For five hours nothing but night—I could not even see the fog. My flashlight beams every now and then, lit up the compass. My eyes were tired and sore. But happy hopes filled me. We still had gasoline for many more hours, and could correct an error in our course in the morning. I sometimes closed my burning eyes and fought the attacks of tiredness.

We climbed slowly. I did not want to give the Bremen too much gas, and I observed carefully my thermometer. It dropped, and registered 2 degrees above freezing point. This meant that we did not have to fear that ice would collect on the plane. We hoped now to be over land, but no light could be seen in the sea of clouds. The tired eyes saw mirages. Lights seemed to flash up here and there.

But I knew by experience that one must be extremely careful under such conditions and must not follow any deceiving lights, or else all would be lost. It was extremely difficult to fly now by compass. In fact it was rather difficult to continue checking our momentary course in the glaring cone of the flashlight. Time seemed at a standstill. "If only the stars would come, or the day!" But day was a long way off. The night has eight hours, and if we progressed far West, even nine. Endlessly long crept by the minutes in the dark stormy night.

We knew that we would soon reach the hour in which the cabin tank would be exhausted. We climbed repeatedly and then descended again in dense fog. At 7:30 Irish time the gasoline level in the gauge tube began to drop. We switched over and pumped. The fuel consumption this time had been too large. The tanks were exhausted three and a half hours too soon. It is true I flew with a richer mixture in the fog. We finished switching on to the fresh tanks, the Bremen banks, and the compass revolves. With the "Askania," however, we gradually brought her back upon her course. I handled the rudder after my own fashion; step on the left, step on the right, and so on, and soon we were on our course again. We were really getting on quite well, on the first long fog flight I was forced to fly. The "Askania" altimeter helped me along well. It is rather difficult to keep altitude, but even this we managed. The hours passed. A few hours more, and the dawn should come. My hopes rose again. We should certainly reach our objective, the American continent.

Suddenly it became lighter in the clouds of fog. I could see lights ; they were stars; and again they disappeared and we were in a new fog. But now I knew that if we had more altitude, we could get over the clouds, that the clouds were not inaccessibly high, and that we would gradually emerge from the low pressure area. The last I considered the most important factor of all. I carefully gave the engine more gas. The Bremen climbed and all of a sudden we both seemed to see lights ahead. We shouted it at each other happily. But it was a mistake. They were stars, many stars, and they glimmered like the lights of as many lighthouses. Every now and again they or we disappeared in the sea of clouds. But the glimpses we caught became longer and longer, and soon we had above us a starlit sky.

Below us heaved milky white fog and dark clouds. We flew at an altitude of 2000 meters. Now I handed over the controls to Fitz, and looked after the navigation. "Where can we be? Below us nothing can be seen." I looked for the polar star. The star easily found, I compared the compass with it. The compass seemed to me to have gone crazy, it registered entirely wrong. We must have been a good way off our course towards North, I could not establish how far. We picked out stars for our direction.

Fitzmaurice flew and I closed my eyes. I could not keep them open any longer. I tried to fix them upon a star, but I could not hold it. I slept for five minutes. In my sleep I could see the stars sparkle and circle. The short sleep and the remainder of the coffee refreshed me, and onward we flew. It was soon Fitzmaurice's turn to take a nap. He also had scarcely closed his eyes during the whole night.

It began to clear up, and suddenly the clouds below us disappeared. Strange formations appeared below. Great patches of whiteness, with long black stretches in between. I believed that I was seeing icebergs. "Is it land or water?" I could not decide. I thought it was possibly icebergs on the sea. But it was land which stretched below us. We kept a southwesterly course according to the polar star. Fitz shouted to me "Labrador," and though I was inclined to believe it, I was only certain after Fitz had fired off a few light rockets, in the shimmer of which we noticed forests and snow. Our joy was great.

