- Collection ID:
United States. Army. Air Service
- Physical Description:
Scope and Content
Scope and Content
This collection consists of correspondence, memos, newspaper articles and logbooks concerning the flight.
The documents on the microfilm are only arranged by Record Groups and not chronologically. The material covers correspondence, memos, newspaper articles, logbooks, descriptions of the Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) aircraft, memos dealing with permission to overfly and photograph foreign countries, the flight route, pilot selection, aircraft selection, equipment and weather forecasts. The decision was made during the processing to arrange the photocopied documents by subject and then chronologically.
In 1924, the U.S. Army Air Service decided to attempt an around the world flight to prove that the airplane was a valuable and viable method of transportation and could therefore have a great impact on the world's future. The Douglas Aircraft Company was commissioned by the Army Air Service to build an aircraft for the flight. The result was the Douglas O-5 Observation Seaplane, which was referred to in 1924 as the Douglas World Cruiser (DWC). The O-5 grew out of the 1923 Douglas Observation Seaplane (DOS).
On April 6, 1924, four Army Air Service DWC Seaplanes departed from Seattle, Washington in an attempt to fly around the world. They were the: "Seattle", "Chicago", "Boston" and "New Orleans". The "Seattle" was delayed by a forced landing caused by engine trouble early on and was trying to catch up to the others when bad weather forced it off course. It crashed near Chignik, Alaska. The "Boston" suddenly lost oil pressure and had to land at sea between Orkney and Faroe Islands. Although the landing was successful, the "Boston" was damaged beyond repair during an attempt to hoist it on board the USS Richmond. At Pictou Harbor, Nova Scotia, the prototype aircraft arrived to join the remaining two and became the "Boston II". From there the planes flew on across the United States and landed at Sand Point Field in Seattle, Washington on September 28, 1924 having accomplished the 27,553-mile flight around the world.
Two of the World Cruisers still survive. The "New Orleans" (#4) is in the Air Force Museum at Dayton, Ohio. The "Chicago" (#2) is in the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.
This collection consists of 5 reels of 35-mm microfilm and photocopied documents from the microfilm concerning the U.S. Army Around the World Flight in 1924. The microfilm documents are from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Record Groups 18, 22, 24, 26, 59 and 72. After reviewing the 5 reels of microfilm the processing archivist found that 4 out of the 5 reels have been photocopied to paper. The fifth reel entitled Final Report, Record Group 18 contains material that has not been printed to hard copy, therefore, the researcher may want to review this reel. In addition, there is no reel of microfilm for Record Group 72, only photocopied pages.
Processed by Hank Brown, 1999.
Encoded by Rena Schergen, February 2012.
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
National Archives, Purchase, 1971, XXXX-0152, unknown
Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access note
No restrictions on access
United States Army Around the World Flight (1924) Collection, Acc. XXXX-0152, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151