With Lindbergh's flight from New York to Paris a new chapter in the history of transportation opened. The flight which had hitherto existed only in dreams, and for which thousands of people had longed, became for the first time a reality: the successful crossing of the Atlantic. But although Nungesser and Coli, the unforgotten pioneers of the Atlantic flight, did not succeed in their last effort, their names will live on for ever as the men who were the first to believe in an East to West flight, and who paid for this belief with their lives.

Colonel Lindbergh's wonder and precise flight must be the more admired because it was the feat of a man alone with himself and his faith. Then others attempted to follow his example. After the visit of Miss Columbia to Germany with Chamberlin and Levine, the problem which had become acute after Eckener's successful flight in 1924, leapt again into the foreground. The difficulties connected with a flight from East to West were known. It was clear that the cruising radius of a machine to be used for such an attempt had to be much greater than the cruising radius of a plane which winged its way in the opposite direction.

The rotation of the earth in an easterly direction seems to create winds over the ocean which are predominantly westerly in direction—numerous scientists believe in this theory. The fuel supply of a machine flying in an East to West direction—if these circumstances are taken into consideration—must necessarily be much larger than that of a machine starting in the opposite direction. Success depends on the hours such a machine is able to remain in the air rather than on the number of kilometers to be covered, because head winds might cause 100% or more delay.

Some initiated circles believed in the spring of 1927 that the Junkers machine type W33, which originally was built for carrying freight would be the type of machine capable of carrying out this task. This airplane, though designed as a seaplane, could be fitted with wheels and could then, given a good runway, carry considerably more fuel and load than as a seaplane.

Had the machine been used as a seaplane the suction of the water would have made it impossible for this machine to take off when loaded as I have described. Apart from this, floats increase air resistance, thereby decreasing speed considerably. Therefore a land plane has much better chances of success.

In addition to this, Professor Junkers had just constructed a motor to which great hopes were attached. The requirements for an East to West flight were thus fulfilled. Quiet preparations were made in Dessau. The selection of the pilot was naturally of great importance. Experience in night flying and good knowledge of navigation were absolutely necessary qualifications. Koehl was the pilot who had had the widest experience in night flying. The night service of the Junker-Flugverkehr G.m.b.H. (Herman Airline) was developed along the lines of his experience and according to his advice. After the merger of this company with the Luft-Hansa (another German Airline) Koehl became Manager of the Night Flights Department of the German Luft-Hansa. So he seemed to be the man for this flight.

Huenefeld, who had studied the problem of the Atlantic flight for years, heard through his friend, Dr. von Hodenberg, of the preparations being made in Dessau. As a result of personal conferences carried on in Dessau, Huenefeld, together with Conrad Edzard, an aviator of Bremen, chartered an airplane of this type under the guarantee of the Norddeutscher Lloyd and the National Bank of Darmstadt.

Professor Junkers, who is a man of science and at the same time a man of practical experience, stipulated that an endurance flight test should be made with a machine especially equipped for the flight to America, before the Atlantic flight was embarked upon. Meantime the Hearst Press had chartered another ship of the same type and reached an agreement with Huenefeld whereby they were to take off at the same time. These two airplanes were called the Bremen and the Europa.

In July, 1927, both machines were ready to take off for the planned endurance flight. They were manned with the crew which it was intended should participate in the impending Atlantic flight. In the Bremen sat Koehl and Loose, the pilot of the Junkers Works in Dessau; Edzard and the Junkers' pilot Ristiez sat in the other machine. Knickerbocker, who should have flown as representative of Hearst's Press with the Europa, and Huenefeld who should have embarked upon the flight with the Bremen did not participate in this endurance flight, in order to avoid unnecessary loading.

After three hours the Bremen was forced to land as the result of motor trouble. Koehl, who tried to lighten the load of his plane before landing by dumping superfluous gasoline, fainted in consequence of the escaping gases and contracted severe burns when he fell on the floor of the plane which was covered with gasoline. The Europa created the record of 52 hours. It was then thought that the crossing of the Atlantic from East to West was assured.

Both planes took off on August 14. The Europa encountered bad weather over the North Sea and made a forced landing in Bremen. The plane was badly damaged, but the crew escaped unhurt. The Bremen with Loose, Koehl and Huenefeld on board, continued her flight beyond Ireland. Huenefeld's report on the first attempted flight of the Bremen, which was written immediately upon the return to Dessau, follows.

