Government Records

Jim Pitts, state government records archivist (and retired U.S. Army officer), brings us this post on the first flight around the world in 1924. Jeff Giambrone assisted with research for the article.

Ninety years ago eight intrepid U.S. Army aviators began the first successful around the world flight. They left Santa Monica, California, on April 4, 1924, enroute to Seattle, Washington, the official starting point. One of those eight airmen was Staff Sergeant Henry Herbert (“Hank”) Ogden from Wilkinson County, Mississippi. He was born in 1900, the fourth of seven children of Edwin D. Ogden and Mary Catherine Ferguson. By 1920, he was in the Army and stationed at Wright Field, Montgomery, Alabama, as an aviation repair sergeant.

Henry Ogden, passport photo (National Archives special passport applications files via Ancestry.com)

Henry Ogden, passport photo (National Archives special passport applications files via Ancestry.com)

 

Chosen to participate in the 1924 flight, Ogden was assigned as co-pilot and flight mechanic for aircraft number 3, christened Boston, piloted by Lieutenant Leigh Wade. The other three aircraft in the flight were Seattle (number 1, Major Frederick Martin and Staff Sergeant Alva Harvey), Chicago (number 2, Lieutenants Lowell Smith and Leslie Arnold), and New Orleans (number 4, Lieutenants Erik Nelson and John Harding, Jr.).

Flight crew. Ogden is second from left and his pilot, Wade, is fourth from left (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)

Flight crew. Ogden is second from left and his pilot, Wade, is fourth from left (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum)

The flight left Sand Point, near Seattle, on April 6, 1924, heading west to circumnavigate the globe. After losing Chicago in a crash in Alaska, the other three aircraft continued through Asia, the Middle East, and Europe, arriving in the Orkney Islands at Scapa Flow, the British Royal Navy’s wartime base in late July. There they waited for improved weather before they tackled the North Atlantic crossing via Iceland and Greenland to Nova Scotia.

The flight resumed in early August but Boston (Ogden’s plane) developed engine oil problems and was forced to land at sea. U.S. Navy ships stationed along the flight path tried to assist Boston but were unsuccessful. After sustaining damage to the left pontoon, Boston took on too much water and was sunk to prevent a menace to shipping. Lieutenant Wade and Staff Sergeant Ogden were taken to Iceland and then to Nova Scotia. In the meantime, the Chicago and the New Orleans had continued the flight.

Boston alongside USS Billingsley (Aviation Research Group Orkney and Shetland website)

Boston alongside USS Billingsley (Aviation Research Group Orkney and Shetland website)

The original prototype aircraft was now christened Boston II and was flown to Nova Scotia to join Wade, Ogden, and the other two aircraft. The three planes then flew via Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and fourteen other U.S. cities before completing the flight back in Seattle on September 28, 1924, 175 days later. They had covered 27,550 miles (44,337 kilometers) and made 74 stops. The eight crewmen all received the Distinguished Service Medal, the officers were promoted, and Sergeants Ogden and Harvey were appointed Second Lieutenants in the Regular Army.

Ogden’s DSM citation record (Series 2486, MDAH)

Ogden’s DSM citation record (Series 2486, MDAH)

In 1926, Ogden retired from the Army and continued working in the aviation field, first with the Jacob Kreutzer Aircraft Company. With his brother Perry, Ogden formed the Ogden Aeronautical Company where they developed and produced their own tri-motor light passenger airplane. He also created the Ogden Shuttle Airlines, which operated for a short time in Southern California, Nevada, Arizona, and New Mexico. Ogden and Wade briefly teamed up again in 1926 for an attempt to fly to the North Pole as one of five separate teams that included those of Richard Byrd and Roald Amundsen. In December 1928, he married Ulela Francis Snook in Los Angeles. Ogden continued his aviation career with the Lockheed Aircraft Company and managed the Lockheed aircraft reassembly facility in England during World War Two. Ogden remained with Lockheed as vice president in charge of aircraft servicing until his retirement in 1965. He died in California in 1986.

Ogden in cockpit at Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ (Davis-Monthan Airfield website)

Ogden in cockpit at Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ (Davis-Monthan Airfield website)

Reference Links:

Pioneers of Flight gallery (Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum):  http://airandspace.si.edu/exhibitions/pioneers-of-flight/online/military05.cfm

U.S. Air Force Museum fact sheets:  http://www.nationalmuseum.af.mil/factsheets/factsheet.asp?id=751

Aviation Research Group Orkney and Shetland:  http://www.crashsiteorkney.com/page11.htm

Davis-Monthan Airfield:  http://www.dmairfield.org/Collections/Cosgrove%20Collection/World%20Flight/index.html

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Franklin County, 1810, page 4 (cropped). Call number: Series 486 (MDAH)

Franklin County, 1810, page 4 (cropped). Call number: Series 486 (MDAH)

Series 486 – Censuses, 1801-1816 consists of population censuses and census abstracts taken of counties in the Mississippi Territory. Generally, the census lists heads of families by name with members of the household cited by age, race (and if black, whether slave or free), and gender. Abstracts of censuses give totals only for age, race and gender.

The records also include an 1809 abstract for manufacturing establishments and products. There is a cover letter from W. E. Boyd that accompanied an unidentified census and an 1810 circular with instructions for taking the census.

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List of Negroes employed on fortifications near Columbus, Miss., 1863, page one. Series 608 (MDAH)

List of Negroes employed on fortifications near Columbus, Miss., 1863, page one. Series 608 (MDAH)

A “List of Negroes employed on fortifications near Columbus, Miss., 1863″ (part of Series 608: Miscellaneous Civil War Documents) was recently digitized. It is a twelve-page list of slaves impressed to work on the fortifications near Columbus, Mississippi. The list is from Headquarters, 4th Brigade, Miss. State Troops. It gives the owner’s name of each slave and the slave’s name, age, complexion, and height. Implements, if any, brought by each slave are also listed.

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List of Mississippi Volunteers, 1898. Series 221 (MDAH)

List of Mississippi Volunteers, 1898. Series 221 (MDAH)

Another government records collection has been digitized. Series 221: List of Mississippi Volunteers consists of two broadsides listing officers and enlisted men of the 1st and 2nd Mississippi Volunteer Infantry Regiments, Spanish-American War. The 1st Regiment was mustered at Jackson on May 26, 1898, and the 2nd Regiment was mustered at Jackson on June 9, 1898. Arrangement of names on each broadside is by company.

Additionally, the statement of service records for the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Mississippi Volunteer Regiments are held at MDAH, in Series 146, Spanish-American War Service Record Extracts.

 

 

"Mare with Five Off Springs (at Camp*B)," Series 1695, item 16 (MDAH)

“Mare with Five Off Springs (at Camp*B),” Series 1695, item 16 (MDAH)

Series 1695: Parchman Photograph Booklet was recently digitized. The photographs of Parchman State Penitentiary were  taken during the administration of Superintendent C. E. Breazeale and bound in a loose-leaf booklet. The booklet was prepared under the supervision of Sgt. P. O. Miller, Identification Officer, to document improvements made on the buildings and grounds of the penitentiary’s agricultural facilities. Photographs show livestock, penitentiary officials, and inmates.