This Day in History, September 28, 2022 – “The U.S. Army Air Service is First in the World”

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It was just 98 years ago today, September 28, 1924, when the very first flight circumnavigated the globe. Consisting of four American-made Douglas World Cruisers, these planes, Seattle, Chicago, Boston and New Orleans, all named with water from their respective cities, made the flight with crew members Major Frederick L. Martin, SSgt. Alva L. Harvey in Seattle, Lt. Lowell H. Smith and 1st Lt. Leslie P. Arnold in Chicago, 1st Lt. Leigh P. Wade and SSgt. Henry H. Ogden in Boston, Lt. Erik H. Nelson and Lt. John Harding Jr. in New Orleans.

this day in history marks september 28

Douglas World Cruisers Chicago. Image courtesy of Wikicommons, public domain.

The group started in Sand Point, Washington, and began their flight on April 6, flying to Alaska and generally staying in the Northern Hemisphere, heading west. The planes made several changes, from wheels to floats, and made several adjustments for better fuel mileage whenever they could manage it. Although no one died during the trip, Seattle and Boston never made the full trip, but it was Chicago, piloted by Lt. Lowell H. Smith, with New Orleans as wingman that eventually, on this date, reached Seattle, Washington, after covering more than 26,345 miles in just 175 days, and it all happened 98 years ago, today.

What happened yesterday, September 27?


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