Amelia Earhart

by Sophia from Yucaipa

When you think of a hero, what characteristics do you think of? Loving? Smart? Courageous? Well my hero has all of the characteristics. Who is it? Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic ocean.

Amelia was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas. Amelia was the first child of two. Her younger sister name was Grace Muriel Earhart. As a child Amelia and her sister would climb trees, hunt rats a with rifle, and belly slam her sled downhill. Amelia and her sister would save worms, moths, katydids, and tree toads.

At age 10 Amelia saw her first plane at the Iowa State Fair. Her dad tried to get both of the girls into flying, but when she saw the plane she ran back to the merry-go-around. Later, she said that "the plane was just a thing of rusty wire and wood and it was not at all interesting".

The two sisters stayed with their grandparents, while their mother and father moved to Des Monies. She loved to spend countless hours in the family library. In 1909 the girls moved back with their parents to Des Monies. They were enrolled in public school for the first time at grade seven at age 12. Amelia's first flight was on December 28, 1920 (she was 33) in Long Beach, California. She and her father went to visit an airfield where Frank Hawks, a famous air pilot, gave her a ten minute ride which cost her dad $10.00. She was determined to fly.

After her parents divorced in 1924, Amelia drove her mother to Boston. When she moved there she became a teacher. One day while at work in April 1928, Captain Hilton, a famous pilot, asked her if she wanted to fly the Atlantic ocean? This was her big chance.

She had co-pilot Wilmer Stultz and Louis Gorden as a mechanic. The team left Trepassey Harbor on June 28, 1928 and landed Burry Port Wales, United Kingdom, exactly 20 hours and 40 min later! Amelia had no training for this type of flying. She did not pilot the plane. When interviewed after landing she said. "Stultz did all the flying - he had to.'' I was like a sack of potatoes.'' She said. "Maybe I should try it alone." When going back to the United States, they were greeted with a parade in New York.

Although she became famous for her flight, Amelia wanted to set to set her own solo flight record. She set off on her first solo flight just as her name was becoming famous. On August of 1928, Amelia was the first woman to fly solo across the North American Continent and back.

Amelia was engaged to Samuel Chapman, a chemical engineer from Boston, who broke their engagement on November 23, 1928. During that time, Amelia had spent a lot of time with George P. Putnam. He purposed six times before she said, "Yes". They didn't have kids, but George had two kids from his last marriage.

At the age of 34 in the morning of May 20, 1932 Amelia left Harbour Grace. She landed at 14 hours and 56 minutes. She had done it. As the first woman to fly solo non-stop across the Atlantic, Amelia received the distinguished Flying Cross (which is a gold medal for pilots) from Congress.

On St. Patrick's Day March 17 1937, Amelia got co-pilot Fred Noonan. They flew from Oakland, California to Honolulu, Hawaii the plane need work.

On July 2, 1937 Amelia and Fred took off from Lae. Their destination was Howland Island, a small island 6,500 ft. long. Their last known position report was near the Nukumanu Island, about 800 miles into her flight.

At 7:42 am Amelia radioed.'' We must be close, but we can't see you and gas is running low." Their last known transmission was at 8:43, Amelia said,'' We are on line 157, 337".

After a hour of the last message from Amelia, the U.S Navy started looking for them, but never found them. She went missing on July 2 1937, but was declared dead the 5th of January, 1939.

Amelia is a hero to me because she changed the way to fly for ladies, if she hadn't had flown there wouldn't have been girl pilots that early. If I could meet her I would thank her for everything. She had the courage that no woman or few men had.

Page created on 6/17/2010 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 6/17/2010 12:00:00 AM

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