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Wiley Post, a most remarkable aviation pioneer, is best remembered for his tragic death when his plane crashed in Alaska in 1935. But it was his passenger who made the event so memorable — humorist, columnist, radio and movie star Will Rogers, one of America's most loved personalities. Post had an interest in Alaska, but it was his friend, Rogers, who instigated the trip.

Post made headlines in 1933 when he became the first man to fly around the world solo. He had circled the globe in 1931 with Harold Gatty and in the process set a speed record in the process. Post began his solo attempt on July 15, about five weeks after Jimmy Mattern took off with a similar intention. Both fliers ran into problems, but only Post was able to overcome them.

Syracuse Journal, July 15
NEW YORK (INS) — Lifting his blue and white monoplane “Winnie Mae” into the air at 4:10 a.m. (EST) from Floyd Bennett Field, Wiley Post, Oklahoma aviator, today shot out over the Atlantic on a solo round-the-world flight on which he hopes to shatter the record he set with Harold Gatty in 1931.

 

Syracuse American, July 16
By DAVID P. SENTNER
International News Service Correspondent

A one-eyed flier, with a robot pilot, was leading a two-man flying team in an aerial trans-Atlantic derby late today. Wiley Post, the cyclops of the skies, was bolting his plane, the Winnie Mae, toward Ireland as the night descended over the ocean.

Shooting for a new round-the-world time record to supplant the one he hung up with Harold Gatty in 1931, Post passed out to sea at 12:50 p.m. from Capt St. Francis, Newfoundland. The solo airman plans to make Berlin his first stop.

It was almost an hour later before his rivals, Capt. Stephen Darius and Stanley Girenas, Lithuanian pilots, left the coastline, headed for Kaunas, capital of their native land. departing from Floyd Bennett Field in New York.

Their orange-colored monoplane shot away without preliminary ballyhoo. Defying regulations, without benefit of visa or official permission, the two World War veterans hopped off. They face revocation of their flying licenses for their action.

Syracuse Journal, July 17
By LINTON WELLS
International News Service Correspondent

MOSCOW (INS) — Refreshed by food and a cold shower, Wiley Post swept east out of Moscow in his monoplane Winnie Mae this afternoon, determined to set a new round-the-world flight record.

After landing here unexpectedly from Koenigsberg, East Prussia, for minor repairs, the intrepid one-eyed American airman, whose ship is being partly guided by a robot, flashed away from Moscow airport at 2:16 p.m., Greenwich mean time (9:16 a.m., EST), about three hours after he had arrived here.

He was bound for Novosbirsk, Siberia, where he plans to stop just long enough for refueling and checking his plane before continuing on to Khabarovsk, where he intends to land before taking further rest.

While in Moscow he took on 122 gallons of gasoline and 10 gallons of oil. Novosbirsk is approximately 1,450 miles from Moscow Post hoped to complete the trip in no more than 12 hours.

 

Syracuse Journal, Tuesday, July 18
IRKUTSK, Siberia (INS) — Wiley Post, continuing his record-breaking solo flight around the world, brought his plane down at the local airport today at 12:35 p.m., Greenwich mean time, 7:30 a.m., EST, after a hop from Novosibirsk.

 

Syracuse Journal, July 20
KHABAROVSK, Siberia (INS) — Again ahead of the present globe-circling record, Wiley Post took off from here today for Nome, Alaska, on the most difficult and hazardous stage of the dash around the world.

Post lifted his blue and white monoplane Winnie Mae into the air at 11:58 a.m. local time (9:58 p.m. Wednesday, EST), heading out in the direction of the sea of Okhotsk, the Kamchatka Peninsula, and the ice-filled Bering Sea.

Post finally defied the bad weather which had dogged him all across Europe and Asia, taking off in conditions which were non-too-favorable after a rest here of only two hours* after arriving from Rukhlovo.

The weather on the Khabarovsk to Nome flight was expected to be the worst he would encounter on his entire trip. It was this stretch that forced Jimmy Mattern down at Anadyr and ended his chances of challenging the round-the-world record.

[*Having lost time during stops on the way to Khabarovsk, Post's two-hour stop enabled him to pad his lead over the world-record pace by more than 24 hours because on his previous trip he and Harold Gatty rested there for 26 hours and 30 minutes.]

Syracuse Journal, July 21
FLAT, Alaska (INS) — Refreshed by several hours’ sleep here while his plane was being repaired, Wiley Post resumed his dash against time today.

He took off at 7:28 a.m. local time (12:28 p.m., EST), from the field on which he had made a forced landing late yesterday, impatient to make up the previous hours he had lost there. He felt he still had a chance to establish a new round-the-world flight time record as well as gaining the honor of being the first man to make such an aerial jaunt alone.

He planned to hop 350 miles to Fairbanks, refuel and then take off on a 1,450-mile jump to Edmonton, Canada.

Utter exhaustion which numbed his mind so that he could not properly pilot his course caused him to become lost for seven hours over Alaska yesterday after he had been in the air more than 22 hours on his 3,000-mile hop from Siberia to Alaska during which he battled most adverse weather conditions, he revealed today.

Sighting of the Flat radio station caused him to land here. He said he felt he could at least get his directions again. He ran into soft ground on the landing field, nosing over, breaking his right wheel strut, damaging the engine cowling and valves and bending the propeller. Post was uninjured.

When he roared over Nome yesterday Post was 31 hours and 29 minutes ahead of the record he and Gatty made on their flight in 1931. He was greatly upset over the time lost by his forced landing here and extremely anxious to be on his way to New York.

 

Syracuse American, July 23
By DAVID P. SENTNER
FLOYD BENNETT FIELD, New York (INS) — Wiley Post, one-eyed Oklahoman, set his plane, the Winnie Mae, down to earth at 10:59, EST, last night, completing the first solo flight around the world.

The intrepid pilot also set a new record for a round-the-world flight. Post made his sensational dash around the world in seven days, 18 hours and 45 minutes, beating for former record he held with Harold Gatty by 21 hours and two minutes.

Post left Floyd Bennett Field on Saturday, July 15, at 4:10 a.m., EST. In the intervening days he battled seas and fogs, mountains and winds, the agony of sleeplessness, hunger and unutterable fatigue. His only aid in the flight was a robot, a mechanical man, which steered the plane except in emergencies. Post said that without the robot, he could not have made the flight.

Mrs. Post, who had kept confident vigil throughout the days her husband was winging his way around the globe, was here to greet him as he crawled from his plane. So was Lee Trenholm, his manager. So were more than 50,000 others who had waited hours to welcome the weary birdman.

Wiley Post survived a crash in the Winnie Mae in September.

[Post was working in Oklahoma when a piece of steel struck him in the eye, putting it out. He collected $1,650 insurance, and with the money bought a war-time Jenny plane. At the time he was working for F. C. Hall, backer of his first world flight. It was Hall’s daughter, Winnie Mae, for whom his famous plane is named.]

 
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