2010-09-17 / Columnists

Historical Views of the Rockaways

Colonel Clarence D. Chamberlin-Aviation Pioneer
From The Rockaway Museum Commentary by Emil Lucev, Curator Dedicated To The Memory Of Leon S. Locke

Colonel Clarence D. Chamberlin was the engineer in charge of designing New York City’s first municipal airport in the 1920s, Floyd Bennett Field, at the westerly side of Jamaica Bay. Chamberlin also established a long distance flight record after the Lindberg Flight in 1970, when he flew from Roosevelt Field on Long Island to Eisleben, Germany. He carried with him the first transatlantic passenger, Charles Levine of Belle Harbor. In 1927, Chamberlin established an endurance record aloft of more than 51 hours, and in 1930 made the first ship to shore flight carrying mail. In the same year, he set an altitude record for diesel engine aircraft of almost twenty thousand feet.

Besides being in airplane manufacturing and commercial aviation, Chamberlin, as a military air reserve officer, helped to reorganize the Army Air Corp in 1934. He also experimented with stratosphere flying for airliner flights over the Atlantic to Europe.

This photo of Chamberlin was taken in 1936, and he still lives in the history of American aviation.

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