Charles Augustus Lindbergh
(February 4, 1902 â€“ August 26, 1974) (nicknamed "Slim," "Lucky
Lindy" and "The Lone Eagle") was an American aviator, author, inventor and explorer.
On May 20â€“21, 1927, Lindbergh, then a 25-year old U.S. Air Mail pilot, emerged from
virtual obscurity to almost instantaneous world fame as the result
of his Orteig Prize-winning solo
non-stop flight from Roosevelt
Field located in Garden City on New York's Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France, in the
single-seat, single-engine monoplane
Spirit of St.
Lindbergh, an Army reserve officer, was also
awarded the nation's highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor
, for his historic
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Lindbergh relentlessly used his
fame to help promote the rapid development of U.S. commercial
aviation. In March, 1932, however, his infant son,
Charles, Jr., was kidnapped and murdered in what was soon dubbed the "Crime of
the Century" which eventually led to the Lindbergh family
fleeing the United States in December 1935 to live in Europe where
they remained up until the Japanese attack on Pearl
Before the United States entered WWII in
December, 1941, Lindbergh had been an outspoken advocate of keeping
the U.S. out of the world conflict (as was his Congressman father
Charles August Lindbergh
during World War I
) and became a leader
of the anti-war America
movement. Nonetheless, he supported the war effort after
Pearl Harbor and flew many combat missions in the Pacific Theater
as a civilian consultant, even though President Roosevelt
had refused to reinstate
his Army Air Corps colonel's commission that he had resigned
earlier in 1939.
In his later years, Lindbergh became a prolific prize-winning
author, international explorer, inventor, and active environmentalist
Augustus Lindbergh was born in Detroit, Michigan, on February 4, 1902, but spent most of his
childhood in Little Falls, Minnesota, and Washington, D.C. He was the only child of Swedish emigrant
Charles August Lindbergh
(birth name Carl MĂĄnsson) (1859â€“1924),
and Evangeline Lodge Land Lindbergh (1876â€“1954), of Detroit.
Lindbergh: son and father c.
The elder Lindbergh was a U.S. Congressman (R-MN
6th)from 1907 to 1917 who gained notoriety when he
opposed the entry of the U.S. into World War I. Mrs. Lindbergh was a
teacher at Cass Technical
High School in Detroit and later at Little
Falls (MN) High School from which Charles was graduated
in 1918. Lindbergh also attended over a dozen other
schools from Washington, D.C. to California during his childhood
and teenage years (none for more than one full year) including the
Force School and Sidwell Friends School while living in Washington, D.C. with his father, and Redondo Union
High School in California.
The Lindberghs were divorced in 1909 when
their son was seven.
Early aviation career
early age Charles Lindbergh had exhibited an interest in the
mechanics of motorized transportation including his family's
Saxon Six automobile, later his
Excelsior motorbike, and by the
time he enrolled as a mechanical
engineering student at the University
of Wisconsinâ€“Madison in 1920, he had also become fascinated with flying
even though he "had never been close enough to a plane to touch
it." Lindbergh dropped out of the engineering
program in February 1922, and a month later headed to Lincoln,
Nebraska, to enroll as a student at the flying school
operated by the Nebraska Aircraft Corporation.
Lincoln Standard biplane
April 1, 1922, he flew for the first time in his life nine days
later when he took to the air as a passenger in a two-seat
biplane piloted by Otto Timm
A few days later Lindbergh took his first formal flying lesson in
that same machine with instructor pilot Ira O. Biffle, although the
20-year old student pilot would never be permitted to "solo" during
his time at the school because he could not afford to post a bond
which the president of the company, Ray Page, insisted upon in the
event the novice flyer were to damage the school's only trainer in
the process. Thus in order to both gain some needed experience and
earn money for additional instruction, Lindbergh left Lincoln in
June to spend the summer and early fall barnstorming
across Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado,
Wyoming, and Montana as a wing walker
with E.G. Bahl, and
later H.L. Lynch. During this time he also briefly held a job
as an airplane mechanic in Billings, Montana, working at the Billings Municipal Airport (later
renamed Billings Logan International
When winter came, however, Lindbergh
returned to his father's home in Minnesota and did not fly again
for over six months.
Lindbergh's first solo flight did not come
until May 1923 at Souther Field in Americus, Georgia, a former Army flight training field to which he
had come to buy a World War I-surplus Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" biplane.
Curtis JN-4 "Jenny"
though Lindbergh had not had a lesson (or even flown) in more than
half a year, he had nonetheless already secretly decided that he
was ready to take to the air by himself. And so, after just half an
hour of dual time with a pilot who was visiting the field to pick
up another surplus JN-4, Lindbergh flew on his own for the first
time in the Jenny that he had just purchased there for $500.
spending another week or so at the field to "practice" (thereby
acquiring five hours of "pilot in command" time), Lindbergh took
off from Americus for Montgomery, Alabama, on his first solo cross country flight, and went
on to spend much of the rest of 1923 engaged in virtually nonstop
barnstorming under the name of "Daredevil Lindbergh".
the previous year, however, this time Lindbergh did so in his "own
ship"â€”and as a pilot. A few weeks after leaving Americus, the
young airman achieved another key aviation milestone when he made
his first nighttime flight near Lake Village, Arkansas.
Lindbergh damaged his "Jenny" on several occasions over the summer,
usually by breaking the prop on landing. His most serious
accident came when he ran into a ditch in a farm field in Glencoe,
Minnesota, on June 3, 1923, while flying his father (who was
then running for the U.S.
Senate) to a campaign stop which
grounded him for a week until he could repair his ship.
October Lindbergh flew his Jenny to Iowa where he
sold it to a flying student of his. (Found stored in a
barn in Iowa almost half a century later, Lindbergh's dismantled
Jenny was carefully restored in the early 1970s and is now on
display at the Cradle of Aviation Museum located in Garden City, New York, adjacent to the site once occupied by Roosevelt
Field from which Lindbergh took off on his flight to Paris in
After selling the Jenny, Lindbergh returned to
Lincoln by train where he joined up with Leon Klink and continued
to barnstorm through the South for the next few months in Klink's
Curtis JN-4C "Canuck"
(the Canadian version of the Jenny).
also "cracked up" this plane once when his engine failed shortly
after take off in Pensacola, Florida, but again he managed to repair the damage
Graduation photo of 2nd Lt.
a few months of barnstorming through the South, the two pilots
parted company in San
Antonio, Texas, where
Lindbergh had been ordered to report to Brooks Field on March 19, 1924, to begin a year of military
flight training with the United States Army Air
Service both there and later at nearby Kelly
Lindbergh, USASRC, March 1925.
Late in his training Lindbergh experienced
his worst flying accident on March 5, 1925 when he was involved in
a midair collision eight days before graduation with another Army
aerial combat maneuvers and was forced to bail out. Only 18 of the
104 cadets who started flight training remained when Lindbergh
graduated first overall in his class in March 1925 thereby earning
his Army pilot's wings and a commission as a 2nd Lieutenant
Air Service Reserve Corps
With the Army not then in need of additional active duty pilots,
however, Lindbergh immediately returned to civilian aviation as a
barnstormer and flight instructor
although as a reserve officer he also continued to do some part
time military flying by joining the 110th Observation Squadron,
35th Division, Missouri National Guard
, in St.
Louis in November 1925 and was soon promoted to 1st Lieutenant
Lindbergh later noted in "WE"
, his best selling book
published in July 1927, just two months after making his historic
flight to Paris, that he considered this year of Army flight
training to be the critically important one in his development as
both a focused, goal oriented individual, as well as a skillful and
Air Mail pioneer and advocate
Large commercial corner cover flown by
Lindbergh from Chicago to St. Louis on the opening day of CAM-2
(April 15, 1926).
October 1925, Lindbergh was hired by the Robertson Aircraft
Corporation (RAC) in St. Louis (where he had been working as a
flight instructor) to first lay out, and then serve as chief pilot
for the newly designated Contract Air Mail Route #2
(CAM-2) to provide service between St. Louis and Chicago (Maywood Field) with two intermediate stops in
Springfield and Peoria, Illinois. Operating from Robertson's home base at the
Lambert-St. Louis Flying
Field in Anglum, Missouri, Lindbergh and three other RAC
pilots, Philip R.
Lindbergh's copy of a CAM-2 "Weekly
Postage Report" for the week of February 6-12, 1927.
Love, Thomas P. Nelson, and Harlan A.
"Bud" Gurney, flew the mail over CAM-2 in a fleet of four modified
war surplus de Havilland DH-4 biplanes
. Two days before he opened service on the
route on April 15, 1926, with its first early morning southbound
flight from Chicago to St. Louis, Lindbergh officially became
authorized to be entrusted with the "care, custody, and conveyance"
of U.S. Mails by formally subscribing and swearing to the Post
Office Department's 1874 Oath of Mail Messengers.
not take long for him to be presented with the circumstances to
prove how seriously he took this obligation.
Wreck of Lindbergh's DH4 which crashed
near Covell, IL, on November 3, 1926.
