21 June 1937

Amelia Earhart climbs out of the cockpit of her Lockheed Electra at Bandoeng, Java, Dutch East Indies, 21 June 1937. (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)

21 June 1937: Leg 23. Singapore, Straits Settlements to Bandoeng, Java, Dutch East Indies, 538 nautical miles (619 statute miles/997 kilometers).

“From Singapore early in the morning, we headed for Java. Our course first lay over the open sea, then along the westerly shores of Sumatra, finally cutting deep across its southeast portion. In the first hour of flying we crossed the equator for the third time in our air voyage and definitely passed ‘down under’ into the nether world of Australasia. . .

“The landscapes of the southern hemisphere were beautiful to look upon. . . countless tiny islands, glowing emeralds in settings of turquoise. . . narrow ribbons of beach, separating the deeper green of their verdure from the exquisite turquoise tones that mark the surrounding shallow water, which in turn merge into darker blue as the waters deepen. . .

“After my plane had been comfortably put in its hangar and K.N.I.L.M. (a local organization, sister company to Netherlands Airline, famed K.L.M.) mechanics had begun their inspection.”

Amelia Earhart

Steel drums of aviation gasoline pre-positioned for Amelia Earhart at Bandoeng, Java, Dutch East Indies. (Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections)
Great Circle route between Singapore, Straits Settlements, and Bandoeng, Java, Dutch East Indies, 538 nautical miles (619 statute miles/997 kilometers). Great Circle Mapper)

© 2019, Bryan R. Swopes

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About Bryan Swopes

Bryan R. Swopes grew up in Southern California in the 1950s–60s, near the center of America's aerospace industry. He has had a life-long interest in aviation and space flight. Bryan is a retired commercial helicopter pilot and flight instructor.

7 thoughts on “21 June 1937

  1. Just to be correct, the correct name of the USAF base in the Marianas on Guam is Andersen AFB, not Anderson AFB.

  2. I really enjoy your blog and look forward to it every day. The series on Amelia Earhart is interesting not only for her flying and story telling, but also for the logistical arrangements that had to be made to enable her flights. It must have been a tremendous cost and effort to find adequate repair and inspection facilities in obscure locales and then pre-position aviation gasoline and other supplies in coordination with her arrival. And to do this in 1937 when communication and transportation infrastructure could vary greatly from place to place.

    1. Thank you, Tony. Yes, I agree. It is an interesting story. I wish that the final outcome had been different. . . I really have to recommend Ric Gillespie’s FINDING AMELIA (2006, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, U.S.A.) The book included a DVD with more than 5,000 documents supporting his research.

  3. Thank you for sharing this information on her around the world flight.
    Yes it would have been a lot better if the ending was different. With all her support along the way why wasn’t there more Naval ships along her last leg to that tiny island ? And why didn’t they recharge the batteries for the directional finder ? They had plenty of time to recharge them.

    1. TDiA questions why the U.S. Navy should have positioned ships along her route. There was no government interest in her purely civilian undertaking.

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