Last Flight for Douglas World Cruiser Seattle
April 30, 1924
When Seattle failed to arrive in Chignik on April 30th, naval ships Algonquin and Haida, coastal steamer Pioneer, began to search the area. Martin and Harvey had encountered strong head winds and snow squalls, limiting visibility with white-out conditions. Seattle's flight came to a violent end, hitting the crest of a 700' hill, and sliding another 100'. Miraculously, her crew survived with only minor injuries. They gathered some food and emergency supplies and made camp near the wreckage, waiting for the storm to end.
Realizing that it would be more difficult to be rescued on the hillside, the flyers decided to hike to the beach. Rough terrain and snow made this a dangerous trek, lasting over a week. At last they reached a trapper's cabin across the bay from Port Moller. Food and shelter gave the men strength to hike another twenty miles the following day. Finally, they were picked up by natives in a dory and taken to Port Moller, arriving on May 10th. The cannery superintendent for Pan American Fisheries radioed the good news of their safe arrival, ending the search. The men were ordered to report back to Washington, D. C., as soon as possible.
Lt. Lowell Smith now led the flight with the Chicago on May 3rd as the three remaining Douglas World Cruisers sped on toward Asia, the Mid-East, Europe and the United States. On September 28, 1924, this record setting flight was achieved, when the Douglas World Cruisers landed at Vancouver Barracks, Vancouver, Washington.