The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960 Page: 20
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
on Wednesday, August io, Erwin took off at 6:05 P.M. for the sec-
ond time. He landed in Oakland the next day at 1:38 P.M.,10
and on the way to his hotel in Alameda, he declared:
The worst part of the trip to Honolulu is over. I would rather take
a trip across the water any time than make it across the mountains to
California from Texas.
I ran into three storms on the way to California last night. One was
at El Paso and one at Deming, New Mexico. While I was plowing
through this deluge of water, almost blinded, I noticed a black wall
rising suddenly before the nose of the ship. It was the mountains and
I just did pull her up in time to get over. They talk about the South-
ern route, but after I saw those mountains, I said Southern route be
darned, and I pulled Dallas Spirit up to ten or twelve thousand feet
and came on through at that altitude. Before I had been flying be-
tween seven and eight thousand feet.
Erwin then spoke of learning for the first time that there were
mountains near El Paso nearly nine thousand feet high, of encoun-
tering a violent electrical storm near Tucson, and of being forced
to land in a wheat field at Beaumont, California. The reason for
the Beaumont stop was fuel line trouble that forced Erwin to
use his wobble, or hand pump, flying with his left hand, while
pumping gas with his right hand. As a result of this long period
of strain, he was so stiff when he landed at Oakland that it was
with difficulty that he got out of the plane. He had left Beau-
mont at 7:50 A.M."
The beginning of the Dole Flight was originally set for August
12, but by that time so many apparent dangers had arisen that the
Department of Commerce and the Navy stepped in in an advisory
capacity. Major Clarence Young, chief of the Commerce Depart-
ment's civil aeronautics division, flew down from Washington to
try to beat a little sense into the contestants' brains, and Lieuten-
ant Ben Wyatt of the Navy came up to Oakland from San Diego.12
Neither the Commerce Department nor the Navy at that time
had authority to give orders, but only advice and warning. They
called the pilots together and suggested that the take-off date of
10J. Perry Burrus and Clarence R. Miller of Dallas, two of the sponsors, were at
the airport when Captain Erwin landed.
11Dallas News, August 12, 1927.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 63, July 1959 - April, 1960, periodical, 1960; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101186/m1/40/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.