Timeline of the second round-the-world attempt

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Around the world, heading eastward.
Ric Gillespie, 3 March 2000 Forum.

Names and political affiliations of destinations shown as of 1937. Distances in statute miles.

Timeline of transmissions heard from NR16020 during the last flight.


20 May to 2 July, 1937
Leg # From To Date Statute miles Remarks
01 1 Oakland, California Burbank, California 20 May 325 From Oakland to Miami AE and Fred were accompanied by AE's husband, George Palmer Putnam, and her mechanic R.D. "Bo" McKneeley.
02 2 Burbank, California Tucson, Arizona 21 May 450 Engine fire after refueling; forced to stay overnight for repairs.
03 3 Tucson, Arizona New Orleans, Louisiana 22 May 1250
04 4 New Orleans, Louisiana Miami, Florida 23 May 675
05 24 May
  • Repairs following AE's aborted first world flight attempt in March had been completed on May 19 and the trip from Oakland to Miami was a shakedown trip. It was not until they arrived in Miami that the announcement was made that the second world flight attempt had actually begun.
  • In Miami, Pan American Airways mechanics made necessary adjustments to the Sperry autopilot and the radios. Good documentation about the modifications has yet to come to light.
  • Starboard navigation window skinned over.
06 25 May
07 26 May
08 27 May
09 28 May
10 29 May
11 30 May
  • Second round-the-world attempt announced.
  • A Professor Thedore McCown, Univ. of California, in 1960, had a letter from Dr. Horace L. Cartee, DDS from Miami, Fla, that reports that the day before AE left on the flight he removed an "upper right third molar" from AE hoping to cure some severe headaches she was having.[1]
12 5 Miami, Florida San Juan, Puerto Rico 1 June 1033
13 6 San Juan, Puerto Rico Caripito, Venezuela 2 June 750
14 7 Caripito, Venezuela Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana 3 June 667
15 8 Paramaribo, Dutch Guiana Fortaleza, Brazil 4 June 1200
16 5 June One day layover; crew rest.
17 9 Fortaleza, Brazil Natal, Brazil 6 June 268
18 10 Natal, Brazil Saint-Louis, French Senegal 7 June 1961 Unscheduled--"navigational difficulty."
19 11 Saint-Louis, French Senegal Dakar, French Senegal 8 June 103
20 9 June One day layover for maintenance.
21 12 Dakar, French Senegal Gao, French West Africa 10 June 1130
22 13 Gao, French West Africa Fort-Lamy, French Equatorial Africa 11 June 989
23 14 Fort-Lamy, French Equatorial Africa El Fasher, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 12 June 700
24 15 El Fasher, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan Khartoum, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 13 June 501 Refueled in Khartoum.
25 16 Khartoum, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan Massawa, Italian Eritrea 13 June 450
26 17 Massawa, Italian Eritrea Assab, Italian Eritrea 14 June 300 Confusion about AE's intentions resulted in an erroneous press report that she was overdue at Karachi. It was thought that she would fly non-stop from Massawa to Karachi, but she landed at Assab and stayed overnight instead.
27 18 Assab, Italian Eritrea Karachi, India 15 June 1600
28 16 June One day layover for maintenance.
29 19 Karachi, India Calcutta, India 17 June 1390 At this point in the flight AE anticipated that she would reach Lae on June 23 or 24, and be home by June 28.
30 20 Calcutta, India Akyab, Burma 18 June 335
31 21 Akyab, Burma Rangoon, Burma 19 June 306 For the first time in the flight, weather became a serious problem. Originally intending only to refuel at Akyab on 18 June, heavy rain forced them to abort their attempt to continue. Another attempt to reach Bangkok the next day (19 June) was cut short by severe weather and a landing was made at Rangoon.
32 22 Rangoon, Burma Bangkok, Siam 20 June 300 Refueled in Bankok.
33 23 Bangkok, Siam Singapore, British Crown Colony 20 June 904
34 24 Singapore, British Crown Colony Bandoeng, Java, Dutch East Indies 21 June 560
35 22 June Maintenance.
36 23 June Maintenance.
37 25 Bandoeng, Java, Dutch East Indies Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies 24 June 355 Instrument malfunctions--problems with the Cambridge Exhaust Gas Analyzer--were addressed by mechanics of KLM East Indies Airlines. In a telephone conversation with her husband, AE said she still hoped to be home by July 4th.[2]
38 26 Surabaya, Java, Dutch East Indies Bandoeng, Java, Dutch East Indies 25 June 355 Continued instrument difficulties forced a return to Bandoeng for additional repairs (26 June).[3]
3 26 June Instrument repairs.
39 27 Bandoeng, Java, Dutch East Indies Koepang, Timor, Dutch East Indies 27 June 1165
40 28 Koepang, Timor, Dutch East Indies Port Darwin, Australia 28 June 500 Receiver fuse replaced in Darwin.
41 29 Port Darwin, Australia Lae, Territory of New Guinea 29 June 1207 Communicated with Darwin but not Lae (telegraphed wrong frequency).
42 30 June Delayed in Lae for weather reports, time check, "personnel unfitness."
43 1 July Failed direction finding test in Lae. Weather reports, time check.
44 30 Lae, Territory of New Guinea Howland Island, United States Territory 2 July 2556 This, the longest and most difficult leg of the flight. Arrival in Oakland by the 4th of July was now out of the question and Putnam would do well to get Amelia's planned book World Flight (ultimately to be titled Last Flight) published in time for the Christmas market. Line difficulties delayed Noonan's receipt of vital time checks needed to set his chronometer, and contrary winds prevented the heavily laden takeoff until the morning of July 2. A position report received at Lae later that day indicated that the flight was on course and on schedule. At Howland Island, the next morning, radio messages from the approaching flight placed it within roughly 100 miles, however, AE's attempts to use radio direction finding to locate the tiny island were unsuccessful. At noon the flight was declared overdue and presumed down.
45 (31) Howland Island, United States Territory Honolulu, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii 1900
46 (32) Honolulu, Oahu, Territory of Hawaii Oakland, California 2410
  • Total miles planned: 28,595.
  • Total miles flown (Oakland to vicinity Howland Island): 24,285.


  1. Goerner, The Search for Amelia Earhart (p. 172-174). TIGHAR has neither confirmed nor refuted this claim. On the face of it, the day before resuming the around-the-world attempt seems like an unlikely time to have a wisdom tooth removed. Then again, the prospect of getting relief from an impacted molar may have been adequate motivation for the oral surgery.
  2. Finding Amelia, p. 59: "When the United DC-3 arrived at the terminal in Cheyenne, passenger Putnam was told that there was an international phone call waiting for him from Surabaya, Java. Earhart told him of the delay but assured him that she would be able to continue on to Australia in the morning. The three-minute call cost $24."
  3. "We spent considerably more time in Java than we expected to – had some minor, but important, instrument adjustments to be made, and as the Dutch Line is using the new DC3 Douglas – equipped with similar instruments – we decided to have the work done in their shops at Bandoeng, Java. We remained there from last Sunday until yesterday – Saturday. Took off once and got as far as Surabaya – about three hundred and fifty miles – only to have the instruments fail again – so returned to Bandoeng. They are functioning perfectly now, thank goodness for the Dutch mechanics" ("The Helen Day Letters," 27 June 1937.)

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