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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Official MissPres 101 Places to See Before You Die Map

Official MissPres 101 Places to See Before You Die Map (Preservation in Mississippi blog)

Black History Month

The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library is featuring local African American history in Ferbruary on its “Local History Announcements” blog.

The National Archives has photographs related to the Tuskegee Airmen. Find out more in this blog post from NARAtions.

Read about the 1942 Negro League World Series and the match up of two great African American baseball players in this post from the National Museum of American History’s “O Say Can You See?” blog.

This post from the “Picture This” blog surveys civil rights era photographs in the Library of Congress collection.

The Smithsonian Collections Blog uses a photograph of composer Duke Ellington to discuss issues related archival practice and digitization.

Valentine’s Day

The National Museum of American History explores love stories in its collections in this post from the “O Say Can You See?” blog.

Explore historic Valentine’s Day cards on the “Picture This” blog of the Library of Congress.

Of Interest

Check out the “Official MissPres 101 Places to See Before You Die Map” on the Preservation in Mississippi blog.

What did Washington, D.C., look like in the 1860s? Find out in this post from the National Museum of American History’s “O Say Can You See?” blog.

Listen to audio clips from Monitor Records albums such as “Russian Cabaret” and “Vienna by Night” on the Smithsonian Collections Blog.

Fall Blog Roundup

On October 27, 2011, in Digital Archives, Photographs, by Amanda
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New Capitol dome. Call Number: Series 317, item 22 (MDAH Collection)

Detail of New Capitol dome. Call Number: Series 317, item 22 (MDAH Collection)

The bloggers at the Mississippi Library Commission have been busy:

The sunken Confederate ship Georgiana and the shipwrecks it caused are the subject of this interesting post on the South Carolina Department of Archives and History’s “Palmetto Past” blog.

From “NARAtions,” the blog of the National Archives and Records Administration:

The bloggers at Preservation in Mississippi take an in-depth look at the domes of the Mississippi and Arkansas state capitols and solve the mystery of their designer’s identity in the Tale of Two Domes series.

The new online catalog system at MDAH receives a nod in the blog of the Council of State Archivists.

Learn how to date historical photographs in this post from the Library of Congress “Picture This” blog.

“Ever wonder what lookouts ate during their, well, lookouts?” The National Archives posed this question on their Facebook page and it is answered in this blog post from “Prologue: Pieces of History.

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Aviation in Mississippi: Apollo 13 Artifacts

On July 20, 2011, in Artifacts, by Amanda
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We will be exploring Mississippi’s rich aviation history in this series. From early flight photographs to the moon landing and beyond, MDAH collections document this exciting part of our past. Special thanks to Nan Prince for writing this post.

Apollo 13 artifact from Fred Haise. Accession Number: 1972.20 (Museum Division Collection)

Apollo 13 artifact from Fred Haise. Accession Number: 1972.20 (Museum Division Collection)

This framed state flag and piece of Aquarius netting were flown aboard the troubled Apollo 13 mission to the moon. The inscription reads, “To the People of the State of Mississippi / This Mississippi flag and Aquarius netting were flown to the Moon on Apollo 13 by a fellow Mississippian. / April 11-17, 1970” and it is signed by Fred W. Haise.

Fred Haise was born in Biloxi on November 14, 1933. He graduated from Biloxi High School and received an Association of Arts Degree at Perkinston Junior College before going to the University of Oklahoma. An experienced pilot, Haise was one of sixteen men chosen to be astronauts by NASA in April 1966. He served as the Lunar Module Pilot on the Apollo 13 mission to the moon. Fifty-five hours into the flight, there was a failure of the service module cryogenic oxygen system, and Haise and his fellow crewmen converted the lunar module “Aquarius” into a lifeboat which ensured their survival and allowed them to return safely back to Earth.

Artifacts from the Museum Division collection that are not on exhibit are available for viewing by appointment only. Please contact Nan Prince, Asst. Director of Collections, by email to schedule an appointment.

We will be exploring Mississippi’s rich aviation history in this series. From early flight photographs to the moon landing and beyond, MDAH collections document this exciting part of our past.

The Dutchmen at Jackson Army Air Base. Call Number: Z/0839.001/S (MDAH Collection)

The Dutchmen at Jackson Army Air Base. Call Number: Z/0839.001/S (MDAH Collection)

The story of the Flying Dutchmen has become a kind of legend in Jackson. It doesn’t show up in most history books, but if you ask any of our older residents, chances are they’ll tell you stories about them flying under power lines and the like. But what really happened in 1942? Who were the “Flying Dutchmen” of Jackson? Much of this information can be found in the MDAH collection! Here’s the story:

Near the beginning of World War II, Hitler’s Germany overran the Netherlands, and later its colony, the Netherlands East Indies (now Indonesia) was conquered by the Japanese as they attacked southeast Asia, the Philippines, and the Indonesian archipelago. The Dutch were without a home, and more importantly for the war effort, without training bases for their armed forces. This is where Jackson, Mississippi, comes into the story. The Dutch needed a base for a flying school, and General Henry Arnold (head of the U.S. Army Air Force) obliged, choosing Jackson as the new home of the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School.

Old Terminal (c. 1936) at Hawkins Field in 2008

Old Terminal (c. 1936) at Hawkins Field in 2008

The city was already home to the Jackson Army Air Base at Hawkins Field when the Dutchmen arrived in May 1942, many with their wives and children in tow. Jackson became an international city literally overnight, as the foreign-speaking Dutch and native Indonesians wandered the streets and explored their new home. They delighted in shopping and eating in restaurants, pleasures that were hard to come by in war-ravaged Europe and the Pacific.

The Dutch fliers trained here for nearly two years, and during that time formed warm attachments with the locals, who reciprocated in kind. Some of the Dutchmen married Jackson girls and settled down in Mississippi after the war. Over thirty Dutchmen who were killed in training accidents are buried at Cedarlawn Cemetery in Jackson. Several of airmen and one widow have been buried there in more recent years.

Memorial Day ceremony at Cedarlawn Cemetery in 2009

Memorial Day ceremony at Cedarlawn Cemetery in 2009

The monument at the Dutch plot reads: Voor Hen Die Vielen (For Those Who Fell) and lists the fliers killed in training accidents.

Their story has been somewhat forgotten in the annals of Mississippi history, but it is one of Jackson’s hidden treasures, documented here at the archives.

"Dutchman Row" street sign near Hawkins Field

“Dutchman Row” street sign near Hawkins Field

Sources:

Barber (Bette E.) Photograph Collection. MDAH call number Z/0839.001/S.

The Clarion Ledger, 1942-44. On file at MDAH.

“Dutch in Jackson,” subject file, MDAH.

Jackson Army Air Base News, 1942-1944. On file at MDAH.

Lutgert, W.H., and R. de Winter. Voor Hen die Vielen. The Hague, Holland: Historical Section of the Netherlands Air Staff, 1992. MDAH call number 949.2/L973v/1992.

“Netherlands Flying School,” subject file, MDAH.

Remous: Organ of the Royal Netherlands Military Flying School. March-December 1943. MDAH call number OS/949.2/R81r/D.

Stubbs, Ben. The Dutch Fliers. Interview with Fred Streuding on January 17, 2000. MDAH call number 949.2/S932d/2000.

Van der Laan, 1st Lt. R., ed. Royal Netherlands Military Flying School in United States of
America
. New York: E.W. Smith and Company, 1943. MDAH call number 949.2/R81.

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