's college role mischaracterized.
Page 334, in the paragraph crediting Midwest pilot Jerome Gerald Schnedorf . In the fifth line, the author has Schnedorf "instructing" at Louisiana State University. He was actually studying technical writing there.
Erratum # 3 Navy P2Y-1 aircraft misidentified as P2Y-2s.
Illustration 18 - on pages ii, and 154. The aircraft, identified as P2Y-2s, are P2Y-1s. The author uncritically accepted the original identification. The author thanks Jack E."Old Jack" Reich, Sitka flyer, for bringing this to his attention. [September 18, 2009: This morning, Jerry Thuotte, Founder and Director of the Port Townsend (WA) Aero Museum, informed me that "Old Jack" Reich had passed August 1, 2009. I only knew Jack as an e-mail correspondent in the latter years of his life. He had worked at the Naval Aircraft Factory, and then was a civil servant in the CAA, or CAB, and FAA before retirement to the Pacific Northwest. Jack was a teacher for anyone insterested in learning, and you became an avid learner because he made things interesting. He was a teacher because he was a learner. Aviation will miss him.]
A formation of P2Y-1 Navy seaplanes
Erratum #4.Credit for the longest single engine endurance flight; record holders, flight questioned,.
Page 40. "Dale Jackson and Forest O'Brine regained the endurance record with a 647 hour flight in their original "Robin " name now emblazoned with the name Greater St. Louis." On 12/17/2008 at 11:19:14 AM, in an e-mail to the author, Robert H. Hayes of Sparta, Illinois, wrote: "You state that Dale Jackson and Forest O'Brine regained the endurance record with a 647 hour flight in the Greater St. Louis area. It was reported that their plane made a secret landing for repairs on a St. Louis County farm. The National Aeronautical Association (NAA) rejected the (Jackson/O'Brine) claim because 'the formal report was not made out properly."
Discussion on Errata #4. The book author's source was the Standard Quarterly Review of October 15, 1930 in which that publication reported that the 647 hour record flight claimed by Jackson and O'Brine landed August 17, 1930. Reader Hayes took his information from the Sparta News Plaindealer, a weekly, in its issue of February 5, 1931. Hayes further noted that the Plaindealer stated that the NAA and Federation Aeronautique International recognized the Hunter Brothers as the record holders with their flight of 553 hours, 41 minutes and 30 seconds, spread across June and July of 1930. The Standard Quarterly Review, again in its October 15, 1930 issue, reported, "Jackson and O'Brine had previously set an attendance record of 420 hours in the St. Louis Robin. In June 1930, this record had been broken by John and Kenneth Hunter in the plane, City of Chicago." Robert Hayes in a later e-mail on 12/17/08 at 8:21:45 PM, states, "In addition, a New York Times (NYT) article from June 28, 1935, reported the breaking of the Hunter Brothers record by the Key Brothers of Meridian, Mississippi. The Times article, according to Robert Hayes, referred to the Jackson-O'Brine record as an 'unofficial mark of 647 hours.' Hayes goes on to say that the Keys Brothers went on to set an endurance record of 653 hours, "exactly 100 hours longer than the record set by the Hunter Brothers." The upshot of reader Hayes' extensive search of NAA records, and pages of newspapers, is that the Hunter Brothers were the holders of the flight endurance record from the time they beat the Jackson-O'Brine 420 hour record, in June 1930, with a flight of over 553 hours; their record held until the Keys Brothers became the record holders with a 653 hour flight reported in the NYT of June 28, 1935. One must therefore conclude that, after the Hunter Brothers record setting 553 hour endurance flight, Jackson-O'Brine were no longer record holders in the endurance flight category. Hayes has certainly done extensive research on the Hunter Brothers, including visiting the son of Albert Hunter. In addition to Robert Hayes's sources mentioned so far, he has stated that the Davis-Monthan web site and the Belleville Illinois News Democrat are sources with information on this subject. A reader might be forgiven for recognizing that the Keys Brothers, in beating the Hunter Brothers by 100 hours, a memorable number, also managed to beat the contested or unofficial flight record claimed by Jackson-O'Brine by six hours. Just in case, maybe.
Erratum #5 "Mitchell" Field should be spelled, Mitchel Field, and how that came about.
