Presentation at Pearl Harbor - 1935

On 18 March 1935 the Controller of Civil Aviation, Capt Edgar Johnston, presented a desk set from Sydney's Mascot Aerodrome to Commander E W Tod, US Navy, Commander of the Fleet Air Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, in appreciation of the service rendered by the Naval Air Force in the search for Charles Ulm.

Ulm, together with co-pilot George Littlejohn and navigator/radio operator Leon Skilling, had been attempting to survey a route from Oakland, California, to Sydney in Airspeed A.S.6 Envoy VH-UXY Stella Australis for his new company Great Pacific Airways. Departing Oakland on 3 December 1934, the flight apparently proceeded normally until nearing the Hawiian islands when the crew became lost and unable to sight land. When their fuel became exhausted, Skilling radioed that Ulm intended to ditch the aircraft. An extensive air and sea search got under way but no trace was ever found of either the aircraft or crew.

The individuals in this photo are (from left to right): Lt Cmdr J D Price, Operations Officer; Lt Cmdr G T Owen, Commanding Patrol Squadron 8; Lt Cmdr H J Brow, Commanding Patrol Squadron 4; Commander E W Tod, Commanding Fleet Air Base Pearl Harbor; Lt Cmdr H M Mullinnix, Executive Officer Fleet Air Base; Lt Cmdr R D Lyon, Commanding Patrol Squadron 6; Lt Cmdr C T Stinard, Gunnery Officer Fleet Air Base; CCA Capt E C Johnston; Lt Cmdr H M Martin, Commanding Patrol Squadron 10; Lieut E E Delecek, Executive Officer Patrol Squadron 1.

(Photo: US Navy - CAHS/E C Johnston collection)

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