Aviator Bert Hassell and his airplane, the "Greater Rockford," Rockford, Illinois

Title

Aviator Bert Hassell and his airplane, the "Greater Rockford," Rockford, Illinois

Description

A collection of photographs depicting aviator Bert Hassell and his airplane, the "Greater Rockford." The majority of the images are from 1928, which is the year of Hassell's historic Rockford-to-Stockholm flight and his return to a celebratory parade. Although Hassell was forced to make an emergency landing on the Greenland ice cap and did not make it all the way to Stockholm, he did pioneer the Great Circle Route of flying that is commonly used today.

Date

1928-1988

Collection Items

Unloading Wing of Greater Rockford Airplane from C-46 Cargo Plane.
Five men in the C-46 cargo plane that transported Bert Hassell's Stinson aircraft back to Rockford and several more men outside on the runway unload one of the Greater Rockford airplane's wings. Photographers stand by (lower portion) to record the…

Restored Greater Rockford Airplane.
A restored Greater Rockford airplane sits on the open grass. Notice the two white planes by the buildings in the background (left). The refurbished Stinson aircraft in this color snapshot boasts the bright colors of the Swedish flag in its blue body…

The Greater Rockford Taken for Display at Colonial Village Mall.
The skeleton of the Greater Rockford airplane is secured on a flat bed truck in the parking lot of Colonial Village Mall, Rockford, IL, at Alpine and Newburg Roads, waiting to be put on display in the mall. One of the shopping center's entrances is…

Rolling the Greater Rockford onto its Landing Gear.
Several men in parkas embrace the Stinson aircraft in preparation to flip the plane onto its wheels. Hassell's autobiography, A Viking with Wings (1987, p. 186) states, "After 40 years in a glacier ice trap, The Greater Rockford is about to be…

Helicopter Transports Rescued Greater Rockford.
A helicopter airlifts the remains of the downed Greater Rockford airplane, frozen on an ice cap in Greenland for over forty years, and transports it to the U.S. Air Base at Sondrestrom, Greenland. For an additional view, see photo 2006.17.842.

Helicopter Rescues Remains of Greater Rockford.
A helicopter airlifts the shell of the downed Greater Rockford airplane, frozen on an ice cap in Greenland for over forty years. Hassell's autobiography, A Viking with Wings (1987, p. 190) states, "Using the skills of a seasoned flier to keep his…

Greater Rockford's Interior Damage.
A close-up of the Greater Rockford's interior showing dilapidated wicker seats and deteriorating steering wheels. While these ruined remains wait on a runway at the Greater Rockford Airport, people in front of the wreckage (upper left) observe the…

On the Runway with Recovered Greater Rockford Wreckage.
A press conference takes place in front of the recovered Greater Rockford airplane wreckage, lying on a runway at the Greater Rockford Airport. Ten man stand in front of the airplane while one man stands on the wing of the C-46 cargo plane (upper…

Close-Up of Greater Rockford Fuselage Wreckage.
A close-up of the mangled fuselage of the Greater Rockford airplane upon its return to the Greater Rockford Airport after recovery from the Greenland ice cap where it rested for over forty years.

John Hassell in C-46 Containing the Greater Rockford Airplane.
John Ellis Faust Hassell (Bert Hassell's son) prepares to remove the tail panel bearing the Greater Rockford's identifying alphanumerics from the C-46 cargo transport that returned the plane's wreckage to the Greater Rockford Airport.

Recovery of the Greater Rockford from the Ice Cap.
This view shows The Greater Rockford airplane upside down on a snowy ice cap in Greenland. Seven men wearing parkas surround the wing to the right. Two plywood sheets lie in the lower right portion of the photograph. Hassell's autobiography, A…

Instruments and Radio of the Greater Rockford.
A display of the instruments taken from the Greater Rockford airplane, spread on a carpeted floor. In Hassell's autobiography, A Viking with Wings (1987, p. 198), the caption underneath this photograph states, "A helicopter reconnaissance crew from…

Hassell & Cramer with the Greater Rockford and a Large Crowd in Canada.
A large group of well-wishers stand and sit before the Greater Rockford airplane on a field in Cochrane, Ontario. The plane's pilots stand on either side of a propeller, Parker "Shorty" Cramer on the left and Bert "Fish" Hassell on the right. The…

Crowds Surround the Greater Rockford Airplane.
The Greater Rockford airplane (center) is surrounded by a large assembly of onlookers, some by their automobiles, prior to the plane's historic Rockford to Stockholm flight.

