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Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Press Release on the First Trans-Atlantic Flight




Information for the Press regarding plans for Trans-Atlantic Flight of the U. S. Navy Seaplanes.


     Three NC type seaplanes, viz: NC-1, NC-3, NC-4, will be used in the Trans-Atlantic Flight. These seaplanes are each 126 feet in span, and are each equipped with four High Compression Liberty Engines. The standard crew will consist of five, viz: One Commanding Officer who will be the Navigator, two pilots, one radio operator, and one engineer. An additional member will be carried in the crew of each seaplane as far as Newfoundland, in order that minor mechanical difficulties which might occur in the first part of the trip could be quickly remedied, and further, to provide a reserve of personnel in case of any sickness among the regular crews, while waiting in Newfoundland for the start.

     The crews will be as follows:


Commanding Officer       Commander J. H. Towers, U. S. N.

Pilot                   Commander H. C. Richardson, Construction Corps, U. S. N.

Pilot                   Lieutenant D. H. McCullough, U. S. N. R. F.

Radio Operator           Lieutenant Commander R. A. Lavender, U. S. N.

Engineer                Machinist L. R. Moore, U. S. N.

Reserve Pilot Engineer   Lieutenant (j. g.) B. Rhodes, U. S. N.


Commanding Officer       Lieutenant Commander A. C. Read, U. S. N.

Pilot                   Lieutenant E. F. Stone, U. S. C. G.

Pilot                   Lieutenant (j. g.) W. Hinton, U. S. N.

Radio Operator           Ensign H. C. Rodd, U. S. N. R. F.

Engineer                Chief Special Mechanic E. H. Howard, U. S. N.

Reserve Pilot Engineer   Lieutenant J. L. Breese, U. S. N. R. F.


Commanding Officer       Lieutenant Commander P. N. L. Bellinger, U.S.N.

Pilot                   Lieutenant Commander M. A. Mitscher, U. S. N.

Pilot                   Lieutenant L. T. Barin, U. S. N. R. F.

Radio Operator           Lieutenant (j. g.) H. Sadenwater, U. S. N. R. F.

Engineer                Chief Machinist Mate C. I. Kesler, U. S. N.

Reserve Pilot Engineer   Machinist R. Christensen, U. S. N.

     Lieutenant Commander R. E. Byrd, U. S. N. will go in Division Commander’s Seaplane as far as Newfoundland in connection with special Navigational experiments, Chief Machinist’s Mate E. S. Rhodes will be an extra member of crew of one of the other seaplanes as far as Newfoundland.


     Following is scheduled route of NC Seaplane Division One:

     Naval Air Station, Rockaway, to Halifax, Nova Scotia, distance, 540 nautical miles.

     Halifax to Trepassy, Newfoundland, distance, 460 nautical miles.

     Trepassy, Newfoundland to Horta Island of Fayal, Azores, distance, 1200 nautical miles. If conditions are favorable seaplanes will continue to Punta Del Gado, Island of San Miguel, Azores, and stop there instead of at Horta. Distance from Horta to Punto Del Gado, 150 nautical miles. Total distance from Trepassy to Punto Del Gado, 1350 nautical miles.

     Punta Del Gado to Lisbon, Portugal, distance 800 nautical miles.

     The actual Trans-Atlantic Flight will be regarded as from Trepassy, Newfoundland to Lisbon, Portugal. No effort for undue haste will be made in getting to Newfoundland, this part of the trip being regarded as in the nature of trail [i.e., trial] flights.

     From Lisbon it is expected to proceed to Plymouth, England, distance, 775 nautical miles.

     The average speed of the seaplanes, disregarding wind, will be about 65 nautical miles per hour.

     Arrangements have been made to have base ships with necessary gasoline, oil, etc., at the various ports named above, and these ships have special equipment in order that re-fueling can be accomplished quickly.

NOTE: A nautical mile is 1.15 statute or land miles. . . .

Source Note: D, DNA, RG 45, Entry 520.

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