Schlepp Recreates the 1924 First Round-the-World Flight

This Fall, I learned about the amazing feat of the US Army Air Corp (with considerable help by the Navy) and the first successful round-the-world flight in 1924.  A friend from Seattle had been hiking around Sand Point and stumbled across a broken and neglected commemorative plaque set in the ground near the old seaplane ramps.  

These intrepid aviators began with four Douglas World Cruisers (DWCs) on April 6th and, 17 replacement engines later, two of them reached Seattle on September 28th.  This historic flight is chronicled beautifully at the US Air Force Museum Website.  

So, I set out to recreate this amazing flight using Microsoft's Flight Simulator 2004.  Starting at Sand Point, Seattle Washington, I attempted to fly the course the original DWC aviators flew by using the USAF logs on their Website.  What I quickly learned is that many names have changed and airports have come and gone.  But with some Internet research, I largely got the job done.  I've added my navigational notes to my copy of the USAF Museum log tables and that should make it much easier for others to retrace the DWCs' steps.  

The original DWCs could be fitted with either pontoons or landing gear, but it took a couple days to change from one to the other.  I chose the Cessna C208 Caravan Amphibian (standard with FS 2004), which can go from landing gear to pontoons at the flick of a switch.  You'll start with pontoons, change to landing gear at Calcutta, switch back to pontoons at Brough, England for the trans-Atlantic leg, and finally change back to landing gear in Boston.   

To fly this round-the-world flight yourself, grab your copy of MS Flight Sim 2004, load up a Cessna Amphibian, set the time for 8:47 AM, the date for April 6, 1924, and head for Sand Point.  The details you'll need are in the summary of the log below.  Most importantly, it contains my notes on where the DWCs landed, especially water landings, old air fields, and places with obsolete or changed names.  You'll need to either fly by pilotage, following the terrain, dead reconning, or simple compass bearings. For the latter, you'll need to know how to calculate great circle navigation routes, adjust for magnetic declination, allow for winds aloft, and interpret maps.  Of course, you can "cheat" by using Flight Simulator's GPS and route planning tools. You can even use the Cessna's instrument landing capabilities.  

Unlike the purists, I used time acceleration and autopilot to allow me to squeeze this flight into the spare time while making dinner, grading papers, or cleaning house.  I used real world weather but set the time and date to the correct takeoff time and date (see below).  Because the Cessna cruises much faster than the DWCs, I finished each leg much quicker.  Also, since I used a virtual start time and date but real world weather, I ran into some oddities like midday fog (since it was really nighttime in England) and no monsoon (since it was November real time not July when they actually flew across India).  To me the biggest challenges were determining headings and locating historically correct landing sites.  

Its absolutely amazing to think that those pilots flew around the world in every kind of weather in open-cockpit, wood-and-canvas, two-engine, two-seater biplanes. Their accomplishment was over-shadowed by Lindbergh only three years later, who crossed the Atlantic in a closed-cockpit, metal, single-person, single-engine monoplane.  But don't forget, the Atlantic was first crossed in 1919, by US Navy and Coast Guard pilots in Curtiss NC-4 "flying boats" and then less than three weeks later non-stop by a Vicker's Vimy.   (

Several accessory Websites are helpful to recreating the historic DWC flight.  These are links to historical pages, some with lots of interesting details:  
Here are links to useful tools:    
And these links go to round-the-world flight simulation pages:  
There are other sites out there.  Try Googling or Yahoo!ing for "around the world," "Douglas World Cruiser," and "Flight Simulator."  

Here's the annotated logs for the DWC flight.  Good luck.  Send me an e-mail at if you try this yourself.  