. Credit Phil Gilson for picking up this spelling error. Wherever found in "The Triumph of Instrument Flight," Mitchell Field should be, Mitchel Field. The error is found in the Index to the book on page 321, and as that Index notes, on page 32 in a discussion on a "blind flight" by Jimmy Doolittlel ; also on page 139 in connection with the 58th Pursuit Squadron, a prewar fighter group in the U.S. Army Air Corps. This mispelling of mine is likely also found on some other pages on this website.
Now, shift to Addenda
Addendum No. 1. "Blind Flight," with a safety pilot, is not an "Instrument Flight" as used in the title of my book.
A followup on a "a blind flight " attributed to Jimmy Doolittle, discovered from reading National Geographic and Smithsonian citations......Some have asked why I did not credit Jimmy Doolittle's 1929 Mitchel Field flight as the first instrument flight. I was conflicted about that. The record tells us that he took off, under a hood, using a Sperry autopilot (Elmer Sperry first called them 'gyrostabilizers,' a term earlier applied to the Sperry ship stabilizing systems), went to altitude, used a local radio aid to find his way back, and landed. There was actually a 'safety' pilot aboard the 1929 flight. A September 2003 National Geographic '100 years of flight' insert folder, credited Doolittle as the "first to fly 'blind' guided only by navigational instruments." The records of the time, to the best of my research, do not tell us what instruments were on the panel, but plainly informed the public that the 'autopilot' was flying the aircraft. The safety pilot was aboard to see outside the aircraft. Most student pilots in the WW II era flew, as part of their instrument training, 'under the hood' with a safety pilot, who was their the instructor and not 'under the hood.' Those were instrument training flights and not instrument flights. Doolittle left an enormous legacy to aviation history and some day a record may surface to substantiate an award to him for the first 'instrument flight.' My book establishes that all the 'makings' for instrument flight were contained inside Sperry autopilots but it was not until the gyro horizon and directional gyro functions were duplicated outside the autopilot by Elmer Sperry (and Elmer Sperry Jr.) and put on the pilot's panel as discrete instruments, were conditions established for instrument flight. I should have been more precise and referred to piloted instrument flight as a distinction from autopiloted instrument flight. In my book there is a photo of a Lockheed 10 Electra instrument panel containing the necessary "firsts," the pair of key instruments.
Addendum No. 2. Lockheed Sirius Instrument Panel for "North to the Orient " Anne Lindbergh's book.
Lockheed Sirius Instrument Panel #1 An Author's amplification to pages 44 and 45 of "The Triumph of Instrument Flight: A Retrospective in the Century of U.S. Aviation." .......The Lockheed Sirius plane flown by Charles and Anne Lindbergh to the Orient did not have gyro-horizon and directional gyro instruments. At the time the edition came out in mid-2004, I could only infer that fact from Anne Lindbergh's account of their 1931 flight in an episode in her book, "North to the Orient." Her pilot husband got into a touchy situation as their two-pontoon plane flew down the Japanese island chain, and he had to descendto a water landing with fog and overcast shrouding the island cove where he would have to tether their seaplane for the night. It took a third heart-throbbing descent attempt before he could make visual contact for a water landing. I have since had access to National Air and Space Museum (NASM) archives. Sirius was re-outfitted for the Lindberghs' Atlantic rim (including much of Europe) survey trip in 1933, with an engine change to increase power to 710 hp, and, according to the NASM archives, "A Sperry artificial horizon and directional gyro had been added to the instrument panel since the previous flight....(to the Orient)..."
Lockheed Sirius instrument panel for 1931 flgiht to the Orient.
I am indebted to B-52 pilot Joe Waldroff for helping me find this photo of this early Lockheed Sirius instrument panel. Note the 'turn and bank' right in the center. Some call it the 'needle-ball.' It was the first gyro instrument to reach the panel, but not sufficient for safe flight with no visual horizon. ( Extra note:That turn and bank instrument, in a Stinson Tri-motor piloted by Hazen Bean for Boston-Maine Airways, with paying passengers aboard, was the "voila" incident that led to the book pictured at the top of hese pages.. Hazen Bean and his plane are pictured on the cover.)
The Lindberghs, Charles and Anne, bought the first of the 14 Sirius aircraft built. The isntrument panel pictured could well be the panel of the plane they flew to the Orient in 1931. I have strained my eyes to read the legends 'at least one looks like a radio frequency. Mrs. Lindbergh (Anne) flew in the back seat as navigator and radio operator, mostly the latter. Her beautifully written book, "North to the Orient," also contains some of the very critical radio communications she made for information from the stations ahead on each leg of their epochal 1931 flight.