Twice during the 10 months that he flew CAM-2, Lindbergh
involuntarily lost custody and control of the mail when he was
forced to bail out of his mail plane owing to bad weather,
equipment problems, and/or fuel exhaustion. Both incidents came
while he was approaching Chicago at night: first near Ottawa,
Illinois, on September 16, 1926 and then near Covell, Illinois, on November 3,
After landing in rural farm fields by parachute, his
first concern on both occasions was to immediately locate the
wreckage of his crashed mail planes, make sure that the bags of
mail were promptly secured and salvaged, and then to see that they
were entrained or trucked on to Chicago with as little further
delay as possible. Lindbergh continued on as chief pilot of
CAM-2 until mid-February 1927, when he left for San Diego, California, to oversee the design and construction of the
Spirit of St. Louis.
Although Lindbergh never returned to service as a regular Airmail
pilot, for many years after making his
historic nonstop flight to Paris he used the immense fame that his
exploits had brought him to help promote the use of the Air Mail
service. He did this by giving many speeches on its
behalf, and by carrying souvenir mail on both special promotional
domestic flights as well as on a number of international flights
over routes in Latin America and the
Caribbean which he had laid out as a consultant to Pan American Airways to be then
flown under contract to the Post Office Department as Foreign Air
Mail (FAM) routes.
At the request of Capt. Basil L.
owner and Chief Pilot of West Indian Aerial Express and a fellow
Air Mail pioneer and advocate, in February 1928, Lindbergh also
carried a small amount of special souvenir mail between Santo Domingo, R.D., Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and
Havana, Cuba in the
Spirit of St. Louis.
cities were the last three stops that he and the Spirit
made during their 7,800-mile "Good Will Tour" of Latin America and
the Caribbean between December 13, 1927 and February 8, 1928,
during which he flew to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa
Rica, Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, Virgin Islands,
Puerto Rico, Dominican
Republic, Haiti, and
Cuba, spending 125 hours in the air.
two legs of the 48-day tour were also the only flights on which
officially sanctioned, postally franked mail was ever carried in
the Spirit of St. Louis
. Exactly two weeks later,
Lindbergh also "returned" to flying CAM-2 for two days so that he
could pilot a series of special flights (northbound on February 20;
southbound on February 21) on which many tens of thousands of
self-addressed souvenir covers sent in from all over the nation and
the world were cacheted
, flown, backstamped,
and then returned to their senders as a further means to promote
awareness and the use of the Air Mail service. Souvenir covers and
other artifacts associated with or carried on flights piloted by
Lindbergh are still actively collected under the general
designation of "Lindberghiana.
Pursuing the Orteig Prize
Designated to be awarded to the pilot of the
first successful nonstop flight made in either direction between
City and Paris within five
years after its establishment, the $25,000 Orteig Prize was first offered by the
French-born New York hotelier (Lafayette Hotel) Raymond Orteig on May 19, 1919.
Although that initial time limit lapsed without a serious
challenger, the state of aviation technology had advanced
sufficiently by 1924 to prompt Orteig to extend his offer for
another five years, and this time it began to attract an impressive
grouping of well known, highly experienced, and well financed
contenders. Ironically, the one exception among these competitors
was the still boyish, 25-year-old relative latecomer to the race â€”
Charles Lindbergh â€” who, in relation to the others, was virtually
anonymous to the public as an aviation figure, had considerably
less overall flying experience, and was being primarily financed by
just a $15,000 bank loan and his own modest savings.
The first of the well known challengers to actually attempt a
flight was famed World War I French flying
ace RenĂ© Fonck
who on September
21, 1926, planned to fly eastbound from Roosevelt Airfield
in New York in
a three-engine Sikorsky
never got off the ground, however, as his grossly overloaded (by
10,000 lbs) transport biplane crashed and burned on takeoff when
its landing gear collapsed. (While Fonck escaped the flames, his
two crew members, Charles N. Clavier and Jacob Islaroff, died in
the fire.) U.S. Naval aviators LCDR
Noel Davis and
Stanton H. Wooster were also
killed in a takeoff accident at Langley Field, Virginia, on April 26, 1927, while testing the three-engine
Keystone Pathfinder biplane, American Legion, that they
intended to use for the flight. Less than two weeks
later, the first contenders to actually get airborne were French
war heroes Captain Charles
Nungesser and his navigator, FranĂ§ois Coli, who departed from Paris - Le
Bourget Airport on May 8, 1927, on a westbound flight in the
Levasseur PL 8, The White Bird (L'Oiseau
Blanc), although contact was lost with them after crossing the
coast of Ireland and they were never seen or heard from
American air racer Clarence
were also in the
race. Although he did not win, Chamberlin and his
passenger, Charles Levine, made the far less well remembered second
successful nonstop flight of a heavier-than-air aircraft across the
Ocean between New York and Europe in the single engine
Wright-Bellanca WB-2 Miss Columbia (N-X-237), leaving
Roosevelt Field on June 4, 1927, two weeks after Lindbergh's flight
and landing in Eisleben, Germany near Berlin 43 hours
and 31 minutes later on June 6, 1927.
Chamberlin monoplane was the same one that the Lindbergh group had
originally intended to purchase for his attempt but passed on when
the manufacturer insisted on selecting the pilot.) Byrd followed
suit in the Fokker F.VII
, flying with
three others from Roosevelt Field on June 29, 1927. Although they reached
Paris on July 1, 1927, Byrd was unable to land there because of
weather and was forced to return to the Normandy coast where he ditched the tri-motor high
wing monoplane near the French village of Ver-sur-Mer.
Lindbergh's flight to Paris
Six well known aviators had thus already lost their lives in
pursuit of the Orteig Prize when Lindbergh took off on his
successful attempt in the early morning of May 20, 1927.
the Spirit of St.
Louis, his "partner" was a fabric covered, single-seat,
single-engine "Ryan NYP" high wing monoplane (CAB
registration: N-X-211) designed by Donald Hall and custom built by
Ryan Aeronautical Company of
Although the primary source of funding for
the purchase of the Spirit
and other expenses related to
the overall New York to Paris effort came from a $15,000 State
National Bank of St. Louis loan made on February 18, 1927, to St.
Louis businessmen Harry H. Knight and Harold M. Bixby, the
project's two principal trustees
another $1,000 donated by Frank Robertson of RAC on the same day,
Lindbergh himself also personally contributed $2,000 of his own
money from both his savings and his earnings from the 10 months
that he flew the Air Mail for RAC.
Sample of the fine linen fabric that
covered the Spirit of St. Louis
Burdened by its heavy load of 450 gallons
(2,709 lbs) and hampered by a
muddy, rain soaked runway, Lindbergh's Wright Whirlwind
powered monoplane gained
speed very slowly as it made its 7:52 AM takeoff run from Roosevelt
Field, but its J-5C radial engine still proved powerful enough to
allow the Spirit
to clear the telephone lines at the far
end of the field "by about twenty feet with a fair reserve of
flying speed." Over the next 33.5 hours he and the
"Spirit" â€” which Lindbergh always jointly referred to
simply as "WE" â€” faced many challenges including skimming over both
storm clouds at and wave tops at
as low at , fighting icing, flying
blind through fog for several hours, and
navigating only by the stars
(when visible) and "dead
reckoning" before landing at Le
Bourget at 10:22 PM on May 21.
A crowd estimated at
150,000 spectators stormed the field, dragged Lindbergh out of the
cockpit, and literally carried him around above their heads for
"nearly half an hour." While some damage was done to the
(especially to the fabric covering on the fuselage
) by souvenir hunters, both Lindbergh and
were eventually "rescued" from the mob by a
group of French military fliers, soldiers, and police who took them
both to safety in a nearby hangar
. From that
moment on, however, life would never again be the same for the
previously little known former Air Mail pilot who, by his
successful flight, had just achieved virtually instantaneous â€” and
lifelong â€” world fame
Although Lindbergh was the first to fly nonstop from New York to
Paris, he was not the first aviator to complete a transatlantic
flight in a heavier-than-air
. That had been done first in stages between
May 8 and May 31, 1919, by the crew of the Navy-Curtiss NC-4 flying boat which took 24 days to complete its
journey from Jamaica
Bay at Far Rockaway, Queens, New York, to Plymouth, England, via Halifax, Nova Scotia, Trepassey
Bay (Newfoundland), Horta
and Lisbon, Portugal.
U.S. Navy airship
USS Los Angeles made a
non-stop crossing from the Zeppelin Company works in Friedrichshafen, Germany to the U.S. Naval Air Station at Lakehurst,
New Jersey from October 12 to 15, 1924.
The world's first non-stop transatlantic flight
(albeit over a
route far shorter than Lindbergh's) was achieved nearly eight years
earlier on June 14â€“15, 1919. Two British aviators, John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown, flew
a modified Vickers Vimy IV bomber from
Lester's Field near St. John's,
Newfoundland on June 14 and arrived at Clifden, Ireland, the following day. Both men were
knighted at Buckingham
Palace by King George V, in recognition of their pioneering
Aftermath of the flight
Paris to Belgium.
