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Posted 6/19/2009 Printable Fact Sheet
Alaskan Flight
Gen. Billy Mitchell congratulates Capt. St. Clair Streett upon the return of the first Alaskan flight to the United States. (U.S. Air Force photo)
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The first flight from the continental U.S. to Alaska was made by four DH-4Bs under the command of Capt. St. Clair Streett. The flight departed Mitchel Field, Long Island, N.Y., on July 15, 1920, and arrived at Nome, Alaska, on Aug. 24. The same planes and crews returned to Mitchel Field on Oct. 20, thus completing a round trip of 9,000 miles.

A large part of the flight route was over uncharted mountain peaks, isolated glaciers and dreary swamps. By 1920 standards, this was a remarkable achievement, particularly when considering the almost complete lack of navigational instruments of the period. For this flight, Streett was awarded the Mackay Trophy for 1920.

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