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„Justice for Hungary” – heroes of the Hungarian aviation
In July of 1931 newspapers all over the world reported on the front page that two Hungarian pilots, Sándor Magyar and György Endresz had crossed the Atlantic Ocean from the United States to Hungary in a Lockheed-Sirius airplane named “Justice for Hungary.” The flight was intended to call attention to the dismemberment of Hungary after World War I, and the idea came from two sources: first of all the American Hungarian Federation really intended to call attention to the consequences of Trianon Treaty to Hungary, secondly, in the February of 1930 viscount Harold Sidney Harmsworth Rothermere offered 10 000 USD to the first Hungarian pilot who flies from New York to Budapest.
The selected aircraft – the two-seater Lockheed Sirius – was built from the generosity of the Hungarians living in North America. The flight was an enormous success, though landing - because of weather conditions and mechanical problems - actually happened in Bicske, not in Budapest (distance is about 20 km only).
The “Justice for Hungary” left Harbor Grace on 15th July 1931. The historic flight took 26 hours and 20 minutes (Charles Lindbergh’s flight in 1927 took six hours longer) and marked the first time that an airplane crossing the ocean had radio contact both with the starting and landing aerodromes. It was also the first time such a flight was used for political purposes. The pilots were received as heroes in Budapest.
One of the pilots, György Endresz died in an aircrash while he and his navigator tried to land at the Littorio airfield near Rome 83 years ago, on 21th May 1932. Lord Rothermere’s ( who offered the famous prize of 10 000 USD) great nephew now heads the Endresz Memorial Trust set up to commemorate the memory of the Hungarian aviation pioneer.
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