Nov 2011 High Society
High Society really did exist in the golden age of aviation. Here are a few photos and tidbits from that bygone era.
JAYNE SHATTUCK TOPPING. From The Evening News, Sault St, Marie, MI, Dec. 15, 1937, Â “A Top Flight was made by Jayne Shattuck Topping, 32, society aviatrix, who flew from Detroit to New York in 2 hours, 20 minutes.”
Here’s an absolutely gorgeous photograph of Carol Lombard prettily posed on a wheel pant of a 1935 Waco CJC. Andy Heins reports Carol was a pilot so this picture fits perfectly in our group of “High Society” flying photos.
Sadly it was a plane crash that took the life of Carol Lombard in 1942. She boarded a DC3 in Indianapolis for a 17 hour flight to Burbank, California. It made a scheduled stop atÂ Albuquerque where there were nine officers waiting with military orders enabling them to bump any civilian off the plane. Lombard argued that having just sold two million dollars’ worth of war bonds, she must have some “rank.”Â The Army officers gave in and Carol Lombard stayed on the flight.
From Time Magazine, “The pilot, Wayne Williams, seemed unconcerned when he reported at 7:07 P.M. that he was slightly off course, about thirty-five miles west of Las Vegas. Eyewitnesses later reported that it was just about that time that the plane burst into flames. Some thought it happened justÂ before the plane hit Olcott Mountain, also called Table Rock.”
A 1933 RKO musical film staring Delores del Rio,Â Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Billed as a “MusicalÂ extravaganzaÂ staged in the clouds!” And “Romance that soars to the skies on the wings of song!”
Lady Grace Drummand-Hay was the widow of a British diplomat. “As a journalist for the Hearst press organization, Drummond-Hay made her first zeppelin flight in October, 1928, when she was chosen to accompany five other reporters â€” including her companion and Hearst colleague Karl von Wiegand â€” on theÂ first transatlantic flightÂ of the Graf Zeppelin from Germany to America.Â As the only woman on the flight, Drummond-Hay received a great deal of attention in the worldâ€™s press.” (From Airships.net)
From the Palm Beach Daily News, March 2, 1935; “Among prominent members of the international colony at the (Breakers) Hotel are Miss Ninette Heaton and her mother, Mrs. J. E. Heaton of New York and London. Although very young, Miss Heaton is an accomplished aviatrice and can be seen daily flying her red and silver plane in the sunny Florida skies.”