The French Foreign Office flew the American flag, the first time it
had saluted someone not a head of state. Lindbergh made a series of
flights in Europe using the Spirit
before returning to the
United States. Gaston Doumergue
the President of France
bestowed the French LĂ©gion
on the young Capt. Lindbergh, and on his arrival back in the
United States aboard the United
States Navy cruiser USS Memphis on June 11, 1927, a
fleet of warships and multiple flights of military aircraft
including pursuit planes, bombers and the rigid airship
USS Los Angeles ,
escorted him up the Potomac River to
D.C. where President Calvin
Coolidge awarded him the Distinguished Flying
"Lindbergh Air Mail" Stamp (C-10)
issued June 11, 1927.
On that same day that Lindbergh and the Spirit
Washington, the U.S. Post Office Department
issued a 10-Cent Air Mail stamp (Scott C-10) depicting the Spirit
of St. Louis and a map of the flight. On June 13, 1927, a ticker-tape parade
was held for him down
5th Avenue in New York City. The following night the City of New
York further honored Capt. Lindbergh with a grand banquet at the
Hotel Commodore attended by some 3,600 people.
Program cover for the "WE"
given by the Mayor's Committee on Receptions of the
City of New York on June 14, 1927
After the flight, Lindbergh became an important voice on behalf of
aviation activities, including the central committee of the
Advisory Committee for Aeronautics
in the United States. He
embarked on a three-month cross country tour on behalf of the
Daniel Guggenheim Fund
Promotion of Aeronautics. The 1927 "Lindbergh Tour" culminated with
visits to 48 states and 92 cities, where he delivered 147 speeches,
and rode 1,290 miles in parades. At the conclusion of the tour,
Lindbergh spent a month at Falaise
, Guggenheim's Sands
Point mansion, where he wrote the acclaimed "We
", a book
about his transatlantic flight published by George P. Putnam
The massive publicity surrounding him and his flight boosted the
aviation industry and made a skeptical public take air travel
seriously. Within a year of his flight, a quarter of Americans (an
estimated thirty million) personally saw Lindbergh and the
Spirit of St. Louis
. Over the remainder of 1927
applications for pilot's licenses in the U.S. trebled, the number
of licensed aircraft quadrupled, and U.S. Airline passengers grew
between 1926 and 1929 by 3,000% from 5,782 to 173,405. Lindbergh is
recognized in aviation for demonstrating and charting polar air
routes, high altitude flying techniques, and increasing flying
range by decreasing fuel consumption. These innovations are the
basis of modern intercontinental air travel.
The winner of the 1930 Best Woman Aviator of the Year Award, Elinor
Smith Sullivan, said that before Lindbergh's flight, "people seemed
to think we [aviators] were from outer space or something. But
after Charles Lindbergh's flight, we could do no wrong. It's hard
to describe the impact Lindbergh had on people. Even the first walk
on the moon doesn't come close. The twenties was such an innocent
time, and people were still so religious â€“ I think they felt like
this man was sent by God to do this. And it changed
aviation forever because all of a sudden the Wall Streeters were banging on doors looking for airplanes to
We'd been standing on our heads trying to get
them to notice us but after Lindbergh, suddenly everyone wanted to
fly, and there weren't enough planes to carry them."
Marriage and children
Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Charles and Anne Morrow
(1906-2001) was the daughter of diplomat Dwight Morrow
whom he met in Mexico City in
December 1927, where her father was serving as the U.S. Ambassador.
According to a Biography
profile on Lindbergh, she was the only woman that he
had ever asked out on a date. In Lindbergh's autobiography, he
derides womanizing pilots he met as a "barnstormer" and Army cadet,
for their "facile" approach to relationships. For Lindbergh, the
ideal romance was stable and long term, with a woman with keen
intellect, good health and strong genes. Lindbergh said his
"experience in breeding animals on our farm had taught me the
importance of good heredity."
couple was married on May 27, 1929, and eventually had six
Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. (1930â€“1932); Jon Morrow Lindbergh (b.
16, 1932); Land Morrow Lindbergh (b. 1937), who studied
anthropology at Stanford University and married Susan Miller in San Diego; Anne Lindbergh (1940â€“1993); Scott Lindbergh
1942); and Reeve Lindbergh (b. 1945), a writer.
Lindbergh also taught his wife how to fly and did much of his
exploring and charting of air routes with her.
"The Crime of the Century"
came to be referred to sensationally by the press of the time as
"The Crime of the Century", on the evening of March 1, 1932,
20-month old Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr., was abducted by an
intruder from his crib in the second story nursery of his family's
rural home in East Amwell, New Jersey near the town of Hopewell.
The "wanted" poster
While a 10-week nationwide search for the
child was being undertaken, ransom
negotiations were also conducted simultaneously with a
self-identified kidnapper by a volunteer intermediary, Dr. John F.
Condon (aka "Jafsie"). These resulted in the payment on April 2 of
$50,000 in cash, part of which was made in soon-to-be withdrawn
(and thus more easily traceable) Gold
, in exchange for information â€” which proved to be
false â€” about the child's whereabouts. The search finally ended on
May 12 when the remains of an infant were serendipitously
discovered by truck driver William Allen about two miles (3 km)
from the Lindberghs' home in woods near a road just north of the
small village of Mount Rose, NJ. The child's body was soon
identified by Lindbergh as being that of his kidnapped son. A month
later the Congress passed the so-called "Lindbergh Law" (18
U.S.C. Â§ 1201(a)(1))
on June 13, 1932, which
made kidnapping a federal offense
the victim is taken across state lines or "uses the mail or any
means, facility, or instrumentality of interstate or foreign
commerce in committing or in furtherance of the commission of the
offense" including as a means to demand a ransom.
tracing of many $10 and $20 Gold certificates passed in the New
York City area over the next year-and-a-half eventually led police
to Bruno Richard Hauptmann, a
34-year old German immigrant carpenter, who was arrested near his
home in The
Bronx, New York, on September 19, 1934.
Lindbergh testifies at the Hauptmann
trial in 1935.
containing $13,760 of the ransom money was subsequently found
hidden in his garage. Charged with kidnapping, extortion, and
first degree murder, Hauptmann went on trial in a circus-like atmosphere in Flemington,
New Jersey on January 2, 1935.
Six weeks later he was
convicted on all counts when, following just eleven hours of
deliberation, the jury delivered its verdict late on the night of
February 13 after which trial judge Thomas Trenchard immediately
sentenced Hauptmann to death. Although he continued to adamantly
maintain his innocence after his conviction, all of Hauptmann's
appeals and petitions for clemency were rejected by early December
1935. Despite a last minute attempt by New Jersey Governor Harold G. Hoffman
(who believed Hauptmann was guilty but also had always expressed
doubts that he could have acted alone) to convince him to confess
to the crimes in exchange for getting his sentence commuted to life
imprisonment, the by then 36-year old Hauptmann refused and was
electrocuted at Trenton State Prison on April 3, 1936.
The Lindberghs eventually grew tired of the never-ending spotlight
on the family and came to fear for the safety of their then
three-year old second son, Jon. Deciding, therefore, to seek
seclusion in Europe, the family sailed from New York under a veil
of secrecy on board the SS American Importer
pre-dawn hours of December 22, 1935. The family rented
Barn" in the village of Sevenoaks Weald, Kent, England.
One newspaper wrote that Lindbergh "won
immediate popularity by announcing he intended to purchase his
supplies 'right in the village, from local tradesmen.' The reserve
of the villagers, most of whom had decided in advance he would be a
blustering, boastful young American, is melting." At the time of
Hauptmann's execution, local police almost sealed off the area
surrounding Long Barn with "orders to regard as suspects anyone
except residents who approached within a mile of the home."
Lindbergh later described his three years in the Kent village as
"among the happiest days of my life." In 1938 the family
moved to ĂŽle
Illiec, a small (four-acre) island Lindbergh purchased off
the Breton coast of France.
Lindbergh became interested in the work of rocket pioneer Robert H. Goddard
in 1929. By helping Goddard secure
from Daniel Guggenheim
in 1930, Lindbergh
allowed Goddard to expand his research and development. Throughout
his life, Lindbergh remained a key advocate of Goddard's
A Lindbergh perfusion pump, c.
In 1930, Lindbergh's sister-in-law developed a fatal heart
condition. Lindbergh began to wonder why hearts could not be
repaired with surgery. When living in France, Lindbergh studied the
perfusion of organs outside the body with Nobel Prize
-winning French surgeon Dr. Alexis Carrel
. Although perfused organs were
said to have survived surprisingly well, all showed progressive
changes within a
few days. Lindbergh's invention, a glass perfusion
pump, named the "Model T" pump, is
credited with making future heart
possible. However, in this early stage, the pump was
far from perfected. In 1938, Lindbergh and Carrel summarized their
work in their book, The Culture of Organs
but it was decades
before one was built. In later years, Lindbergh's pump was further
developed by others, eventually leading to the construction of the
first heart-lung machine.
