Biography of Famous Pilot Charles A. Lindbergh Part 2

About the famous American Pilot Charles A. Lindbergh, history and biography of his flight across the Atlantic, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping and his pro-Nazi War views.

INTO THE WILD BLUE YONDER--NOTED AVIATORS

CHARLES A. LINDBERGH, JR.

(1902-1974)

His return to the U.S. was triumphant. On a subsequent, heavily publicized flight to Central and South America, he stayed with Dwight W. Morrow, the U.S. ambassador to Mexico, whose daughter he had met previously. Later, in 1929, Lindy married Anne Morrow.

Their first baby, Charles, was kidnapped on Mar. 1, 1932, and was later found dead. Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of the crime in 1935. The publicity resulting from the case was in part responsible for the Lindberghs' decision to move abroad. They left three months before Hauptmann's execution.

About this time, Lindbergh developed an ultraconservative viewpoint and struck up an acquaintance with Hermann Goring, the Nazi Luftwaffe leader. Lindbergh was impressed by German power, thought Germany would win any future war, and strove to use his influence to keep America out of the coming conflict. He saw "Jewish financing" behind the developing war and expressed the opinion that America shouldn't be caught up in the problems of "lesser breeds" about the world. Eventually he resigned his air corps commission after Franklin Roosevelt reacted publicly to his expressed views. In 1954 President Eisenhower restored Lindbergh's commission and promoted him to brigadier general.

Although to the public Lindbergh was known as "Lindy," "Lucky Lindy," or "the Lone Eagle," he didn't care much for any of these nicknames. The one he answered to when he was a young man, barnstorming and flying the early air mail routes, was "Slim." One source has it that he was called "Lucky" even before the Paris flight. Planes and landing facilities were crude then, and on two occasions Lindbergh had to bail out of planes when his fuel ran low and bad weather obscured the landing fields. His survival on those occasions was attributed to luck, as was his near-perfect navigation on his Paris flight.

Lindbergh was a careful, cautious man. He always planned his flights with as much attention to detail as possible. When he took risks, they were calculated ones; he was far from a happy-go-lucky daredevil. He didn't take a parachute on his Paris flight but included a rubber boat. He took no oars because of their additional weight and because it was unlikely that-even with oars-he could make it to shore by rowing from the mid-Atlantic. A parachute wouldn't have helped him if he weren't able to release the boat, so its omission was not bravado, just logical thinking.

Although Lindberh's reputation was somewhat marred before W.W. II, owing to his ultraright public statements, it was subsequently redeemed. The American public recalled his prominence in the history of aviation and forgot his associations with Goring and America First, an isolationist organization he had joined. It's not easy for later generations to understand the adulation showered on Lindbergh, but almost everyone acknowledges that his death from lymphatic cancer in 1974 marked the end of an era.

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