First Around The World Flight

Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada

“Douglas World Cruiser” - DWC
First Around The World Flight -1924

Logo painted on the side of each plane
“Air Service USA” top line
“World Flight” bottom line
Picture was 2 Flying Bald Eagles, surrounding the World Globe, all on a white cloud.

The 4 planes left Apr 6, 1924 from Sand Point WA, near Seattle WA, The Official Start of this trip

Arrived at Seattle the end of the official trip, Sept 28, 1924

Pilots were referred to as “The American Magellans of the Air”.

All members of the US Army Air Service

note- In this postcard and other online records I see they show Seattle to Seattle.
some sources say Santa Monica to Santa Monica, which turns out is wrong.

Photo above includes six of the men below*

  • Major Frederick L. Martin, Chief of the Expedition, Commander, Pilot of the “Seattle”
  • Lieutenant Lowell H. Smith- Pilot, Commander after Martin crashed, Pilot of the “Chicago”
  • Lieutenant Erik H. Nelson- Engineer Officer, Pilot of the “New Orleans” Nelson also supervised the construction of these 4 planes at the Douglas Plant.
  • Lieutenant Leigh H. Wade- Photographer of the Expedition, Pilot of the “Boston”
  • Staff Sergeant Alva L. Harvey- Flight Mechanic (Only Licensed One), flew with Martin
  • Lieutenant Leslie P. Arnold- Observer, flew with Smith (Smith had originally picked SSgt. Arthur Turner, but he got sick before the flight.)
  • Lieutenant John T. Harding Jr.- Observer, flew with Nelson
  • Staff Sergeant (became Lieutenant) Henry H. Ogden, flew with Wade.

There was a 5th plane made, as a Prototype, named “Boston II”
It flew from Santa Monica CA, to Pictou NS, Canada, landing Sept 3, and flew with the last 2 planes back to Seattle,
with the original crew, Wade and Ogden, who had crossed the Atlantic by Navy Ship.

*Lieutenant La Claire D. Schulze- Alternate Pilot and Advance Officer

Left Clover Field, at the Douglas Airship Plant, in Santa Monica, CA, USA, Mar 17, 1924
But this was NOT the official start of this trip.

Sacramento CA, USA, arrived Mar 17, left Mar 18
Eugene, Oregon, USA, arrived Mar 18, 1924, left Mar 19
Vancouver, WA, arrived Mar 19, left Mar 20
Seattle, WA, USA, arrived Mar 20, 1924, left Apr 6,1924
Changed Wheels to Pontoon Floats, on all four planes, at the Boeing Plant in Seattle,
The 4 planes left Apr 6, 1924 from Sand Point WA, near Seattle WA, at just before 9 am
Wade's plane had trouble with weight, so he left at 10:05 am
This was the Official Start of this endeavour

Flew at an altitude of 300 ft.

Planes of Nelson “New Orleans” and Wade “Boston” at Seal Cove, Prince Rupert, Apr 6, 1924

Photos above, courtesy Grant Walker, CA

Prince Rupert, BC, Canada, 3 planes arrived Apr 6, 1924, at 4:54, Wade arrived at 5:26, they all left to Sitka, Apr 10, 1924, so we know they were in Prince Rupert for 4 days.

From EXT link below we can see Major Martin had damage to his plane on landing at Seal Cove.
He damaged a landing strut.
He already had trouble at Seattle on the first day, This was the second of his troubles, which only got worse for him.

Per newspaper article Mayor S. M. Newton of Prince Rupert, and other dignitaries, and townspeople attended their arrival.
This was the only stop on Canadian Soil on the Pacific Coast.

Sitka, AK, arrived Apr 10, left Apr 13
(Cordova AK mentioned as a stop in one source)
Seward AK, arrived Apr 13, left Apr 15

Major Frederick L. “Frank” Martin and Alva L. Harvey, Disappeared on the flight in Alaska to Chignik
They crashed on a mountainside in Alaska, blinded by fog.
They took 10 days to walk out to an Alaskan village on the coast.
Other 3 planes continued on.

Chiguik, (Chignik?) AK, arrived Apr 15, 1924, without Major Martin, left Apr 19
Akutan or Dutch-Harbor, arrived Apr 19, left May 3
(Nazan location in one source)
Atka Island, largest of the Andreanof Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, May 3, 1924, left May 9
Attu Island, in the Near Island Group, Aleutian Islands, Alaska,
furthest west point in the Americas, arrived there May 9, 1924, left May 15
left Attu to Nikoloski, May 15
stayed at Chigaoff until May 16, due to weather.
left Nikoloski May 17,