"A short farewell feast was held in the office building of the Junkers Works. Ministerial Councillor Brandenburg, Professor Junkers, and Privy Councillor Stimming spoke a few simple words which went to the heart. The car was waiting. Director Sachsenberg accompanied us to the runway. The crews of both planes shook hands with each other quickly but heartily, and then we took our places in the Bremen.

The motor ran at top speed, and we began to rush along the runway. A few minutes later we found ourselves several meters above ground. The take-off was accomplished in spite of the heavily loaded plane, and through my cap and earlaps I could hear Koehl yelling out a hearty `Jodler.' The flight into the distance had begun.

"Only slowly did the machine work herself up to greater height. But even this height was not so considerable but that we could clearly see be­low us Germany in her Sunday repose. The news of our take-off must have spread rather rapidly, because in Magdeburg, for instance, I saw a number of excursionists looking for us earnestly and waving at us in a lively manner. Were we not carrying with us also their hopes? We felt more than ever that we were part of the German nation, and we decided to do everything in our power to bear with honor the German name.

"In the pocket of my coat which hung in front of me I heard the crackling of paper. I pulled it out, and saw the good wishes of Paul Koenig, captain of the U Deutschland. This telegram had reached me a few minutes before the take-off, and it wished us all the best of success. My thoughts wandered from aboard the Bremen to the old Hansa town with her wonderful old steeples, her fairy-like gables. Surely the spirit of Hansa as well as the Junkers spirit was watching over us in our undertaking.

"The night quietly descended upon Germany. The beautiful green forests greeted us once more. They disappeared silently in the twilight, and already clouds shaded the horizon in front of us. The silent white full moon sailed through an overcast sky; every now and then we saw its light through rifts in the clouds. The sky began to be lit up by lightning. Koehl and Loose were not very pleased with the thunderstorm, which from an artistic standpoint gave me special pleasure.

"Maybe Bressler, who with Schnaebele was piloting the escort plane G 31 was then think­ing of one of the exciting flights I had with him. In the beginning of September, 1925, I was released from the Clinic in Bremen after a stomach operation, and intended to go to my parents in order to recuperate. I was consid­ered crazy when immediately after leaving the hospital I drove down to the flying field. But a man's will decides his actions, and if he is de­voted to flying he will not miss any opportunity. Every seat on the F 13, the passenger plane to Berlin, was booked, except my favorite seat beside the pilot. Half an hour after the take-off we encountered two thunderstorms in succession.

The rain came pelting down, and turned the day into pitch dark night. We were encircled by flashes of lightning. And while I was looking at the map, Bressler with a steady hand piloted the machine through the storm. When we met again on the field, Bressler in his first words spoke of that flight which unconsciously had brought us closer together.

"Maybe the things that I was about to live through had had their beginning in that flight with Bressler, which took place almost two years ago. Squall after squall came and roared around us. The rain pelted down upon the machine and flash after flash of lightning shot down from the sky to the sea. Loose and Koehl were not at all disconcerted and I was infected by the confidence they radiated. We felt that nothing would hold us back.

"The lights of England appeared. We passed over a splendidly illuminated flying field. The storm which began on the North Sea increased in violence from minute to minute. Our Bremen carried on a veritable hell dance. But thanks to her designer and her pilots we struggled on. So the night wore away. Would a better morning follow? Our hopes were not fulfilled. Instead of subsiding, the storm increased in strength. I have never seen the coast of England and Ireland so lashed about as during those morning hours, and I have often passed it aboard our Lloyd steamers.

"I had just time enough to give a final glance to this glimmering island over which fog and clouds were chasing. It is only from the sky that one can really realize how green this country is. Without being able to account for it, one has the feeling that down there lives a population which through every hour of the day and night has to fight with wind and weather, and which, perhaps because of this constant fight, is as closely attached to the soil as are our neighbors and the people living on the islands adjoining us.

We had to turn back

"We had not yet abandoned every hope. We tried to fly round the storm. We took up a southerly course in an effort to reach our goal in spite of the appalling weather. But in vain ! Early in the morning after we had reached the Atlantic coast, and just as our machine started on her wildest dance and as the elements let loose their worst fury, such as I had never before experienced, Koehl handed me a slip of paper on which he had written these laconic words: 'We cannot count on reaching Newfoundland with such a head wind. We must return to Dessau.'

