Hugh Herndon (L) & Clyde Pangborn,
ca. 1931 (Source: NASM)
Hugh Herndon, Jr., New York socialite, with Clyde Pangborn,
flew the first plane (a Bellanca Skyrocket named “Miss
Veedol”) across the Pacific Ocean nonstop, October
3, 1931. Other pilots of the Register had flown the Pacific
from the U.S. to Hawaii (Art
Goebel, Lester Maitland, Albert
Hegenberger) in 1927, but this was the first flight ALL
THE WAY, from Japan to Washington State.
A couple of years before his pioneering flight, Herndon
landed at Tucson December 6, 1929 flying NC9194, a New Standard D-25. He
carried as passenger one person whom he identified as “1
mechanic”. Based at Teterboro, NJ, they arrived
from Calexico, CA on their way eastbound to New York. Please direct your browser to the airplane's page to learn the history of this interesting aircraft, and about your Webmaster's experience flying in it (with video).
Below, from site contributor Andy Heins, a photograph of Herndon with a cut over his right eye. The context of his injury is explained at Pangborn's biography page on the Peterson Field Register Web site at the link.
Hugh Herndon, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Heins)
There are over 2,000 Google hits for “Hugh Herndon”. He
and Pangborn became part of Golden Age lore. Rather
than build a redundant page of biography and events, I suggest
the links at the end of this page for your further understanding and enjoyment.
Hugh Herndon, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Russell)
Clyde Pangborn, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Staines)
For their trans-Pacific flight, their airplane was a named "Miss Veedol" (NR796W; not in
the Register). Image, below, from NASM, shows the airplane
landed at East Wenatchee, WA after the trans-Pacific flight.
To save weight, the landing gear had been jettisoned at takeoff, so the landing
was made on the belly of the airplane. Surprisingly little
Pangborn, at right, stands in front of Pitcairn NC96W.
"Miss Veedol", Bellanca Skyrocket,
NR796W, ca. October 1931
Below, from site visitor Jeff Staines, is a U.S. postal cachet signed by Herndon commemorating the flight.
U.S. Postal Cachet, October 5, 1931 (Source: Staines)
Mr. Staines notes that the cachet is, "... postmarked on the same day of the end of their historic flight, signed by Hugh Herndon."
Below, from site visitor Joe Kranz, another signed cachet postmarked October 9, 1931. This appears to have been signed during Herndon's post-flight goodwill travel. The stamps are the same on both envelopes.
Hugh Herndon Signed Cachet, October 9, 1931 (Source: Kranz)
Please direct your
browser to this link that
has nice background on Herndon and leads in to information
about his Pacific flight. Follow this link to
additional images of "Miss Veedol". A replica of "Miss Veedol"
still flies, as evidenced by this link,
and this one. And this link for
background on Herndon's partner, Clyde Pangborn.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 05/17/07 REVISED: 12/16/08, 03/02/11, 07/02/11, 07/25/11, 03/18/14