Amelia Earhart missing: Her husband awaits news (1937)

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George Palmer Putnam, husband of Amelia Earhart, and Mrs Frederick J Noonan

Before Amelia Earhart went missing

Spouses await news from fliers (July 2, 1937)

Here, perhaps, are the two most anxious persons in Oakland today as the Earhart around-the-world plane speeds across the Pacific from Lae, New Guinea, to tiny Howland Island. They are George Palmer Putnam, husband of Miss Earhart, and Mrs Frederick J Noonan, wife of the navigator. They are shown watching the teletype machines in The Tribune office for word of the fliers.

MORE: Amelia Earhart feared lost

Near the last lap on her ’round-the-world flight, Amelia Earhart today was over the wide South Pacific expanse between Lae, New Guinea, and Howland Island, the tiny island where a Coast Guard boat awaits her. After Howland, all that remain are the jumps to Hawaii and here.

Amelia Earhart missing Her husband awaits news (1937)

Speculating on what happened to Amelia Earhart (July 4, 1937)

Mrs. Frederick J. Noonan, wife of Amelia Earhart’s navigator, and George Palmer Putnam, Miss Earhart’s husband, met yesterday, each trying to cheer the other. They are shown above in Mrs. Noonan’s home, 906 Creed Road, looking at a world globe for the spot where the around-the-world plane was believed forced down.

Husband of Amelia Earhart and wife of Fred Noonan waiting for news - July 1937

“Howland no bigger than this,” she said – and missed it

When Amelia Earhart disclosed plans for her ’round-the-world flight, a reporter asked her how big Howland Island looked on the map compared to the other places she would visit, and she smilingly held up her hand as shown. Today rescue ships sought her on the broad Pacific after she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, failed to find the dot of land.

Amelia Earhart says Howland Island is tiny - 1937

Amelia Earhart planned to settle down in California with life’s dream realized (July 4, 1937)

The around-the-world flight which terminated when Amelia Earhart was forced down somewhere near Howland Island in the lonely Pacific, was to have been her last hazardous air voyage, George Palmer Putnam, her husband, revealed here yesterday.

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“We decided,” said Putnam, “before she left Oakland that when she returned from this flight, there would be no more spectacular water flights.

“If this trip had been successful, she would have crossed all the oceans there are to fly over. We were going to settle down to a normal life at our home in Southern California.


“It had been her life’s dream to fly completely around the world. When this flight started, we agreed there would be no more.

“‘I have a feeling,’ she said as she left Miami, “that there is just about one more good flight in my system. I hope this trip around the world is it. Anyway, when I have finished this job I mean to give up long-distance stunt flying; I have a feeling that I’m getting old and I want to make way for the younger generation before I’m feeble, too.’

“Of course, she did not plan to give up flying, and she will always have her own plane, but there was Ito be no more record-breaking attempts and no more spectacular flights.”

In her last dispatch to The Oakland Tribune, sent just before she left Lae, New Guinea, for Howland Island. Miss Earhart expressed nothing but confidence in the success of her venture, and said both she and Frederick J. Noonan, her navigator, were impatient over delays caused by adverse weather.


Her last dispatch indicated that both fliers were in a jocular mood.

Miss Earhart told of visiting a native village where the houses were built on stilts with the dogs and pigs congregating underneath.

“We were told.” Miss Earhart wrote. “that the pigs were trained as ‘watch dogs.’

“F. N. (Noonan) remarked that held hate coming home late at night and have to admit being bitten by a pig.”

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