11 March 2008

Lucky Lindy, The Kidnapping and The Secret Spy Mission!

Known primarily for his flying hero status in the 1920's and 1930's, Charles Lindbergh was an A-list celebrity of the times. While most people today remember his exploits with the Spirit of St. Louis, many do not know of the kidnapping of his child or his coup of intelligence information that he picked up on his whirlwind tours of the German aircraft industry in the pre-World War II years.

The Hero!


More than anything else, the Spirit of St. Louis has come to symbolize the roaring of the American nation on the world stage of the 1920's. The first to fly non-stop from New York to Paris, Lindberg sealed his destiny in aviation forever as well as winning $25,000! Coming from this flight were major advances in aeronautics, including:

"...Lindbergh is recognized in aviation for demonstrating and charting polar air-routes, high altitude flying techniques, and increasing aircraft flying range by decreasing fuel consumption. These innovations are the basis of modern intercontinental air travel...." (2)

Disaster Strikes!


After his famous flight, Lindbergh married and had children, still continuing his flying career. However, in 1932 disaster struck, as one of his children, Charles Augustus Lindbergh was kidnapped. The nation was stunned with the event soon turning into a media circus with theories, supposed details and shady characters. As an interesting note, one of the principles in the story was none other than Wild Bill Donovan, future head of the OSS in World War II. Al Capone offered help as well. In the end, results were futile as the body of his son was found and indentified, however, the criminal, Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of the crime.

Lucky Lindy, Secret Agent?



While it was a known fact that Germany was building up the armed forces in the 1930's, the extent to which that was happening was not concrete. American officials as well as the British, however, scored a coup when Lindbergh was invited to Germany by top Nazi officials, including Goering. While there, he learned much about the top line aircraft in the German inventory, with the information soon flowing back to the appropriate intelligence services. . In the pages above, located in NARA, we see Truman Smith's information on the tours taken by Lindbergh.

I've only just described the tip of the iceberg with the data and images available for these topics. Take a few minutes and hit the links below for more in depth information.

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!


FBI Files-Lindbergh Kidnapping Case

FBI Files II-Lindbergh Kidnapping Case
Wikipedia-Lindbergh Kidnapping
CIA-Information on Military Attaches-Truman Smith
Wikipedia: Main entry for Lindbergh
LOC-Search for Lindbergh

(1)LOC-Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
(2)Wikipedia-TransAtlantic Flight
(3)FBI-Ransom Note

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