20 June 1937

Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, being serviced at Rangoo, British Burma, 19 June 1937.
Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, being serviced at Rangoon, British Burma, 19 June 1937. (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)

20 June 1937: Leg 22. Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan fly the Electra from Rangoon, British Burma, to Bangkok, Siam, and then on to Singapore, Straits Settlements.

“Moist clouds were our companions as we left Rangoon the next morning, bound for Bangkok, Siam. First, we crossed the upper reaches of the Gulf of Martaban, flying over Moulmein. . . A great range of mountains extends north and south along the western border of Siam, separating it from the long arm of Burma that reaches down into the Malay Peninsula. Through squally weather we climbed to 8,000 feet and more, topping this mountain barrier. On its eastern flanks the clouds broke and there stretched before us a dark green forest splashed with patches of bright color, cheerful even in the eyes of a pilot who recognized in all the limitless view no landing place. The country fell away gradually to the east, the hills flattening out into heavy jungle. Then we crossed the Mei Khlaung River, with little villages scattered along its banks, the wide expanses of irrigated land burdened with rice crops.

“Bangkok itself lies in a vast plain with mountains in the distant background. . . After refueling at Bangkok (the airport was one of the best we encountered) we started for Singapore, more than 900 miles away. . . Though we did not sight them, there were two transport planes that day on the same route which we flew. The Imperial Airways machine left Rangoon first and the K.L.M. Douglas at daybreak. Our Wasp-motored Lockheed left fifteen minutes later. All stopped at Bangkok, then followed different courses to Singapore. We arrived there first, at 5:25 P.M. local time, because we cut straight and did not stop along the way.”

—Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart wrote beautifully. Her notes are full of color and texture. She describes the land and the sea and the sky, the towns and cities and the people. Her descriptions bring all of these to life.

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, being serviced at Singapore, Straits Settlements, 20 June 1937. (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)
Great Circle route, Rangoon, Burma, to Bangkok, Siam, 330 nautical miles (379 statute miles/611 kilometers); and then to Singapore, Straits Settlements, 761 nautical miles (875 statute miles/1,409 kilometers) (Great Circle Mapper)

© 2019, Bryan R. Swopes

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5 thoughts on “20 June 1937

  1. Hi Bryan,

    I enjoy this series immensely! You are correct, she does write beautifully. I’ve been searching but haven’t found, where may I find these writings, is there a book you can reference for me to get? Appreciate any advice.

    Thank you for an awesome website!

    1. She sent letters to newspapers from each point along the trip. It was one of the ways the expedition was paid for. Earhart wrote three books: 20 Hrs., 40 Min, about her transatlantic flight in 1928; The Fun of It, and writings from her final flight collected in Last Flight. All are available on Amazon in both Hardcover and paperback. TFoI is available in a hardcover 1st printing.

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