Wrong Way CorriganAviator
Born: 22 January 1907
Died: 9 December 1995
Birthplace: Galveston, Texas
Best known as: The flier who 'accidentally' crossed the Atlantic
On 17 July 1938, Douglas Corrigan took off from Brooklyn's Floyd Bennett airfield in a tiny single-engine plane. Corrigan had filed a flight plan for California, but 29 hours later he arrived in Ireland, claiming his compasses had failed and that he had accidentally flown the wrong way. Although Corrigan never quite admitted it, his 'mistake' was surely a ruse to circumvent aviation authorities who had turned down his request to make a trans-Atlantic flight. Corrigan's stunt caught the public fancy; he was given a hero's welcome on his return to New York, and "Wrong-Way Corrigan" became a popular nickname for anyone who made a big blunder or did things backwards. Corrigan published his biography, That's My Story, in 1938.
Extra credit: Corrigan played himself in the 1938 movie The Flying Irishman.
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