Nearest airport codes
Date Takeoff time Route From To Notes
Around-the-World Flight Division I
Seattle, Washington to Attu, Aleutian Islands
6 April 1924 08:47 AM Sand Point, Washington to Prince Rupert, British Columbia NAS CYPR Off shore from Sand Point, Naval Air Station, N47* 40.94' W122* 15.85', probably north of the pennisula
7 April 1924

S of Kenmore Air Harbor and NE of Seattle Seaplanes
8 April 1924
9 April 1924
10 April 1924 09:20 AM Prince Rupert, British Columbia to Sitka, Alaska CYPR A29 Sitka (the anchorage) not PASI, which is Sitka Rocky Gutierrez airstrip
11 April 1924
12 April 1924
13 April 1924 08:25 AM Sitka, Alaska to Seward, Alaska A29 PAWD
14 April 1924
15 April 1924 09:44 AM Seward, Alaska to Chignik, Alaska PAWD Z78
16 April 1924
17 April 1924
18 April 1924
19 April 1924 10:58 AM Chignik, Alaska to Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island, Alaska Z78 AK23 Driftwood Bay Air Station
20 April 1924
21 April 1924
22 April 1924
23 April 1924
24 April 1924
25 April 1924 11:00 AM "Seattle" flies from Kanatak, Alaska to Chignik, Alaska
26 April 1924
27 April 1924
28 April 1924
29 April 1924
30 April 1924 10:10 AM "Seattle" leaves Chignik, Alaska

Seattle lost
1 May 1924
2 May 1924
3 May 1924 10:56 AM Dutch Harbor, Unalaska Island, Alaska to Nazan, Atka Island, Alaska AK23 PAAK
4 May 1924
5 May 1924
6 May 1924
7 May 1924
8 May 1924
9 May 1924 09:09 AM Nazan, Atka Island, Alaska to Chicagoff, Attu Island, Alaska PAAK ATU Casco Cove CGS
10 May 1924
Major Martin and Staff Sergeant Harvey found

Crew of Seattle reach civilization, sort of
11 May 1924
12 May 1924
13 May 1924
14 May 1924
Around-the-World Flight Division II
Attu, Aleutian Islands to Kagoshima, Japan

Crosses International Date Line
15 -16 May 1924 11:25 AM Attu, Aleutian Islands to Nickolski Bay, Komandorski Island ATU None Off shore (approx. N55* 12.81' E165* 55.62'), not a great harbor
17 May 1924 07:55 AM Nickolski Bay, Komandorski Island to Paramushiru, Japan None None In strait (approx. N50* 41.75' E156* 9.19')
18 May 1924
19 May 1924 07:30 AM Paramushiru, Kurile Islands, Japan to Hitokappu, Kurile Islands, Japan None None Yetorofu, Kurile Islands (approx N46*00.00, E150*00.00'), location very approximate
20 May 1924
21 May 1924
22 May 1924 05:25 AM Hitokappu, Kurile Islands, Japan to Minato, Japan None RJSA In harbor near Aomori, Japan (RJSA)
22 May 1924 Pt. II 12:40 PM Minato, Japan to Kasumigaura, Japan RJSA RJAK In lake east of Kasumigaura, Japan (RJAK)
23 May 1924
24 - 25 May 1924
26 May 1924
27 May 1924
28 May 1924
29 May 1924
30 May 1924
31 May 1924
1 June 1924 05:50 AM Kasumigaura, Japan to Kushimoto, Japan RJAK RJBD In harbor north of Nanki-Shirahama (RJBD)
2 June 1924 12:50 PM Kushimoto, Japan to Kagoshima, Japan RJBD RJFK In harbor south of Kagoshima (RJFK)
3 June 1924
Around-the-World Flight Division III
Kagoshima, Japan to Calcutta, India
4 June 1924 07:05 AM Kagoshima, Japan to Shanghai, China ("Boston" & "New Orleans") RJFK ZSSS In river south of Shanghai (ZSSS)
5 June 1924 07:05 AM Kagoshima, Japan to Shanghai, China ("Chicago") RJFK ZSSS
6 June 1924

