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Rations, Emergency, U.S. Air Corps, Charles A. Lindbergh, NY-Paris Flight May 21

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum

These items were part of the emergency gear Charles Lindbergh carried on his 1927 solo, nonstop flight from New York to Paris in the "Spirit of St. Louis." Always a meticulous planner, Lindbergh took survival gear that would have been essential if he crashed in the Atlantic Ocean. Fishing line, cord, and hooks would have helped him catch something to eat; tins of emergency rations would have sustained him while he waited for rescue ships to find him; hand flares would have gotten the attention of any passing ships; matches would have lit the flares and a match holder would have kept the matches from getting wet. Lindbergh also took many emergency items that would have been standard for any flight, such as a hacksaw blade and sewing needle.

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