At the behest of the U.S.
, Lindbergh traveled several times to Germany to report
on German aviation and the German Air Force (Luftwaffe
) from 1936 through 1938.
Lindbergh toured German aviation facilities, where the commander of
the Luftwaffe Hermann GĂ¶ring
convinced Lindbergh the Luftwaffe was far more powerful than it
was. With the approval of Goering and Ernst
, Lindbergh was the first American permitted to examine the
Luftwaffe's newest bomber, the Junkers Ju
and Germany's front line fighter
, the Messerschmitt Bf
. Lindbergh received the unprecedented opportunity to pilot
the Bf 109. Lindbergh said of the fighter that he knew "of no other
pursuit plane which combines simplicity of construction with such
excellent performance characteristics." Colonel Lindbergh inspected
all the types of military aircraft Germany was to use in 1939 and
Lindbergh reported to the U.S. military that Germany was leading in
metal construction, low-wing designs, dirigibles
. Lindbergh also undertook a survey of
aviation in the Soviet
Union in 1938.
Lindbergh's findings found their
way into air intelligence reports to Washington long before the
European war began."
The American ambassador to Germany, Hugh
, invited Lindbergh to dinner with GĂ¶ring at the American
embassy in Berlin in 1938. The dinner included diplomats and three
of the greatest minds of German aviation, Ernst Heinkel
, Adolf Baeumaker and Dr.
Lindbergh's 1927 flight and services to aviation, on behalf of
Adolf Hitler, GĂ¶ring presented him with the Commander Cross of the
Order of the German Eagle
received the same award
earlier in July). However, Lindbergh's acceptance of the medal
caused controversy after Kristallnacht
. Lindbergh declined to return
the medal, later writing (according to A. Scott Berg
"It seems to me that the returning of decorations, which were given
in times of peace and as a gesture of friendship, can have no
constructive effect. If I were to return the German medal, it seems
to me that it would be an unnecessary insult. Even if war develops
between us, I can see no gain in indulging in a spitting contest
before that war begins."
During this period, Lindbergh was back on temporary duty as a
colonel in the Army Air Corps assigned to the task of recruitment,
finding a site for a new air force research institute and other
potential air bases. Another role that he undertook was in
evaluating new aircraft types in development. Assigned a Curtiss P-36
fighter, he toured various
facilities, reporting back to Wright Field.
At the urging of U.S. Ambassador Joseph Kennedy
, Lindbergh wrote a
secret memo to the British warning that if Britain and France
responded militarily to German dictator Adolf Hitler
's violation of the Munich Agreement
in 1938, it would be
suicide. Lindbergh stated that France's military strength was
inadequate and that Britain had an outdated military overly reliant
upon naval power. He recommended they urgently strengthen their air
arsenal in order to force Hitler to turn his ambitions eastward to
a war against "Asiatic Communism."
In a controversial 1939 Reader's
article, Lindbergh said, "Our civilization depends
on peace among Western nations... and therefore on united strength,
for Peace is a virgin who dare not show her face without Strength,
her father, for protection." Lindbergh deplored the rivalry between
Germany and Britain but favored a war between Germany and Russia.
There is some controversy as to how accurate his reports concerning
the Luftwaffe were, but Cole reports the consensus among British
and American officials were that they were slightly exaggerated but
"America First" Involvement
After Germany invaded Poland in 1939, Lindbergh resigned his
commission as a colonel in the U.S. Army Air Corps
on September 14,
1939 to campaign as a private citizen for the antiwar America First
Committee. He soon became its most prominent public
spokesman, speaking to overflowing crowds in Madison
Square Garden in New York City and Soldier Field in Chicago.
His speeches were heard by
millions. During this time, Lindbergh lived in
Neck, on Long Island, New
Lindbergh argued that America did not have any business attacking
Germany and believed in upholding the Monroe Doctrine
, which his interventionist
rivals felt was
outdated. Before World War II, according to Lindbergh historian A.
Scott Berg, Lindbergh characterized that:
â€śthe potentially gigantic power of America, guided by
uninformed and impractical idealism, might crusade into Europe to
destroy Hitler without realizing that Hitlerâ€™s destruction would
lay Europe open to the rape, loot and barbarism of Soviet Russiaâ€™s
forces, causing possibly the fatal wounding of western
Charles Lindbergh speaking at an AFC
During his January 23, 1941, testimony before the House Committee
on Foreign Affairs
, Lindbergh recommended the United States
negotiate a neutrality pact with Germany.
speech at an America First rally in Des Moines on September 11, 1941, "Who Are the War
Lindbergh claimed the three groups, "pressing
this country toward war [are] the British, the Jewish and the
Roosevelt Administration" and said of Jewish groups,
"Instead of agitating for war, the Jewish groups in
this country should be opposing it in every possible way for they
will be among the first to feel its consequences. Tolerance is a
virtue that depends upon peace and strength. History shows that it
cannot survive war and devastation."
In the speech, he warned of the Jewish People's "large ownership
and influence in our motion pictures, our press, our radio and our
government", and went on to say of Germany's antisemitism, "No
person with a sense of the dignity of mankind can condone the
persecution of the Jewish race in Germany." Lindbergh
"I am not attacking either the Jewish or the British
people. Both races, I admire. But I am saying that the leaders of
both the British and the Jewish races, for reasons which are as
understandable from their viewpoint as they are inadvisable from
ours, for reasons which are not American, wish to involve us in the
war. We cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to
be their own interests, but we also must look out for ours. We
cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples
to lead our country to destruction."
The speech was heavily criticized as being anti-Jewish. In response
Lindbergh noted again he was not anti-Semitic, but he did not back
away from his statements.
pamphlets pointing out his efforts were praised in Nazi Germany
and included quotations such as
"Racial strength is vital; politics, a luxury". They included
pictures of him and other America Firsters using the stiff-armed
(a hand gesture
described by Francis Bellamy
accompany his Pledge of
to the flag of the United States); the photos were
taken from an angle not showing the American flag, so to observers
it was indistinguishable from the Hitler
President Franklin D. Roosevelt
outspoken opposition to intervention and Roosevelt's policies such
as the Lend-Lease Act
. Roosevelt said to
Treasury Secretary Henry
in May 1940, "if I should die tomorrow, I want you
to know this, I am absolutely convinced Lindbergh is a Nazi." To
satisfy FDR's political interest in discrediting his prominent
foreign policy critics, FBI Director Hoover, on his own authority,
began to investigate Lindbergh's personal life. Hoover had his FBI
agents look for anything that might discredit Lindbergh's
reputation as a decent, moral man, such as information purporting
that during Prohibition, Lindbergh had bootlegged whiskey in Montana and had consorted with pimps and
While not ordering the FBI to look into
Lindbergh, given his prejudices against the famous aviator,
President Roosevelt all the same did not complain about the FBI
Racism and suspected Nazi sympathies
Lindbergh elucidated his beliefs about the white race
in an article he published in
"We can have peace and security only so long as we band together to
preserve that most priceless possession, our inheritance of
European blood, only so long as we guard ourselves against attack
by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races."
Because of his trips to Nazi Germany
combined with a belief in eugenics
Lindbergh was suspected of being a Nazi sympathizer.
Lindbergh's reaction to Kristallnacht
was entrusted to his diary: "I do not understand these riots on the
part of the Germans", he wrote. "It seems so contrary to their
sense of order and intelligence. They have undoubtedly had a
difficult 'Jewish problem
,' but why
is it necessary to handle it so unreasonably?"
In his diaries, he wrote: â€śWe must limit to a reasonable amount the
Jewish influence...Whenever the Jewish percentage of total
population becomes too high, a reaction seems to invariably occur.
It is too bad because a few Jews of the right type are, I believe,
an asset to any country.â€ť
deeply with many Americans while eugenics
enjoyed social acceptance,
with enthusiasts such as Theodore
, and George S.
Although Lindbergh considered Hitler a fanatic and avowed a belief
in American democracy, he clearly stated elsewhere that he believed
the survival of the white race was more important than the survival
of democracy in Europe: "Our bond with Europe is one of race and
not of political ideology", he declared. He had, however, a
relatively positive attitude toward blacks (something that was
scheduled to be fully revealed in an undelivered speech interrupted
by the events that followed the attack on Pearl Harbor).
Critics have noticed an apparent influence
of German philosopher Oswald
on Lindbergh. Spengler was a conservative authoritarian
and during the interwar era
, was widely read throughout
, though by this point he
had fallen out of favor with the Nazis because he had not wholly
subscribed to their theories of racial purity.
