Lindbergh, Charles, born 04-02-1902 in Detroit, Michigan, nicknamed “Slim,” “Lucky Lindy” and “The Lone Eagle”, the third son of Charles August Lindbergh , himself the son of Swedish immigrants Ola Månsson (1808-1893) and the waitress, 30 years younger, Lovisa Jansdotter Carlén (†1921). Charles’ parents separated in 1909 when he was seven. Lindbergh’s father, a U.S. Congressman (R-MN-6) from 1907 to 1917, was one of the few Congressmen to oppose the entry of the U.S. into World War I
Lindbergh’s mother was a chemistry teacher at Cass Technical High School in Detroit and later at Little Falls High School, from which her son graduated on 05-06-1918. Lindbergh also attended over a dozen other schools from Washington, D.C., to California, during his childhood and teenage years (none for more than a year or two), including the Force School and Sidwell Friends School while living in Washington with his father, and Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, California, while living there with his mother. Although he enrolled in the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison in late 1920, Lindbergh dropped out in the middle of his sophomore year and then went to Lincoln, Nebraska, in March 1922 to begin flight training.
Charles became an American aviator, author, inventor, explorer, and social activist. Lindbergh, then a 25-year old U.S. Air Mail pilot , emerged from virtual obscurity to almost instantaneous world fame as the result of his Orteig Prize-winning solo non-stop flight on May 20–21, 1927, from Roosevelt Field, located in Garden City on New York’s Long Island to Le Bourget Field in Paris, France, a distance of nearly 3,600 statute miles (5,800 km), in the single-seat, single-engine monoplane Spirit of St. Louis. Lindbergh, a U.S. Army reserve officer, was also awarded the nation’s highest military decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his historic exploit. In Paris he met Hermann Goering (did you know) and became a sword as present.
In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Lindbergh relentlessly used his fame to help promote the rapid development of U.S. commercial aviation. In March 1932, however, his infant son, Charles, Jr.,
Charles. Charles jr. Charles sr.
was kidnapped and murdered in what was soon dubbed the “Crime of the Century” which eventually led to the Lindbergh family fleeing the United States in December 1935 to live in Europe where they remained until the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor by the Imperial Japanese Navy.
Before the United States formally entered World War II by declaring war on Japan on 08-12-1941, Lindbergh had been an outspoken advocate of keeping the U.S. out of the world conflict, as was his Congressman father, Charles August Lindbergh, during World War I, and became a leader of the anti-war America First movement. Nonetheless, he supported the war effort after Pearl Harbor and flew many combat missions in the Pacific Theater of World War II as a civilian consultant, even though President Franklin Roosevelt had refused to reinstate his Army Air Corps colonel’s commission that he had resigned in April 1941. In his six months in the Pacific in 1944, Lindbergh took part in fighter bomber raids on Japanese positions, flying about 50 combat missions (again as a civilian). His innovations in the use of P-38 Lightning fighters impressed a supportive General Douglas MacArthur
. Lindbergh introduced engine-leaning techniques to P-38 pilots, greatly improving fuel usage at cruise speeds, enabling the long-range fighter aircraft to fly longer range missions. The U.S. Marine and Army Air Force pilots who served with Lindbergh praised his courage and defended his patriotism. On 28-07-1944, during a P-38 bomber escort mission with the 433rd Fighter Squadron , 475th Fighter Group , Fifth Air Force under command of Major General Lewis Hyde. Brereton , in the Ceram area, Lindbergh shot down a KI-51 “Sonia” observation plane piloted by Captain Saburo Shimada , Commanding Officer of the 73rd Independent Chutai.
Lindbergh told that two Mitsubishi 51 Sonias, armed, two-place reconnaissance-attack craft, returned from searching for a comrade missing after escorting a convoy of the 35th Division to Sorong. Part of the 73rd Independent Flying Chutai, the Sonias were piloted by the 73rd’s C.O. Captain Saburo Shimada and Sergeant Saneyoshi Yokogi, doubtless happy to be nearing home at Amahai. It was then that the P-38s of “Captive” Squadron, the 9th Squadron of the 49th Group , dropped down on the Japanese duo. It was that squadron that now squared off against the two Japanese over Amahai. The enemy pilots were clearly veteran;. While Sonias shared basic characteristics of other Japanese craft- low wing loading and a high power to weight ratio- they were still two-place airplanes with fixed landing gear. And yet beset by the 9th’s Lightnings they flew like demons stymieing “Captive’s” best efforts. After the war, while touring the Nazi concentration camps, Lindbergh wrote in his autobiography that he was disgusted and angered. In his later years, Lindbergh became a prolific prize-winning author, international explorer, inventor, and environmentalist.
Death and burial ground of Lindbergh, Charles Augustus “the Lone Eagle”.
Lindbergh spent his final years on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where he died of lymphoma on 26-08-1974, at age 72. He was buried on the grounds of the Palapala Ho’omau Church in Kipahulu, Maui. His epitaph on a simple stone which quotes Psalms 139:9, reads: “Charles A. Lindbergh Born Michigan 1902 Died Maui 1974”. The inscription further reads: “…If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea… C.A.L.”