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Author Topic: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198  (Read 90426 times)

Arthur Rypinski

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #30 on: October 01, 2016, 07:21:27 AM »

oops.  here is the attachment.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #31 on: October 01, 2016, 01:28:42 PM »

Okay, but we (or at least I) can't identify that other map.

I guess we'll have to cheat and actually have a look at the map in the San Bruno archive. Unless the the top of the map was torn off for some reason, the identifying information should be right there.  We may be able to get an archivist to go look at it and tell us what it says. 

On a related topic, I tried to measure the location of Howland on the Murfin Map, and came up with 0.81N, 167.65E, compared with the actual location of 0.81N, 167.71E, and the 1936 "Bowditch" location of 0.81N, 167.61E.  1 degree at the equator is 60nm, so 0.01 degrees is 0.6 nm.  The current edition of HO 825 at the time of the flight was dated 1934, so if there was more recent info on Howland's location, it wouldn't appear on the published chart.   The differences don't seem material to me.


...especially since Bob Brandenburg's modeling of the Electra's transmitting antenna strongly suggests that the flight never got within 100 miles of Howland. 

Speaking of correct positions, the hand-plotted locations for McKean and Gardner on the Murfin Map are a wee bit off.  The longitude looks okay but the latitudes are too far south.  Whoever plotted the locations must have gotten them from some chart that included the Phoenix Group.

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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #32 on: October 02, 2016, 07:09:22 PM »

All,
How many miles NORTH of Niku is the equator - using today's coord. and the inaccurate coords. of earlier maps?  281 North?
Ted Campbell
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Harbert William Davenport

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #33 on: October 02, 2016, 09:49:54 PM »

Here's one place to do the calculation:  http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/gccalc.shtml

Niku is listed on Wiki as 4.68 degrees south of the equator, which computes to, you guessed it,

          281 nautical miles

Wow, is that a coincidence, or what?!
H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
3555R Prof of Philos, ret.
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #34 on: October 02, 2016, 09:56:08 PM »

All,
How many miles NORTH of Niku is the equator - using today's coord. and the inaccurate coords. of earlier maps?  281 North?
Ted Campbell

4 degrees 36 minutes 37 seconds south of the equator, according to Stephen P. Morse, is:

317.835 statute miles, 276.191 nautical miles
LTM,

           Marty
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Harbert William Davenport

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #35 on: October 03, 2016, 07:25:52 AM »

Well, I suppose a skeptic will say that the coincidence is that I happened to choose the Wikipedia co-ordinate for Niku and the NOAA calculator, and that Ted did so as well, though he's not yet divulged his method.  Anyone who wishes to see '281' is advised to follow suit.
    Apparently after all these years there is still not agreement on exactly where Gardner/Nikumaroro is, but I guess we here in this Forum can agree that as long as Ric and the TIGHAR team can find the place next summer, all will be well!
H. Wm. (Bill) Davenport
3555R Prof of Philos, ret.
 
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 07:27:50 AM by Harbert William Davenport »
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #36 on: October 03, 2016, 10:26:02 AM »

All,
Very interesting!  Apparently AE knew about where she was.  Does any one know where the "281 North" message was first recorded?
Ted Campbell
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #37 on: October 03, 2016, 11:02:06 AM »

apparently after all these years there is still not agreement on exactly where Gardner/Nikumaroro is, ...

I used a placemark in Google Earth--but, on closer inspection, my placemark does not correspond to what I get when I let Google Earth find its way to Nikumaroro Island, Kirbati.

The Google Earth coordinates are:


4°40'40.51"S

174°31'10.55"W

LTM,

           Marty
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #38 on: October 03, 2016, 03:01:43 PM »

Very interesting!  Apparently AE knew about where she was.

You can get your latitude by shooting the sun at local noon.  Once you have your latitude it's easy to calculate your distance from the equator. A minute latitude is 60 nautical miles.   Niku is almost four miles long.  Not every place on the island is 281 nautical miles from the equator.