"This message did not take me by surprise, but as I read it one word unconsciously passed my lips. I cannot repeat it because it is not con­tained in any dictionary of the German lan­guage, but I believe it adequately expressed the feeling of Loose, Koehl and myself. Neverthe­less none of us doubted even for one moment that we were doing the right thing. We had not em­barked upon a wild adventure with only a faint chance of success. We were earnestly striving for ultimate victory. And that meant above all things, self control. We could not take fool­hardy chances which might forever cut us off from victory. So we turned our course home­ward—to succeed another day. In that moment when we decided to take the machine back un­damaged and wait for a better opportunity, all three of us were convinced that this attempt would not be our last one.

"The homeward flight began. This flight also was one unceasing fight with the elements, a fight which strained the nerves of the pilots to an even greater extent than the flight outward bound. But they did not falter. The old Junkers spirit of which I have repeatedly spoken, again won through. We realized that rather than attempt the impossible we were in duty bound to take every possible precaution in order not to endanger the ultimate success of our task. The Dutch coast reappeared. The course led over Noordwyk and Scheveningen, the bathing re­sorts I know so well. In the summer of 1919 I spent many happy hours with dear Bremen friends in Noordwyk. Gradually we came into the zone of tail winds. We shot rapidly over the country and soon the German forests reap­peared.

"I wondered whether down below they knew what had become of us. And I wondered how our comrades on the Europa had fared. This was the question which worried us the most, because we had lost sight of the other plane as soon as the storm began. We knew that on the Europa there prevailed the same spirit which did not permit mad speculation, but our fears never­theless rose and they were not dispelled until we learnt our comrades' fate. Suddenly Loose turned round and spread out the five fingers of his hand. Five minutes later we landed safely. Our hands were shaken. Our first question was about the Europa. We learned to our very great relief that she also had landed in Bremen, and that her crew was safely on the way to Dessau aboard a special plane.

"America should not bear us any grudge be­cause she waited for us in vain. We still hoped within a short time to be able in their own coun­try to shake hands with the pioneers who had flown the Atlantic before us. But at that moment we could not foresee when this would happen. The desire of all of us was very much alive. We were more confident than ever that we could rely on our machine, and we felt that our flight of 23 hours through fog, night and storm was another step forward in experience which ultimately would bring us closely to our final goal."

An evil genius seemed to preside over the various attempts to cross the Atlantic which were made late in the summer of 1927. The Bremen made repeated efforts to take off, but was prevented by bad weather; and many lives were lost along the path that the ill-fated pioneers travelled. The loss of so many lives gradually brought about a change in the opinion of the entire world regarding such flights. The enthusiasm of the summer gave way to voices which, timid in the beginning, gradually increased in volume and strongly deprecated new attempts. After a time the public began to demand that such flights be strictly forbidden, in order to avoid the unnecessary loss of further lives.

The question was seriously discussed. Although this attitude was, of course, understandable from a human point of view, it was not materially justified. Every new method of transportation results in a certain number of victims, and he who embarks on such undertakings knows the risks he has to face. Therefore when Colonel Lindbergh made a statement, it was exceedingly welcome. He professed the point of view which we all had secretly harbored. Moreover, he openly expressed the opinion that official restrictions could not and should not prevent attempts which were helping forward the progress of mankind, even though such attempts might involve more loss of life and additional sacrifices.

But even his voice could not change public opinion, although it must be acknowledged that it did not come to official prohibition in any country. A flight attempted in the autumn of 1927 had very much the same fate as the Bremen. In Ireland the Scotch Captain Mackintosh started from Baldonnel Field with the commander of the Irish Air Force, Fitzmaurice. The machine

which was used for this flight was a 550 H.P. Fokker. After reaching the Atlantic this machine also met with exceedingly bad weather and on September 16 was forced to return. This flight had a very special bearing on the later development of affairs. The eyes of the world, and the eyes of German pilots turned for the first time to the Irish flying field, and one was convinced that the problem would have to be approached step by step in order to ensure a successful solution.

