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Norman Borlaug
Norman Ernest Borlaug (March 25, 1914 – September 12, 2009) was an American agronomist, humanitarian and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution" and "The Man Who Saved A Billion Lives"
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First round-the-world flight commences6.4.1924

Wikipedia (13 Mar 2013, 14:19)

Four aircraft: Seattle, Chicago, Boston, and New Orleans left Santa Monica, California, on 4 April 1924, for Sand Point, Washington, near Seattle, Washington, the official start of the journey.

On 6 April 1924, they left Seattle for Alaska. After reaching Prince Rupert Island, the lead aircraft Seattle, flown by Maj. Frederick Martin with SSgt. Alva Harvey (the only fully qualified mechanic in the flight), needed repairs and remained behind. When it was repaired, the crew attempted to catch up with the other three aircraft, but on 30 April, Seattle crashed in dense fog into a mountainside near Port Moller, Alaska on the Alaska Peninsula. The crew survived and were picked up on 10 May, but the aircraft was destroyed.

The three remaining aircraft continued, with Chicago flown by Lt. Smith and 1st Lt. Arnold, assuming the lead. Taking off from the Aleutian Islands, the flight traveled across the North Pacific archipelago. Avoiding the Soviet Union, which had not given permission for the expedition to cross into their airspace, they crossed Japan, Korea, the coast of China, Hong Kong, French Indochina, Thailand, Burma, and India, and proceeded into the Middle East and then Europe.

During the mission, due to a broken connecting rod, the Chicago was forced to land in a lagoon off the Gulf of Tonkin in French Indochina (now Vietnam). Considered a novelty in this region of the world, missionary priests supplied the pilots with food and wine and locals climbed aboard the pontoons to see the biplane. The other flyers searching for the Chicago by boat, found the crew sitting on the wing in the early morning hours. Three paddle powered sampans with local crews towed the aircraft for 10 hours, and 25 miles, to the city of Hue, where repairs were effected. " The fastest – and undoubtedly the first – engine change that had ever been made in Indochina." Misfortune was again to strike the Chicago as later in the mission, while inspecting the aircraft in Calcutta, Smith slipped and broke a rib but insisted on completing the mission.

The flight arrived in Paris on Bastille Day, 14 July. From Paris they flew to London and on to the north of England in order to prepare for the Atlantic Ocean crossing.

On 3 August 1924, while flying across the Atlantic, Boston was forced down. The Chicago was able to contact a navy destroyer and dropped a note about the troubled aircraft, tied to the Chicago's only life preserver.While being towed by the U.S. Navy light cruiser USS Richmond that had picked up the crew, the Boston capsized and sank. The Chicago with Lt. Lowell Smith and 1st Lt. Leslie Arnold still in the lead, and the New Orleans, with Lt. Erik Nelson and Lt. Jack Harding, continued and crossed the Atlantic via Iceland and Greenland and reached Canada. The original prototype, now named Boston II, reunited with the Bostons crew, Lt. Leigh Wade (pilot) and SSgt. Henry Ogden, met them in Pictou, Nova Scotia, and the three aircraft flew on to Washington DC. After a hero's welcome in the capital, the three Douglas World Cruisers flew to the West Coast, on a multi-city tour, stopping briefly in Santa Monica and finally landing in Seattle on 28 September 1924.

The trip had taken 175 days, and covered 27,553 miles (44,085 km). The Douglas Aircraft Company adopted the motto, "First Around the World – First the World Around".

The American team had greatly increased their chances of success by using several aircraft and pre-positioning large caches of fuel, spare parts and other support equipment along the route. At prearranged way points, the World Flight's aircraft had their engines changed five times and new wings fitted twice.

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