Addendum No. 3 Foreword My mother, Isabel Lasher Dailey, introduced me to Canada. World War II gave me another perspective on Canada. Author Anne Lindbergh and her husband gave me still another perspective. Readers of my book "Joining the W"ar at Sea" gave me still another perspective. I combine these 'looks' at Canada in the next story.
Oh! Canada. (with apologies to a moving anthem, O Canada)
During the first months of 2014, I "met" via e-mail, two new friends, both from Canada. The two have helped me add to my knowledge of WWII ship sinkings in poorly defended convoys hugging the east coast of Canada. The Straits of Belle Isle recorded particularly painful losses. I had originally dealt with these losses on pages 59-60 (4th Edition) of my book, "Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945.
It has been the gift of the Internet that allowed me to record, on my website, feedback stimulated by the book. This feedback has made it possible to add human depth to the statistics that books on war record. One can also correct or clarify prior assertions. The U.S. Army transport Chatham, lost off Canada in November 1942, has brought feedback rivaled only by that from the loss of the transport Rohna in the Mediterranean off Oran, on Thanks-giving in 1943. The Chatham survivor photo and other material is recorded at www.daileyint.com/seawar/apgjtwas.htm
It is the Canada connection that I am pursuing here.
My mother, Isabel Lasher Dailey, had a lot of Danish in her, having been born of a lady, last-named Andersen, from Copenhagen. The Lasher came from her Palatine father. Not able to participate directly in her European heritage, but living on New York's State's western shore of Lake Ontario, Mom satisfied her urge for a 'mother' country by adopting Canada! After all, the King and Queen of England visited occasionally. And didn't Canada have a Governor General from England? I can recall as a little boy being with Mother on one of her trips to Toronto, and staying at the brand new Royal York Hotel.
Many auto trips to the Province of Ontario were facilitated by car-ferry 'voyages' from Rochester, NY to Kingston, Ontario, thence via car to Gananaque, Ontario, ultimately driving the rim of the north shore of Lake Ontario counterclockwise back to my childhood home in Brockport, New York. For shorter trips we went by Ontario No 1. or Ontario No. 2, modern car ferries that made daily round trips from Rochester New York's port of Charlotte to Cobourg, Ontario. Or sometimes, by motoring to Lewiston, NY, we took an older one cylinder 'up and down' car ferry (Iriquois was a name that comes to mind) to Toronto.
(Just one recent anecdote about Lake Ontario. With an adult son, we made a car visit to Charlotte, Rochester's port town, and decided to dine at a restaurant 'on the lake.' I made sure the head waiter gave us a lakeside table. This son looked out the window and exclaimed, "Dad, you can't even see the other side!")
As alcohol engaged her husband, Mom took to the road more often, most frequently to Toronto. That's where those British woolens were available from Simpson's or Eaton's department stores, and where I rode from one floor to another on my first escalator. Which should have told me that Toronto was not just another Rochester New York, my 'home' city. But, I was just six, or seven, or eight.
For two summers, before the 'crash' of 1929, Mom drove my Sis and me up to the Algonquin Bay region, and then on to Simcoe and Huntsville in Ontario. I recall we made the trips in a new Auburn car, a lower cost imitation of the Cord car, low slung like the Cord. The last few miles were on "roads" where tree stumps marked the center of the dirt road. We made it with Mom driving very slowly. Once we arrived, we spent a couple of weeks at the Limberlost Lodge on Lake Clear. The place featured swimming, boating and fishing, but for me, two pontoon equipped two-place yellow biplanes were the real feature. DeHaviland Gypsy Moths. Mother was pilot (Major) Wrathall's most frequent paying customer.
My mother's connections with Canada were over by the early 1930s when the Depression set in for a long stay.
I will skip the devastating effects of that Depression on our family, and on so many others. Six months after Pearl Harbor, I became an active participant in World War II. And I was about to begin my life's second Canada experience.
Halifax was the originating port for convoy, AT-20. That convoy was my first war experience in enemy waters. I was able to tell AT-20's troubled story in my book "Joining the War at Sea." Reverberation tales from that convoy are told on my website. My very first e-mail response to an authored book came from Quebec. There followed several more from eastern Canada port cities, where Canadian troopers, who had been aboard the transport Awatea during one of the collisions in convoy AT-20, e-mailed me with queries. News accounts in their local papers had critical aspects of the Awatea's collision in convoy AT-20 in error.
