Round-the-World Flights

Mildred Bruce Round-the-World Flight

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Mrs Bruce in Japan with Plane in Japan Nine Lives Plus Flown Cover Bruce Autograph
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Mildred Mary Petre Bruce
Mildred Mary Petre was born in 1895 and died on May 21, 1990. Early on, she was aware of her desire for speed and when 15 years old, she first rode a motor bike. She had married Victor Bruce and in June 1930 she purchased a British built, single engine, open-cockpit, foldable bi-wing Bluebird airplane. It had been advertised "Ready to go anywhere, fly it anywhere." She used the plane to get her British pilot's license and with only 40 hours logged, she decided to follow the advertising suggestion and fly round-the-world. When her round-the-world flight intentions became known, reporters asked her for her itinerary. She politely refused their queries, and was amused when they dubbed her flight plan the "mystery flight." She figured it this way, if she got lost no one would ever know it. She decided to fly east round-the-world and took off from Heston Aerodrome, England headed southeast across Europe for the mid-east and Syria. Her Bluebird was outfitted sparingly with only an extra fuel tank, some maps, essential clothes and her husband's pocket compass. She continued east, flying across India to Bangkok, Hanoi and Japan. She boarded an ocean steamer there for the trip to Canada. Crossing the US was highlighted when she dropped a weighted flag over her Mom's home in New Albany, Indiana. In New York, she boarded another steamer for her Atlantic crossing to Le Havre, France. She off-loaded her Bluebird and flew home to Croydon making her quiet mark on history with her successful round-the-world flight. Her round-the-world flight set several records, among them the first crossing of the Yellow Sea, the first England-to-Japan flight and the first circumnavigation by a woman. Her chief competitor was herself. She was living proof that a woman could pilot a plane, pilot it even round-the-world. Mildred continued her life setting records on land, on the sea and in the air. She never lost her love of speed. She said, "that going slow always made her tired." Itinerary: Departed Heston, England 09/25/30 Munich, Germany 09/26/30 Vienna, Austria 09/27/30 Budapest, Hungary Belgrade, Yugoslavia 09/28/30 Constantinople, Turkey Eskisehr, Turkey 10/01/30 Aleppo, Syria 10/04/30 Baghdad, Iraq Basra, Iraq Port Jask, Iran 10/24/30 Karachi, Pakistan 10/25/30 Jodhpur, India New Delhi, India Calcutta, India 10/30/30 Chittagong, Bangladesh Rangoon, Burma Bangkok, Thailand 11/01/30 Korat, Thailand Hanoi, Indo-China 11/07/30 Hong Kong 11/11/30 Amoy (Xiamen), China Shanghai, China 11/18/30 Seoul, Korea 11/20/30 Tokyo, Japan 12/05/30 Steamship,"Empress of Japan" across Pacific Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada Seattle, WA 12/17/30 Medford, OR 12/24/30 San Francisco, CA 01/12/31 Burbank, CA 01/14/31 San Deigo, CA 01/15/31 Midland, TX Saint Louis, MO Chicago, IL Indianapolis, IN New Albany, IN Baltimore, MD New York City, NY 02/09/31 Steamship, "Ile de France" across Atlantic La Harve, France 02/19/31 Cherbourg, France Arrived: Croydon, England 02/20/31

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