Wiley Hardeman Post (1898-1935) was an American aviator famed for his record flights, including the first solo round the world flight, and for his work in high-altitude flight. Born in Texas, Post worked in the Oklahoma oil fields and performed as a parachute jumper in a barnstorming act,
Burrell Tibbs' and His Texas Topnotch Fliers
. In 1926, blinded in his left eye in an oil field accident, Post used money received in compensation to buy a Canadian-built Curtiss JN-4 "Canuck" biplane. In 1930, while working as the personal pilot for Oklahoma oilman F.C. Hall, Post raced Hall's aircraft, the Lockheed 5C Vega
, to victory in the 1930 National Air Race Derby from Los Angeles to Chicago. In the following year, Post, with Harold Gatty (1903-1957) serving as navigator, circumnavigated the globe in the
. After the historic flight, Post bought the
from Hall, and, in 1933, flew the same course solo in a time of seven days, eighteen hours, and forty-nine minutes. Beginning in 1934, Post began experimenting with high altitude flights, and developed the first practical pressure suit with Russell S. Colley of the B.F. Goodrich Company. In 1935, Post planned a long-distance flight to Alaska and Siberia in a hybrid Lockheed Orion-Sirius float plane (Lockheed Model 9-E Orion-Explorer) with humorist Will Rogers. On August 15, 1935, Post's aircraft crashed shortly after taking off from Walakpa Lagoon near Point Barrow, Alaska, killing both Post and Rogers.