Halifax was again the origin of another major convoy story of World War II. This one was a Winston Special. I was privileged to offer this story because of a friend who had been a Quartermaster on the troop transport, USS West Point (originally, and later again the SS America). Publication of this story on my website was later greatly enhanced with an exciting episode, the West Point making it out of Singapore with Japanese bombers already in the skies.
West Point had been diverted from its original Winston Special destination to Singapore. The Prince of Wales had just been sunk in waters near Singapore, and British dependent subjects were catching 'the last ride out,' just as USS West Point sailed. For this part of a three episode tale on this website, I was favored with a major contribution from an Australian man, who was in the womb of a woman whose naval officer husband had just been lost with the sinking of the Prince of Wales. She made it aboard West Point! My Australian correspondent found my website and favored me and the website with the story of his mother's escape from Singapore.Read the complete story in three episodes: www.daileyint.com/wwii/picwar12.htm www.daileyint.com/wwii/picwar13.htm
Canadian "troopers" were the principal 'cargo' of AT-20, that first Halifax originating convoy.
British "territorials" were the main 'cargo' of the Winston Special, the second Halifax departure mentioned.
These soldier units aggregated in the tens of thousands. Winning in Europe was the eventual outcome of the first convoy mentioned. A disastrous defeat was the almost immediate result of the second, when 'the Admiralty' changed West Point's destination to Singapore.
No escorting naval ships were lost to enemy action while in these two convoys. A number of famous name warships, involved in those two convoys, were lost to enemy actions before the war was over.
My next Canadian experience came as our overloaded 4-engine Navy Privateer aircraft suffered engine problems over Vancouver Island, enroute to Kodiak, Alaska. Some of that is told in my book, "The Triumph of Instrument Flight," On that flight we went back to NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, and had a little thrill as we touched down on the runway. After an engine change, we chose our next routing out the Puget Sound through Strait of San Juan de Fuca, between the U.S. and Canada, into the Pacific Ocean, then up the Pacific coast of Canada to a navigation fix off Annette Island. Navy flight squadrons made that check point just west of Juneau, Alaska, a regular check point before heading west over the Gulf of Alaska to Kodiak. Looking at navigation charts, along that route, I always wondered why Juneau, later the capital of the U.S. late day State of Alaska, wasn't part of Canada. A look at a map will show what I mean.
My Mom had a son to tell of her Canada interests. The next 'explorer' had a wife who saw, and recorded, in beautiful detail. The book by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, "North to the Orient," features the far east in its title, but it was a trip that depended on the great reach of Canada to achieve that objective. I was fortunate in my flying book authoring effort to move from the almost mandatory reprise of Charles Lindbergh's flight over the North Atlantic to Paris in The Spirit of St. Louis, to learn much from Anne Lindbergh's book on that second great flying trip.
Pilot Charles, and wife Anne acting as navigator and communicator, departed from Maine in their Lockheed Sirius, a single engine monoplane, with pontoons! My Mom had prepared me for one essential of what I was about to read. Pontoons? To get to the Orient? Yes, there were "Lake Clears" all across Canada, and Lindy, just as he had done in crossing the North Atlantic, knew how to fly geometric chords to simulate a great circle, departing only slightly to find a lake or bay to set down Sirius for fuel and provisions. The two had a couple of heart stoppers along the way. And for one of them, Anne's detailed account revealed that Sirius was not equipped for instrument flight.*
The gift of human communication has let me make new friends at an old age. Simone from the Maritimes, and Brian from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, thank you for taking on the risk. And thanks to Canada for enriching so many lives, including mine
(See Adden dum No. 2 above for more on Sirius.)
.End of Addendum No. 3 entitled "Oh! Canada" 08/08/2014 Franklyn E. Dailey Jr.Capt. USNR (Ret)
Next, pilot Harry Schmidt's experience, in his own words, in getting his Navion down, onto Idlewild Airport (now J.F. Kennedy Airport) with that field under declared IFR (fog) conditions. My own heading for this story would have been, "Don't Do This!" (Harry's story took place in my home territory for 45 years. I never landed at "East Hartford" airfield but did so many times at nearby Hartford-Springfield Airport, known to most air travelers as Bradley Field.)
