19 June 1937

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, being serviced at Rangoon, Burma. (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)

19 June 1937: Leg 21, Akyab to Rangoon, Burma.

“The next day, June 19, we started again from Akyab, with the hope of getting through to Bangkok, Siam, monsoons permitting. But they did not permit, so the flight ended at Rangoon, only 400 miles away. This short hop produced even worse weather than that which turned us back on the previous day. Then we had tried unsuccessfully to sneak underneath the monsoon. Those tactics again failing, this time we pulled up to 8,000 feet to be sure of missing the mountain ridges, and barged through. After two hours of flying blind in soupy atmosphere we let down and the bright green plains beside the Irrawaddy River smiled up at us. Then we dodged about for fifty miles. . .

“The first sight at Rangoon was the sun touching the Shwe Dagon Pagoda. This great structure stands on a considerable prominence and could be seen for miles while the city was still but a shadow on the horizon, its covering of pure gold a burnished beacon for wayfarers of the air. Shortly after our landing, rain poured down so heavily that it was hazardous to take off for Bankok, so we decided to stay where we were for a time at least.” —Amelia Earhart

The Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar. (Unattributed)
The Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon, Myanmar. (Unattributed)

© 2016, Bryan R. Swopes

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