Paramashiru Island, Japan (Korea one source)- arrived May 17,
received new planes here per one source, probably new engines.
flew 900 miles to Bettobu, Yotoropu, (Hitokappu) landed May 19, 1924
Arrived at Minato-Kasmiga near Tokyo, May 22, 1924
Akkeshie (Yeza) Japan, Aomori (Honshu) Japan.
Arrived at Tokyo, June 1, 1924, left June 4 per one source
June 2 left Kashimoto to Kagoshima
Nagaskai Japan
Kushimoto (Kashimoto?), Japan,
Chemulpo (Jinsen)
Tsingtau (Shantung) China
Shanghai, (Woosung) China, arrived June 5, 1924, left June 7
Amoy China, arrived June 7, left June 8
Hong Kong, China, arrived June 8, left June 10
Hanoi (Haipong), French Indo China, arrived June 10, left June 15.
Tourane, French Indo-China, arrived June 15, left June 16
Saigon, French Info-China, arrived June 16, left June 18
Kawronglsle, arrived June 18, left June 18
Bangkok, arrived June 18, left June 20
Tavoy, Siam, arrived June 20, left June 20
Rangoon, Burma at that time, arrived June 20
(lower wing of New Orleans was damaged here by a Native Sampan)
Akyab, Burma, arrived June 25, left June 26
Chittagong, arrived June 26, left June 26
Calcutta, India, arrived June 26, left July 1
(Switched from Pontoons to Wheels here)
Allahabad, India, arrived July 1, left July 2
Ambala (Delhi), India, arrived July 2, left July 3
Multan, India, , arrived July 3, left July 4
Karachi, India, arrived July 4, left July 7
Chahbar, Persia, arrived July 7, left July 7
Bandar (Abbas), Persia, arrived July 7, left July 8
Bushire, Persia, arrived July 8, left July 8
Baghdad, (Hinaidi) Mesopotamia, today Iraq, arrived July 8, left July 9
Aleppo (Haleb) Syria, arrived July 8, left July 10
Kohia, Turkey
San Stefano, Turkey
Constantinople, Turkey, arrived July 10, left July 11
Belgrade, Serbia
Bucharest, arrived July 11, left July 13
Budapest, arrived July 13, left July 13
Vienna, Austria, arrived July 13, left July 14
Strassburg, Germany, arrived July 14, left July 14
Le Bourget, near Paris, France, landed July 14th, Bastille Day, at 4:40 am
after 18,000 miles in 118 days, 230 hours of flying, left July 16
London England, arrived July 16, left July 17
Croydon Airdrome, (Brough) Hull, England, arrived July 17th, left July 30

replaced motors here, and other repairs, 11,000 miles so far.
Also reinstalled the pontoons for the flight across the Atlantic.

Kirkwall, Orkney Islands, Scotland, arrived July 30.
Left for the 800 mile oversea trip to Iceland on Aug 2, at 8:40 am
Thorshavn, Faroe Islands
Hornafjord, Iceland, Nelson arrived alone, Aug 2 at 4pm
Lieut. Smith arrived Aug 3

Wade crashed the “Boston” in the North Atlantic off the Faroe Islands,
The Oil Pump failed, and he attempted to land in rough seas,
which damaged the propeller.
Wade and Ogden were rescued by a British Trawler after 4 hours.
Airplane was taken in tow by the US Destroyer Billingsley,
to the US Cruiser Richmond.
They tried to hoist the airplane on board, but the hoisting gear broke,
causing even more damage to the plane.
It ended up being sunk by gunfire as a hazard to shipping.

Wade rejoined the others at Pictou, and continued on as a passenger.

Reykjavik, Iceland, Smith and Nelson arrived Aug 5, left Aug 21
Angmagsalik, Greenland
Frederiksdal Greenland, arrived Aug 21, left Aug 25
Avigut (Ivigtut), Greenland, arrived Aug 25, left Aug 31
Rigolett, Hamilton Inlet- Indian Harbour, Labrador, arrived Aug 31, left Sept 2
Hawkes Bay, Newfoundland, arrived Sept 2, left Sept 3
Pictou, NS, Canada, arrived Sept 3, left Sept 5
Mingan, Quebec and Montreal, Quebec per one source
Merespoint, ME, arrived Sept 5, left Sept 6
Boston MA, USA, arrived Sept 6, left Sept 8
New York, NY, USA, arrived Sept 8, left Sept 9
Aberdeen, arrived Sept 9, left Sept 9
Washington, DC, USA, arrived Sept 9, left Sept 13
(Various Photo and Gas stops across the US)
Dayton, Ohio, arrived Sept 13, left Sept 15
Chicago, IL, arrived Sept 15, left Sept 17
Omaha NE, arrived Sept 17, left Sept 18
Kansas City, St. Joseph air strip, landed Sept 18, left Sept 18
Muskogee Okla. arrived Sept 18, left Sept 19
Dallas Texas, arrived Sept 19, left Sept 20
Sweatwater, arrived Sept 20, left Sept 20
El Paso, arrived Sept 20, left Sept 21
Tuscon AZ, arrived Sept 21, left Sept 22
San Diego, arrived Sept 22, left Sept 23
Los Angeles, arrived Sept 23, left Sept 25
Ended Sept 24, 1924, in Santa Monica, CA, USA per one source
San Francisco, arrived Sept 25, left Sept 27
Eugene OR, arrived Sept 27, left Sept 28
Portland, OR, arrived Sept 28, left Sept 28
Arrived at Seattle at 1:28 the end of the official trip, Sept 28, 1924
Planes landed wingtip to wingtip
so no one plane would land first.
175 days total

