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Shooting Star By Richard DuRose

Nearly everyone is familiar with Amelia Earhart. But very few know the story of another woman aviator, who, until now has remained little more than a footnote in aviation history - that is, until now. Shooting Star tells the story of Mildred Doran, who, in 1927 set her sights on becoming the first woman to fly from the West Coast of the United States to Hawaii, a distance of 2,400 miles. She was a participant in the Dole Transpacific Air Race which, promised fame and fortune to the first aviator to land at Honolulu from Oakland, California. Shooting Star: The First Attempt By A Woman To Reach Hawaii By Air, is her story

DuRose’s aunt, Mildred Doran, then a young schoolteacher, entered the Dole Transpacific Air Race in 1927, organized to start only 11 weeks after Charles Lindbergh’s flight to Paris. Of the eight planes lined up for the race, only two made it to Hawaii. Mildred and her plane were mysteriously lost and, similar to Amelia Earhart’s fate, no trace of her or her plane was ever located. DuRose first became familiar with the story when he inherited a box of pictures, news clippings and other memorabilia from his mother who was Mildred’s little sister. That box sent DuRose on a three-year quest into the history of aviation and resulted in a 2011 article in Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine. “Once I learned the story of Mildred, I was determined that it would be remembered. She was a remarkable person.”

"This is a must read for history and aviation buffs. DuRose tells the story of his aunt, Mildred Doran, using inherited records from the period as the material to weave a compelling commentary of her adventure. She and her companions leave Flint MI in a Michigan-made airplane to travel cross country to Oakland CA and from there, attempt to win the 1927 Dole Transpacific Air Race. Her challenge...to become the first woman to fly to the island of Hawaii from the continental U.S.

Most compelling of all to this reader, was that these brave pioneers were in their early 20's...young people wanting to make their mark in the early days of aviation. Its a well written piece about relatively unknown American kids with a dream"

As a reader commented, “Anyone interested in the early history of the airplane will find this book to be a delightful read, combined with information not previously available.”

Author Richard DuRose is known as 'The Inside Authority On The Golden Age Of Aviation’ for good reason. His aunt, Mildred Doran, was one of the United States' first female aviators. He related her story in 'Shooting Star, The First Woman To Attempt To Reach Hawaii By Air'. His latest work, '1927: A Brilliant Year In Aviation', brings the personalities responsible for the worldwide explosion in aviation back to life.

1927 A Brilliant Year in Aviation

"Like everyone," DuRose stated, "I knew of Charles Lindbergh’s flight to Paris. And then, when I researched the story of my Aunt Mildred Doran, I learned of the Dole Race bound for Honolulu eleven weeks after Lindbergh’s triumph. But, I could not help but notice the persistent news accounts of the other aviators who in that same year, 1927, attempted to emulate Lindbergh’s success. I was struck first by how reckless some were as well as their bravery. Then, when I really dug in, the colorful personalities of the fliers jumped off the page. These men and women were special. There were twenty some successful flights, but more were tragic failures. But, over and above the historical significance of the flights of 1927, the behind the scenes accounts in this book will fascinate any reader, whether or not they are a student of aviation history. This book will refresh everyone’s understanding of the most important year in the Golden Age of Aviation."

DuRose presents a stellar cast of brave and ambitious adventurers. They include Charles Nungesser, the WWI flying ace who painted a coffin on his plane and called himself the 'Knight of Death'; Dick Grace, the broken-neck pilot who crashed airplanes for a living; Ruth Elder, a beautiful Hollywood starlet; Richard Byrd, the explorer; Anne of Lowenstein-Wertheim-Freudenberg, a 63 year old princess; and Charles Levine, the millionaire 'junkman' and many more.

“I wrote the first book,” stated. DuRose, “as there was an immediate response to the article with many readers saying they wanted to know more. That gave me the impetus to write 'Shooting Star' because so many urged me to do so. I believe readers interested in aviation history will really enjoy '1927'.”

In a recent review, Don Blair, retired NBC Radio Network newscaster and author of 'Splashdown, NASA, the Navy and Spaceflight Recovery' stated:

 "In that year of 1927 exactly 27 aviators lost their lives while trying to get themselves into aviation’s suddenly growing record books.  As DuRose points out the public simply could not get enough of these daredevils and newspapers eagerly captured and reported on every one of those attempts.  The bottom line?  You will read about each and every one of those flights in DuRose’s 277 page paperback and be able to amaze your friends while citing the names of aviators they probably never heard of just like yourself before you got your copy of the book.  As it is written on the back cover.  This book brings those courageous and sometimes foolish aviators back to life.  A very worthwhile read."


Until 2007, Richard DuRose had only a passing interest in the history of aviation. Everything changed when DuRose opened a big box of photographs, newspaper articles, and other memorabilia relating to Mildred Doran, his mother’s older sister. The contents of that box gave him an inside look at Aviation’s Golden Age. He had inherited the material from his mother, but had not given it more than short shrift while working. Like Amelia Earhart, Mildred was lost over the Pacific in an air race. But, Mildred’s tragic end came ten years earlier in 1927.

At first, DuRose wanted only to preserve the story for the family. But, when the Smithsonian’s Air & Space magazine accepted a short article in 2011 about Mildred, many encouraged him to write a book. As a result, Shooting Star, The First Attempt By A Woman To Reach Hawaii By Air was published in September 2011. More is available at the Biography Page

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Cover 1927
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