23 May 1937

Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra 10E NR16020 is refueled at Miami, Florida, 1 June 1937
Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020, is refueled at Miami, Florida.

23 May 1937: Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, her husband, George Palmer Putnam, and aircraft mechanic Ruckins D. “Bo” McKinney, arrive at Miami, Florida, aboard her Lockheed Electra 10E Special, NR16020. This completed the fourth leg of her second attempt to fly around the world.

“. . . on Sunday morning, May 23, headed on southeastward for Miami. From New Orleans we laid a straight course across the north-easterly “corner” of the Gulf of Mexico to Tampa, a matter of about 400 miles. It was Bo’s first considerable over-water flying and I am not sure he was very enthusiastic about it. That Sunday afternoon we reached Miami, and dug in for a week of final preparation, with the generous aid of Pan American personnel.”

Amelia Earhart

Great Circle courses from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Tampa, Florida, 413 nautical miles, then on to Miami, for a total of 591 nautical miles (680 statute miles/1,094 kilometers). (Great Circle Mapper)

© 2019, Bryan R. Swopes

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5 thoughts on “23 May 1937

  1. Amelia Earhart was a member of the 99’s and Zonta International. During the month of January, Zontians all over the world celebrate Amelia Earhart month. This past January, the Zonta Club of Houston had the honor of Ms. Becky Nickell, President of the Houston Chapter of the 99’s as program speaker. She shared how attending a Zonta meeting, inspired her to finish and complete her Pilot’s license. http://www.zontahouston.org and http://www.zonta.org

  2. Amelia Earhart is someone I really look up to as a role model, it is such a pity that they are unable to locate her after so many years. She motivates me to pursue my aviation dream, despite not being able to become a pilot or enter the Air Force due to height limits, I hope to be able to pursue corporate aviation in the near future and be a part of this amazing industry.

    1. Thank you, Mandy. Amelia Earhart is probably the most widely known “aviatrix,” but there are many other women whose contributions to aviation were far greater. Amy Johnson has to top the list, in my opinion. A qualified pilot, navigator and aircraft mechanic, she flew across the world in her tiny Gipsy Moth. Jackie Cochran was a test pilot who set more world records for speed, distance and altitude than any other pilot. She funded the famed Lovelace Clinic in its investigation of aviation physiology. She founded and trained the WASPs of World War II. Her friend and rival, Jacqueline Marie-Thérèse Suzanne Douet Auriol, a test pilot for the French aircraft manufacturer Dassault, was the first woman to exceed Mach 2. Turi Widerøe, who flew for the Scandinavian Airlines System, was the first woman pilot to fly for an airline. Another favorite, more recent, is Eileen Marie Collins, pilot of two space shuttle missions and commander of two more. Brigadier General Jeannie Leavitt was the first female fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force. She presently commands the 57th Wing at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. So, Mandy, all of these women have laid the ground work for your pursuit of an aviation career. Once a rarity, women are now in the mainstream of aviation. So, best wishes for your pursuit of a career in the sky. Knowledge is the key. Learn everything that you can. The effort will be worth it. — Bryan

  3. A slight nit to pick. Amelia departed from KNEW, New Orleans Lakefront Airport, not KMSY. At the time, Lakefront was basically brand new and state of the art for its day. Post Hurricane Katrina, the original terminal was extensively renovated and restored to the way it appeared when it first opened in the early 1930’s. It’s a beautiful art-deco masterpiece and is one of the few remaining operational terminals like it in the U.S. Another little tid-bit of Earhart’s connection to New Orleans is that Fred Noonan lived in the area for a brief period of time.

    1. Thank you, Dan. I had checked a number of contemporary newspaper articles to find the name of the airport, but none specified which one. I have corrected the article to show the new information.

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