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DICK (HENRY T.) MERRILL - AUTOGRAPH NOTE SIGNED 02/25/1966 - HFSID 321410

DICK (HENRY T.) MERRILL The pilot sends a note and photograph to an associate, writing that the photograph was taken just before departure Autograph note signed: "Dick Marrill", in blue ink, 5¼x4¼ affixed with tape to a 5¼x3¾ newspaper photograph.

Sale Price $180.00

Reg. $200.00

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DICK (HENRY T.) MERRILL
The pilot sends a note and photograph to an associate, writing that the photograph was taken just before departure
Autograph note signed: "Dick Marrill", in blue ink, 5¼x4¼ affixed with tape to a 5¼x3¾ newspaper photograph. In full: "To Hane, This was taken just before take-off for Acopulco in the Voyager 1000 - a D.C. 7 - March 1965". Aviation pioneer Dick (Henry T.) Merrill (1894-1982) was an air-mail pilot in the 1920s, priding himself on never canceling flights because of inclement weather. Aviation legend Eddie Rickenbacker called Merrill America's "best commercial pilot." In September 1936, flying a single-engine Vultee VI named the Lady Peace, Merrill made the first ever round-trip non-stop flight across the North Atlantic, a feat he had repeated three more times by May 1937. These flights, the last one completed in a record 24 hours, proved the feasibility of commercial trans-Atlantic flights. The first of these flights was the most famous, however, because Merrill's passenger was wealthy entertainer Harry Richman (star of "Puttin' on the Ritz"). At Richman's insistence, the plane was loaded with ping pong balls, which Richman hoped would keep the plane afloat in the event of a water landing. Richman accidentally dropped the spare fuel tank on the return trip, however, forcing a crash landing in Nova Scotia. Merrill retired as a commercial pilot in 1961. Fine condition.

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