In the course of research for my new book, I continue to look for information on the Dole Racers. One tidbit has to do with Marty Jensen, the pilot who despite getting lost on his way to Hawaii, finally found Honolulu with about 20 minutes of gas to spare. He won $10,000 for coming in second. About a month after the Dole Air Race in 1927, Jensen was ferrying his cargo from San Diego to New York when he was forced to land in the Arizona desert near Gable. His cargo? A lion. Jensen and the lion were lost for a day or two before being found. Both the lion and Jensen were hungry after their ordeal. The cage held together, thank goodness.
This Spring the US State Department announced it was helping in the bid to find some remains of Amelia Earhart or her plane in the Pacific, specifically at Nikumoroto island. The driving force behind the search is TIGHAR, The Inernational Group For Aircraft Recovery, headed by Ric Gillespie. The group is heading out in July with ship equipped with up to date underwater surveillance gear. Recently, Gillespie learned of the fact that the Miss Doran, Mildred’s plane in the Dole Air Race was equipped to float indefinitely, and while she could not have flown to the islands, she could have drifted that far. Mr. Gillespie requested that I send him a copy of Shooting Star to have with him this summer. While Amelia was lost in 1937, Mildred was lost in 1927 so the time frame is not that far off. It would be a great find in aviation history if remains of either plane were discovered.