b. 04/02/1902 Detroit, Michigan. d. 26/08/1974 Kipahulu, Hawaii.
DATE OF MOH ACTION: 20-21/05/1927 New York - Paris.
Explorer, Adventurer, Aviator. Nicknamed The Lone Eagle, Charles Augustus Lindbergh, Jr. was the first solo aviator to fly non-stop directly from New York to Paris. His singular exploit made him a hero in the eyes of the world and forever changed aviation. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for is exploit. Born in his grandfather's house in Detroit, and the son of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Sr and Evangeline Land Lodge, he grew up on a farm near Little Falls, Minnesota, where he took an interest in machinery. After two years at the University of Wisconsin, he dropped out, and became a pilot, earning his living by barnstorming. In 1924, he earned a commission in the Air Reserve Corps, learning to fly pursuit aircraft. Soon, he was flying the United States Mail from St. Louis to Chicago.
In 1919, a New York hotel owner, Raymond B. Orteig, offered a $25,000 prize for the first person to fly non-stop from New York to Paris. Lindberg decided he would win the prize. On May 20, 1927, he took off in his newly designed airplane, The Spirit of St. Louis, from Roosevelt Field in New York City. Just 33 and a half hours later, he landed at Le Bourget Field in Paris, France, greeted by an estimated 100,000 people. His flight had captured the imagination of the world, and his success made him an instant hero. The next day, the President of France awarded him the Legion of Honor. When he returned home, he was given a ticker-tape parade in New York, and New York Mayor Jimmy Walker pinned the city's Medal of Valor on him. President Coolidge bestowed the Distinguished Flying Cross upon him, and on March 21, 1929, he was presented with the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Asked to tour the various states to promote aviation, Lindberg complied, visiting all 48 states, giving over 147 speeches. At the request of US Ambassador Dwight Morrow, he visited Mexico, where he met Anne Morrow, the ambassador's daughter. Love blossomed, and they were soon married. In 1930, their first child, Charles III, was born, and two years later was kidnapped. After ten weeks of countless ransom payoffs, the baby was found dead. In 1934, a German immigrant, Bruno Hauptmann, was convicted of the child's kidnapping and murder, and was executed in the electric chair. To escape public and press, the Lindbergs moved to England, and during a tour of Nazi Germany, Lindberg made several kind remarks about the country. He also accepted the German Medal of Honor for his NY-Paris flight. An isolationist in the coming European war, he was quickly branded as "Nazi loving." However, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, bringing the United States into World War II, he was quick to volunteer for military service, which was refused due to his image.
As a civilian volunteer employee, he went to the Pacific, where he flew combat missions without the knowledge of the brass, and actually shot down a Japanese plane. He logged over 50 missions against the Japanese. When his war record was finally made public, he was promoted to Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserve. After the war, he became a conservationist, working to save whales before it was popular. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1954 for his autobiography, "The Spirit of St. Louis." He died of cancer in his home in Maui, Hawaii, at the age of 72.
For displaying heroic courage and skill as a navigator, at the risk of his life, by his nonstop flight in his airplane, the "Spirit of St. Louis," from New York City to Paris, France, 20-21 May 1927, by which Capt. Lindbergh not only achieved the greatest individual triumph of any American citizen but demonstrated that travel across the ocean by aircraft was possible.
BURIAL LOCATION: PALAPALA HO'OMAU CEMETERY, KIPAHULU, HAWAII.
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