Col. Charles A. Lindbergh and the Municipal Air Port - December 3, 1931
On this weekend 83 years ago there was a little excitement in Flagler Beach; a story from the Tribune giving the reason for all the excitement follows plus some photos and other items pertaintaining to Flagler County's honored guest who dropped out of the sky from the Zeb E. Booe Collection.
Historically Speaking - Sisco Deen
THE FLAGLER TRIBUNE
Bunnell, Florida Thursday, December 3, 1931
COL. CHARS. LINDBERGH SPENDS WEEK END AT FLAGLER BEACH - Lands at Municipal Air Port Saturday Morning On Account Of Fog
ENJOYS STAY AT BEACH Expresses Desire To Return To Flagler Beach Again.
Col. Chas. A. Lindbergh, national hero and lone eagle of aviation, was forced down because of dense fog on Flagler Beach Municipal Airport Saturday morning. The famous flyer was returning to New York from Miami where he recently arrived after piloting the American Clipper on her maiden commercial voyage from Miami to Barranquilla, Colombia and return.
After spending from Saturday morning to Monday morning at the beach resort waiting for clearer weather and getting a much needed rest, Colonel Lindbergh soared away at 9:15 Monday morning in the army plane which had borrowed to come south. He arrived at Mitchell Field, N. Y., at 9:45 p. m. that day after stopping several times to refuel his plane.
Before landing at Flagler Beach Colonel Lindbergh had flown about 15 miles north of the town, observing the landing field when going over. Encountering worse flying conditions to the north, he returned and placed his ship down alongside of two others belonging to Mr. and Mrs. J. L. Bivens who are conducting a flying school at the beach. Almost immediately following the landing D. D. Moody, C. D. Toler and George Moody went over to the ship, and Colonel Lindbergh admitted his identity when asked directly by D. D. Moody.
Soon the news spread that Lindbergh was down at Flagler Beach and many residents of that place and Bunnell went to the field to greet the famous flyer. They were told by him that he expected to leave at 10:30 that morning, but upon receipt of weather reports the Colonel decided to remain until flying conditions became better.
After receiving the weather report Lindbergh took up a small two cylinder Aeronoca plane of the Biven's, flew it a short time and came down, then asked permission to take the ship lip again, this time for a slightly longer time. He apparently enjoyed flying the small craft and came down smiling.
Shortly after flying the tiny plane he left the field in company with Mr. and Mrs. Bivens and went to the Flagler Beach hotel where he had a second breakfast with the Bivens, Lindbergh having had the first meal before leaving Miami about a 3 o'clock.
Before leaving the field for his hotel Colonel Lindbergh posed for a number of amateur photographers and affably greeted groups of local residents who had gone to the field. He seemed to enjoy receiving the impromptu reception as much as the people enjoyed extending it. Later in the day when crowds arrived from Daytona Beach, St. Augustine and Jacksonville he became taciturn and less friendly.
Slipping away from the crowd that afternoon and in company with Mr. and Mrs. Bivens, Dana Fuquay and John Upson, Lindbergh went for a romp on the beach and a swim in the surf. He handles himself when swimming with all the grace and expertness one sees in his maneuvering of a plane. It could be seen that the colonel was enjoying his stay at the beach far more than if he had been forced to go through the ordeal of an official welcoming, banquets and rounds of being greeted and greeting this official person and that. This became evident when he refused to visit Jacksonville when Robert Kloeppel and R. W. Cushman drove down from that city and begged him to go to Jacksonville. He told them that he preferred to remain at Flagler Beach. It was also evident from the expressions of the Jacksonville visitors when they were leaving that they were highly disappointed if not actually angry because of the refusal,
Retiring early Saturday evening to his room in his hotel the colonel did not come down to the lobby but once during the evening, and then for only a few minutes, there being a crowd of curious from far and wide, filling the hotel, all hoping that they might get at least a glimpse of the famous "Slim" Lindbergh, while he wanted nothing more than quiet in order that he might catch up with sleep lost during the past week.
Lindbergh spent most of Sunday in the seclusion of his hotel room, receiving weather reports and studying charts. Sunday morning he showed that he preferred remaining at Flagler Beach when he was extended an invitation from John D. Rockefeller through Dr. George D. Owen, pastor of the Ormond Union Church, which Mr. Rockefeller attends, the invitation being politely refused. It was stated that the aged millionaire offered to send his private automobile for the colonel if he would go to Ormond. Tuesday while in Ormond, George Moody saw Mr. Rockefeller who congratulated Moody and other residents of Flagler Beach for playing host to Lindy.
Monday morning the famous flyer looked the typical “Lone Eagle” with his white helmet and well groomed appearance when he arrived at the field preparatory to leaving. He started the motor of the army biplane for a warming up, and in the mean time giving the ship a very careful examination, the colonel being assisted in the examination by his friend, J. L. Bivens. A crowd of people from Flagler Beach and Bunnell were on the field to bid Lindbergh goodbye when he climbed into the cockpit. He shook hands with many of those present and after a short run south on the field took off. He then circled the field twice, climbing his plane rapidly. When he reached an altitude of about 1000 feet he headed north. A few moments after straightening out on his course and when directly over the center of town he dipped the wigs of his ship half a dozen times to those who had been his hosts.
Colonel Lindbergh said that his stay at Flagler Beach was the longest period he has ever spent in Florida and that he would be glad to return to Flagler Beach for a longer stay and will do so if he finds it possible. He said that he would enjoy a few days idle time at the beach.