I was a 4-year-old in 1927 when the greatest man of my generation, Charles Lindbergh, flew across the Atlantic Ocean from New York to Paris. On May 20 and 21, we celebrated the 80th anniversary of that historic flight. No one person has ever achieved a greater accolade from Europe or America than this man did. Every young boy and girl had to have a lined leatherette helmet with goggles to honor Lindy.
In the summer of 1927 Lindbergh, in the “Spirit of St. Louis,” toured the U.S. making 82 stops in 48 states. In the fall he flew the “Spirit of St. Louis” from Washington, D.C. to Mexico City non-stop. He also worked as a consultant to Transcontinental Air Transport and Pan American Airways. This was the start of airlines and intercontinental travel.
In 1930, he and Dr. Alexis Carrel developed the perfusion heart pump to keep organs alive.
In 1931 with his wife Anne he surveyed air routes across the North Pacific to China and in 1933 made the Atlantic survey flight and a trip to Russia. In 1936 they made the first of five trips to Germany to investigate and evaluate German air power. In 1938 he flew the ME-109 fighter developed for high altitude using 80-octane fuel. This fighter was mass-produced and a thorn in the side of our bomber crews in World War II.
In 1969 to 1972 Lindbergh was a member of the Citizens Advisory Committee on Environmental Quality and spoke out against the development of the SST. Lindbergh was the last hero, but with all he achieved he was never given a national holiday that he so deserved.
THOMAS R. MONACELLI