The route, Ireland to Newfoundland, was decided upon. The attempts of the first crew of the Bremen in the autumn of 1927 to establish a contact with Ireland did not meet with success because of many factors, one of which was the advanced stage of the season. The nights were becoming longer, the days unfriendlier; and in addition to this, Loose left the crew in order to take part in another undertaking which was to fly a tri-motored Junkers machine of Type G.24 as a seaplane over the Azores to the United States. His participation in this venture was decided after discussion with Koehl and Huenefeld, who readily understood that the offer to him to take part in this expedition seemed too tempting for him, an old Naval pilot, to refuse. The question of insurance constituted a difficulty of another nature, because after the return of the Bremen the insurance lapsed and it would have been very difficult in the short time which would have been at our disposal to arrange new insurance.

We now come to the events of the winter of 1927-28. The unsuccessful attempt of the courageous American, Ruth Elder; the two German seaplanes which intended to fly from Germany over the Azores; all this tended to increase the hostile opinion against East to West flight at tempts. As a result of this hostility, even those circles in Germany which had supported the undertakings of the Bremen and Europa could not bring themselves to make the new sacrifices which would have been absolutely necessary. So Koehl and Huenefeld were forced to take the matter of a new flight attempt into their own hands.

Koehl undertook the technical preparations for the flight. The wings had already after our first attempt at his suggestion been fitted with so-called "Eselsohren"—light attachments which could be bent upwards, thus giving the machine better stability without reducing the peed. Based upon his experience of flights at light and in fog he tested personally all the reuired instruments. The work the Askania Works in Berlin and Dessau had been carrying n, based upon the aeronautical experiences of ast summer, was a great help which must not e underestimated. Later on the Askania Wendezeiger," an indicator which ensures safe lying at night and in fog and does not require he navigator to remain in sight of land or sea, endered us most valuable service. Koehl caried out a number of experiments in taking off nd landing heavy planes, because we knew that he difficulties encountered at the take-off would ave to be faced first. We knew that a successful take-off meant the accomplishment of a substantial part of our task. We knew we would not have the facilities of the asphalt runway (which cost so much and took so long to build) which was placed at our disposal in Dessau in the summer of 1927.

The financial side of the matter was left in the hands of Huenefeld. He had only limited private means at his disposal with which to carry out the flight, but what he had he unhesitatingly used for this purpose. Then the struggle began. The sum for the purchase of the plane was raised only under enormous difficulties and after many refusals. Those who participated were for the most part people in Bremen. We had altogether eleven small financial backers, who put at our disposal small sums as a loan and free of interest. We encountered still other difficulties in connection with the purchase of the plane itself, because owing to the force of public opinion all over the world, Junkers Works regarded such a sale for such a purpose unfavorably. But Professor Junkers, that wise old scientist and man of action was far sighted and showed great understanding, and eventually his word weighed the scales in our favor. The machine became Huenefeld's property in February, 1928.

The Bremen was carefully overhauled and was ready for the take-off in March, 1928. In the interval Koehl and Huenefeld had strengthened the ties with Ireland. They went with Waldemar Klose, a departmental manager of Norddeutscher Lloyd and who knew Ireland well, to the green island in order to study the landing fields and the possibilities for a take-off. This trip which was made in February, 1928, with the Lloyd steamer "Dresden" was welcomed most heartily by the Irish Authorities and the Irish people. Galway, a geographically advantageous point, was first considered. However, this idea had to be given up because before one could think of taking off with a machine whose capacity would so far exceed normal, one would have had to construct a runway on the old flying field, and this would have cost too much. The conditions at Baldonnel were different. Here we found a field which with some improvements could be made suitable even for the take-off of an Atlantic plane, so we decided that within a few weeks we would appear in Baldonnel in order to take off from that field.

The take-off of the Bremen took place quietly from the Templehof Field in Berlin on March 26. Only very few spectators were present. Among them was Knickerbocker who flew with the Europa. He wished to be the last to say goodbye to his old comrades of the summer. Secret preparations were necessary be-

cause, as already mentioned, public opinion was becoming more and more opposed to ocean flights, and although we had no fear of being actually forbidden to fly, some difficulties might have arisen which under certain circumstances would have caused delay and thereby threatened to endanger our flight. It was widely thought that Koehl and Huenefeld were no longer normal adventurers, but were trying to commit suicide in a modern fashion. Koehl was generally pitied; people deplored that he should have allowed himself to be dragged into such an undertaking by the abnormally adventuresome Huenefeld. Later on public opinion changed.

