How Charles Lindbergh rose from working on a farm to become world hero for flight across Atlantic Ocean
Lindbergh’s life story summarized
by Bonita Witt
Summary of the life of Charles A Lindbergh based on facts told to the writer by Lindbergh’s mother, Mrs Evangeline L Lindbergh.
Charles A Lindbergh was born in Detroit, Michigan, in 1902.
When a small child, he moved to Little Falls, Minnesota, where he passed much of his boyhood.
From 1907-1917, when his father, Charles A Lindbergh, was representative in Congress from Minnesota, Charles lived in Washington[DC] when Congress was in session.
It was in Washington in 1910 that young Lindbergh saw his first airplane.
He attended school in Washington and Little Falls and also in Detroit, Michigan.
During the war years, when Charles was too young to enlist in the army or to enter college, he “worked” his father’s farm at Little Falls, making it pay dividends for the first time.
He enrolled in the University of Wisconsin in 1921, taking mechanical engineering courses.
Deciding to become an aviator, Lindbergh left the university after his third semester (one and a half years), going to Lincoln, Nebraska, where he received his first flying lessons.
As soon as he was able to pilot a plane Lindbergh began to make “gypsy” or “barnstorming” tours, giving exhibitions of stunt flying, wing walking and parachute jumping.
On March 12, 1924, he enrolled as a flying cadet at Brooks-Kelly government flying school at San Antonio, Texas.
Graduated from Brooks-Kelly on March 16, 1925, he went to work for the Mile-Hi Aircraft Company at Denver, Colorado.
A short time later, he became chief pilot for the Robertson Aircraft Development Company of St Louis. He is still under contract to them, having been given leave of absence to make the New York-Paris flight.
While flying the airmail, Lindbergh became a captain in the Missouri National Guard.
Early in 1926, Lindbergh first began to take an interest in long-distance flights.
Deciding to compete for the $25,000 Ortieg prize for the first non-stop New York-Paris flight, he secured the financial backing of a group of young St Louis business men.
While in New York to select a plane for the flight Lindbergh became interested in the performance of a Ryan monoplane.
Going to San Diego, California, he enlisted the enthusiasm of BF Mahoney, youthful president of the Ryan company.
Remaining in San Diego, Lindbergh supervised every detail in the construction of the plane.
When it was completed Capt Lindbergh flew the monoplane to St Louis, where it was christened the “Spirit of St Louis,” then flew to New York, making the trans-continental trip in record-breaking actual flying time.
Taking off from Roosevelt Field, New York, on the morning of May 20, he arrived in Paris thirty-three hours and twenty-nine minutes later.
Received by the ruling heads of France, Belgium and England, with probably the greatest acclaim ever accorded an individual, he was given the highest honors possible.
President Coolidge crowned the glories of the other nations by inviting him to journey to Washington on the speedy cruiser “Memphis” to receive the honors of his own nation.
Following which come mighty celebrations in New York and St Louis, which in addition to Washington, were prepared to host the young man who “achieved the impossible.”