Navy ships ordered to begin hunt

Plane over 2500-mile Pacific waste

Island is goal

Tiny spot in Pacific to be landing site

Howland Island, Oceania, July 2 – The coast guard cutter Itasca, failing to hear from Amelia Earhart, en route here from Lea, New Guinea, on a ’round-the-world flight, began preparations at 2 pm (PST) to leave the island to search for her.

No radio signals

The order to prepare to hunt for the woman flyer and her navigator, Frederick J Noonan, was given when the cutter failed to pick up any radio signals from the plane although it was due here about this time. The last definite word received from Miss Earhart’s $80,000, twin-motored Lockheed Electra was at 9:16 am, when a message from the craft said it was progressing satisfactorily and that it hoped its gas supply would be sufficient.

Fear fuel failure

The exact position of the plane at the time of the report was not given. Expressed fears of a possible fuel failure expanded as the hours went by. Officers on the Itasca could not understand the failure of its radio to reach Miss Earhart’s plane. Miss Earhart and Noonan left Lea at 6 pm (PST) last night and expected to negotiate the 2550-mile over-water jump here by noon PST.

>> Amelia Earhart’s husband awaits news

(Article continues below)

Ask Navy help

Shortly after 2 pm, the Itasca radioed coast guard headquarters at Honolulu, suggesting that the navy be asked to furnish a seaplane to search for Miss Earhart. The message said the Itasca had plenty of gasoline and oil to fuel a searching plane.

SAN FRANCISCO, July 2, 3 pm – Silence this afternoon enveloped progress of Amelia Earhart as she raced across the Pacific toward Howland Island, tiny speck in the South Seas, on the most dangerous lap of her round-the-world flight. Miss Earhart and her navigator, Captain Fred Noonan, flying a single-motored Lockheed Electra, failed to reach Howland island at noon, PST, their tentatively scheduled arrival time — or 18 hours after their takeoff from Lae, New Guinea, 2550 miles away.

Reported this morning

The last definite report of the plane was made at 6:18 am PST, by the coast guard cutter Itasca at Rowland. At that hour, the Itasca radioed that signals f rom Miss Earhart’s plane were “coming in.”

George Putnam, husband of Miss Earhart, refused to be alarmed. “She might have slowed up for any number of causes,” he said. “She’ll make it, all right.”


Photo: Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan, in Brazil on an earlier leg of this round-the-world flight

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About this story

Source publication: San Mateo Times (San Mateo, California)

Source publication date: July 2, 1937

Filed under: 1930s, Events, Notable people, Travel & tourism

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