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Czechoslovakia, Around the World, and captured by the Germans

Lockheed Electra 10A, 1068, was delivered to Bata Shoe Co., and was added to the Czechoslovakia Civil Aviation Register on October 22, 1936, as OK-CTA. On January 1, 1937, organized by owner J. B. Bata, OK-CTA took off on a business/pleasure trip around the world; from Czechoslovakia the plane flew through Africa, Persia, French Indo-China and then to Hong Kong where it was dismantled and shipped to San Francisco. Upon arriving in California, the Electra was reassembled and flew to Kansas City and from there on to Chicago; after Chicago the plane would continue east before being dismantled once again and being shipped back to Europe. However, On April 4, 1937, OK-CTA lost its way due to poor weather conditions and a forced landing was made in Riis Park, Chicago. John Bata, who had arrived in Chicago via train was quoted in the New York Daily News as saying:

"When they left Kansas City, Chicago told them the ceiling was 1,500 feet here. When they got here there wasn't any ceiling. We flew 20,000 miles in that plane and I have tom come to Chicago to have this happen."

When told that repairs would cost $25,000, Bata scowled and replied "I'll buy a new one exactly like it." Lockheed Electra 1091 would be delivered to the Bata Shoe Company April/May 1937. Meanwhile, OK-CTA was shipped to Burbank for repairs.

Following the necessary repairs, Electra 1068 was returned home to Czechoslovakia; however, in March 1939 the aircraft was seized during the Nazi occupation and flown back to Germany with a new registration, D-CCTA. Just over a year later, June 1940, while being flown by a German crew, the Electra entered a storm near Bremen and crashed while attempting an emergency landing; the aircraft was completely destroyed and all aboard tragically killed. Somewhere in a German archive sits a blurry photo of the crash site.

Chicago Tribune, Monday, April 5, 1937

Chicago Tribune, Monday, April 5, 1937


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