Lindbergh developed a long-term friendship with the automobile
pioneer Henry Ford
, who was well-known
for his anti-Semitic
. In a famous comment about Lindbergh to
Detroit's former FBI field office special agent in charge in July
1940, Ford said: "When Charles comes out here, we only talk about
Lindbergh considered Russia to be a "semi-Asiatic" country compared
to Germany, and he found Communism
an ideology that would destroy the West's "racial strength" and
replace everyone of European descent with "a pressing sea of
Yellow, Black, and Brown." He openly stated, if he had to choose,
he would rather see America allied with Nazi Germany than Soviet
Russia. He preferred Nordics
, but he
believed, after Soviet Communism was defeated, Russia would be a
valuable ally against potential aggression from East Asia
Lindbergh said certain races have "demonstrated superior ability in
the design, manufacture, and operation of machines." He further
said, "the growth of our western civilization has been closely
related to this superiority." Lindbergh admired, "the German genius
for science and organization, the English genius for government and
commerce, the French genius for living and the understanding of
life." He believed, "in America they can be blended to form the
greatest genius of all." His message was popular throughout many
Northern communities and especially well-received in the Midwest
, while the American South
and supported a pro-British foreign
Holocaust researcher and investigative journalist Max Wallace
, agrees with Franklin Roosevelt's
assessment that Lindbergh was "pro-Nazi" in his book,
The American Axis
. However, Wallace finds the Roosevelt
Administration's accusations of dual loyalty or treason
as unsubstantiated. Wallace considers
Lindbergh a well-intentioned but bigoted and misguided Nazi
sympathizer whose career as the leader of the isolationist movement
had a destructive impact on Jewish people.
Lindbergh's Pulitzer Prize
biographer, A. Scott Berg
, contends Lindbergh was not so much
a supporter of the Nazi regime as someone so stubborn in his
convictions and relatively inexperienced in political maneuvering
that he easily allowed rivals to portray him as one. Lindbergh's
receipt of the German medal was approved without objection by the
American embassy; the war had not yet begun in Europe. Indeed, the
award did not cause controversy until the war began and Lindbergh
returned to the United States in 1939 to spread his message of
non-intervention. Berg contends Lindbergh's views were commonplace
in the United States in the pre-World War II era. Lindbergh's
support for the America First Committee was representative of the
sentiments of a number of American people.
also notes that "As late as April 1939 â€“ after Germany overtook
Czechoslovakia â€“ Lindbergh was willing to make excuses for
"Much as I disapprove of many things Hitler had
done", he wrote in his diary of April 2, 1939: "I believe she
(Germany) has pursued the only consistent policy in Europe in
recent years. I cannot support her broken promises, but she has
only moved a little faster than other nations...in breaking
promises. The question of right and wrong is one thing by law and
another thing by history." Berg also explains that leading up to
the war, in Lindbergh's mind, the great battle would be between the
Soviet Union and Germany, not fascism
democracy. In this war, he believed that a German victory was
preferable because of Stalin's horrific acts, which, at the time,
he believed were far worse than Hitler's.
Berg finds Lindbergh believed in a voluntary rather than compulsory
In Pat Buchanan
's book entitled A
Republic, Not An Empire: Reclaiming America's Destiny
portrays Lindbergh and other pre-war isolationists as American
patriots who were smeared by interventionists during the months
leading up to Pearl Harbor. Buchanan suggests the backlash against
Lindbergh highlights "the explosiveness of mixing ethnic politics
with foreign policy."
Lindbergh always preached military strength and alertness.
believed that a strong defensive war machine, as well as his views
about race, would make America an impenetrable fortress and defend
Hemisphere from an attack by foreign powers, and that this was
the U.S. military's sole purpose.
Many people acknowledge that Lindbergh helped keep American public
opinion isolationist until 1941 by advancing the movement to keep
America out of the war for as long as possible. At the same time,
some praise Lindbergh for his prediction that an Iron Curtain
descended upon Europe; many of the
predictions which Lindbergh made about the war came before Hitler
violated his non-aggression pact with Stalin and launched Operation Barbarossa
. Berg reveals that,
while the attack on Pearl Harbor came as a shock to Lindbergh, he
did predict that America's "wavering policy in the Philippines" would invite a bloody war there, and, in one
speech, he warned that "we should either fortify these islands
adequately, or get out of them entirely".
Cole, Wallace and
Buchanan all believe that Lindbergh was highly influential in
ensuring that Hitler's war machine would advance toward the
inflict the most devastation there.
World War II
Japanese attack on
Pearl Harbor, Lindbergh sought to be recommissioned in the
United States Army Air
VMF-222 "Flying Deuces"
The Secretary of War, Henry L. Stimson
, declined the request on
instructions from the White House.
Unable to take on an active military role, Lindbergh approached a
number of aviation companies, offering his services as a
consultant. As a technical adviser with Ford in 1942, he
was heavily involved in troubleshooting early problems encountered
at the Willow
Run B-24 Liberator bomber
As B-24 production smoothed out, he joined
United Aircraft in 1943 as an engineering consultant, devoting most
of his time to its Chance-Vought Division. The following year, he
persuaded United Aircraft to designate him a technical
representative in the Pacific War
to study aircraft
performances under combat conditions. He showed Marine
F4U Corsair pilots how to take off with
twice the bomb load that the fighter-bomber was rated for and on
May 21, 1944, he flew his first combat mission: a strafing run with
VMF-222 near the Japanese garrison of
Rabaul, in the Australian
Territory of New
433rd Fighter Squadron "Satan's
In his six months in the Pacific in 1944, Lindbergh took part in
fighter bomber raids on Japanese positions, flying about 50 combat
missions (again as a civilian). His innovations in the use of
fighters impressed a
supportive Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Lindbergh introduced engine-leaning techniques to P-38 pilots,
greatly improving fuel usage at cruise speeds, enabling the
long-range fighter aircraft to fly longer range missions. The U.S.
Marine and Army Air Force pilots who served with Lindbergh praised
his courage and defended his patriotism.
On July 28, 1944, during a P-38 bomber escort mission with the
433rd Fighter Squadron, 475th Fighter Group, Fifth Air Force, in
the Ceram area, Lindbergh shot down a Sonia observation plane
piloted by Captain
Saburo Shimada, Commanding Officer of the 73rd Independent
After the war, while touring the Nazi concentration camps
, Lindbergh wrote in
his autobiography that he was disgusted and angered.
World War II, he lived in Darien, Connecticut and served as a consultant to the Chief of Staff of
Air Force and to Pan American World Airways
most of Eastern Europe having fallen under Communist control,
Lindbergh believed most of his pre-war assessments were correct all
along. But Berg reports after witnessing the defeat of Germany and
firsthand shortly after his
service in the Pacific, "he knew the American public no longer gave
a hoot about his opinions." His 1953 book The Spirit of St. Louis
recounting his nonstop transatlantic flight, won the Pulitzer Prize
in 1954, and his literary agent, George
, sold the film rights to
Hollywood for more than a million dollars. Dwight D. Eisenhower
assignment with the U.S. Army Air Corps and made him a Brigadier General
In that year, he served on the Congressional advisory panel set up
to establish the site of the United States Air Force
. In December 1968, he visited the crew of Apollo 8
on the eve of the first manned spaceflight
to leave Earth orbit. On July 16, 1969, Lindbergh and the "Spirit
of St. Louis" constructor, Tubal
Claude Ryan were present at Cape Canaveral to watch the launch of Apollo
Children from other relationships
until his death in 1974, Lindbergh had an affair with German hat
maker Brigitte Hesshaimer who lived in a small Bavarian town called Geretsried (35 km south of Munich).
On November 23, 2003, DNA
tests proved that he fathered her three children:
Dyrk (1958), Astrid (1960) and David (1967). The two managed to
keep the affair secret; even the children did not know the true
identity of their father, whom they saw when he came to visit once
or twice per year using the alias, "Careu Kent." Astrid later read
a magazine article about Lindbergh and found snapshots and more
than a hundred letters written from him to her mother. She
disclosed the affair after both Brigitte and Anne Morrow Lindbergh
had died. At the same time as Lindbergh was involved with Brigitte
Hesshaimer, he also had a relationship with her sister, Marietta,
who bore him two more sons â€“ Vago and Christoph. Lindbergh had a
house of his own design built for Marietta in a vineyard in
Grimisuat in the Swiss canton Valais.
A 2005 book by German author Rudolf Schroeck, Das Doppelleben
des Charles A. Lindbergh
(The Double Life of
Charles A. Lindbergh
), claims seven secret children
existed in Germany. It says Lindbergh "came and went as he pleased"
during the last 17 years of his life, spending between three to
five days with his Munich family about four to five times each
year. "Ten days before he died in August 1974, Lindbergh wrote
three letters from his hospital bed to his three mistresses and
requested 'utmost secrecy'", Schroeck writes, whose book includes a
copy of that letter to Brigitte Hesshaimer.
Two of the seven children were from his relationship with the East
Prussian aristocrat Valeska, who was Lindbergh's private secretary
in Europe. They had a son in 1959 and a daughter in 1961. She had
been friends with the Hesshaimer sisters and was the one who
introduced them to Charles Lindbergh. In the beginning,
they lived all together in his apartment in Rome.
