New York to Nome via Wrangell in 1920

 

In 1920, St. Clair Streett was awarded the Mackay Trophy and the Distinguished Flying Cross for leading a squadron of U.S. airmen on a pioneering air voyage from New York City to Nome, Alaska and back. Streett wrote of his squadron's difficulties in an article for National Geographic. Streett assisted Mitchell during the famous bombing demonstration against battleships. After participating in several air races, he made an exploratory flight to extreme altitude during which he experienced frozen flight controls, and then wrote a story about the adventure for Popular Science.

In 1920, St. Clair Streett was awarded the Mackay Trophy and the Distinguished Flying Cross for leading a squadron of U.S. airmen on a pioneering air voyage from New York City to Nome, Alaska and back. Streett wrote of his squadron’s difficulties in an article for National Geographic. Streett assisted Mitchell during the famous bombing demonstration against battleships. After participating in several air races, he made an exploratory flight to extreme altitude during which he experienced frozen flight controls, and then wrote a story about the adventure for Popular Science.

August 1920 brought excitement for Wrangellites as they participated in the history-making effort of four planes and eight aviators who few from New York to Nome.

The planes didn’t actually stop in Wrangell. Instead, lunches were packed and residents boarded vessel to Sergief Island, where the transcontinental flight stopped for refueling.

The purpose of the 4,500 mile flight was to prove commercial airlines could function practically in Alaska.  Originators of the idea hoped the flight would result in establisment of mail routes by air in Alaska.

Men in the U.S. Army Air Service were selected for their sense of adventure and flying ability.  De Haviland 4-B’s – similar those used in World War I – were equipped with 400-horseower Liberty motors.

Mechanics flew along with the pilots on the New York to Nome flight.  Organizers said they understood the success of the flight would depend on the men being able to make repairs enroute.

Rain, fog, mechanical repairs, broken axles, damaged props and minor accidents confronted the four planes as the pilots maneuvered them toward Nome…

New York to Nome via Wrangell in 1920  by Patricia Neal

It was big news in 1920!

Four Fliers off on Alaska Flight

Ready for Alaska Flight

Army Fliers to Try 8,690-Mile Air Trip

Airplane Squadron welcomed in Alaska

New Era Opens in History of Our Northland — Great Rejoicing in Wrangell

Trailblazing Plane on Way to New York


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