  Does any one know where the "281 North" message was first recorded?l

Navy Radio Wailupe (near Honolulu).

https://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/signalcatalog4.html#ID51130WE
Message 125
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Arthur Rypinski

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #39 on: October 05, 2016, 07:43:53 AM »

Horace Brock (1908-1981) was an early Pan Am pilot and navigator and subsequently an executive.  Scion of a wealthy Philadelphia family, he attended Yale and graduated from Harvard Law School, but never practiced:  instead, on graduation, he signed up for the Army Air Corps as an aviation cadet.  He was eventually commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant and bomber pilot, but resigned to join Pan American's Caribbean Division in 1935 as an "apprentice pilot."  At Pan Am, he was cross-trained as a navigator, radio operator, and licensed mechanic, flying Caribbean routes as navigator and first officer.  In April 1937, he was transferred to the Pacific Division, flying the Martin M-130 and Sikorsky S-42 mostly as a navigator.  In 1939, he transferred to the Atlantic Division, flying the S-42 and the Boeing 314, as first officer, and later, as Pan Am styled it, "Master Ocean Pilot."  He was eventually ran Pan Am's Atlantic Division.  In 1978, we wrote his memoirs, "Flying the Oceans," (Stinehour Press), which is filled with interested and detailed stories about ocean navigation in the 1930s.   

One such story relates to charts.  The story appears in the context of flying along the Brazilian and Venezuelan coasts in 1935-1936.

"Our jobs as pilots involved special problems.  There were, of course, sailing charts, hydrographic charts, and coast charts issued by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.  These ocean charts were of little use due to lack of details of the shores of the adjacent land.  We were reduced to maps issued by the National Geographic Society and school-book atlases.  Mostly, we drew in prominent features of terrain as well as courses and distances on any maps we could obtain.  My mother used to send me ones she got at a map store in Philadelphia.  The USC&G chart [Actually Hydrographic Office-adr] which I used on this first Para [Brazil] trip was only a strip cut from the full chart.  I noticed on it a landmark which said "Big Tree," on the dotted shore shown between the Orinoco and Marajo Island.  Obviously there were no trees along this coast, only mangrove swamps and no identifiable shoreline for hundreds of miles.  When I got to Miami, I looked for and found a copy of the entire chart (we always cut them into strips as they were easier to handle in the cockpit) and promptly sought the lower, left hand, bottom corner where the legend was, and under it, in fine print, the source was given as "From Surveys by Magellan."
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Arthur Rypinski

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #40 on: October 10, 2016, 08:39:14 PM »

Fred Noonan also described the charts he used on the 1935 Pan Am flight from Alameda to Honolulu in his letter to PVH Weems.  This letter was later republished in Van Horne's "Air Navigation," and apparently in the May 1938 issue of "Popular Aviation" magazine.   Noonan wrote:

"A set of marine charts, general, coastwise, and harbor, was carried; also aviation strip charts of the California coast.  The actual chart work was carried out on VP-3 and VP-4 Aircraft Plotting Sheets."  By working along the track from the Alameda to the left-hand border of the chart, then transferring that termination of the track back to the right border in the same latitude, and continuing in this manner, two sheets sufficed for the entire crossing."

--The "aviation strip charts" are mildly puzzling.  The USC&GS aeronautical charts for the period were called "airway maps" and covered the Pacific Coast, but they weren't really strip charts.  This 1933 example,  showing the Coast from San Francisco south, shows radio and visual aids to navigation:
https://historicalcharts.noaa.gov/historicals/preview/image/U-I-10-and-L--J-10-5-1933.
--The "marine charts" are presumably the usual HO and USC&GS products.  It is interesting that Noonan says he carried the detail charts.  The AE final flight equivalent would HO 1198.
--VP4 and VP6 are standard HO plotting sheets.  They have no geographic information, but the lat/lon lines are spaced in a Mercator projection for a particular range of latitudes.  In principle, the navigator traces or plots the landforms and beacons of interest onto his plotting sheet prior to departure, and then plots his position fixes as he travels.

adr

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Kurt Kummer

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2016, 10:32:31 PM »

Ric, would a trip to San Bruno be the next step?  The National Archives folks recommend a research appointment at least 10 working days in advance so they can be ready to assist with advice, assistance and have the relevant records available.  I would be happy to help if you'd like, and I've done genealogical research there before so I kind of know how the process works.