Addendum No. 4 A decision to land at Idlewiild. .... "During my work with P&W, although my primary assignment was as an engineering test pilot stationed at Edwards, there were occasions when I would travel back to Hartford for meetings or other temporary assignments. One of those temporary assignments included acting as the pilot of a corporate Navion that was kept in East Hartford but primarily was used to transport top executives of Hamilton Standard, a United Aircraft subsidiary in Windsor Locks CT. One lovely spring morning I had such an assignment. I picked up the president of Ham Standard at the crack of dawn to fly him to JFK (then called Idlewild) for an early morning airline departure. He sat in the co-pilot's seat as we flew south across CT, then continued south at low altitude across Long Island Sound, and continued south to the south shore of Long Island. Then we headed west along the south shore of LI on this beautiful morning. There were no clouds, no aircraft traffic, no turbulence ... nothing to distract from the beauty of nature at low altitude watching birds in their flight and the lovely LI seashore. Shortly after passing the famous Jones Beach I knew we were approaching IDL, so I called IDL tower telling them of my VFR flight plan, location about 5 minutes east of IDL, altitude 1500 feet, and asked for landing instructions. Just at the same time I noticed a low hanging cloud layer or fog bank hanging over the south shore further west. IDL tower replied to my call and advised that the field was closed to all IFR traffic stating that they were zero-zero in heavy fog. A couple minutes later we were over IDL at 1500 feet, well above the fog bank. But as we flew over IDL we noticed that vertical visibility was sufficient to see the ground, the buildings at IDL, and their runways. We judged that the fog bank was several hundred feet thick ... but we could clearly see the ground looking down through the fog. However, the fog had to be very dense and horizontal visibility was probably just about zero as the tower said.
"My high-ranking passenger told me that it was very important that we land and therefore encouraged me to figure out some way of completing the landing. I told him that I first needed to receive approval from the tower to land and that our first indication was that the tower would refuse such a request. At his urging, however, I called the tower a second time telling them of our location, now right above the airport, and asked again for landing instructions. Their reply was the same ... "Field closed due to zero-zero visibility in heavy fog." Their refusal to allow me to land merely reinforced my desire to land. They obviously didn't know I was an engineering test pilot at Edwards, and could not know that I previously had flown F-94s in an all-weather squadron in the Far East. If I could land an F-94 on a short 5000 foot runway with water at each end at 130 knots in bad weather, certainly I could land a Navion on a great 10,000 foot runway at 80 knots. And since I could see the runway from above maybe I had a plan?
"I called the tower a third time, this time telling them I was VFR, could see the field and the runways clearly, and although I knew the field was closed to IFR traffic, I asked them for permission to land VFR. My request obviously took them by surprise and it was quite a while before they replied, this time asking me to restate my request. Again I told them I had the field in sight VFR and asked for permission to make a VFR approach and landing. Again there was a long delay, but finally the tower replied that we were cleared for a VFR landing on runway 22R. My passenger smiled, gave me a thumbs up and I had my challenge for the day. It was clear that I would lose all forward visibility once we entered the fog bank, and hence planned my approach carefully. I had to be perfectly lined-up with 22R before entering the fog bank, and I had to have a very steep rate of descent to get thru the fog in the quickest period of time. We started the descent using a combination of visual and instrument techniques; the wings were kept level with the attitude gyro, the heading kept at 220 degrees with the directional gyro, a high rate of descent with the vertical speed, all the while keeping an eye out the window, looking straight down, waiting to see the runway more clearly right below. Through this combination of using both VFR and IFR flying cues we were able to land someplace in the middle of runway 22R.
"But once on the ground we were lost - indeed the horizontal visibility was zero. I could not even see the side of the runway. I called the tower telling them we were safely on the runway, but lost. We were unable to taxi since we couldn't see anything. The tower sent a follow-me jeep to find us (how they found us I will never know), and then we followed the jeep to an airline gate. My passenger thanked me for the extra effort and fine landing and left the aircraft. I was on my own.
