Early Aviation on the Hill Historical

Early Aviation on the Hill Historical (HM1WB0)

Location: Signal Hill, CA 90755 Los Angeles County
Country: United States of America

N 33° 48.07', W 118° 9.682'

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Part of the "Memory Necklace"

—A Series of Historical Panels Located in the Hilltop Loop Trail —

Signal Hill was the early launch site of Earl Daugherty, pioneer aviator, airplane builder and WWI flying ace. Just a few years after the Wright Brothers' first flight at Kitty Hawk, (on December 17, 1903), Daugherty was handcrafting primitive gliders and hauling them up Signal Hill to soar in ocean breezes. Both Daugherty and William Boeing attended the first National Air Meet in 1910, in nearby Dominguez Hills. The show must have inspired them because, Daugherty, 24, flying in a Curtiss-Type biplane, became the 87th American to qualify for a pilot license in 1911. Boeing eventually founded the most influential commercial airplane manufacturing company in U.S. History.

Until the early 1920s, the main landing strip in the city was Long Beach's crescent shaped beach. Soon the small coterie of pilots outgrew the beach, with its narrow landing strip and low tide landing/takeoff. In 1919, Daugherty built his own airstrip near American Avenue (now Long Beach Boulevard) and Bixby Avenue. He named it "Chateau Thierry" after a French battlefield from his service in the first World War.

Daugherty went on to operate a passenger service and give flying lessons. In his first year of operation, he flew some 1,786 passengers on sightseeing tours with sweeping views from San Pedro to Huntington Beach. This was remarkable
because flying was considered a daring feat in those days.

Daugherty was a legendary stunt pilot. he and his fiancee, Katherine, even "got hitched" in an air wedding ceremony, the first of its kind. With a vision for Long Beach aviation, he used his influence as a local Army Air Corps flying ace and barnstorming legend to persuade the Long Beach City Council to plan for an airport. In 1923, the council set aside 150 acres near the Cherry and Spring Street intersection for the construction of the Long Beach airport, the first municipal airport in Southern California. (Just to the left of this viewshed) (Marker Number 4.)
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HM NumberHM1WB0
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Friday, December 16th, 2016 at 1:02pm PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 392498 N 3740716
Decimal Degrees33.80116667, -118.16136667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 33° 48.07', W 118° 9.682'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds33° 48' 4.2" N, 118° 9' 40.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 2628-2632 Panorama Dr, Signal Hill CA 90755, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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