Tchinkoen Bay (approx. N28* 16.47' E121* 11.71')
7 June 1924 07:50 AM Shanghai to Tchinkoen Bay to Amoy, China ZSSS RCBS or ZSAM Refuel at Tchinkoen Bay; use harbor north of Shang Li or Gaoqi across the bay near Xiamen in lieu of old Amoy
8 June 1924 10:11 AM Amoy, China to Hongkong, British Commonwealth RCBS VHHX Probably in channel south of Old Hong Kong (VHHX)
9 June 1924
10 June 1924 11:15 AM Hongkong, British Commonwealth to Haiphong, French Indo-China VHHX VVCD In harbor at Hai Phong (VVCD)
11 June 1924 11:50 AM Haiphong to Tourane, French Indo-China VVCD VVDN Modern Danang; Chicago forced down 20 mi N of Hue
12 June 1924
13 June 1924
14 June 1924
15 June 1924
16 June 1924 06:00 AM Tourane to Saigon, French Indo-China VVDN VVTS In river near Tansonnhat (VVTS)
17 June 1924
18 June 1924 06:32 AM Saigon to Kampongsong Bay, French Indo-China to Bangkok, Siam VVTS VTBD Refuel at Kampongsong Bay; land in river south of Bangkok (VTBD)
19 June 1924
20 June 1924 07:40 AM Bangkok, Siam to Rangoon, Burma VTBD VYYY Refuel at Tavoy, VYDW
21 June 1924
22 June 1924
23 June 1924
24 June 1924
25 June 1924 08:48 AM Rangoon, Burma to Akyab, Burma VYYY VYSW Modern Sittwa
26 June 1924 07:30 AM Akyab, Burma to Calcutta, India VYSW VEBR Refuel at Chittagong (Shah Amanat (Rm) Intl (VGEG))
27 June 1924

Calcutta = Kolkata = Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose I
28 June 1924