The crew of the Bremen lived through an exciting moment when the plane, while rolling over the field, seemed to stick for a moment in the soft soil which after a frost had only recently thawed. The Junkers mechanics who had given themselves whole-heartedly to the furthering of our flight, as indeed had the laborers, engineers and all other Junkers employees, gave the right side of the plane one jerk which pulled it out of the dangerous rut. The propeller reached the required revolutions and the take-off was accomplished at 8:30. The crew at this start consisted of Koehl, the co-pilot Spindel and Huenefeld. The fuel supply carried amounted to 700 kilograms.

The first two hours of the flight passed without incident. The visibility was good and bright sunshine showed the way. After Hannover things changed. Low flying clouds forced us to seek a higher altitude. Here we were helped by the experience gained during previous flights in fogs. The plane safely followed her course under Koehl's control. The Askania Wendezeiger stood its first test wonderfully. After Amsterdam the weather cleared up somewhat, but it was still rather hazy. The coast of Calais could not be seen, and we crossed the Channel as if in a fog. London spreading out for many miles in a soft mist could not be seen clearly. Soon the Irish sea was sighted, and nine hours after our start the Bremen landed safely on Baldonnel field.

In this Irish Aerodrome the composition of the Bremen crew was definitely decided upon. Their Irish comrades accorded Koehl and Huenefeld one of the nicest receptions they have ever experienced. Officers, non-commissioned officers and men competed with each other in extending all possible assistance and hospitality, so that when the long guarded secret became known that the Commander of the Irish Air Force, Major Fitzmaurice, was to fly as a copilot of the Bremen across the Atlantic, it was hardly possible for their sympathies to increase.

The days of waiting which followed were hard. Immediately after the arrival of the Bremen in Baldonnel the weather over the Atlantic, which until then had been rather favorable, changed. A take-off which we attempted a few days after our arrival failed at the outset because of the soil being soft as a result of heavy rains. One has to experience this Irish rain to realize what it means. It poured down, day and night, turning into mud every inch of the ground which in February had seemed hard and favorable for our purpose. We had to wait, but during this time we made important preparations to safeguard us against emergencies. We abandoned our original plan for a take-off in an East to West direction because at that time of year one has to count more upon winds from the South than upon westerly winds. So the North South direction was chosen.

Another factor in our decision was that at the beginning of the runway between two big hangars there was a concrete patch of 40 meters length which would greatly facilitate the first impulse. Beyond this a path had to be made; the rough spots were flattened out by laying sleepers upon the ground and stamping them into the soil. When we were preparing our first runway we discovered that a steam roller which we had acquired with great difficulty and at much expense caused more damage than good, since all it did was to press the water out of the ground on to the surface, thereby creating impossible conditions. A lengthening of the runway was achieved by pulling down a wall which separated us from the neighboring meadows. The negotiations with the owner of this wall were rather difficult, but in the end he agreed to carry out our request for a sum of £75,—rather a high price to pay considering the small amount of work it involved. Still, this work remained priceless for us, because at the take-off we found that the removal of this wall was our salvation.

And gradually Easter approached. The weather reports on the Atlantic were still unfavorable. The rain still pelted down, although we felt the worst of the deluge was over. Shortly before the holidays we thought that a change for the better had set in. But the British Air Ministry, which had been good enough to telephone us regularly all the details of atmospheric conditions over the ocean, reported otherwise. Nevertheless, the Easter holidays brought us a special pleasure. Reginald Schinzinger, one of the best engineers of the Junkers Works who had taken quite a part in the designing and construction of our plane, made a sacrifice and spent his Easter holiday in Baldonnel, to see what further progress had been made towards the start of our flight. He was able to establish that Foreman Weller and his faithful assistant, the mechanic Lengerich, who had received leave from Junkers to accompany us to Baldonnel, had done exemplary work and neglected no detail.

Schinzinger's presence was the more important because he was able to reassure us from his calculations that under somewhat favorable conditions mathematically our runway would absolutely guarantee a take-off. The importance of such a theoretical basis must not be underestimated because it tends to give the pilot self confidence and that peace of mind which is essential in achieving a successful solution of an extraordinary task.

The plane stood ready and filled in the hangar. We had a number of visitors from Dublin. Nearly all the Ministers of the Irish Free State visited us and looked at our machine with interested and understanding eyes. They wished us good luck and success in our flight. And thus slowly approached the day on which we were definitely to take off. On the 12th of April at 5:30 Irish time we were ready to take off for America.