Pages From Our Past: Amelia Earhart Goes Down (1937)
July 3, 1937: Amelia Earhart Lost at Sea
This front page of the Elkhart Truth announced the distress call of pilot Amelia Earhart after her plane in the mid-Pacific, near the end of her attempt to fly around the world. Earhart had left from Miami on July 1 with her navigator, Captain Fred Noonan.
Radio operators in Los Angeles picked up S.O.S signals and Earhart’s call letters, KHAQQ, at 7 a.m. that morning, though they had heard reports earlier in the night that her plane was adrift. The U.S. Navy dispatched the battleship Colorado and three planes to begin a search from Honolulu.
One AP story aims to bolster hope with news of numerous other missing pilots who had been found in the past. In the history of flight, the occupants of at least eight airplanes were rescued after unplanned landings at sea.
In local news, the search for the body of a 22-year-old man in the St. Joseph River was abandoned “as hopeless.” The man was thrown out of a speedboat and drowned.
A lighter story told of local telephone operator Marletta Bowman, who received the American Legion post’s civic merit medal for an outstanding contribution to community welfare at the Legion’s July Fourth celebration. She was honored for aiding in the capture of two burglars at the Elkhart Public Library, and in early discovery of a fire at the former Elcar Motor C. building. She was the first woman to receive the medal since the award’s establishment five years before.