Little Known Black History Fact: Cross Country Fliers

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  • On July 17, 1933, two pilots, Dr. Albert Forsythe and C. Alfred Anderson became the first black men to make a cross-country flight from Bader Field in Atlantic City. The men successfully made the trip without lighting or a radio, with only an altimeter and a map. They coasted to Los Angeles in their plane, which was named The Pride of Atlantic City. When the men returned, they were greeted with a parade.

    Dr. Forsythe had purchased the Pride of Atlantic City earlier that year for $2,000. After taking leave of his medical practice, he joined with Anderson and learned to fly from a white flight instructor in Philadelphia – the only place blacks could learn to fly in the country. The fact that the men learned to fly from a white instructor during a peak time of segregation made their accomplishment remarkable.

    They took flight in July and were sponsored by the Atlantic City Board of Trade.

    Once Forsythe and Anderson completed their first flight, they expanded their journey to include trips to Montreal and the Caribbean, which was Dr. Forsythe’s birthplace (Nassau, Bahamas).

    Two years later, Dr. Albert Forsythe returned to his medical practice and C. Alfred Anderson worked as an instructor at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.

    Dr. Albert Forsythe was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame in 1985 and died one year later.
     

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