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Texan flies ‘wrong way,’ lands in Ireland

Texas-born Douglas Corrigan was famous once upon a time. He earned the nicknames ‘Wrong Way Corrigan’ and ‘The Flying Irishman’ in 1938 after he defied the U.S. government and flew across the Atlantic to Ireland in an airplane he bought for $250. The 75th anniversary of his flight was last week, July 17-18.
Charles Lindbergh, who flew The Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic to Paris, France in 1927, inspired Corrigan to make his own trans-Atlantic flight. Lindbergh paid $10,000 for his plane.
“(Corrigan) applied for a permit to fly the Atlantic, and he was turned down,” said Bruce Bleakley, Frontiers of Flight Museum Director.“He had already flown to New York, and he was in the area getting ready to go, but the authorities would not let him fly it across the Atlantic…because they didn’t think the airplane was capable of making the trip.
“So he kind of said, ‘Okay, I guess I’ll get up tomorrow, and I’ll fly back to San Diego,’” Bleakley said. “Whereupon, he took off the next day and headed east out across the Atlantic. Sometime later, he landed in Dublin, Ireland, and said, ‘Wow. Where is this place? I just took off from New York. Where am I? ’
“And he stuck to that story for the rest of his life,” Bleakley said. “He said he read his compass wrong.

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