Chapter 20 - 1932


NYHT Sept 24, 1932.   2 U.S. Entries In Balloon Race Abroad Today - Start To Be Made From Basel, Switzerland; Probable Winds Southerly - For Gordon Bennett Cup - Contestants Will Total 16; Alps Present Some Peril - By The Associated Press - BASEL, Switzerland, Saturday


Two American balloons, one of which will be piloted by Ward T. Van Orman, thrice winner of the James Gordon Bennett trophy, will start from Basel tomorrow in the 1932 edition of the world's best-known balloon contest. Sixteen balloons will compete.

The gasbags will begin to take the air at 4 p.m. from the gas company works. Unless a rare wind blows, the balloons will head southward over the treacherous Alps, taking almost the same course that Professor Auguste Piccard's stratospheric balloon followed. The weather bureau announced, however, that there was a possibility the wind would be toward southern France and the Mediterranean.

The American entries for the James Gordon Bennett trophy are the Goodyear 8, piloted by Van Orman and R. J. Blair, and the U.S. Navy, which won the American national balloon race last year, piloted by Lieutenant Commander T. G. W. Settle and Wilfred Bushnell. The United States Army balloon, which had been entered, was withdrawn yesterday. Army balloonists told the Swiss Telegraph Agency that the move was dictated by reasons of economy.

[no. of entries]

Van Orman not only will have to reckon with the champion United States Navy bag, but he will have to steer better than the veteran balloonist, Ernest Demuyter, the Belgian who has won the race four times. The Americans will be greatly handicapped by the unfamiliar topography of the Alps, which makes landing a delicate task.

The balloons will be brought on the field early tomorrow, and inflation will start at 9 a.m. The first ropes will be loosened seven hours later.

One Swiss and one German balloon are new types for this race. The Zurich, piloted by Lieutenant Colonel Valo Gerber and Dr. Erick Tilgencamp, is fashioned after Professor Piccard's stratosphere balloon. The new German model is called the Deutschland and is piloted by Erick Leimkugel and Richard Schutse.

The noted French aeronaut, Charles Dollfus, will fly what is described as the world's smallest balloon - 170 cubic meters - as a stunt attraction. -


U.S Favored as 16 Balloons Rise At Basel - Van Orman, Seeking Third Straight Victory in Goodyear 8, is 13th to Ascend - American Navy Bag 12th - 8 Nations Race for James Gordon Bennett Trophy - By The Associated Press - BASEL, Switzerland, September 25.[Sunday]


Sixteen balloons, representing eight nations, including the United States, were released in stormy weather today to begin the James Gordon Bennett balloon cup race. A strong north wind carried them away from the Alps, some heading toward Belgium.

W. T. Van Orman, seeking his third straight victory in the Goodyear 8, was the thirteenth to take off. The United States navy bag, which won the American national balloon race last year immediately preceded the Van Orman craft into the air. Both were flying the stars and stripes. R. J. Blair accompanied Van Orman. Lieutenant Cmdr. Thomas G. W. Settle and Lieut. Wilfred Bushnell were in the Navy bag.

A German entry, "Deutschland," was the first balloon to be released, followed by "L'Aventure," a French balloon. Germany, France And Switzerland had three entries each, Poland two, and Spain, Austria and Belgium one each.

Ernest Demuyter, who is considered Van Orman's greatest rival, was in the air in the Belgian balloon, "Belgica," a quarter of an hour before the American started.

All balloons were carrying mail to be posted at the nearest points possible to wherever they land. Pilots will be advised of weather conditions by radio.

Other entries and personnel follow.



Navy Balloon Wins Race for Bennett Trophy - U.S. Entry Covers 921 miles; Other American Bag,