Schoolmarm ‘Somewhere at Sea’

“Let’s Go,” Says Flier Schoolmarm

MISS MILDRED DORAN, 22-year-old school teacher of Flint, Michigan, wants to be the first woman to make a transpacific flight, and she’s on her way with PILOT AUGIE PEDDLAR, who considers himself lucky in winning the job. Two aviators vied for the privilege of transporting the fair passenger, and on tossing a coin, Peddlar won. They arrived yesterday at Fort Worth, Texas, on their way to Long Beach for the hopoff in August. – P&A photo.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Jul 17, 1927

Schoolmarm ‘Somewhere at Sea’

MISS MILDRED DORAN, the flying schoolma’am of Flint, Mich., lone representative of her sex in the Dole race, whose plane, named after her and piloted by Auggy Pedlar, has been missing between here and Hawaii for more than 23 hours. No word of the craft’s position has been picked up by radio stations or the numerous navy and merchant vessels along the route of the flight.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Aug 17, 1927

Story Of Miss Mildred Doran’s Life Told By Artist In Sketches

She was born in Flint, Michigan, the daughter of William Doran.

When 16 her mother died.

She worked her way through high school as a telephone operator. William Malloska learned of her struggle and staked the girl to a teacher’s course at Michigan State Normal School.

Taught school at Caro, Mich.

When the Dole Prize was announced, Malloska decided to enter a Flint plane.

He joked with his protege. “How would you like to go?” he said without meaning it much. She tossed a coin between Pedlar and Sloniger and Pedlar won.

The Miss Doran had to make a second start after turning back when engine trouble developed.

Planes and ships started combing the Pacific for the lost flyers.

New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Aug 20, 1927

By WILLIAM H. RITT

Exclusive Central Press Dispatch to The Kingsport Times

CARO, Michigan. — As grim, gray United States destroyers and great battle planes glided over the waters of the Pacific ocean in desperate search for Miss Mildred Doran, Caro school teacher lost in a plane with two others, a little boy sat on his porch steps here and wished aloud that he could help “somehow” to find her.

The little boy is Richard Goodell, 11, the “most spanked” boy, according to other pupils, in Miss Doran’s class. But now the spankings are past and all Richard wants is to hear that Miss Doran is on her way back to Caro to tell the children of her fateful flight toward Hawaii.

“Miss Doran was one of the best teachers a person ever had,” Richard will tell anyone. “She never spanked very hard, and then she always hit us kids on the hand, just a little. I guess we deserved a lot of it. Gee, she was nice, though.”

Marjorie’s Very Own Plan

While Richard worried over Miss Doran’s fate, little Marjorie Moore, nine, put into effect a plan of her own. Marjorie began saving her pennies, doing without ice creams cones and “shows” in order that her small fund might grow all the faster.

“As soon as I get enough money,” Marjorie said, as she helped hunt for a picture of Miss Doran at her home, “I’m going to spend it for a trip to California. Then I’m going to help them hunt for Miss Doran.”

Marjorie is the type of little girl who dreams a great deal. The other night she had a dream.

“It was the nicest dream,” she said. “I dreamt that I took an airplane and found Miss Doran. She was so glad to see me. I picked her up and we came back to Caro in my plane. All the people just hollered they were so glad to see her back again.”

Then there is Geraldine Jones, a little eleven-year-old, who hasn’t missed an edition of the city papers distributed in Caro since Miss Doran, John Auggy Pedlar, pilot, and Lieutenant V.R. Knope, navigator, flew away in the plane named after the young teacher.

“I think I was one of the first persons Miss Doran told that she was going to make the trip,” Geraldine said, proudly, as she scanned some headlines in a vain hunt for the good news. “I didn’t want her to go. I was afraid. You know the Pacific ocean is awful big, and airplanes aren’t so good, anyway.”

