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"July 1st. "Denmark's a prison," and Lae, attractive and unusual as it is, appears to two flyers just as confining, as the Electra is poised for our longest hop, the 2,556 miles to Howland Island in mid-Pacific. The monoplane is weighted with gasoline and oil to capacity. However, a wind blowing the wrong way and threatening clouds conspired to keep her on the ground today. In addition, Fred Noonan has been unable, because of radio difficulties, to set his chronometers. Any lack of knowledge of their fastness and slowness would defeat the accuracy of celestial navigation. Howland is such a small spot in the Pacific that every aid to locating it must be available."

The last two days were spent packing and repacking the Electra, eliminating everything that was not essential for the long flight to come. Although Fred and Amelia were restless to get underway, "we still retained enough enthusiasm to do some tame exploring of the near-by country." Commandeering a truck from the hotel manager, Fred behind the wheel, the fliers set off along a dirt road.

Crossing a small river and then following a lane with tall grass the truck arrived at a beautiful coconut grove which sat before a village entrance. "My only purchase at Lae besides gasoline has been a dictionary of pidgin English for two shillings. It was well worth the price to discover that all native women are called Mary. I had some difficulty in understanding why "to sew" should be "sew-im-up."

Amelia writes that "like desert or sea, wild jungle has a fascination for me. I wish we could stay here peacefully for a time and see something of this strange land." Whether that night or early that next morning the last thing Amelia wrote was:

"Not much more than a month ago I was on the other shore of the Pacific, looking westward. This evening I looked eastward over the Pacific. In those fast-moving days which have intervened, the whole width of the world has passed behind us-except this broad ocean. I shall be glad when we have the hazards of its navigation behind us."

AE and Fred Noonan with gold miner F. C. Jacobs, Lae

Telegram to GP announcing their delay in taking off for Howland

The Sheboygan Press, Thursday, July 1, 1937

The Greenwood Commonwealth, Thursday, July 1, 1937


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