However, 8 mi upriver is more properly Barrackpore (VEBR), which might have been their anchorage and air field for transition to landing gear.  
29 June 1924
30 June 1924
Around-the-World Flight Division IV
Calcutta, India to Constantinople, Turkey
1 July 1924 06:50 AM Calcutta to Allahabad, India VEBR VIAL
2 July 1924 07:25 AM Allahabad to Ambala, India VIAL VIAM Now in modern Pakistan
3 July 1924 09:29 AM Ambala to Multan, India VIAM OPMT
4 July 1924 06:10 AM Multan to Karachi, India OPMT OPMR I use Masroor AFB instead of the modern commercial airport
5 July 1924
6 July 1924
7 July 1924 07:45 AM Karachi, India to Bandar Abbas, Persia OPMR OIKB Now in modern Iran; Refuel in Chahbar (use Konarak, Iran (OIZC))
8 July 1924 05:40 AM Bander Abbas, Persia to Baghdad, Mesopotamia OIKB ORBS These now in modern Iran & Iraq; Refuel in Bushire (now Bushehr, Iran (OIBB))
9 July 1924 11:15 AM Baghdad, Mesopotamia to Aleppo, Syria ORBS OSAP Baghdad now in modern Iraq
10 July 1924 06:02 AM Aleppo, Syria to Constantinople, Turkey OSAP LTBA Now modern Istanbul
11 July 1924
Around-the-World Flight Division V
Constantinople, Turkey to London, England
12 July 1924 06:55 AM Constantinople, Turkey to Bucharest, Romania LTBA LRBS
13 July 1924 06:00 AM Bucharest, Romania to Vienna, Austria LRBS LOWW Via Belgrade (LYBE); refuel at Budapest (Ferihejy, LHBP)
14 July 1924 06:00 AM Vienna, Austria to Paris, France (Le Bourget) LOWW LFPB Refuel at Strasbourg (LFST or LFGC)
15 July 1924
16 July 1924 11:00 AM Paris, France to London, England LFPB EGCL
Around-the-World Flight Division VI
London, England to Boston, Massachusetts
17 July 1924 11:15 AM London, England to Brough, England EGCL EGNB Change to pontoons here
18 July 1924
19 July 1924
20 July 1924
21 July 1924
22 July 1924
23 July 1924
24 July 1924
25 July 1924
26-27 July 1924
28 July 1924
29 July 1924
30 July 1924 10:15 AM Brough, England to Kirkwall, Orkney Islands EGNB EGPA In harbor to north
31 July 1924
1 August 1924
2 August 1924 09:12 AM Kirkwall, Orkney Islands to Hornafjord, Iceland ["New Orleans" only] EGPA BIHN In bay to south
3 August 1924 09:30 AM Kirkwall, Orkney Islands to Hornafjord, Iceland ["Chicago" only] EGPA BIHN In bay to south
4 August 1924
"Boston" lost
5 August 1924 09:12 AM Hornafjord, Iceland to Reykjavik, Iceland BIHN BIRK In harbor
6 August 1924
7 August 1924
8 August 1924
9 August 1924
10 August 1924
11 August 1924
12 August 1924
13 August 1924
14 August 1924
15 August 1924
16 August 1924
17 August 1924
18 August 1924
19 August 1924
20 August 1924
21 August 1924 06:55 AM Reykjavik, Iceland to Fredriksdal, Greenland BIRK ~BGBW SSE of Narsarsuaq at N60* W44*22'
22 August 1924
23 August 1924
24 August 1924 10:55 AM Fredriksdal, Greenland to Ivigut, Greenland ~BGBW None N 61* 12' W 48* 10'
25 August 1924
26 August 1924
27 August 1924
28 August 1924
29 August 1924
30 August 1924
31 August 1924 06:55 AM Ivigut, Greenland to Icy Tickle, Labrador None None N 54* 28' W 57* 15'
1 September 1924
2 September 1924 11:10 AM Icy Tickle, Labrador to Hawkes Bay, Newfoundland None CCM4 SE of Port aux Choix
3 September 1924 11:10 AM Hawkes Bay, Newfoundland to Pictou, Nova Scotia CCM4 CYTN WNW of Trenton
4 September 1924
5 September 1924 11:15 AM Pictou, Nova Scotia to Mere Point, Maine CYTN None NE of Two Falls (ME79) and WNW of Webber Jones (ME03)
6 September 1924 12:00 AM Mere Point, Maine to Boston, Massachusetts None KBOS Land in Charles River, then transition to wheels
7 September 1924
Around-the-World Flight Division VII
Boston, Massachusetts to Seattle, Washington
8 September 1924 11:58 AM Boston, Massachusetts to New York, New York KBOS GRU GRU is a few miles too far east
9 September 1924 09:35 AM New York, New York to Washington D.C. GRU KDCA Refuel at Aberdeen needed for historical chase planes with limited range; KDCA is across the river from the old Bolling Field
10 September 1924
11 September 1924
12 September 1924
13 September 1924 10:50 AM Washington, D.C. to Dayton, Ohio KDCA DAY North of original McCook Field
14 September 1924
15 September 1924 11:15 AM Dayton, Ohio to Chicago, Illinois DAY KMDW
16 September 1924
17 September 1924
Chicago, Illinois to Omaha, Nebraska KMDW KOFF
18 September 1924 10:40 AM Omaha, Nebraska to St. Joseph, Missouri & Muskogee, Oklahoma KOFF KHAX Refuel at St. Joseph, Missouri, KSTJ; Land at Hatbox
19 September 1924 12:28 PM Muskogee, Oklahoma to Dallas, Texas KHAX KDAL Hatbox Field not Muskogee
20 September 1924 09:35 AM Dallas, Texas to Sweetwater & El Paso, Texas KDAL KBIF Repairs at KSWW
21 September 1924 09:50 AM El Paso, Texas to Tucson, Arizona KBIF KDMA
22 September 1924 07:18 AM Tucson, Arizona to San Diego, California KDMA KNZY Land in Rockwell Field, now the North Island Naval Air Station
23 September 1924 01:00 PM San Diego, California to Los Angeles, California KNZY KSMO Clover Field, Santa Monica
24 September 1924
25 September 1924 09:55 AM Los Angeles, California to San Francisco,California KSMO None Crissy Field, not present in Flt Sim, is immediately SE of the S terminus of the Golden Gate Bridge--I landed just up from and parallel to the beach, where runway 6/24 once was
26 September 1924
27 September 1924
San Francisco,California to Eugene, Oregon None KEUG
28 September 1924
Eugene, Oregon to Seattle, Washington KEUG NAS Sand Point, Naval Air Station, N47* 40.94' W122* 15.85'
Land in parklike area spanning the pennisula using heading 320 to simulate the now-gone runway 32

S of Kenmore Air Harbor and NE of Seattle Seaplanes

Taking off from Sitka

Taking off from the harbor at Sitka, 8:25 AM April 13.  

Over the Faroe Islands

Cruising above a shallow cloud deck over the Faroe Islands, August 2.  Historically, the "Boston" was lost just northwest of here.