Council Member Eric Ulrich hosted a ceremony Wednesday commemorating the 100th anniversary of the first transatlantic airplane flight. That first flight was not Charles Lindbergh’s Roosevelt Field to Paris flight in 1927, but an effort by U.S. Navy and Coast Guard pilots that hopscotched from Rockaway to Lisbon eight years earlier. The ceremony was held at Riis Landing on Jamaica Bay, just west of the departure point for the three seaplanes that were part of that first transatlantic flight.
Just one of the three seaplanes succeeded in reaching Lisbon after planned stops in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and the Azores and an unplanned stop in Massachusetts.
The commemoration featured flyovers by the Coast Guard and the NYPD and an appearance by an FDNY fireboat. The program included speakers from the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, historians and descendants of the primary planner of the 1919 flight. It was mc’d by CM Ulrich’s Deputy Chief of Staff Robby Schwach, who organized the commemoration. Marching bands from the Channel View School for Research and the Scholars Academy performed. The commemoration concluded with the unveiling of a street sign marking renaming a section of Beach 169th Street in honor of U.S. Navy Seaplane Division One.
Council Member Ulrich was the only elected official to attend.