Though it was county fair week at Caro, in the shops and on the street, at the postoffice and at the little brick railroad depot Miss Doran and her plight were the chief topic of conversation. The elders, unlike the children, believed there was no hope.
An Airplane Descends!
One afternoon an airplane suddenly appeared above Caro, swung over the town and settled in a field to the east.

Miss Doran’s former pupils, watching in the street, and filled with the absurd hopes of childhood that it might be the biplane in which she departed, bounced up and down in glee.

But Ole Louck, station agent at the small railroad station, stopped his game of horseshoes with some passengers waiting for the only southbound trains of the day, long enough to sadly shake his head.

“Nope,” he said, “she’s gone. Miss Doran took a brave chance, but failed. And this town has lost a very fine little citizen, too.”

The Kingsport Times (Kingsport, Tennessee) Aug 31, 1927

The map shows an imposing total of ten trans-oceanic flights this season, but against them were nine failures, costing more than a score of lives. Among the season’s heroes were Lindbergh (above), Byrd (left) and Chamberlin (below). Among the victims was Miss Mildred Doran (center insert), lost on a flight to Honolulu.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Nov 17, 1927

* * * * *

MLIVE 2008 article:

Memorial lost, just like air pioneer Mildred Doran, says Flint Journal columnist Gary Flinn

* * * * *

MLIVE 2011 article:

Nephew sheds new light on Flint woman Mildred Doran’s tragic final flight

* * * * *

On YouTube:

Dole Air Race (1927)

*  *  *  *  *

By BERYL MILLER

Old father neptune seems to be bearing out the age-old superstition of sailors that women who dare the sea bring ill luck, misfortune and disaster.

Of eight trans-oceanic women flyers who have dared Neptune’s wrath, just two have escaped death. These are Amelia Earhart, who barely succeeded in reaching Wales on an attempted flight to London, and Ruth Elder, who was rescued by a freighter when forced down at sea.

Latest victim of Neptune’s ancient curse is Mrs. Beryl Hart, who was lost with Captain W.S. MacLaren, in an attempt to cross the Atlantic with the first load of airplane freights.

Eight aviatriees? who risked their lives over teh swirling sea are shown above:

1 — Mrs. Frances Grayson, who, in her plane, “The Dawn,” took off from Roosevelt Field, L.I., for Newfoundland, two days before Christmas, 1927, for a trans-Atlantic flight. Neither she nor her companions, Oskar Omdahl, Bryce Goldsborough and Fred Koehler, were seen again.

2 — Mildred Doran, the pretty Flint, Mich., school teacher, who left her blackboard and on Aug. 16, 1927 roared away from Oakland, Calif., toward Hawaii in an attempt to win the $35,000 Dole prize. She and her crew, John Pedlar and Lieutenant V.R. Knope, went to a watery grave.

3 — Mrs. Beryl Hart, who, with Captain W.S. MacLaren, in the monoplane, “Tradewind,” disappeared en route between Bermuda and the Azores on a proposed flight from New York to Paris, recently.

4 — Amelia Earhart, whose trimotored plane, “Friendship,” landed at Burry Port, Wales, June 18, 1928, after a 2000-mile flight from Newfoundland with Wilmer Slultz and Louis Gordon.

5 — Hon. Elsie Mackay, who sailed away to oblivion, March 13, 1928, in the plane, “Endeavor,” on a proposed flight from England to America with Captain Walter Hinchliffe.

6 — Lilil Dillonz?, Austrian actress, who got as far as the Azores in her intended flight from Germany to Newfoundland, late in 1927, and after repeated attempts to continue, gave up the venture.

7 — Ruth Elder, who barely eluded Neptune’s clinches when her plane, “The American Girl,” was forced down at sea, luckily alongside a freighter, on her attempted flight to Paris, in 1927, with George Haldeman.

8 — The 62-year-old Princess Lowenstein-Wertheim, who, with Captain Leslie Hamilton and Colonel F.F. Minchin of England, were lost on a flight from England to Canada in the “St. Raphael,” on Aug. 8, 1927.

News-Palladium (Benton Harbor, Michigan) Jan 15, 1931

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