However, the friendship ended when Brigitte Hesshaimer became
pregnant from him as well. Valeska lives in Baden-Baden and wants to keep her privacy, as mentioned in many
German and International Reuter's newspaper articles, in Rudolf
Schroek's book and a TV documentary by Danuta Harrich-Zandberg and
In April 2008, Reeve Lindbergh, his youngest daughter with wife
Anne Morrow Lindbergh, published Forward From Here: Leaving
Middle Age and Other Unexpected Adventures,
a book of essays
that includes her discovery in 2003, of the truth about her
father's three secret European families and her journeys to meet
them and understand an expanded meaning of family.
1960s on, Lindbergh campaigned to protect endangered species like humpback and blue
whales, was instrumental in establishing protections for the
controversial Filipino group, the Tasaday, and
African tribes, and supporting the establishment of a national
While studying the native flora and fauna of the
Philippines, he became involved in an effort to protect the
. In his final
years, Lindbergh stressed the need to regain the balance between
the world and the natural environment, and spoke against the
introduction of supersonic airliners.
Lindbergh's speeches and writings later in life emphasized his love
of both technology and nature, and a lifelong belief that "all the
achievements of mankind have value only to the extent that they
preserve and improve the quality of life." In a 1967 Life
magazine article, he said, "The human future depends on our ability
to combine the knowledge of science with the wisdom of
In honor of Charles and his wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh's vision of
achieving balance between the technological advancements they
helped pioneer, and the preservation of the human and natural
environments, the Lindbergh Award was established in 1978. Each
year since 1978, the Lindbergh Foundation has given the award to
recipients whose work has made a significant contribution toward
the concept of "balance."
Lindbergh's final book, Autobiography of Values
, based on
an unfinished manuscript was published posthumously. While on his
death bed, he had contacted his friend, William Jovanovich, head of
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, to edit the lengthy memoirs.
spent his final years on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where he
died of lymphoma on August 26, 1974.
buried on the grounds of the Palapala Ho'omau Church in Kipahulu, Maui.
Charles Lindbergh's grave.
on a simple stone which quotes
139:9, reads: "Charles A. Lindbergh
Born Michigan 1902 Died Maui 1974". The inscription further reads:
"...If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost
parts of the sea... C.A.L."
Honors and tributes
Lindbergh Terminal at Minneapolis-Saint Paul International
Airport was named after him, and a replica of The
Spirit of St. Louis hangs there.
Another such replica
hangs in the great hall at the recently rebuilt Jefferson Memorial
at Forest Park in St. Louis. The definitive oil painting of Charles
Lindbergh by St. Louisan Richard Krause entitled "The Spirit Soars"
has been displayed there. San Diego's Lindbergh Field, which is also
known as San Diego International
Airport, was named after him and also displays a replica of
the San Diego built Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis.
airport in Winslow,
Arizona has also been renamed Winslow-Lindbergh
Lindbergh himself designed the airport in 1929
when it was built as a refueling point for the first coast-to-coast
air service. Among the many airports and air facilities
that bear his name, the airport in Little
Falls, Minnesota, where he grew up, has been named Little
Falls/Morrison County-Lindbergh Field.
The original The Spirit of St. Louis
currently resides in
the National Air and Space Museum as part of the collection of the
Grandview High School in St. Louis County was renamed Lindbergh High School.
"Longines" watch designed by Lindbergh
after his transatlantic flight.
The school newspaper is the Pilot
the yearbook is the Spirit
, and the students are known as
. The school district was also later named after
Lindbergh. The stretch of US 67 that runs through most
of the St.
Louis metro area is called "Lindbergh Blvd."
Lindbergh also has a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame
In Lindbergh's hometown of Little Falls, Minnesota, one of the
district's elementary schools is named Charles Lindbergh
Elementary. The district's sports teams are named the
Flyers and Lindbergh Drive is a major road on the
west side of town, leading to Charles
A. Lindbergh State Park.
The Lindberghs donated their farmstead to
the state to be used as a park in memory of Lindbergh's father. The
original Lindbergh residence is maintained as a museum, the Charles
A. Lindbergh Historic Site, and is listed as a National Historic Landmark
Lindbergh is a recipient of the Silver Buffalo Award
, the highest adult
award given by the Boy Scouts of
While Lindbergh was the first to make a solo nonstop transatlantic
flight, his grandson, Erik Lindbergh
repeated this flight, 75 years later in 2002 in 17 hours, 17
After his transatlantic flight, Lindbergh wrote a letter to the
director of Longines
, describing in detail
a watch which would make navigation easier for pilots. The watch
was manufactured to his design and is still produced today.
February 2002 the Medical University of South
Carolina at Charleston, within the celebrations for the
Lindbergh 100th birthday established the Lindbergh-Carrel Prize,
given to major contributors to "development of perfusion and
bioreactor technologies for organ preservation and growth".
M. E. DeBakey and 9 other scientists received the prize, a bronze
statuette espressly created for the event by the Italian artist C.
Zoli and named "Elisabeth" after Elisabeth Morrow, sister of
Lindbergh's wife Anne Morrow, died due to heart disease. Lindbergh
in fact was disappointed that contemporary medical technology could
not provide an artificial heart pump which would allow for heart
surgery on her and that gave the occasion for the first contact
between Carrel and Lindbergh.
Awards and decorations
received many awards, medals and decorations, most of which were
later donated to the Missouri Historical Society and are on display
at the Jefferson Memorial, now part of the Missouri
History Museum in Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri.
United States Awards
Medal of Honor
Lindbergh's Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Captain, U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve. Place
and date: From New York City to Paris, France, May 20â€“21, 1927.
Entered service at: Little Falls, Minn. Born: February 4, 1902,
Detroit, Mich. G.O. No.: 5, W.D., 1928; Act of Congress December
- For displaying heroic courage and skill as a navigator, at the
risk of his life, by his nonstop flight in his airplane, the
"Spirit of St. Louis", from New York City to Paris, France, 20-21
May 1927, by which Capt. Lindbergh not only achieved the greatest
individual triumph of any American citizen but demonstrated that
travel across the ocean by aircraft was possible.
Until World War II, the Medal of Honor was also authorized to be
awarded for extraordinarily heroic actions by active or reserve
service members made during peacetime
as well as in combat.
The controversy surrounding his involvement in politics (and to a
lesser extent, his personal life) sometimes overshadows the fact
that he was an important pioneer in aviation from the 1920s to the
1950s. His 1927 flight made him the first international celebrity
in the age of mass media. One U.S. Air Force general remembers
Lindbergh's critical view of his own legacy. In the late 1940s,
Lindbergh visited U.S. Air Force bases to evaluate American air
power (of which he was a staunch supporter) in relation to the
emerging Cold War
. During this trip, he
remarked "I think my flight to Paris came too soon for the
civilizations of the world. They were suddenly thrown together by
air travel and they weren't quite ready for it."
Lindbergh's life has spurred the imaginations of many writers and
others; the following list provides a summary of notable popular
- Charles Lindbergh was selected as Time Magazine's Man of the Year in 1927, the first holder
of that title.
- A song called "Lindbergh " was released
soon after the 1927 flight. A multitude of songs with "Lucky Lindy"
in the title were released in the aftermath of the Atlantic
crossing. Tony Randall revived the song
"Lucky Lindy" in an album of jazz-age and depression era songs that
he recorded entitled Vo Vo De Oh Doe (1967).
- The dance craze, the "Lindy Hop"
became popular after his flight, and was named after him.
- In 1929, Bertold Brecht wrote a
musical called Der Lindberghflug (Lindbergh's Flight) with
music by Kurt Weill and Paul Hindemith. In 1950 because of
Lindbergh's apparent Nazi sympathies Brecht removed all direct
references to Lindbergh, and renamed the piece Der Ozeanflug (The Ocean
- Woody Guthrie wrote a song called
"Lindbergh" on "The Asch Recordings Vol. 1" recorded in the 1940s.
The song was anti-Lindbergh, and included the line "they say
America First but they mean America Next."
