Picture archives:    Current Projects:   Past Memorials & Surveys     Who we are:    links:    contact us:

The Smith-Bronte Pacific Crossing

(another little heard of epic flight)

On July 14, 1927, pilot Ernest Smith and merchant marine navigator Emory Bronte took off from Oakland California in a Travel Air single engine aircraft with Wheeler Field, Oahu as their planned destination.

 25 hours and 37 minutes after takeoff and 60 miles short of their Oahu destination, running out of fuel, pilot Smith elected to crash land near Kaunakakai on Moloka'i.  He landed in a kiawe grove, damaging the aircraft beyond repair.  

Local Moloka'i residents notified authorities on Oahu that the pair had crashed there and were unhurt.  The Army sent several aircraft to escort them to Wheeler Field.  Later, they were both awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for their feat, which was unusual for civilians.  Smith went on to fly as a pilot for TWA and Bronte later served as a US Navy pilot in WWII.  (Grover, Aviation History Magazine Sept 2005)

The photo gallery below was scanned from the 15th AW archives by HAPS, with the exception of the last three, which are from Hawaii Web.com (2002) Look to your browser address for a brief description of the picture.

Hit Counter