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From Karachi to Calcutta

At 7:25 a.m. Karachi time, on the morning of June 17, 1937, Amelia and Fred took off from Karachi on a 1,390 mile flight across India bound for Calcutta.

For the first part of the flight low clouds hung about but slowly began to disappear as the Electra drew near the Sind Desert. As they reached the desert a southerly wind began whipping sand into the air obscuring the ground from view. "We flew along until ridges grew into mountains and poked their dark backs like sharks through a yellow sea. These acted as a barrier to the sand, and the air cleared somewhat, so we could again see what we were flying over - dry river beds, a few roads connecting villages, and then a railroad."

At around 5,000 feet, black eagles swooped in for a visit, "they soared about us lazily, oblivious of the Electra and giving its pilot some very bad moments. How they managed to miss the plane I do not know."

Crossing Central India, Amelia made note of the cultivation below that "appeared like tiles of green and brown and gold, each framed with tiny channels brimming with irrigation water, silver or golden threads reflecting the pale sky or glinting sunshine."

Eventually the fliers passed by Allahabad, which sat on the Ganges River; behind Allahabad were mountains and here to greet the fliers were severe rainstorms which blocked their way. Amelia decided to fly between the storms but was met with air currents that shot the plain up a thousand feet while she vainly tried to push the nose down. Suddenly rain engulfed the aircraft and the knowledge that from then on Amelia would have to give squalls more distance.

A hundred miles out from Calcutta scenery began changing to thick green vegetation; "just before we reached the airdrome, more rain caught up with us. When we landed the plane ran through a waterlogged part of the field, throwing up a tremendous cloud of spray which, observers told me afterwards, completely blotted us from view. Soon again there was sunshine, and servicing of plane and personnel commenced promptly on the concrete apron."

After her disappearance, letters and postcards sent by Amelia continued to arrive. Her husband, George Putnam, received one she had sent from her time in India which read: "I wish you were here. So many things you would enjoy. ... Perhaps someday we can fly together to some of the remote places of the world - just for fun."

AE shortly after her arrival in Calcutta.

St. Louis Post Dispatch, Thursday, June 17, 1937

Buffalo Evening News, Thursday, June 17, 1937


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