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Poised for Howland

At 6:50 a.m. local time the wheel of the Electra lifted off the ground and Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan were on their way to Lae, New Guinea, where they would rest and refuel before the 18 hour flight to Howland Island. "From Darwin we held a little north of east, cutting across the Wellington Hills on the northern coast of Arnhem Land, which is the topmost region of Australia's Northern Territory. The distance to Lae was about 1,200 miles. Perhaps two-thirds of it was over water, the Arafura Sea, Torres Strait and the Gulf of Papua."

As the flight progressed Amelia gradually increased their altitude to 11,000 feet to avoid the low hanging clouds; however, "even at that, above us towered cumulus turrets, mushrooming miraculously and cast into endless design by the lights and shadows of the lowering sun." Soon the clouds began to thin and eventually withdrew to reveal the coastline below, after following the coast the fliers eventually spotted Lae.

"After a flight of seven hours and forty-three minutes from Port Darwin, Australia, against head winds as usual, my Electra now rests on the shores of the Pacific." The airfield at Lae consisted of one long strip "cut out of the jungle, ending abruptly on a cliff at the water's edge." The strip is 3,000 feet long and under the right conditions, firm; there are hangars but much of the planes were hitched outside. "In regular service here is another Electra, sister to my own."

AE climbs out of her Electra upon arrival in Lae

Amelia walks down the wing of her Electra

Amelia and Fred

(Left to Right) Eric Chater (manager of Guinea Airways), Mrs. Chater, AE, and Fred Noonan

Oakland Tribune, Tuesday, June 29, 1937

The Pasadena Post, Tuesday, June 29, 1937


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