Onlookers as Greater Rockford Awaits Take Off.
Several people stand along a barbed wire fence scrutinizing the Greater Rockford airplane before take off.

Bert Hassell and the Greater Rockford.
Bert "Fish" Hassell leans on a propeller of the Greater Rockford airplane before the first Rockford to Stockholm flight attempt on July 26, 1928. The caption from Hassell's autobiography, A Viking with Wings (1987, p. 66) reads, "Fish Hassell with…

Hassell & Cramer in Canada.
Bert Hassell (left) and Parker Shorty Cramer (right) pose before their airplane, the Greater Rockford, in Cochrane, Ontario. The caption from Hassell's autobiography, A Viking with Wings (1987, p. 81) states, "After a day's layover, with the Greater…

Hassell & Cramer Pose Before the Greater Rockford.
Bert "Fish" Hassell (left) and Parker D. "Shorty" Cramer (right) are pictured standing in front of their airplane, the Greater Rockford, a week before their attempted flight from Rockford IL to Stockholm. In Hassell's autobiography, A Viking with…

The Greater Rockford Awaiting Take Off.
This view from behind the Greater Rockford shows the airplane on the field of Rockford Airport (later Machesney Field) awaiting to take off in Bert Hassell's and Parker Shorty Cramer's first attempt to fly to Stockholm on July 26, 1928. Two cars can…

Hassell & Cramer in the Greater Rockford's Cockpit.
A view depicting pilots Parker Shorty Cramer (left) and Bert Hassell (right) in the cockpit of their Greater Rockford airplane preparing for their historic attempt to fly from Rockford IL to Stockholm, Sweden.

The Greater Rockford Takes Off.
As the Greater Rockford airplane takes off from Rockford Airport (later Machesney Field) on its way to Stockholm, two people observe from the ground in the lower right portion of the photograph. This may be either Bert Hassell's and Parker Shorty…

Repair Attempts After Crash of "Greater Rockford" First Flight.
A view from the right side of the Greater Rockford airplane crash with a man kneeling at the fuselage, which is propped up to allow access for repair. For an additional view, see photo 2006.17.905.

Wreckage After First Attempted Flight of "Greater Rockford."
A view from the left side of the nose showing the crashed Greater Rockford airplane after Hassell and Cramer's first attempt to fly to Stockholm on July 26, 1928. People surround the wreckage in a field, and a lunch pail and thermos are visible in…

The "Greater Rockford" Airplane on the Field.
A side shot of the airplane christened the "Greater Rockford," a specially modified model SM-1 Stinson-Detroiter Semi-Cantilever Monoplane, powered by a 200 horsepower Wright J-5 Whirlwind Engine. This photograph of the plane on the field is…

Hassell Signing Last Logbook Entry.
Bert Hassell is pictured signing his final logbook entry, which had not been recorded since the emergency landing of his plane, the Greater Rockford, on an ice cap in Greenland in 1928.

Newspaper Accounts of the Greater Rockford Flight to Stockholm, 1928.
Bert Hassell (right) points with his cane at one of many newspaper articles in a display regarding his famous flight from Rockford IL to Stockholm, Sweden in 1928. The man on the left may be his fellow pilot on that flight, Parker "Shorty" Cramer.

Connie Hassell Reads Headlines of Grandfather Bert Hassell's Rescue.
Connie Hassell, a United Air Lines stewardess and Bert Hassell's granddaughter, looks over the Rockford Daily Republic newspaper from 1928 recounting her grandfather's rescue from an ice cap during his Rockford to Stockholm flight.

Bob Carlin with Greater Rockford Painting.
Artist Bob Carlin poses with his painting of Bert Hassell's airplane, The Greater Rockford, landing on the ice cap in Greenland in 1928.

Marching Band During Hassell & Cramer Parade.
A marching band is seen in this view of the Hassell and Cramer homecoming parade in Rockford IL. This photograph is part of a collection of photo proofs.

Hassell & Cramer Parade Car.
Flanked by costumed parade walkers, this photograph depicts Bert Hassell and Parker Shorty Cramer in a car during a parade in honor of their homecoming to Rockford where their historic flight to Stockholm started. This picture is part of a collection…

Motorcycles with Sidecars in Hassell & Cramer Parade.
A photograph displaying four motorcycles with sidecars as part of the Hassell and Cramer homecoming parade in Rockford IL after their attempted flight from Rockford to Stockholm, Sweden. This picture is part of a collection of photo proofs.

