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Author Topic: The Noonan Chart: 1936 HO 825 available  (Read 16949 times)

Arthur Rypinski

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The Noonan Chart: 1936 HO 825 available
« on: May 29, 2021, 08:59:43 PM »

Ric et al-

Some years ago, there was a discussion about Noonan's chart, and one of the leading candidates was HO 825, a nautical chart that conveniently included both Lae and Howland Island.  One of the motivators of the discussion was  a statement made, I believe, by Elgen Long to the effect that Howland was mislocated on Noonan's chart.  Of course, both Noonan and his chart have gone missing, so it is hard to sure what chart he used.

Back in 2016 we found a 1941 copy of HO 825, and a reference to an earlier copy in the National Library of Australia.

Since then, the National Library of Australia has digitized and placed on the internet a set of more than 300 nautical charts that formerly belonged to Australian aviator and navigator. P.G. "Bill" Taylor, later Sir Patrick Gordon Taylor, GC, MC (1896-1966).  Not only that, they have provide a viewer so the charts can be examined in some detail. Most the chart  show part or all of the Pacific Ocean, with a few from the Indian Ocean. Many have been used to navigate flights, and are marked with courses, position fixes, lines of position, etc

The collection can be browsed at:

The many interesting charts include:
  The 1936 and 1941 versions of HO 825 are present. On the 1936 version, someone, presumably Taylor, has drawn a straight line from Lae to Howland.  1936:
  A 1924 British chart of the Phoenix Group, including the oldest Gardner chart I've seen (survey of 1840)
  Multiple versions of British Chart "Pacific Ocean in Four Sheets (SW)," which covers the southwestern Pacific from Australia to the Phoenix Group, and is the British analogue to HO 825.  Unlike HO 825, it stops at the Equator, so doesn't have Howland or Baker, so it is less attractive as Noonan's Chart.
The most interesting version is probably 1934:

A 1938 British chart "Pacific Ocean in Four Sheets (NE)", covering the eastern Pacific from Howland (lower left) to California (upper right) with Hawii in the middle.  This shows the "british" location of Howland in 1938.

1938 British Chart, Ellice Islands to Phoenix Islands, with Canton in NE corner. This chart has been used to navigate, or more likely conduct an aerial survey of the Phoenix Group, from a base at Canton. There is a penciled marking next to Birnie:  "Position is 2 miles to the east" with the author's view of the island's location drawn in.

HO 1993 "The Ellice, Phoenix, and Union Groups," dated 1940.  This US chart is the counterpart of the previous British chart. It looks unused, though.



Don White

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Re: The Noonan Chart: 1936 HO 825 available
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2021, 07:32:57 AM »

Wow. I spent some time looking at each chart. I notice that the shape of Gardner is still based on the 1840 survey until the 1938 chart, when it has its correct shape. Seems those 1938 surveys had been applied right away to the new chart.


Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Noonan Chart: 1936 HO 825 available
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2021, 02:11:16 PM »

FWIW I'm still of the opinion Noonan used the same chart Murfin used.


Murfin's chart was:

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

Back on September 29,(2016) 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.

Kurt Kummer

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Re: The Noonan Chart: 1936 HO 825 available
« Reply #3 on: May 31, 2021, 12:30:03 PM »

Thanks for finding this collection of charts Art.  Good work!
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