Mattern, Jimmie & Griffin, Bennett


Signatures of pilots of failed 1932 “Century of Progress” round-the-world flight



Autograph ID: 3575
Condition: Very good
Description: “JAMES “JIMMIE” MATTERN (1905-1988) American aviator, twice attempted to break the world record for aerial circumnavigation set by Wiley Post & Harold Gatty. On July 5, 1932, Mattern and Bennett Griffin flew “The Century of Progress”, a Lockheed Vega with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine, from Floyd Bennett Field, NY to Newfoundland, then non-stop to Berlin in 18h41m. This attempt ended in an emergency crash landing at Borisov, Belarus, USSR July 7, 1932. They did set a new record for crossing the Atlantic Ocean: 10h50m. On June 3, 1933, Mattern flew a rebuilt “Century of Progress”, largely a different aircraft and solo, from Floyd Bennett Field across the Atlantic. On June 14, 1933, he made a forced landing in Siberia, eventually rescued by Eskimos and flown Both attempts failed, the second in 1933 resulted in a crash landing and subsequent rescue by Eskimos and Soviet pilot Sigizmund Levanevsky in Siberia (Mattern would join the search for Levanevsky after he went missing in 1937; he was never found) and flown to Nome, Alaska. He flew the rest of the way back to NY. Lockheed test pilot on the P-38 Lightning from 1938, he developed a technique that significantly reduced training accidents. In 1946 he was diagnosed with a ruptured blood vessel in his brain and was unable to fly again. Attended 3 Apollo launches and his pilot’s license was carried to the moon on Apollo 11. Received 1973 National Aeronautic Association Wesley L. McDonald Elder Statesman Award, Oklahoma Air and Space Hall of Fame 1981; honorary fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots. BENNETT H. GRIFFIN (1895-1978) American aviator, with Jimmie Mattern attempted to break 1932 world record for aerial circumnavigation set by Post & Gatty. Administered relocation of the Civil Aeronautics Administration center from Houston to Oklahoma City 1946-47, Director of Washington National Airport 1947-59. First pilot to land at National Airport 1941, flying for American Airlines. Received 1973 National Aeronautic Association Wesley L. McDonald Elder Statesman Award.

Signatures of each on the blank verso of a 2 x 3 ½ engraved business card of W. G. Fuller, Manager, Fort Worth Municipal Air Port (2 cards).

William G. Fuller (1895-1978) Founded Meachem Field, Ft. Worth Municipal Airport 1925, manager to 1942. CAA Chief of Airport Management and Maintenance Division 1946-50. Fort Worth Director of Airports 1950-64, developed Greater Southwest (Amon Carter) Airport, responsible for both Fort Worth municipal airports.”
Type: Signatures

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