Hassell & Cramer Parade at West State and Main Streets.
Twilight descends and the street lights come on as crowds watch the Hassell and Cramer homecoming parade near the corner of W. State and Main Streets. Busch Jewelry's sign, 213 W. State, is visible near the picture's center. This photograph is part…

Hassell & Cramer Parade Passes Through Throngs on a Crowded Street.
As street lights are coming on, the crowds are thick on this Rockford street for the passing parade honoring returning aviators Bert Hassell and Parker "Shorty" Cramer. This photograph is part of a collection of photo proofs.

Parade Route Turns a Corner.
A photograph taken as the car carrying aviators Bert Hassell and Parker "Shorty" Cramer in their welcome-home parade passes the Rockford Trust Building, turning from West State Street onto Main Street. This photograph is part of a collection of photo…

Hassell & Cramer Parade on West State.
A black and white photograph of a crowded portion of West State Street during the parade to honor Rockford's returning aviators, Bert Hassell and Parker "Shorty" Cramer. The sign for Busch Jewelry, 213 W. State, is visible on the left and the…

Crowded Parade Route.
Spectators line a Rockford street to honor aviators Bert Hassell and Parker "Shorty" Cramer upon their rescue and return from an aborted flight in their airplane, the "Greater Rockford," from Rockford, Illinois to Stockholm, Sweden. This photograph…

Close-Up of Hassell & Cramer in Parade Car.
This close-up photograph depicts Bert Hassell (left), Parker "Shorty" Cramer (right), and a member of the Welcome Home Committee (middle) riding in a parade car honoring the aviators' return.

Hassell & Cramer Parade Car.
Bert Hassell and Parker "Shorty" Cramer, aviators in the "Greater Rockford" flight from Rockford to Stockholm, are depicted in a car flanked by officials and throngs of adoring fans in this welcome-home parade. This photograph is part of a collection…

Marching Band in Hassell & Cramer Parade.
This street scene shows crowds with U. S. flags watching a marching band in a parade honoring Bert Hassell and Parker "Shorty" Cramer upon their rescue and return from an aborted flight from Rockford to Stockholm, Sweden. This photograph is part of a…

Heroes Return.
After an emergency landing of their airplane, the "Greater Rockford," on a Greenland ice cap, pilots Bert Hassell and Parker "Shorty" Cramer return to a heroes' welcome. As they ride in a car followed by a marching band, this parade is in their…

Photo Portrait of Rockford Mayor Bert Allen.
Looking dapper in a three-piece suit, this portrait of Mayor Bert Allen shows a Hassell & Cramer tag pinned to his overcoat, referring to the team who attempted to fly their airplane, the "Greater Rockford," from Rockford to Stockholm, Sweden in…

Wreckage of "Greater Rockford" Landing Gear at the Airport.
While a man videotapes workers handling the landing gear of the "Greater Rockford" wreckage, other cameramen snap pictures of the plane's pilot, Bert Hassell (seated in dark suit and hat), seeing his airplane for the first time in more than 40 years.…

Plane Wreckage Returned to Rockford.
On the flight to Stockholm, Bert Hassell's airplane, the "Greater Rockford," crashed on an ice cap in Greenland in August 1928 where it remained for forty years. Recovery efforts were made in 1968, and the airplane was returned to Rockford on June…

The "Greater Rockford" on the Field by a Hangar.
A full view of Bert Hassell's airplane, the "Greater Rockford," on the field before a hangar. To the right there appears to be another photographer adjusting a camera on a tripod. This photograph is a reproduction. For an additional view, see photo…

The "Greater Rockford".
A photograph displaying Bert Hassell's airplane, the "Greater Rockford," a specially modified model SM-1 Stinson-Detroiter Semi-Cantilever Monoplane, powered by a 200 horsepower Wright J-5 Whirlwind Engine. The cabin was large enough to seat six, but…

Crowds around The "Greater Rockford".
This photograph represents another view of Bert Hassell's plane, the Greater Rockford, with crowds surrounding it on the field at Rockford Airport (later Machesney Field). It appears that someone is checking the airplane near the cockpit; it could be…

The "Greater Rockford" at Rockford Airport.
With Bert Hassell's plane, the Greater Rockford, on the field at Rockford Airport (later Machesney Field), it's unclear whether this was Hassell's first attempt to fly to Stockholm made on July 26, 1928 or the second attempt on August 16.
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