We kept on with our flight towards the southwest. Finally light appeared on the horizon, the moon began to rise on our left and in the East it began to dawn. We now saw high mountains around us, which we had to dodge, and around which we encountered wind gusts of enormous strength. Once, in front of a high mountain, we bumped our heads hard against the ceiling of the plane. I wondered how Baron von Huenefeld felt in his cabin.

We were of the opinion, that we were now over the American continent, but where? This we could not tell. It must be way up North, because under us there were still only dark forests and snow.

Our oil tank was full again. We did not have to worry about this any longer. We had neglected to fill the motor tank from the reserve tank. When it actually came to filling it, the oil had flowed straight into the gauge tube; whereupon we thought that the main tank was filled and closed the valves ; the oil then flowed from the gauge tube into the tank. This resulted in the rapid drop of the oil level, which had caused us so many anxious hours.

The sun came with its brightness, and found me happy and cheerful again. Below us was land crossed by valleys. At our altitude, however, we did not seem to make any headway. We faced a strong south-west wind which hindered our progress. We descended and followed the course of an open river, which brought us to long drawn out lakes. We flew on in the valley at an altitude of 10 meters. At each bend I had to give a little more gas, in order to get over the pines on the slopes. The snow seemed to be deep. Who had planted those pines, we wondered, as we shot by. I shouted with joy into the fresh morning.

Far down in the southeast came a big lake. Surely some human beings lived there. We got there; but no houses, no paths, nothing betrayed the presence of men. This wide expanse of uninhabited land began to seem uncanny to us. We had flown for hours with our center tanks. We produced our maps and studied them. We had only sea charts of Labrador on which only rivers and lakes were marked; but so many, that we did not know which one this was. We presumed that we were here, and there; but how could we be sure that our assumptions were correct?

We flew on. We had to climb high mountains, plateaus, and there we were shaken by terrible gusts of wind. He hoped that the sea, the St. Lawrence gulf or something would appear behind the mountains. We flew on and on, from hill to hill, but we were wrong. We seemed to see a long coast line with islands in the sea. Our eyes deceived us. Fitz saw the island Anticosti in the sea. We headed for it, but it was a forest. Forests and forests and snow; but no roads, no paths, no houses! I began to feel rather disheartened. Where were we? The sun disappeared behind streaks of clouds. I could no longer see it. My compass read southwest, but it jumped very much because the Bremen was continuously shaken by gales. These lifeless stretches were weird. While crossing a big lake, Fitz thought he saw a settlement. I turned around and convinced myself that he was mistaken.

Meanwhile our watches showed 11 o'clock. We rose up high to 2200 meters. No coast could be seen. We passed the glasses from hand to hand. Nothing but forests, snow, mountains and valleys. An icy fear came over.

If we were forced to land here we would be lost. And our fuel supply was running low! I experienced no little fright when I thought of our last check up, when our tanks were exhausted 4 hours earlier than we had expected. Maybe something had gone wrong which caused a heavier consumption of fuel? I considered all this, and wrote in a hurry to Huenefeld: "We have gasoline only for a few hours, are over unknown land and might have to make a forced landing." What would happen then we did not say to each other, but we all thought the same.

What could we do? Fly on to the last drop of our fuel; throttle down, and fly in such a manner as to reach as far as possible; keep steady on our course in a southwesterly direction, because we might be in Labrador or just as well way up in the North of Canada.

We would be lost if we did not reach the coast. I now made an accurate estimate of our gasoline supply. The center tanks showed a contents of about 200 liters each. We cut off these and then entirely pumped out the rest of the tanks. We managed to scrape together from those tanks fuel sufficient for one hour and twenty minutes. The aforesaid twice 200 liters would last us quite a while, but considering that we were coming to the end of our supply, it was not quite safe to rely too closely upon our calculations.

The dreadful possibility which now threatened us seemed worse than a disaster over the ocean.

And now began a flight one meter above the pines, making use of the slopes and valleys—a frantic race. We tried to fly with as lean a mixture as possible. The good old motor growled, it did not seem to like it, but it had to be. Thank God, the gasoline consumption began to drop, and if the gauge was correct, it would last us for quite some hours.

