Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh with the plane they took to China

This morning, I stumbled across an interesting photo of Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh and the Sirius flying boat they used on their famous survey flight to China in 1931 here, at the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum’s website. (It enlarges well using the “large JPEG” button below the photo.)

Their aerial journey to China was the subject of Anne Morrow Lindbergh’s book North to the Orient. Near the end of North to the Orient, Anne Morrow describes Charles’ efforts to survey the extent of the damage caused by the Yangtze River’s 1931 flood, which is possibly the most devastating natural disaster in human history, and is briefly described in China’s Wings (pp. 29-30). The Lindbergh’s efforts to mitigate some of the unbearable suffering of the flood survivors nearly ended in Charles’ demise. It’s an exciting episode in an enjoyable book.

North to the Orient is also one of the three books I discussed in the four-minute 3 Books episode Pioneers of the Sky  I recorded for NPR’s All Things Considered last March. The other two books are Antoine de Saint Exupery’s Wind, Sand and Stars and Ernest K. Gann’s Fate is the Hunter.

I enjoyed the writing, recording, and production process and would love to do more radio.

Pioneers of the Sky


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