Tuesday, January 10, 2012


With thanks to Clara

From: "Clara Hoyne" <secretary@clareroots.org>


Rolling Back The Years Calendar 2012 issued with the Saturday 7 January 2012 edition of the Irish Independent

February 2012 is headed:


The photograph is captioned:
          RACING THE ATLANTIC 1934
"A crowd of people with one of the pilots flying in a special transatlantic race in Co Clare".
It is a shame that the publication of this excellent and very rare 1934 photograph has been spoilt by poor 2012 editing.  
It was not strictly a "special transatlantic race" – it was a record attempt for the first transatlantic flight between New York and Rome.
Both of the pilots, not one of the pilots, are in the photograph:
Lieut Cesare Sabelli (Italy) is shown with a necktie front row third from the left.
Capt George R Pond (USA) is shown wearing aviator's goggles and holding the pipe
They departed Floyd Bennett Field in New York at 7:24 am (local time) on Monday 14 May 1934 for an attempt at the first direct flight from New York to Rome.  The aeroplane was a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker monoplane, named "Leonardo da Vinci" and carrying the serial number NR13137.   Engine trouble off the coast of Ireland forced them to make an emergency landing at 8:25 pm on Tuesday 15 May at Moy near Lahinch, Co Clare.
The photograph would have been taken in Lahinch on the following day, as the shadows show, and almost certainly outside The Commercial Hotel.
On November 10, 1935, Charles Kingsford-Smith and his co-pilot George R. Pond died trying to set another England-to-Australia flight record. While cruising over the Bay of Bengal during a monsoon, Smithy lost control of his plane and spun into the water. Although rescue parties recovered pieces of the plane, they never found any trace of Smithy or his co-pilot.
George Pond was a member of the famous Ponds Cosmetics family (Pond's Cream etc)

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