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It was Mr. Corrigan, in fact, who pulled the chocks away from the wheels when Lindbergh took off from San Diego on his flight to New York in Corrigan, who had speculated openly with friends about making an unauthorized trans-Atlantic flight, flew his plane to New York on July 10, , setting a solo nonstop record of 27 hours, 50 minutes for the 2,mile flight.
When he took off a week later, ostensibly to return to California after accepting his failure to win permission for a trans-Atlantic flight, he carried a few chocolate bars, two boxes of fig crackers and a quart of water. Within months of his feat he had made a triumphant American tour, endorsed wrong-way products like a watch that ran backward and signed lucrative contracts for an autobiography and a movie, "The Flying Irishman," in which he played himself.
He was a test pilot during World War II and later operated an air freight service. In the 's, he bought an orange grove in Santa Ana, Calif.
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His wife, Elizabeth, died in After a son was killed in a plane crash on Catalina Island in he became increasingly reclusive, until when he was lured back into the limelight by an offer to display his plane at an air show. Corrigan, who had taken it apart in and stored it in his garage, was so enthusiastic that the show's organizers became alarmed.
Although Mr. Corrigan had not flown since , the organizers found it prudent to station guards on the plane's wings during his appearance at the exhibition and even discussed anchoring the tail of the plane by rope to a police car.
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The crash was reported just after 9 p. Friday on I North in Beavercreek. Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism.
Meet Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan | Antiques Roadshow | PBS
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