Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Curtiss NC-4 Transatlantic Flight of 1919 Archive and Relics. While most people think of Charles Lindbergh as the first aviator to cross the Atlantic Ocean (i.e., the first solo, non-stop flight), the "Spirit of St. Louis" was not the first plane to make that journey. World War One had put such efforts on hold but, in 1919, efforts were renewed to extend the boundaries of manned flight. The crossing of the Atlantic by airplane was accomplished in May 1919 by U. S. Navy aviators aboard the Curtiss NC-4 seaplane. Because the seaplanes were slow, three planes were involved with numerous stopovers and only one craft successfully completed all rounds of the trip. In brief summary, three planes (NC-1, NC-3 and NC-4) left the Naval Air Station at Rockaway, New York. Fifty-three naval ships were strung out along the route to provide navigational and mechanical assistance. The NC-1 and NC-3 were forced to land in the open ocean due to poor visibility and the lack of a visual horizon. The NC-1 was towed and sank within three days. The NC-3 taxied the rest of the way to the Azores. The NC-4 and its six crew members was the only plane of the three to reach the Azores on its own power. It shortly thereafter completed the journey by traveling to Plymouth, England where it was dismantled and shipped home to the U.S. The plane is currently on view at the National Museum of Naval Aviation in Pensacola, Florida. The consignor's father, Ray Kluver, was the San Francisco and Northern California newsreel camera man for Hearst Metrotone News. He recorded the journey of the three planes while aboard support vessels. The material he saved comprises this archive. It includes a letter written from Ponta Delgada, Azores by Kluver to his sister on a 6" x 11.5" piece of canvas wing from the disabled NC-3, two printed news bulletins titled "First Trans-Atlantic Flight" on NC-3 wing material (6" x 9" and 5.5" x 7" each), two 2.25" x 3.5" negatives of the NC-4, a photo of the NC-4, a 9" x 12" pencil sketch of Kluver ("Sketched from Life. U.S.S. Melville At Sea June 7, '19"), a May 23, 1919 tabloid newspaper from the Azores with a front page story on the historic flight, twelve real photo postcards/snapshots of the flight and its participants in its various stages, plus assorted newspaper clippings.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2013
    22nd-23rd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 769

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 December 6 Luxury Accessories Signature Auction - New York .

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage has gone above and beyond my expectations in handling all of my transactions in a thoroughly professional manner. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone worldwide for the exemplary auction and valuation services they provide.
    Richard H.,
    Corsicana, TX
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2020 February 22 - 23 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas
    2020 February 22 - 23 Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED SO FAR $2,361,883