"I had two options - I could have waited for the fog to clear and then return to Hartford, but that could have taken hours and it would have involved no challenge. Or ... instead, I called JFK tower once again and asked for takeoff instructions. The tower replied that the field was zero-zero in heavy fog and closed to all IFR traffic (sounding exactly as they had 30 minutes before when we were in the air). I called them back reminding them that I was the Navion that landed a little while ago VFR and requested permission to takeoff VFR on 22R. Once again there was a lengthy delay, but eventually they called me back and gave me permission for a VFR takeoff on 22R. I had to call them for the follow-me jeep to take me out to runway 22R, and some minutes later there I was, someplace in the middle of 22R, getting ready for takeoff. And I still couldn't even see the sides of the runway. My compass confirmed that my heading was 220, so I called the tower telling them I was ready for my VFR takeoff. They cleared me to takeoff VFR. The lightly loaded Navion was off the ground in a few hundred feet and quickly I had climbed above the fog layer and into the sunlight. The flight back to Hartford was as beautiful as the flight down - mission completed, passenger happy, and the JFK tower still probably wondering what they had approved? I would like to have been in the tower and listened to the conversation the controllers had among themselves after approving those two VFR operations while the field was zero-zero in heavy fog. My log book simply showed a flight to and from IDL. Can you imagine trying to do that today at JFK?"
Addendum No. 5.....The Lambert family of Louisiana discovers family records of service on the USS Lexington in 1937 and USS Maryland in 1941, A fragment of a char from USS Lexington's search adds to the memorabilia of an epic event, the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and her navigaor, and their Lickheed aircraft..
Let me first offer a short background on a family whose son, George "Beppo" Lambert appears in my first book, "Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945." George Lambert was in the second of the three Lambert families sired by Tom Lambert of Louisiana. George graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1935 where he won national fame as a member of one of the Academy's greatest football teams; Lambert's team mates included 'Buzz' Borries and 'Slade' Cutter.
I first met Lt. George Lambert, USN, in July 1942, when he was assigned as my mentor on the USS Edison, DD-439, a Livermore class destroyer, commissioned early in 1941. George was Gunnery Officer of the Edison.
Lieutenant George Lambert had fully mastered Edison's all-new destroyer armament and had already passed it along to "Jake" Boyd, Class of '38, who was in turn passing it along to Dick Hofer, '42, one Naval Academy class ahead of my '43 class. Rapid progress was a necessity, because war was taking its toll of officers, and new construction was gobbling up the remaining ones. Lambert departed when I had been on board less than six months. He was ordered, now a Lieutenant Commander USN, to the destroyer USS Buck (DD-420) as her Executive Officer. It was on that ship in October 1943, hit and sunk by a submarine-fired torpedo off Salerno, Italy, that George Lambert was lost in the explosion and rapid sinking. He is shown in a photo in my book, on the USS Buck's bridge, shortly before she was lost.
There were four children from Tom Lambert's marriage to his first wife, four (all boys) from his second marriage, and eight from his third marriage. The Dean Lambert who became my Lambert contact when I covered the loss of the Buck in my first book, came from the third family. Dean was the Police Chief of Many, Louisiana, when we began our e-mail friendship about 1999. Dean is now helping once again to revisit that second family of Lamberts. Dean supplies a quote, originating in October of 2009, from the British Daily Mail's story of a British father who sired twin children at the age of 71. "The world's oldest father of twins is recorded as being Tom Lambert of Louisiana who was 78 when his children were born in March 1948." Dean is one of those twins.
Dean Lambert has made a new (March 2010) discovery in papers left behind by his half-brother, George. One of George's three full brothers was Phillip H. Lambert, a career enlistee in the Navy in 1929 at age 17; he was aboard the battleship USS Maryland when that ship was tied up at the dock at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Dean sends along excerpts from an interview Phillip gave the Sabine Index, a Louisiana paper. This interview reveals some of the Navy life of Phillip Lambert, who left us a hand-drawn chart, representing a unique historical artifact on still another event of world interest. Some interview excerpts:
On December 21, 1929, (Phillip) Lambert began an active duty Navy career as a repairman on the (Navy repair ship) USS Medusa in San Pedro, California. He served on the Medusa until June 30, 1932 when he was transferred to the USS Lexington, an aircraft carrier. Lambert served on her until March 31, 1938, when he was transferred to the USS Maryland. Another of Phillip's full brothers was James Clifford Lambert, the Aircraft Radio-man on the USS Maryland and that is why he (Phillip) requested transfer to the Maryland. (Phillip used U.S.S. in his writings, common at the time)
While serving on the USS Maryland, on Dec. 7, 1941, Phillip Lambert recalls explosions and confusion that ripped the Sunday morning peace at Pearl Harbor. "I was sorting out my laundry, when all at once I heard (felt) concussions and explosions going off somewhere. All of a sudden, someone said the Japanese are bombing Ford Island. I could feel the concussion from the torpedoes hitting the USS Oklahoma, a (battle) ship tied (up) next to us," Lambert recalls.
