Sunday, July 1, 2012

Amelia Is Still On The Ground

On this date seventy-five years ago Amelia is still on the ground in Lae, New Guiena.  Amelia is anxious to get going and in But This Is Different Fred is drinking.  In her own words: “July 1st. ‘Denmark’s a prison,’ and Lae, attractive and unusual as it is, appears to two flyers just as confining, as the Electra is poised for our longest hop, the 2,556 miles to Howland Island in mid-Pacific. The monoplane is weighted with gasoline and oil to capacity. However, a wind blowing the wrong way and threatening clouds conspired to keep her on the ground today. In addition, Fred Noonan has been unable, because of radio difficulties, to set his chronometers. Any lack of knowledge of their fastness and slowness would defeat the accuracy of celestial navigation. Howland is such a small spot in the Pacific that every aid to locating it must be available. Fred and I have worked very hard in the last two days repacking the plane and eliminating everything unessential. We have even discarded as much personal property as we can decently get along without and henceforth propose to travel lighter than ever before. All Fred has is a small tin case which he picked up in Africa. I noted it still rattles, so it cannot be packed very full. Despite our restlessness and disappointment in not getting off this morning, we still retained enough enthusiasm to do some tame exploring of the near-by country.” —Amelia Earhart

The photograph taken July 1, 1937, of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan appeared in the Wichita Eagle with the caption Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan are delayed another day at Lae, Territory of New Guniea.

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