- In the early 2000s, a full-length musical called "Baby Case",
about the Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping and subsequent trial and media
circus, was performed at the Arden Theater in Philadelphia to good
First Edition cover
Charles Lindbergh wrote two best selling books about the Spirit
of St. Louis
and his flight from New York to Paris. The first
of these, "WE"
, was published by G.P. Putnam's Sons
in July 1927â€”a little more
than two months after the historic flightâ€”as both an "instant"
autobiography of the suddenly world famous young aviator, and to
provide his detailed first person account of the Ryan monoplane's
conception, design, construction and transatlantic flight from New
York to Paris. (Originally ghostwritten by New York Times
MacDonald, Lindbergh was so dissatisfied with the manuscript's
"fawning tone" that he completely rewrote it himself in a period of
three weeks in late June and early July 1927.) The book's simple
one word "flying pronoun" title refers to Lindbergh's view of a
deep "spiritual" partnership that had developed "between himself
and his airplane during the dark hours of his flight." Twenty-six
years after writing "WE"
, Lindbergh penned a second, far
more detailed account of the project. Published in 1953 and
entitled The Spirit
of St. Louis
, the book won the 1954 Pulitzer Prize
In addition to aviation, Lindbergh also wrote prolifically over the
years on other topics of interest to him including science,
technology, nationalism, war, materialism, and values. Included
among those writings were five other books: The Culture of
(with Dr. Alexis Carrel
(1938), Of Flight and Life
(1948), The Wartime
Journals of Charles A. Lindbergh
on the Upper Mississippi
(1972), and his final book,
Autobiography Of Values
, which was published posthumously
The first of 20 Ted Scott Flying
Lindbergh also influenced or was the model for characters in a
variety of works of fiction. Shortly after he made his famous
flight, the Stratemeyer
began publishing a series of books for juvenile
readers called the Ted Scott
(1927â€“1943) which were written by a number of
authors all using the nom de plume
of "Franklin W. Dixon
" in which the pilot hero was closely
modeled after Lindbergh. (Ted Scott duplicated the solo flight to
Paris in the series' first volume entitled Over the Ocean to
published in 1927.) Another fictional literary reference
to Lindbergh appears in the Agatha
book (1934) and movie Murder on the Orient
(1974) which begins with a fictionalized depiction
of the Lindbergh baby
In Eric Norden's alternate history novel The Ultimate Solution
Norden speculates that Lindbergh would have been president of a
Nazi-occupied American puppet state
The Philip Roth
novel The Plot Against America
(2004) is a speculative fiction novel which explores an alternate
history where Franklin Delano
is defeated in the 1940 presidential election by
Charles Lindbergh, who allies the United States with Nazi
VerdensberĂ¸mtheder i KĂ¸benhavn
(1939) was a Danish
produced by the Dansk
Film Co. in which Charles Lindbergh as well as Hollywood actors
, Myrna Loy
, and Edward G. Robinson
all appeared as themselves. The
film Men with
, Ray Milland
) featured a replica of the
Spirit of St. Louis
fashioned from a Ryan B-1 "Brougham"
similar to one presented to Lindbergh by the manufacturer, the
Mahoney Aircraft Corporation, shortly after the Spirit
retired in April 1928. The 1942 MGM
picture Keeper of the Flame
, Spencer Tracy
) features Hepburn as the widow
of Robert V. Forrest, a "Lindbergh-like" national hero, who was
exposed after his death as a secret fascist intending to use his
influence, especially over America's youth, to turn the country
into a fascist state and eliminate inferior races.
Four years after its 1953 publication, Lindbergh's second book
about his flying "partner" served as the basis for the namesake
major Hollywood Cinemascope
picture The Spirit of
directed by Billy
and released on April 20, 1957, one month short of the
30th anniversary of the flight to Paris. The Spirit
"portrayed" in the film by three flyable replicas
of the Ryan
NYP, while Lindbergh was played by veteran American actor and
fellow Army aviator James
Lindbergh has also been the subject of numerous screen, television,
and other documentary films over the years including Charles
(1927), a UK documentary by De Forest
Phonofilm based on Lindbergh's milestone flight, 40,000 Miles
(1928) featuring Charles A. Lindbergh, and
The American Experience â€“ Lindbergh: The Shocking, Turbulent
Life of America's Lone Eagle
documentary directed by Stephen Ives.
Scott C-10 and #1710 with May 20, 1977
First Day of Issue CDS
Charles Lindbergh and the Spirit
have been honored by a
variety of world postage stamps over the last eight decades
including two issued by the United States. Less than three weeks
after the flight the U.S. Post Office Department
issued a 10-cent "Lindbergh Air Mail" stamp (Scott C-10) on June
11, 1927 with engraved illustrations of both the Spirit of St.
and a map of its route from New York to Paris. (This was
also the first U.S. stamp to bear the name of a living person.) A
half-century later, a 13-Cent commemorative stamp (Scott #1710)
depicting the Spirit
flying low over the Atlantic Ocean
was issued on May 20, 1977, the 50th anniversary of the flight from
- Every, Dale Van; Morris DeHaven Tracy. (1927, 2005) Charles Lindbergh: His Life,
Publishing, pp. 60, 84, 91, 208. ISBN 1417918845
- "Charles Lindbergh Medal of Honor."
- Innovators: Charles Lindbergh
Chasing The Sun, PBS/KCET. Retrieved: 3 April 2008.
- Larson 1973, pp. 31â€“32.
- Larson 1973, pp. 208â€“209.
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 19â€“22.
- Berg 1998, p. 22.
- Lindbergh 1927, p. 23.
- Lindbergh 1927, p. 25.
- Ray Page
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 26â€“28.
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 29â€“36.
- Westover, Lee Ann. "Montana Aviator: Great Grandfather Bob Westover
and Charles Lindbergh in Montana." The Iron Mullett,
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 36â€“37.
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 39â€“43.
- Charles Lindbergh official site: Charles
Lindbergh's First Solo Flight & First Plane
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 44â€“45.
- "Daredevil Lindbergh and His Barnstorming
Days." American Experience, PBS (WGBH), 1999.
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 63â€“65.
- Lindbergh's "Jenny" Exhibit Cradle of Aviation Museum, Garden
City, L.I., NY
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 84â€“93.
- Berg 1998, p. 73.
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 144â€“148.
- Charles Lindbergh: An American
- Robertson Aircraft Corporation
- "Certificate of the Oath of Mail Messengers"
executed by Charles A. Lindbergh, Pilot, CAM-2, April 13,
- Check-Six.com - The Ditching of the "America"
- Harry H. Knight, Harold M. Bixby, Maj. William B. Robertson,
Maj. Albert B. Lambert, Earl C. Thompson, Harry F. Knight, E.
- Lindbergh 1953, pp. 25, 31.
- Lindbergh paycheck from Robertson Aircraft
- Lindbergh 1927, p. 216.
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 218â€“222.
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 224â€“226.
- "Alcock and Brown: The First Non-stop Aerial
Crossing of the Atlantic." The Aviation History Online
Museum. Retrieved: July 17, 2009.
- "Captain Jack Alcock (1892-1919)."
Collections Department, Museum of Science & Industry,
Retrieved: July 17, 2009.
- Costigliola 1984, p. 180.
- Mosley 1976, p. 117.
- Lindbergh 1927, pp. 267â€“268.
- Charles Lindbergh: His 1927 Nonstop Solo Transatlantic
- Diamandis, Peter H. "Our Story:
The X Prize Heritage." The X-Prize Foundation, 2004. Retrieved:
April 26, 2008.
- Jennings, Peter and Todd Brewster. The Century. New
York: Doubleday, 1998. ISBN 0-38548-327-9.
- Lindbergh 1977, p. 121.
- Lindbergh 1977, p. 118.
- Gill, Barbara. "Lindbergh kidnapping rocked the world 50 years
ago." The Hunterdon County
Democrat, 1981. Retrieved: December 30, 2008. Quote: So
while the world's attention was focused on Hopewell, from which the
first press dispatches emanated about the kidnapping, the Democrat made sure its
readers knew that the new home of Col. Charles A. Lindbergh and
Anne Morrow Lindbergh was in East Amwell Township Hunterdon
- Dr. John F. Condon
- 18 U.S.C. Â§ 1201
- Linder, Douglas "The Trial of Richard "Bruno"
Hauptmann: An Account"
- State of New Jersey v. Hauptmann, 115 N. J. L. 412, 180 Atl.
809 (Ct. Err. & App.), cert. denied, 296 U.S. 649 (1935)
- "Hero & Herod." Time , January 6, 1936.
- Ogley, Bob. "American hero who found refuge in village."
Gravesend Reporter, January 23, 2008. Retrieved: July 27,
- Our visit to Ile Illiec by Geoffrey
- The Development of Cardiopulmonary Bypass
- Frazier O.H. et al. "Cardiac Surgery in the Adult" Total
Artificial Heart. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2003. pp.
- Cole 1974, pp. 39â€“40.
- Mosley 1976, p. 249.
- Cole 1974
- Lindbergh, Col. Charles A. "Aviation, Geography, and Race."Reader's
Digest, November 1939.
- Rosen, Christine. Preaching Eugenics: Religious Leaders and
the American Eugenics Movement. New York: Oxford University
Press (USA), 2004. ISBN 978-0-19-515679-9.
- Mosley 1976, p. 257.
- Gordon, David. America First: The Anti-War Movement, Charles
Lindbergh and the Second World War, 1940-1941. Bronx
Community College, CUNY Graduate Center, September 26, 2003.
Retrieved: July 22, 2008.
- America First Speech
- Extract from: Des Moines Speech (PBS)
- "Jew Baiting". Time, September
- Birkhead, L.M. "Is Lindbergh a Nazi?"
- Cole 1974, p. 131.
- Douglas M. Charles, J. Edgar Hoover and the
Anti-interventionists: FBI Political Surveillance and the Rise of
the Domestic Security State, 1939-45 (Columbus: The Ohio State
University Press, 2007), pp. 43-47, 77-78.
