First Transatlantic Flight 1919

//First Transatlantic Flight 1919

First Transatlantic Flight 1919

Inducted in 1979

Lieutenant Commander Albert Read, US Navy

Lieutenant James Breese, US Navy

Ensign Herbert Rodd, US Navy

Lieutenant Elmer Stone, US Coast Guard

Lieutenant Walter Hinton, US Navy

Chief Mechanic’s Mate Eugene Rhoads, US Navy

Commander Albert Read and crew, in their fuel laden Curtiss NC-4 “flying boat,” lifted off the waters of the Newfoundland coast on May 16, 1919. The NC-4 was one of three four-engine Navy planes attempting the first flight across the Atlantic Ocean.

On the first day each plane fared well. They maintained constant radio contact with Navy ships positioned at 50-mile intervals along the route. Conditions changed on the second day. Dense fog and heavy rains forced the NC-1 and NC-3 to land at sea. All of the crewmen were rescued, but the two airplanes were damaged beyond repair.

The NC-4 continued through the fog and bad weather to the Azores Island and waited for the weather to clear. The NC-4 reached Lisbon, Portugal, on May 27, completing the first crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by an airplane in 27 hours’ flight time.

This feat was accomplished a scant 19 days before two British flyers, John Alcock and Albert Brown, made the first non-stop transatlantic air flight, crossing from Newfoundland to Ireland in 16.5 hours on June 15, 1919