The national press, for the most part, gave scant coverage to an event that attracted big headlines in Negro newspapers, particularly the California Eagle, published in Los Angeles where C. Alfred Anderson and Dr. Alfred E. Forsythe landed after their historic flight.


California Eagle, July 21
Soaring majestically downward like a great blue condor, a big Fairchild monoplane dropped gently down to Central Airport runway last Wednesday afternoon at 5:30 bearing Dr. Albert E. Forsythe and Alfred Anderson, Negro fliers from Atlantic City. And so doing they emblazoned a brand new page in Negro history by becoming the first Negro fliers to attempt a round trip transcontinental flight. They also are the first of America’s few black air men to attempt an East-West flight.

A great cheer went from the crowd gathered there on extremely short notice to meet the intrepid birdmen and immediately they were surrounded and escorted to the passenger deck where they were photographed and presented to the throng by Lieutenant William Powell, head of the reception committee.

Many white persons present also showed their deep interest and among the messages of congratulations was one from Mrs. Maddox, wife of the Maddox air lines head.
The Eagle was represented by Harry Levette, sports and theatrical editor. The Black Wings Aviation Association conducted the exercises and formal reception in their usual business-like manner.

The trip over mountain and plain was made with Anderson at the control in 33 hours, which was less than the 35-hour goal they two men had set. Even then, they lost two hours when they were forced to refuel at Baldy Mesa near here.

Dr. Forsythe, owner of the plane, conceived the idea some months ago and with little additional financial support set out for the coast with his companion air pioneer. As a member of the Atlantic City Board of Trade, he received the city’s highest honors.

The plane was christened and painted with the name “Pride of Atlantic City.” Dr. Forsythe gave Mr. Anderson the unlimited credit for the success of the trip, citing the pilot’s 680 hours of flying experience prior to their cross-country adventure. Stops were made in Harrisburg, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City, Wichita, Amarillo, Albuquerque, Winslow and Kingman.

The return flight will be made over the northern route. After a stop in San Francisco, the two men will stop in Reno, Elko, St. Lake City, Cheyenne, North Platte, Omaha, Des Moines, Chicago, Toledo, Cleveland, Williamsport and New York City. They plan to spend Sunday in New York City and take off for Atlantic City some time on Monday


On Monday, July 17, Albany (NY) Evening News announced the departure of Forsythe and Anderson from Atlantic City in two paragraphs, with no headline.

The story might have received better coverage were it not for the abundance of bigger stories that day — including the arrival in Chicago of the much-ballyhooed squadron of Italian sea planes, Wally Post's landing in Moscow on his way to setting a speed record for flying around the world, and the deaths of two Illinois residents who had flown out of New York City without permission to visit Lithuania, their homeland.

Albany's other big story involved the kidnapping of local resident. John O'Connell Jr. There also was a lot of interest in the divorce suit filed by David Hutton against popular evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson.

Meanwhile, as Anderson and Dr. Forsythe continued across the country their trip was wrapped up in two or three paragraphs each day until they landed.


New York Evening Post, July 18
KANSAS CITY, Kansas (AP) — Two Negro aviators making a transcontinental flight continued toward the Pacific Coast today.

The two, Dr. Albert K. Forsythe, Atlantic City, and C. Alfred Anderson, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, who hopped off here this morning, planned to make a stop at Wichita, Kansas. They arrived here late last night, flying from Atlantic City, which they left on Monday.


Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 20
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two Negro aviators, first of their race to complete a transcontinental flight in their own plane, arrived here yesterday at 5:30 p.m. They took off Monday at Atlantic City. They were Dr. Albert E. Forsythe and C. Alfred Anderson.

They were entertained last night by the Negro Elks Club.


C. Alfred Anderson, well known by his nickname, "Chief," died April 13, 1996 at his home in Tuskegee, Alabama. He was 89. Among the honors bestowed upon Anderson was induction into the Alabama Aviation Hall of Fame in 1991.

His years as Chief Flight Instructor for the Tuskegee Airmen in World War 2 became is greatest claim to fame. What led to the "Tuskegee Experiment" was the 40-minute plane ride he gave First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who years earlier had set out to get a pilot's license and was an enthusiastic supporter of aviation.

When Anderson was 22, he borrowed money from friends to purchase a used airplane. He taught himself to fly, earned a private license, then took further lessons to expand his knowledge of planes. It was in 1932 that he teamed with Dr. Albert Forsythe, a surgeon, and taught him how to fly. They decided to fly across the country the next year.

In 1934, they bought another plane and christened it the "Spirit of Booker T. Washington."

After World War 2, Anderson taught ROTC cadets at Tuskegee Institute and operated his own flying school.