80 years ago on July 2, 1937 famed aviatrix Amelia Earhart went missing during her round-the-world flight along with navigator Fred Noonan. Following the report of her disappearance, U.S. Navy and Coast Guard vessels, including the aircraft carrier USS Lexington, assisted in search operations. These efforts are detailed in these pages excerpted from the “U.S. Navy Report of the Search for Amelia Earhart, July 2-18, 1937″. Read the entire report in the National Archives Catalog.
Born on 2 July, 1897, in Atchison, Kansas, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, earning her the U.S. Distinguished Flying Cross. After visiting a Long Beach airfield and getting a ride in an airplane, Amelia “knew I had to fly,” and fly she certainly did. Shortly after this life changing experience, Amelia saved enough money to take flying lessons from female aviator, Anita Snook. From her first lesson, Amelia immersed herself in everything to do with aviation. She read everything about flying she could get her hands on and spent the majority of her free time at the airfield.
In 1921, Amelia finally purchased her own biplane - a second-hand Kinner Airster that she painted yellow and named The Canary. The following year, she flew The Canary to an altitude of 14,000 feet, setting a world record for female pilots. Her next airplane was a yellow Kissel which she named Yellow Peril. Over the forthcoming years, Amelia flew around America as well as Canada. In 1932, Amelia became the first woman to fly solo nonstop across the Atlantic, pushing her into the limelight.
Amelia decided she would try to become another first - the first woman to fly around the world. After problems with the propellers during the first attempt, Amelia and her second navigator, Fred Noonan, set off once again in June of 1937, flying to South America, Africa, Asia and Lae, New Guinea.
Amelia and Fred departed Lae on the 2nd of July. Unfortunately, they never made it to her their next destination, Howland Island. When the duo didn’t arrive at the scheduled destination, a search party was assembled but Amelia and Fred were gone. The main theory is that she ran out of fuel and crashed and sank, however, another theory suggests she was captured by Japanese forces. The book, Amelia Earhart Lived suggests that Amelia survived the flight and moved to New Jersey where she created a new life for herself.
Whatever the truth may be, what became of Amelia Earhart is one of the most peculiar mysteries in the world.
While the details around Amelia Earhart’s disappearance remain a mystery, researchers recently found this photograph within the holdings of the National Archives which they allege shows Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan alive on a dock in the Marshall Islands after their disappearance over the Pacific Ocean.
While these claims have been called into question, it has renewed interest in Earhart’s disappearance.
PL-Marshall Islands, Jaluit Atoll, Jaluit Island. ONI #14381. Jaluit Harbor. National Archives Identifier 68141661
While we may never know the complete story of what happened to Amelia Earhart during her fateful flight 80 years ago, this photograph is just one example of the many fascinating finds uncovered by researchers at the National Archives on a regular basis. Among the billions of records held at the National Archives, there is always something new to discover. What will you uncover in your research?
We own this city, every stone – a Murray and Dodson gangster AU
After murdering her cheating husband, Gill Murray inherits his Manchester underworld empire. Fiery and tempestuous, she soon draws the attention of the cautious but ruthless Julie Dodson, Dave’s firecest rival. Only instead of continued warfare, the two women find themselves drawn to each other instead, and what begins as an alliance intended to stabilise their businesses soon turns into something quite different…