On April 12, 1928 Baron Ehrenfried Guenther Freiherr von Huenefeld (a.k.a The Crazy
Baron), Captain Hermann Koehl (Germany) and Major James C. Fitzmaurice (Ireland) left
Baldonnel Aerodrome near Dublin, Ireland bound for New York City but landed in Newfoundland in
their Junkers W33L monoplane named "Bremen 2504." Thirty six hours thirty minutes later on
April 13, 1928 they crash landed on a frozen lake at Greenly Island, Newfoundland (off the
coast of Labrador), successfully completing the first East to West transatlantic flight. The
weight of their aircraft broke through the ice, partially sinking and damaging the propeller,
but was later recovered. During the rescue mission the American pilot, Floyd Bennet died from
double pneumonia. The three transatlantic pioneers were rescued to later attend a jubilant
reception on May 17th in New York City where two million people turned out to greet them.
President Calvin Coolidge presented them with the Distinguished Flying Cross making them the
first non-Americans to receive that honor.
On September 18, 1928 Baron von Huenefeld and K.G. Lindner (Sweden) took off from Berlin
in the "Europa 2506" (sister ship of the Bremen) in an attempt to fly to East Asia and onward
round-the-world. Their first stop was in Sofia, Bulgaria. They arrived in Bushire, Iran on
September 21st. Due to documentation details, they were detained in Calcutta by Indian
officials until October 1st. They flew non-stop (1,200 miles) to Hanoi, French Indo-China.
They flew on via Canton, China arriving at Shanghai, China on October 15th. They continued on
to Japan landing in Tokyo on October 20, 1928, two days later than planned. History is
somewhat silent on their attempt to cross the Pacific but its known that they gave up on
October 25th when weather conditions did not improve and Huenefeld's health became suspect..
Baron Ehrenfried Guenther Freiherr von Huenefeld (a.k.a The Crazy Baron) died
from cancer in Berlin on February 6, 1929 (1892-1929).