Today in History, August 16, 1927:
“The Dole Air Race” ends in tragedy and glory. Depending on who you were.
James Drummond Dole, heir to the Dole Pineapple industry that had been initiated in the 19th century, sponsored an air race to prove that air travel could be made between the mainland and Honolulu. He had been inspired by Charles Lindbergh’s transatlantic flight. Whoever reached Honolulu first would win $25,000.
Several entrants would drop out before the flight even began, but of the eight that left the mainland, six would be lost without a trace.
Two Army Air Corps Lieutenant’s had already made the flight successfully…but since they landed at Wheeler Field rather than Honolulu, they were disqualified.
Two Travel Air 5000 monoplanes were sponsored by Oklahoma Oilman Frank Phillips…the “Oklahoma” and the “Woolaroc.” The Oklahoma had to turn back….but the Woolaroc, piloted by Arthur C. Goebel and William V. Davis, Jr. took the prize, being the first to arrive in Honolulu.
Once again, Oklahoma wins. You can visit the “Woolaroc”, at Woolaroc near Bartlesville.