"I looked out the port hole and could see the Japanese planes machine-gunning houses on Ford Island, as the USS Oklahoma had already started rolling over. We were throwing out life-lines and ropes to the survivors on the USS Oklahoma. The entire bombing lasted approximately an hour and a half. There was a lot of confusion naturally, on something like this." (That "confusion" earned Phillip Lambert a Silver Star medal)
(Phillip) Lambert added, "We were lucky we didn't get much damage. Our ship was hit twice in the bow. It was the way the Japanese dropped their torpedoes that kept us from receiving more damage than we did. We were in the right position at the right time. Out of the 1,500 men on the USS Maryland, we sustained only two deaths." Lambert remarked, "It is no fun when someone is shooting at you."
"We then moved to Washington's Navy Yard near Seattle, along with the other damaged ships, for an over-haul, new anti-aircraft guns and shells. We then returned to the South Pacific to the New Hebrides Islands, where we were engaged in several battles sinking many Japanese ships."
Phillip Lambert continued his naval career up until his retirement as Chief Water Tender (CWT), Nov. 15, 1948. He was then put on a retainer list for ten years. In April 1951, Lambert was called to serve his country once more in the Korean War, where he served three years as a trained Naval Recruiter in Bainbridge, Maryland.
When asked why he joined the Navy and if he would do it again, Lambert had this to say, "When I joined at the age of 17, the depression was going on. Good people were looking for jobs everywhere and none to be found. With my parent's signature, I enlisted. It was the only thing to do." In answer to the second question, Lambert said, "If I was 18, I would gladly serve my country again!"
From the interview above, note Phillip Lambert's six-year tour of duty, 1932-38, aboard the USS Lexington. The "Lex" was laid down, along with her sister ship, the USS Saratoga, as a battle cruiser. In mid-construction, the 5-5-3 Treaty was signed with Britain and Japan, and these two hulls would put the U.S. over the treaty limits agreed to for that class of capital ships. So the U.S. converted the two unfinished hulls to aircraft carriers, an isolated twist of good fortune in the many disarmament efforts agreed to by the U.S. What Dean Lambert discovered in George Lambert's papers, in addition to the foregoing newspaper interview given for a Pearl Harbor day observance in 1985, was a hand-drawn chart. See below.
This browned, aged chart almost certainly originated in the Lexington's Navigation Dept. "Pacific Ocean" looks official. It is intelligently detailed. Anyone aware of 20th century aviation history would take immediate notice. I would assess it as a USS Lexington sea chart fragment showing her 1937 transit, in response to orders to find a missing aircraft, the specially configured Electra 10 model, piloted by Amelia Earhart. (A Lockheed Electra 10, and Amelia, are featured, for unrelated reasons, in another of my books, "The Triumph of Instrument Flight: A Retrospective in the Century of U.S. Aviation.")
The short curved segments around Howland Island would represent Lexington's aircraft, launched for intense coverage in a perimeter around the island Earhart was attempting to reach, non-stop, from Lae, 2201 nautical miles away. (First numeral verified on original.) Phillip hand-drew the profile, unmistakably the Lexington. To put dates in context, Amelia's takeoff from Lae was 2 July E. Long.; that would be 1 July in West Longitude.
For the apparent double exposure, Dean Lambert suggests: "The only thing I can imagine is that when it was put into the scrap book, after years and years it bled over to an adjoining page, it was removed briefly and put back, and then it bled back onto the original. A little weird, but I cannot imagine anything else. This map has been stuck in this old scrapbook for over 70 years, so a lot of chemical reactions could have occurred."
Booknotes:: The 4th Edition of Joining the War at Sea 1939-1945, with a new ISBN 0966625153, came out January 1, 2009, and is the currently available edition of this book; it is priced the same, but has 44 more pages than the Third Edition. These pages comprise an original Index created by Dutch scholar, Pieter Graf, complete with corrected European/North African names and their spellings.