1 July 1937

Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan with Mr. Jacobs, at Lae, Territory of New Guinea. (Wichita Eagle)

1 July 1937:  Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan are delayed another day at Lae, Territory of New Guniea.

“July 1st. ‘Denmark’s a prison,’ and Lae, attractive and unusual as it is, appears to two flyers just as confining, as the Electra is poised for our longest hop, the 2,556 miles to Howland Island in mid-Pacific. The monoplane is weighted with gasoline and oil to capacity. However, a wind blowing the wrong way and threatening clouds conspired to keep her on the ground today. In addition, Fred Noonan has been unable, because of radio difficulties, to set his chronometers. Any lack of knowledge of their fastness and slowness would defeat the accuracy of celestial navigation. Howland is such a small spot in the Pacific that every aid to locating it must be available. Fred and I have worked very hard in the last two days repacking the plane and eliminating everything unessential. We have even discarded as much personal property as we can decently get along without and henceforth propose to travel lighter than ever before. All Fred has is a small tin case which he picked up in Africa. I noted it still rattles, so it cannot be packed very full. Despite our restlessness and disappointment in not getting off this morning, we still retained enough enthusiasm to do some tame exploring of the near-by country.”

—Amelia Earhart

© 2015, Bryan R. Swopes

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5 thoughts on “1 July 1937

  1. While I never dwelt on the Earhart flight, I’m most reminded of the quote that I still have in my home:
    “Aviation in itself is not inherently dangerous. But to an even greater degree than the sea, it is terribly unforgiving of any carelessness, incapacity or neglect.
    — Captain A. G. Lamplugh, British Aviation Insurance Group, London. c. early 1930’s.”

    1. How very true, Kevin. What an excellent statement! We shall have to have a “quotation of the day.” 🙂

      The lack of advance planning in A.E.’s 1937 flight is just amazing. So many things “neglected.”

      Thank you, Kevin. That is definitely a quotation worth remembering.

  2. Amelia and Fred becoming legends is not adequate compensation for the planning shortfalls of this effort.

  3. To your comment regarding the lack of advance planning…add to that list that neither she nor Fred were adept with radio, compounded even further by the lack of operating protocols between them and the CG ships on station…given the absolute necessity of locating Howland it seems inconceivable there’d been no rehearsal. That said, my understanding is that she was under intense pressure to meet GP Putnam’s self imposed deadlines so that her arrival back in the states would coincide with the big Sunday newspaper releases, garnering her the greatest publicity.

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