It was a race between life and death. We were all very serious. With our glasses and our aching and tired eyes we looked for roads, huts and smoke. But for hours we saw nothing but forests and snow. It became colder and colder, and above us blew a southern wind which caught us in its grip even though we were flying so close to the ground. The further South we came, more and more wintry was the aspect the landscape assumed. Was our compass wrong? Did disturbing regions cause excessive deviation? On the sea chart there was a disquieting notation: "The coastal region in the Northern part of the Gulf of St. Lawrence is rich in local magnetic disturbances."

We could not see the sun. Were we flying towards southeast? Maybe our deviation of 35 to 30 degrees was not correct? But all we could do was to keep steady on our course, and under no condition cruise. Our salvation lay in the South. Our watch showed 5 o'clock. The terrain began to rise, a rocky plateau appeared. The wind increased and the gusts became furious.

Behind the plateau, however, the weather changed. Icy fogs rose and were either torn in the air or else covered the rocky ground. My hopes were renewed. We climbed higher to obtain a better view, and in order to make better speed through the fog Southwards. We saw wide frozen expanses of water that Fitzmaurice wanted to fly across, because he thought he could see land. My glasses showed open water. It seemed better not to fly over there as our gasoline might soon come to an end. Along the coast we flew Eastward. It appeared to be either a big lake or the Gulf of St. Lawrence. And while we thought about it Fitzmaurice saw in the middle of the ice what looked like a frozen-in steamer. Through my glasses I noticed that it was a lighthouse with a house next to it, and many huts nearby.

"Saved! We are saved!" We broke through the clouds of fog and circled the island. The house appeared to be inhabited, for the door was open. We looked for a landing place. A small icy snow field in front of an electric cable seemed to be suitable. I dropped a smoke bomb and to my astonishment established that the wind below us came from the opposite direction. And I forgot to think how strong the wind might be.

We prepared to land. Twice I gave the motor more gas in order to clear a wall and a road, and then we were upon the ice. The Bremen settled down gently, but she did not roll; the ice broke, she tipped forward and stood on her head. Only after opening the deck did we notice what a violent gale raged there. I was the first to climb out. The wind simply blew me away on the smooth ice. Fitzmaurice followed, and then Baron von Huenefeld. Men rushed forward. They told us that we were actually in Canada; on Greenly Island; in the strait of Belle Isle.

In the wind we straightened the Bremen, intending to salvage her. She stood with her wheels half in the water. The gale repeatedly knocked us down upon the ice and threw us over the rocks. The willing inhabitants brought ropes, and after repeated attempts with these to pull our good Bremen up to land, the right axle broke. We discontinued our futile attempts—I stepped up to my knees in the icy water and drained the radiator.

With strong ropes around the wings we fastened the Bremen down to North American soil.

The first Trans-Oceanic East to West flight was behind us. Great experiences are to crown our relentless fight. Kind fate has ordained that we should end our flight on American soil, just where a Canadian airline ends; an airline leading straight into the heart of Canada, and ending there where railroads begin. Twelve hundred kilometers separated us from Murray Bay. It would be a few days presumably before the Bremen would be able to resume her flight upon skis into the new world. The days spent in waiting for propeller, skis and axle were not lost.

New ideas already presented themselves. We began to make plans for the future, plans which we were anxious to carry out as soon as possible.

While writing my report I looked out through the double window. Flowers stood on the window-sill, as at home. Through the window I saw sunny distances, and my gaze wandered over mighty rocks, and jagged pack ice stretching towards the South and ending there in the open blue sea. Behind that ice there was a dark blue streak, Newfoundland, the country of icy fogs and the storm corner of North America.

I thought of the first fliers to attempt to reach the goal. Now I know where death lies in wait; where they disappeared.

My first thoughts were devoted to them, the dead heroes.

Volare neccesse est vivere non est.