Charles Lindbergh: Introduction (01:10)
Lindbergh was a methodical pilot who redefined aircraft capabilities. He became a celebrity and symbol of American ingenuity, and was refused induction into the Army Air Corps during WWII.
Lindbergh's Early Years (02:34)
Lindbergh, born in February 1902, grew up on a farm in Minnesota. He studied engineering, attended flight school, worked with barnstormers and purchased a plane in 1923. Lindbergh enlisted in the Army Air Service cadet program.
Early Career (02:16)
Lindbergh was selected as a pursuit pilot and trained in "flaming coffins;" he opted for a reserve assignment. In 1926, he worked for Robinson Aviation, delivering mail.
Aviation Contest (03:39)
Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 prize for the first nonstop flight between New York and Paris; Rene Fonck and Admiral Robert Byrd were unsuccessful. Lindbergh decided to fly alone and placed a plane order with Ryan Aircraft.
Spirit of St. Louis (03:56)
The plane had a 46 foot wingspan and a Wright J5C engine. Lindbergh flew across the U.S., setting a transcontinental speed record. He carefully planned the trip from New York to Paris and became a hero after successfully crossing the Atlantic.
Celebrity Status (02:56)
Lindbergh returned to the U.S. aboard the U.S.S. Memphis and became the center of attention everywhere he went. He wrote a book, toured with the Spirit of S. Louis, and met Anne Morrow.
Public and Personal Life (02:55)
Lindbergh proposed starting an airline and his partners established Transcontinental Air Transport. He married Morrow, taught her to fly, and fathered a child in 1930; the baby was kidnapped a year later. The Lindberghs moved to Europe to escape the media.
Life in Germany (01:53)
Hermann Göring invited Lindbergh to inspect the German air force; Lindbergh felt safe in Berlin. He returned to the U.S. in 1937 and urged the U.S. to stay out of European affairs; the press treated him as a traitor.
WWII Involvement and Post-war Life (01:29)
Lindbergh tried to enlist but Henry Stimson refused to recommission him. Lindbergh joined combat patrols and shot down a Japanese fighter; he was grounded. After the war, he wrote, became a consultant, and spent time with family.
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Charles Lindbergh (00:28)
Credits: Legends of Air Power: Charles Lindbergh
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