Charles Lindbergh

Lindbergh 1927 - airport
1902 - Charles Augustus Lindbergh was born Feb. 4 in Detroit MI, and raised in Little Falls MN

1922 - Lindbergh left the University of Wisconsin Feb. 2, took job with the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation, became by 1923 a barnstorming pilot.

1924 - Lindbergh joined the Army Air Service in March, graduated first in his class from the Army's Advanced Flying School, was commissioned as a second lieutenant, but moved to St. Louis and worked as a barnstormer and test pilot at Lambert Field; was restless to join the pioneering aviation exploits of men like Capt Lowell H. Smith who with 5 Army pilots became the first to circumnavigate the globe in airplanes, flying 27,553 miles in 15 days.

1925 - Lindbergh became chief pilot for Robertson Aircraft Corp. that won the federal Contract Air Mail route from St. Louis to Chicago in October.

1926 - Lindbergh flew the inaugural air mail flight April 15 in his De Havilland biplane St. Louis with an inline Liberty engine, survived many mechanical failures and jumped safely from his falling plane 4 times; began plans to win the Orteig Prize of $25,000 for the first nonstop New York-Paris flight, sought by other pilots in the U.S. and France, including U.S. Navy Commander Richard Byrd.

1927 - The Ryan Aeronautical Company in San Diego built Lindbergh's plane by April, and the young 25-year old pilot crossed the country in 22 hours to arrive May 12 in New York, took off May 20 at 7:54 am from Roosevelt Field on Long Island, arrived at Le Bourget airfield near Paris May 21 at 10:54 pm, was overwhelmed by a crowd of 150,000 at the airport, returned to Washignton DC June 10 on the USS Memphis, was honored June 13 in NYC, wrote his book We for Putnam's in the month before he began on July 20 a 3-month tour of all 48 states in the Spirit of St. Louis sponsored by Harry Guggenheim and the Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, left Dec. 13 for Mexico at invitation of ambassador Dwight Morrow, met daughter Anne Morrow over Christmas in Mexico City.

1928 - Lindbergh became Technical Adviser for Clement Keys' Transcontinental Air Transport and for Juan Trippe's Pan American Airways, led companies to purchase all-metal monoplanes such as the Henry Ford Trimotor, and to develop long-distance commercial service across America with the Pensy Railroad, and to develop air routes to the Caribbean.

Lindberghs in the newsreels
1929 - Anne Morrow and Charles Lindbergh were married May 27, went on the first TAT transcontinental flight aboard The City of Los Angeles trimotor that left Glendale airport in Los Angeles July 7 for the first leg of a 48-hour air and rail transcontinental route; when the first fatal crash of a TAT trimotor occurred in September, the Lindberghs flew a fast Lockheed Vega to the crash site and helped reassure the public that commercial aviation was still practical.

1930 - TAT, "The Lindbergh Line," merged with the airlines of Jack Maddux and Western Air Express to form TWA and win a federal air mail contract; on April 20 Lindbergh set a transcontinental speed record of 14 hours in a Lockheed Sirius with a 450 hp Pratt & Whitney engine; Lindbergh helped Robert Goddard obtain funds from Daniel Guggenheim to build a laboratory near Roswell NM for rocket research to stay ahead of German rockets.

1931 - The Lindberghs July 27 began a flight to China but returned to New York for the funeral of Dwight Morrow in October.

1932 - The Lindbergh baby, Charles Jr., was kidnapped March 1, and found dead May 12, even though a ransom of $50,000 was paid in gold certificates.

1933 - The Lindberghs July 9 began a 5-month trip to Europe and Brazil on the Lockheed Sirius with a 710 hp Wright Cyclone engine.

1934 - On Feb. 9 FDR annulled all domestic airmail contracts due to corruption in the previous Republican administrations, causing severe cutbacks at TWA and Pan Am and Eastern and United, and the army took over the airmail routes until new contracts awarded to commercial companies beginning May 8; Lindbergh Field airport that was dedicated in 1928 fianlly opened October 16 on Pacific Highway in San Diego west of the Dutch Flats where Lindbergh first flew his Ryan-built airplane.

1935 - On Jan. 2 the "Trial of the Century" began of Bruno Hauptmann, arrested the previous Sept. 19, found guilty Feb. 15 and executed Apr. 3, 1936; the Lindberghs sailed for England Dec. 21 and lived at the Long Barn home in Kent 25 miles southeast of London.

1936 - Lindbergh was reappointed to the Army Air Corps in June and made his first trip to Berlin in July to report on German aviation progress to Military Attached in Berlin Major Truman Smith.

1937 - The Lindberghs made a second trip to Germany in October and helped Truman Smith prepare his report "General Estimate of German's Air Power of November 1, 1937."

1938 - Lindbergh made a 3rd trip to Germany and was given a medal by Goering at a stag dinner Oct. 18

1939 - Lindbergh returned to America in April, met FDR for the first time Apr. 20, flew a Curtiss P-36A monoplane Apr. 21 at Bolling Field, and began making isolationist broadcasts and press statements, urging neutrality and military preparedness

1940 - Anne published in Oct. her 41-page sensational isolationist book A Wave of the Future.

1941 - Lindbergh met in July with the anti-interventionist William Randolph Hearst at the Wyntoon ranch near Mount Shasta; Lindbergh delivered on Oct. 11 his most anti-semitic and inflammatory speech at Des Moines for the America First Committee, the same night that FDR made his radio address on the USS Greer crisis.

1948 - Lindbergh published his book, Of Flight and Life.

1954 - Lindbergh published his his autobiography, The Spirit of St. Louis, won the Pulitzer Prize.

1970 - Lindbergh published his Wartime Journals.

1974 - Lindbergh died August 26 in Hawaii.

2001 - Anne Morrow Lindbergh died February 7 in Vermont.


WW2Timeline | Links | Pictures | Maps | Documents | Bibliography | revised 2/24/06