• Early Aviator -- Sneak Flight to Ireland -- Dubbed "Wrong Way Corrigan"

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    DOUGLAS CORRIGAN (January 22, 1907- September 9, 1995) was an American aviator born in Texas. On July 17, 1938, Corrigan took off from Brooklyn’s Floyd Bennett Airport in a small single-engine airplane. He had recorded a trip plan for California, but arrived in Ireland twenty-nine hours later.

    He claimed his unauthorized flight was due to a navigational error, caused by heavy cloud cover that obscured landmarks and low-light conditions, causing him to misread his compass. Almost immediately he gained the nickname “Wrong-Way Corrigan.”

    He had been denied permission to make a non-stop flight from New York to Ireland, and his “navigational error” was seen as deliberate. Nevertheless, he never publicly admitted to having flown to Ireland intentionally.

    Nice lot of two significant items, including an ALS and the actual Associated Press wire photo dated July 19, 1938, with information on the verso as follows: “Dublin, Ireland, July 18—CORRIGAN’S ROUTE TO FAME--Here’s the route Douglas Corrigan, mechanic flyer, followed on his ‘sneak’ flight to Ireland. It’s the route of Lindbergh, Byrd, Earhart, Post & Hughes, a route that took him 28 hours and 13 minutes to fly in a second-hand plane of the same vintage Lindbergh used.”

    The wire photo was amended for use by a newspaper, including some white areas on the front and editing marks on the verso, along with the above cutline (description).

    The one-page 5” x 8” ALS is from Corrigan, 3214 W. 59th St., Los Angeles, CA, to Mr. Noeleke.

    “Am sending the four copies of the book to-day. 5 dollars will cover everything.

    “This is my last day at the fair for a while, so I’ll probably see Goodwin later in the season, as I’ll in in Los Angeles for some time.

    “Best wishes,

    “Douglas Corrigan


    The book Corrigan is referencing is very possibly his autobiography, “That’s My Story.”

    Letter has folds, light toning, but overall in excellent condition. Wire photo is strong, but contains the editing and amending marks as noted above.

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