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1928 Figure Capt Denis Rooke ENGLAND-TO-INDIA SOLO FLYER 7000 Miles in a Moth Plane Captain Rooke Leaving Agra, India, near Taj Mahal. Flying Officer, R. F. C., 1916. Logging with Caterpillar, West Australia. At Royal Air Force Aerodrome, Aboukir, Egypt. On Grand Trunk Road, Aurangabad, India. Intrepid Airman in Thrilling Lecture of Aerial Adventure Redpath CAPT. DENIS ROOKE England-to-India Airman What They Say of Captain Rooke and His Thrilling Illustrated Lecture LONDON TO INDIA BY LIGHT PLANE Amazing Adventures7000-Mile Solo Flight in D. H. Moth Plane After blazing a lone 7,000-mile air trail from England to India, the first ever accomplished, solo, in a light airplane, Denis M. Rooke, late R. A. F., is now seeking further adventure. In typical British fashion, unadvertised and almost unnoticed, this adventurer jumped into a newly-purchased Moth plane at Croydon on May 24, 1927, and set his face towards Australia. Thrilling experiences with tribesmen in the Libyan Desert and numerous difficulties were encountered. At one stage of the flight Rooke had to effect a complete overhaul of his engine, single-handed, and he is the first man to fly through India during the height of the monsoon, or rainy season… Mr. Rooke started his career in H. M. S. Worcester, training for the Royal Navy. He ran away and joined a sailing ship being engaged in long-distance cruises. Later he interested himself in Australian logging operations and subsequently operated a training schooner between the South Seas islands. After an engineering course, and at the commencement of the war, he enlisted in the 3rd Australian Field Company of Engineers and saw service in the Suez Canal area. He was wounded at Gallipoli and subsequently obtained a commission in the 106th Battery, R. F. A., seeing service at Loos and on the Somme. He was transferred to the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 and went to Palestine and later to India, seeing more active service as late as 1919 in the Third Afghan War. When he started out on his 7,000-mile flight, he was attempting to disprove the fallacy that the light airplane could be used only on relatively short trips. His most interesting experience was in the Libyan Desert, Tripoli, when he experienced engine trouble and had to descend. Having effected repairs, he set out to clear a lane 200 yards long by 30 feet wide in the boulder-strewn area. When the lane was almost cleared he returned to get a drink and to warm up his engine. Returning to complete the work he heard a rifle crack and a bullet whizzed past his head. Without waiting to investigate he bolted for the plane, jumped in and started off down the runway, which was in the direction of half a hundred onrushing Senussi tribesmen. He managed to clear the ground and rose twenty feet when, observing rifles pointed at the machine, he took the offensive as his best means of defense and dived down toward the tribesmen. These dropped their rifles and fell to the ground, when he zoomed up and escaped. On arriving at Benghazi, where he was the guest of the British consul, he was congratulated on his lucky escape from the hands of the Senussi, from whom he would have received a very disagreeable death.— The Gazette, Montreal. It is a pleasure for me to let you know how much the boys enjoyed your lecture on Saturday evening, in which you described in so interesting and vivid a way your solo flight from London to Calcutta. You have a most interesting story to tell and a fascinating way of telling it. The boys especially appreciated the opportunity of coming into personal contact with a man who had passed through so many adventures. The school has been abuzz with aeronautics ever since your talk.— Nelson Hume, Headmaster Canterbury School, New Milford, Conn. Comparing in thrills and general interest with the most press-agented aviation feats since the Great War, was the simple story told by Denis Rooke, late Lieutenant of the Royal Air Force, in his lecture at the Little Theatre last night on 'England to India.' Captain Rooke's account of his 7,000-mile solo flight in a frail DeHaviland Moth plane held the audience enthralled for two and a half hours. The lecture was admirably illustrated with photographs taken by the aviator and others all along the line of his flight to the Orient, and ending with the crash which nearly cost him his life. Major-General J. H. MacBrien, president of the Aviation League of Canada, was in the chair. He made it clear after Captain Rooke had finished, that the flight was a record at the time it was accomplished, and was decidedly hazardous owing to the comparatively small, single-engined machine used. Captain Rooke traced his flight from Croydon airdrome in England over France and Italy, and via Malta across the Mediterranean to Tripoli and thence on to Egypt, the Holy Land, Persia, Baluchistan and eventually India. He told about his escape from the bullets of tribesmen on the fringe of Northern Africa, his difficulties in following trails and making landings in rugged country all over the deserts and mountain ranges from the Dead Sea to the Ganges delta. His audience followed him through his descriptions of the obstacles he encountered and applauded his accounts of his victory over them all through ingenuity and courage. The flight finally came to an end through delay all along the line and the advent of monsoon weather in India, which drove him down in unsuitable country near Calcutta, where, in an attempted take-off between palm groves, his machine crashed and he was so badly injured that he was confined to bed for six weeks.— Ottawa Journal. I want to tell you how much we appreciated this entertainment for our guests, which I feel is one of the best we have offered them for some time. It was a very entertaining evening for them all.— Wilbur T. Emerson, Gen. Mgr. Hotels Windermere, Chicago.
|Title||Captain Denis Rooke|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Rooke, Denis M.|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||2|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|