World Flight Arrives in Sitka, Alaska
2nd Hop to Sitka, Alaska
By Maj. F.L. Martin, Commanding
We arose at 5:30 a.m. this morning in preparation for making the flight to Sitka. It was raining and continued to rain during the entire morning. Having weather reports that indicated that it was possible to make the flight, without undue risks, all four planes left at 9:20 a.m., the Chicago leading, it having been arranged that each of the pilots, other than the commander, would be given a opportunity to lead occasionally along the route, in order that they might have the feeling of confidence which was placed in their ability and [gain a] greater appreciation of the responsibilities evolving on the leader of the flight.
It was raining slightly at the time of departure and continued to rain until within about 60 miles of Sitka. About one-third of the distance had been covered when we struck a hazy formation, forcing the flight down low in order to get a clear visibility. At 11:00 a.m., we were passing through Clarence Strait, off the shores of Prince of Wales Island. Land was not visible on the opposite side, 4 miles distant. It was intended to cross the narrow neck of land of Kuiu Island, separating Sumner Strait from Chatham Strait, the land not being more than a mile wide at this point. Low clouds concealed the tops of the high ground which forced us to turn back around the southern point of this island and of Bananof Island to Sitka. The air being perfectly clear and calm upon our arrival at Sitka, we were greeted with a most wonderful scenic view, a beautiful harbor surrounded by a fringe of small islands covered with fir trees on the seaward side and by tall, rugged snow clad mountains on the landward side. We landed at 1:10. Due to a change in time, this was 12:10 Sitka time. [Note: the flight actually landed at 1:46 - ed.]
by Lt. L.H. Smith, Chicago Pilot
When we awoke this morning, it was raining at Prince Rupert. However, the weather at Sitka and intermediate points indicated improvement and the flight took off in the rain at 9:25. This was the first time all 4 planes had been together on the flight. The planes followed practically a straight compass course to the northernmost point of the Prince of Wales Island; then an attempt was made to cross over a very narrow strip of land on the Kuiu Island. This was prevented due to the low clouds, making it necessary to fly south, around Cape Decision, then through heavy fog and strong winds to Cape Ommaney, which is the most southern point of Baranof Island; from here the shore line was followed into Sitka; landing under most favorable conditions at 1:35.
by Lt. L.P. Arnold, Chicago Mechanic
Up 5:30, raining --weather reports fair, taxied out at 9:00 & took off 9:15, #2 [Chicago] leading. Left Prince Rupert 9:25, first time all four planes together. Fair visibility over the water but on shore clouds in trees most of the way & only on rare occasions could mountain tops be seen.
Passed Ketchikan at 10:30, whole town apparently being out to wave as we passed by -- such demonstrations very cheering.
At 12:00 attempted to make land jump over Kuiu Island but low clouds prevented & made necessary go around, adding about fifty miles to trip. Smith made water jump here of about 25 miles not seeing land for 20 minutes & ending right on course -- excellent work as wind shifted twice on this course. Burst into fish boats out of fog & just as suddenly disappear. What they thought?
Sitka sighted at 1:25 & landing made at 1:35 -- town & band on beach to meet us. Every one stayed aboard until 8:00 p.m., taking on gas and oil, checking and preparing for tomorrow's run.
Most of today's run made in light rain, part in light fog, and general 200 to 400 feet, once going to 1000 feet and often dropping to 30 to 40. Time 4hrs. 20 min.
In evening guest Mr. Mills for dinner & and soon as possible we excused ourselves and dug for the hotel and bed.
Flowers at hotel.