- Burrell, Joseph. Republican Treason: Republican Fascism
Exposed, p. 228. Algora Publishing, 2008. ISBN 0875866662.
Retrieved on September 16, 2009.
- Wallace 2005, p. 193.
- "Eugenics â€“ Breeding a Better Citizenry Through
- Patton's Quotes
- Lindbergh, Charles A. "Election Promises Should Be Kept: We Lack Leadership That
Places America First.", May 23, 1941.
- Two Historic Speeches October 13, 1939 & August 4,
- Lindbergh, Charles A. "What Do We Mean by Democracy and Freedom?"
- "Eagle to Earth." Time, January
- Collier and Horowitz 1987, pp. 205 and note, p. 457. The
citation is from the FBI file of Harry Bennett.
- Forward: Fantasies of a Fascist America
- MacDonald, Kevin. "The Culture of Critique: An Evolutionary Analysis of
Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political
- Cole 1974, pp. 81â€“82.
- Cole 1974, p. 82.
- Gordon, David. "America First: the Anti-War Movement, Charles Lindbergh
and the Second World War, 1940-1941." New York Military Affairs
Symposium, September 26, 2003.
- Buchanan, Pat. "Buchanan's Response to Abe Foxman's Attack."
Washington Post, October 12, 1999.
- Lindbergh, Charles A. "Air Defense of America.", May 19, 1940.
- America First Speech
- Charles Lindbergh's Noninterventionist Efforts &
America First Committee Involvement
- Glazov, Jamie. "Appeasement Then and Now."
FrontPageMagazine.com, 13 December 2002.
- "Charles Lindbergh in Combat, 1944."
EyeWitness to History, 2006. Retrieved: July 20,
- Charles Augustus Lindbergh Helps the 5th Air Force
- Mersky 1993, p. 93.
- Charles Lindbergh and the 475th Fighter Group
- Lindbergh 1977, pp. 345â€“350. Note: In a stream of consciousness
manner, Lindbergh detailed his visit immediately after World War II
to a Nazi concentration camp, and his reactions.
- "Private Pilot Textbook GFD" Jeppesen
- "The Lone Eagleâ€™s Clandestine Nests: Charles
Lindberghâ€™s German secrets." The Atlantic Times, June
- Lindbergh, Reeve. Forward From Here: Leaving Middle Age and Other
Unexpected Adventures.. New York: Simon & Schuster,
2008. ISBN 978-0743275118.
- Bower, Bruce. "The strange case of the Tasaday: were they
primitive hunter-gatherers or rain-forest phonies?" Science
News, May 6, 1989.
- Goldman, Eric F. "Flyer's Reflections." New York Times,
February 5, 1978.
- Choosing Life: Living Your Life While Planning for Death:
- "The Spirit Soars"
- Westfall, Donald A. "Charles A. Lindbergh House." Minnesota Historical
- Minnesota Historic Sites: Charles A. Lindbergh Historic
- LINDBERGH-CARREL PRIZE
- LAUREATES OF LINDBERGH-CARREL PRIZE
- Alexis Carrel Foundation
- "Around the World." Time , August
29, 1927. Retrieved: September 24, 2007.
- Charles Lindbergh Medal Of Honor
CharlesLindbergh.com, 1998â€“2007. Retrieved: March 26, 2008.
- Major General Earl L. Johnson â€” How I First Met
- The original Time article
- Tony Randall Biography
- Lindbergh's publisher, George P. Putnam, would also promote the
career (and eventually marry) another almost equally famous flyer
of the era, the ill-fated American aviatrix Amelia Earhart.
- Wohl 2005, p. 35.
- Lindbergh 1927, Dust jacket note, First Edition July 1927
- Goldman, Eric F. "Flyer's Reflections" (A review of
Autobiography Of Values) The New York Times Review
of Books, February 5, 1978.
- VerdensberĂ¸mtheder i KĂ¸benhavn (1939)
- Dansk Film Co. IMDb
- Cassagneres 2002, p. 140.
- "B.F. Mahoney was the 'mystery man' behind the Ryan
company that built Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis." Joseph D.
- Hoberman, J. "Fantasies of a Fascist America." The
Jewish Daily Forward, October 1, 2004.
- James Stewart was 47-years of age when the film was made,
almost twice as old as the then 25-year old Lindbergh that he
- Both Lindbergh and Stewart retired from the U.S. Air
Force Reserve at the grade of Brigadier General.
- Berg, A. Scott. Lindbergh. New York: G.P. Putnam's
Sons, 1998. ISBN 0-399-14449-8.
- Charles, Douglas M. "Informing FDR: FBI Political Surveillance
and the Isolationist-Interventionist Foreign Policy Debate,
1939â€“1945", Diplomatic History, Vol. 24, Issue 2, Spring
- Cassagneres, Ev. The Untold Story of the Spirit of St.
Louis: From the Drawing Board to the Smithsonian. New
Brighton, Minnesota: Flying Book International, 2002. ISBN
- Cole, Wayne S. Charles A. Lindbergh and the Battle
Against American Intervention in World War II. New York:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1974. ISBN 0-15-118168-3.
- Collier, Peter and David Horowitz. The Fords, An American
Epic. New York: Summit Books, 1987. ISBN 1-89355-432-5.
- Costigliola, Frank. Awkward Dominion: American Political,
Economic, and Cultural Relations With Europe, 1919-1933.
Ithaca, New York: Cornell University Press, First edition 1984.
- Davis, Kenneth S. The Hero Charles A. Lindbergh:
The Man and the Legend. London: Longmans, Green and Co. Ltd.,
- Friedman, David M. The Immortalists. New York: Ecco,
2007. ISBN 0-06052-815-X.
- Gill, Brendan. Lindbergh Alone. New York: Harcourt
Brace Jovanovich, 1977. ISBN 0-15-152401-7.
- Larson, Bruce L. Lindbergh of Minnesota: A Political
Biography. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc., 1973.
- Lindbergh, Charles A. Charles A. Lindbergh:
Autobiography of Values. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich,
1977. ISBN 0-15-110202-3.
- Lindbergh, Charles A. Spirit of St. Louis. New York:
- Lindbergh, Charles A. "WE" (with an appendix entitled
"A Little of what the World thought of Lindbergh" by
Fitzhugh Green, pp. 233â€“318). New York & London: G.P.
Putnam's Sons (The Knickerbocker Press), July 1927.
- Mersky, Peter B. U.S. Marine Corps Aviation - 1912
to the Present. Annapolis, Maryland: Nautical and Aviation
Publishing Company of America, 1983. ISBN 0-933852-39-8.
- Milton, Joyce. Loss of Eden: A Biography of Charles and
Anne Morrow Lindbergh. New York: Harper Collins, 1993. ISBN
- Mosley, Leonard. Lindbergh: A Biography. New York:
Doubleday and Company, 1976. ISBN 0-395-09578-3.
- Schroeck, Rudolph. Das Doppelleben des Charles A.
Lindbergh (The Double Life of Charles A.
Lindbergh). MĂĽnchen, Germany/ New York: Heyne
Verlag/Random House, 2005. ISBN 3-453-12010-8.
- Smith, Larry and Eddie Adams. Beyond Glory: Medal of Honor
Heroes in Their Own Words. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.,
2003. ISBN 0-39305-134-X.
- Winters, Kathleen. Anne Morrow Lindbergh: First Lady of the
Air. Basingstoke, Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2006.
- Wallace, Max.
The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and the Rise of
the Third Reich. New York: Macmillan, 2005. ISBN
- Wohl, Robert. The Spectacle of Flight: Aviation and the
Western Imagination, 1920â€“1950. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale
University Press, 2005. ISBN 0-30010-692-0.
- Lindbergh foundation
- Retrieved: June 17, 2009.
- Retrieved: June 17, 2009.
- Listen to the story of Charles Lindbergh online -
The American Storyteller Radio Journal
- Lindbergh's first solo flight
- Yesterday's News: 1927 newspaper article on world
reaction to flight
- CharlesLindbergh.com Pat Ranfranz
- on Lindbergh Woody
- FBI History - Famous cases: The Lindbergh
- PBS companion site to The American Experience
program on Charles Lindbergh
- Lindbergh's Public Statements Were More Troubling
Than His Private Affairs
- The American Axis: Henry Ford, Charles Lindbergh and the
Rise of the Third Reich
- PBS Article: Charles Lindbergh in the
- St. Louis Walk of Fame
- America First: the Anti-War Movement, Charles
Lindbergh and the Second World War, 1940-1941 presentation to
The New York Military Affairs Symposium in 2003
- "Der Amerikaner und die Hutmacherin" Gerd KrĂ¶ncke,
SĂĽddeutsche Zeitung,(in German) August 2, 2003
- Chesler, Ellen. Better Above than Below. New York Times,
March 7, 1993
- Charles Lindbergh: September 11, 1941 speech at Des
Moines, Iowa, transcript via PBS
- Lindbergh exhibit at the Missouri Historical
- Lindbergh's Deranged Quest for Immortality