National Library of Australia
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United States hydrographic charts with manuscript plots by Harry Lyon, navigator for the record-breaking journey of the Southern Cross crossing of the Pacific Ocean from Oakland, California to Brisbane in 1928, captained by Charles Kingsford Smith.
Please refer to the collection's catalogue record for the access conditions (https://catalogue.nla.gov.au/Record/181369).
Some of the items within this collection, including some that have been made available as digitised images, are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.
Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of map item], Harry Lyon Map Collection, National Library of Australia, [item number]'.
Presented to then Transport Minister Peter Nixon for "the people of Australia" by Harry Lyon's second cousin W.E. Hunt in 1978 on a visit to Australia to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Southern Cross flight. These charts where donated to the National Library by Ken Williams of the Civil Aviation Authority in 1988.
View the catalogue record for Fiji Islands, South Pacific Ocean : from surveys between 1854 and 1882 with additions from United States and Fiji Govt. surveys / Hydrographic Office at https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn8057057. View the catalogue record for [Extract from an aeronautical chart which was used by Captain Charles E. Kingsford Smith on his flight in the Southern Cross from Port Marnoch, Ireland to Roosevelt Field, N.Y. June 23rd to 26th, 1930], at https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn3638005. View the catalogue record for the Papers of Charles Kingsford-Smith, 1917-1935, at https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn730280. View the catalogue record for the Newspaper cuttings, 1928 [manuscript] regarding the 1928 trans-Pacific flight of the Southern Cross, at https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2214704. View the catalogue record for Charles Kingsford-Smith and Harry Lyons and James Warner recorded by 2GB in Historical recordings of important events collection, at https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn2440873. View the catalogue record for Harry Lyon, navigator and James Warner, wireless operator on the Kingsford Smith Pacific Flight, New South Wales, 1928, at https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn6220213.
Charts have been arranged to reflect the order, and where possible the numbering, in the notes from W.E. Hunt. Prior Rare Map numbering is noted in parentheses.
Item 1 is described in Chart No. 1 note; Item 2 is described in Chart No. 2 note; Item 3 is described in [Notes referring to Chart No. 3]; Item 4 is described in Chart No. 4 (No. 7) note; Item 5 is described in Chart No. 3. (No. 5) note; and Item 6 is described in Chart No. 5 (No. 8) note.
Son of a Rear Admiral, Harry Lyon became a Merchant Marine and Commander in the U.S. Navy in World War One, having been kicked out of the Annapolis Naval Academy. In 1928 he navigated the pioneering trans-Pacific flight in the Southern Cross with crew Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm, and James Warner. Lyon had been introduced to Kingsford Smith and Ulm by assistant hydrographer Captain J.C. MacMillan. He went on to rum running in California. In World War Two he was a U.S. Navy Transport Captain, active in convoys at Oran, Algeria, and Salerno, Italy landings. He retired to his home state of Maine and died in 1963.
Hydrographic chart showing portion of Pacific Ocean including west coast of United States and Hawaii. Chart includes annotations of flight calculations, and shows route marked from San Francisco, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii. On sheet 127 x 85 cm.
Washington D.C., published Jan. 1874 at the Hydrographic Office, under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy.
New Publication: 121st.Ed., May 1925.
This is the first leg of the journey undertaken by the Southern Cross for the record-breaking crossing of the Pacific. The inked course and computations were the pre-flight plots of navigator Harry Lyon, and the pencilled plots were the actual in-flight ones. The map includes the names of ships that the aircraft passed over and made radio contact with.
Hydrographic chart showing portion of Pacific Ocean including Hawaii. Chart includes annotations of flight calculations, and shows route into and out of Hawaii. On sheet 78 x 61 cm.
Published at Washington D.C., May 1925 by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey.
This chart shows that the Southern Cross landed "light" on Oahu, and transferred to Kauai where it was loaded for its flight to Fiji. With a heavy load of fuel, the aircraft departed from Barking Sands, Kauai, on the only runway stretch long enough for their heavy takeoff, and slowly gained altitude.
Hydrographic chart showing portion of Pacific Ocean. Chart includes flight calculations, and shows portion of route of the Southern Cross 1928 Pacific crossing. On sheet 77 x 72 cm.
Washington D.C., pubished Mar 1903 at the Hydrographic Office under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy.
Includes ink smudges from when navigator Harry Lyon attempted to fill his fountain pen in rough air.
Hydrographic chart showing New Caledonia. Chart includes flight calculations, and shows portion of route of the Southern Cross 1928 Pacific crossing. Edition: 3rd Jan 1919. On sheet 48 x 105 cm.
Washington D.C., published July, 1902 at the Hydrographic Office under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy.
The course flown by the Southern Cross during this leg was "spot on" due to good visual points. There was significant turbulence as they approached New Caledonia. The barely legibile inscription reads "I thought of the White Mountains about summer and spring", and refers to the mountains of New Caledonia, reminiscent of Harry Lyon's home in Maine, USA.
Hydrographic chart showing Fiji. Chart includes flight calculations, and shows portion of route of the Faith in Australia 1928 Pacific crossing. Annotation on verso about clouds, an aircraft light and discharge on bearings, and 32 hours of daylight. On sheet 71 x 77 cm.
Washington D.C., published May 1902 at the Hydrographic Office under the authority of the Secretary of the Navy.
The Southern Cross was tracking 107 nautical miles off the desired course on the way to Fiji. With limited remaining fuel on this long leg, "Smithy" sighted land. Lyon said the "excitement and relief was intense".
Hydrographic chart showing portion of Pacific Ocean. Chart includes flight calculations, and shows portion of route of the Southern Cross 1928 Pacific crossing. On sheet 32 x 52 cm.
The last chart in Lyon/Hunt's possession, as one other was given to Charles Kingsford Smith.
Note on Chart No. 1 on pre-flight and in-flight plotting and Harry Lyon and James Warner sharing an interest in contacting ships.
Note on Chart No. 2 on malfunctioning compass.
[Notes referring to Chart No. 3] on the significance of the chart in the flight, navigating the second half of the flight to Suva, Lyon noting guano at Enderbury, and ink smudges on the chart.
[Notes referring to Chart No. 3 continued] has biographical information about Lyon.
Note on Chart No. 4 (No. 7) on turbulence, the mountains of New Caledonia reminding him of the White Mountains near his home in Maine, and Lyon's sextant mishap. Notes in pen struck through with pencil.
Note on Chart No. 3 (No. 5) on Charles Kingsford Smith sighting Cape Undu, Suva landing and the rough Suva-Brisbane leg.
Note on Chart No. 5 (No. 8) on a storm and being off-course as a result. This note also appears to indicate that the National Library of Australia's copy of Fiji Islands, South Pacific Ocean : from surveys between 1854 and 1882 with additions from United States and Fiji Govt. surveys at https://nla.gov.au/nla.cat-vn8057057 was possibly given to Charles Kingsford Smith by Harry Lyon.
Original notes held with internal file 205/02/00141. Photocopy of note regarding Chart No. 2 only held with the Maps collection.