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Across Africa

After an extra day of rest it was time to go. At 6:55 a.m. on the morning of June 10, 1937, the Electra took off on the 1,140 mile journey from Dakar, Senegal, to Gao in what was then the French Sudan. Amelia decided for this flight that they would be "loafing along at a trifle under 150 miles an hour" for a flight of seven hours and fifty minutes.

"A third of the way we crossed the River Senegal, and four hundred miles further the scattered lakes and upper reaches of the Niger River with a hilly country to our right. North, perhaps within sight had we known where and when to look, was fabled Timbuctu, four hundred miles up the river from Gao."

At the time, the population of Gao was roughly 5,000 and the city was "the terminus of the trans-Saharan motor traffic from the north." However, "the beginning and the end of Gao for us was the airport. We wanted the keys of no city so long as the hangar doors were open and the ground crew ready. Always they were and it was. And always we found my usual calling cards, fifty-gallon drums of gasoline, each with my name printed large upon it in white or red lettering. The exact quantity of fuel, as all arranged months before, waited at each stopping place and additionally at many which changed schedules or leap-frogging eliminated. [...] The metal barrels, empty, were left behind as souvenirs." The night was spent in Gao; tomorrow the world fliers would press on across Africa.

The Evening Sun, Thursday, June 10, 1937

The Evening Sun, Thursday, June 10, 1937

Appeal-Democrat, Thursday, June 10, 1937

Onlookers surround the plane at Gao

The plane outside the hangar at Gao

AEe on the wing of her Lockheed Electra at Gao

Cleaning or possibly inspecting the wing of NR16020


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