Jul 17, 1938 CE: Wrong-Way Corrigan

Jul 17, 1938 CE: Wrong-Way Corrigan

On July 17, 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan departed from Brooklyn, New York, for a cross-country trip to California—but landed in Dublin, Ireland, the next day.


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Geography, Physical Geography

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On July 17, 1938, aviator Douglas Corrigan departed from Brooklyn, New York, United States, for a cross-country trip west to the state of California. A day later, he landed more than 5,000 kilometers (3,000 miles) east ... in Dublin, Ireland! “Wrong-Way” Corrigan blamed his transatlantic flight on heavy clouds. Although he never admitted it, most people think that “Wrong Way” Corrigan did not go the “wrong way” at all! Douglas was a pilot who had wanted to fly across the Atlantic Ocean for years. He was inspired by his hero, Charles Lindbergh, who was the first person to fly across the Atlantic Ocean alone. But Douglas’ plane didn’t have a radio, and he couldn’t even see out the front windows! Officials told Douglas he was not allowed to fly the plane across the ocean. He did, though! It took Douglas more than 28 hours to safely fly across the Atlantic Ocean. He survived on chocolate bars, cookies, and water. When he returned to New York, more people came to his welcome-back parade than came to Charles Lindbergh’s!

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National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
Last Updated

October 19, 2023

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