Round-the-World: Pre-Game Flight

The quartet of airplanes made their way up from California to the Seattle area beginning on March 17, with high hopes.

From Sky Master: The Story of Donald Douglas: “For half a year the Air Service had been working on the final plans on their aerial expedition. The flight was to leave from Santa Monica, cover some twenty-two countries and approximately 25,000 miles, [and] return to Santa Monica in August.

“The foreign lands to be visited or flown over were Canada, Alaska, Russia (the Kamchatka Peninsula), Japan, China, Indo-China, Siam, Burma, India, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Rumania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Austria, Germinay, France, England, Scotland, the Danish Faerce Islands, Iceland, and Greenland.

The globe-circling course as viewed from the North Pole also carried the images of several crew from the Douglas World Cruisers round-the-world flight. [Credit: From “Sky Master: The Story of Donald Douglas,” by Frank Cunningham]

“During the flight, the airmen were to soar over numerous bodies of water, such as the Gulf of Alaska, North Pacific Ocean, Yellow Sea, China Sea, Gulf of Siam, Bay of Bengal, Persian Gulf, The Straits, English Channel, the North Sea, the North Atlantic Ocean, the Denmark Strait, the Davis Strait, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.”

But that was if the intrepid adventurers could make it past the western coast of the United States.

Misfortune descended upon Captain Martin’s airplane, the Seattle. As he flew up the San Joaquin Valley towards points to the north, Martin made a forced landing. From Sky Master: “He didn’t know it then, but that was nothing compared to what was to come a short time later.”