Dole Race into Danger
daring young men (and women) in their flying machines attracted
enthusiastic public attention. And so it was that on August 16, 1927, a
crowd of spectators and newsmen gathered at the Oakland Airport to watch
the beginning of the Dole Race. Hawaii's pineapple baron, James Dole,
had offered $25,000 and $10,000 to the first and second planes to reach
Hawaii from the mainland under racing rules.
Like pioneers everywhere, these early pilots took great risk to push
back the boundaries of the possible.
Three aviators died enroute to the
Of the nine entrants, two cracked up during takeoff, one was
disqualified, two turned back at the Golden Gate, two disappeared and
one of the pilots who flew to search for them also disappeared. In all,
seven aviators died in the Dole Race, and only two planes made it to
Hawaii. It is on this foundation of courage and daring that commercial
aviation and the development of airports has been built.
Oakland Museum of California
"Walk Along the Water"
© Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.
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