Some sources say the trip started at Sand Point WA, near Seattle, others say Santa Monica CA. some San Diego.
But then the Guinness World Record guys, say it was Seattle WA
26,345 mile trip, total flying time, 371 hr, 11 min.

so the Official start was Apr 6, 1924 in Sand Point WA, near Seattle WA

To supply all this, they divided the World in 6 divisions.
1- Beginning in Washington DC, Ending at Attu Island in the Aleutian Group
2. Ending at Nagasaki, Japan
3. Ending at Calcutta India
4. Ending at Constantinople, Turkey
5. Ending at London (Hull) England
6. Ending at Washington DC

4 Bi-plane Airplanes built by the Donald Douglas Plant in Santa Monica CA

Seaplane weight empty- 5,100 lbs
Landplane- 4,300 lbs
Fuselage made entirely of duraluminum,
in 3 detachable sections.
Engine Section, Mid Section and Rear Section.
All Sections were made of steel tubing
2 open cockpits.
Wings are made of Wood and Fabric.
Wingspan= 50 ft, 6 in
Length= 35 ft, 9 in
Height=13ft, 9 in
Engine was of the 423 hp Liberty type L12 (12 cylinder),
with the latest improvements added,
Martin Bomber Propellers
Scattered around the globe they had the equivalent of 15 extra Liberty engines in parts.
They also had other replacement parts at various places.
Extra sets of Pontoons were stored where they were crossing water.
14 sets were provided.
They were made of 3 ply veneer on top, the bottom 2 plies of Mahogany.
The planes could easily be converted from wheels to pontoons.
Wings were standard Box beam, and built up rib construction.
Upper wing in 3 panels, lower wing in 2
The wings were made to be folded.
Gasoline capacity- 450 gallons per one source, 644 Gallons per another.
Seaplane- Max speed=100 mph
landing speed=35 mph
Landplane= 103 mph / 53 mph
Each plane had enough fuel, and could fly for over 20 hrs.
They had no radios to save weight.
Compass, Altimeter and turn and Bank Indicator were the only instruments
Plus an in Cockpit Thermometer

They were a modified version of a DT-2, Torpedo bomber, Douglas built for the Navy in 1921-1922

“Chicago” is on display at the National Air and Space Museum, WA, USA
“New Orleans” is on display at the Museum of Flying, Santa Monica, CA
Wreakage of “Seattle” is on display at the Alaska Aviation History Museum

Major General Frederick LeRoy “Frank” Martin
b- Nov 26, 1882 in Liberty IN, USA
d- Feb 24, 1954 in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
Graduated from Perdue University in 1908
Commander of the Hawaiian Air force at the time of Pearl Harbour.
Retired Aug 1, 1944

Colonel Alva Lee Harvey
b- May 22, 1900, in Bono, (Cleburn?) Texas, USA
d- Dec 1, 1992, in Mount Vernon Hospital, Alexandria VA, USA, age 92
Lived at 22310 Alexandria, Fairfax, VA
buried in Presbyterian Cemetery, Alexandria, Alexandria City, Virginia, USA
spouse- Lillian E. Harvey

Lieutenant Lowell Herbert Smith
b- Oct 8, 1892 in Santa Barbara CA, USA
d- Nov 4, 1945 in Tucson, AZ, USA
buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
Piloted the first airplane to do a complete mid-air refuelling

Brigadier General Erik Hemming Nelson
b- June 12, 1888 in Stockholm Sweden
d- May 9, 1970 at Honolulu Hawaii

Major General Leigh H. Wade
b- Feb 2, 1897, Cassopolis, Michigan USA
d- Aug 31, 1991 at Belvoir Woods Health Care Center, Fort Belvoir, Virginia. 93 years old
buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
spouse Helen Wade

Colonel Leslie Philip “Les” Arnold
b- Aug 28, 1893 in New Haven, Connecticut, USA
d- Mar 21, 1961 Leonia, Bergen Co, New Jersey, USA
buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
also onboard the plane that made the first complete Mid-air refuelling with Smith above
Served in WWI and WWII
He replaced SSgt Arthur Turner at the last minute, due to illness.

Lieutenant John “Jack” T. Harding Jr.
b- Nashville, Tennessee, USA
d- ? possibly Dayton Ohio where he lived

Lieutenant Henry Herbert “Hank” Ogden
b- Sept 13, 1900 Woodville, Wilkinson Co., Mississippi, USA
d- Jan 24, 1986 at Laguna Niguel, CA, age 85
He manufactured the Ogden Osprey Tri-motor in Los Angeles, CA
son of Edwin D. Ogden and Mary Catherin Ferguson

Lieutenant Laclaire Davidson Schulze
b- July 5, 1891 Los Angeles, CA
d- Aug 2, 1927
buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia
served in WWI
he attended California University and Stanford University in CA

Mayor S. M. Newton, owned the “Evening Empire” Daily Newspaper in Rupert.
Seville Martineau Newton
b- Sept 25, 1862 in England
d- Mar 6, 1933 in Essondale BC, age 70
son of Rev. William and Sarah Newton

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note- NOT my pages







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  • Last modified: 2018/01/19 09:58
  • by dlgent