Kurt
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #42 on: October 14, 2016, 07:02:34 AM »

Ric, would a trip to San Bruno be the next step?

"The time has come", the Walrus said.  Yes, thanks Kurt.  Based on the undated document Randy Jacobson provided, the staff at San Bruno is well-aware of the Murfin Map as one of its most fascinating holdings.  While you're there, let's also get the Lexington search map.
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Arthur Rypinski

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #43 on: October 14, 2016, 08:24:12 AM »

A 1941 copy of the VP-4 plotting sheet that Noonan mentioned has turned up on Ebay.  This copy has the California coastline, along with some airports and radio station overprinted in a custom, probably Navy-only, style.     Several flights out of San Diego are hand plotted on the chart.    This is additional evidence that the HO turned out various bespoke or small-print-run charts for Naval use (like the Murfin Map) that were not sold to the public.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Aircraft-Plotting-Sheet-California-No-VP-4-Sept-1941-WWII-Navy-Chart-Map-Chart-/262669881189?hash=item3d28584f65:g:XlwAAOSwNRdX9RZ3

The equivalent plotting sheet for the Lae-Howland leg would be VP-1, which covers 0-11 degrees latitude.  It would have been possible to use two plotting sheets, for North and South latitude, with some loss of precision,  move the equator one degree South on the plotting chart.  The southernmost location of the planned flight was Lae, (6.7 degrees South), and the northernmost location Howland (0.5 degrees North).

adr


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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research Needed - H.O Chart #1198
« Reply #44 on: November 13, 2016, 08:57:07 AM »

On November 9, Kurt Kummer visited the San Bruno National Archives and solved the Mystery of the Murfin Map.  When Randy Jacobson got a copy of the map all those years ago, he did not get copy of the top of the map because roughly one foot of the top was missing.  It had been cut off with an Xacto knife or similar blade.  Why?  And where did the missing section go?  Here's what happened.  (This is SO COOL.)

As Kurt explained,
"William Greene, an Archivist at NARA deserves all the credit.  He asked how it was going and I explained the dilemma.  "There should be a legend that tells us the name of this chart, but it's just not here.  It should be up in the top left corner, or the bottom right, or both but it isn't."  That's when Bill noticed that the extra piece along the bottom looked like it was glued on, and then we realized that it had been sliced off of the top, turned over, glued onto the bottom of the chart, and in one fell swoop the top legend was gone and the bottom one covered up.  A table lamp and then a light table confirmed it."  (photos below)

When the search managers at Pearl Harbor plotted the bearings taken by Pan Am on the post-loss radio signals they saw that the lines would cross off the bottom of the chart they had selected.  What to do?  They cut off the top of the chart, flipped it over, glued it to the bottom of the chart, and extended the latitude and longitude lines by hand.  When they saw where the lines crossed they drew in the locations of McKean and Gardner Islands.

So what chart is it?  (Drum roll.)  The envelope please:

No. 5050  Strategic Planning Chart No. 3  July 1924 Edition

Back on September 29, Reply #22, Art Rypinski wrote:
"The Lexington plotting chart, HO 5050, described by Randy would work nicely for FN (Lae is 6.7 degrees S, 147 degrees W), and it includes the Phoenix Islands.   The Murfin Map could only have been used in conjunction with some other chart for the first part of the Lae-Howland leg."

Apparently H.O. 5050 came in multiple sheets.  Sheet 3 did not include the Phoenix Group.

Great job Kurt!
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