Certificate and company literature from the Crescent Aircraft Corporation
dated in 1929 - 1930. The stock certificate was printed by Hasbrouck, Thistle & Company and has an
ornate border around it with the company's name on top center. This item has the signature of the Company's President, Clarence Chamberlin and is over 78 years old. This group includes a stock certificate, welcome letter, company newsletter and financial information from Hadley and Company.
Clarence Duncan Chamberlin (November 11, 1893 – October 30, 1976) was the second man to solo pilot across the Atlantic Ocean, and he was the first to carry a passenger.
Chamberlin was born in Denison, Iowa, and was the son of E.C. Chamberlin, who owned a jewelry store. Clarence graduated from Denison High School in 1912 and then attended Denison Normal and Business College for a year before attending Iowa State University for two years. He then served in the Army Air Service during World War I. When the war ended, Chamberlin returned to Denison and ran a motorcycle and auto repair shop before moving to New York City.
In April of 1927, Chamberlin set an endurance record by circling New York City for 51 hours and 11 minutes with Bert Acosta. Acosta would later be Richard Byrd's co-pilot in his transatlantic flight Chamberlin then made the first ship-to-shore flight, when he flew a mail plane to New York City from the deck of a ship 120 miles at sea.
In the monoplane Columbia owned by Charles Albert Levine, Chamberlin registered for the $25,000 ($1M by 2007 standards) prize offered by Raymond Orteig through the Aero Club of America for the first people to fly directly from New York to Paris or vice versa in 1927. He competed with several others such as Cdr. Richard Byrd (United States Navy) in the America , who had recently completed the first flight over the North Pole, Capt. Charles Nungesser of the French Air Service in his plane L'Oiseau Blanc (White Bird), and Capt. Charles Lindbergh (United States Army Air Corps) who had arrived in his plane The Spirit of St. Louis. Only Nungesser would be flying in the opposite direction, from Paris to New York.
Chamberlin would probably have won the contest since Nungesser's plane which was the first in the air had somehow been lost somewhere and the early attempt by Byrd had crashed, but for a legal technicality. The plane's former navigator filed an injunction against Levine claiming he had been fired in breach of his contract. It wasn't until late May that the injunction was lifted. By then they had received news of Lindbergh's safe landing in Paris.
It was then they decided to try for Berlin and set a distance record. With Levine as his navigator, even though he had almost no navigational experience, he made a record nonstop transatlantic flight from Roosevelt Field, Long Island (the airfield from which Lindbergh and Byrd took off) to Eisleben, Germany, a distance of 3,911 miles, in 42 hours and 31 minutes. The flight was from June 4, 1927 through June 6, 1927.
The plan used was a Bellanca monoplane, designed by Giuseppe Mario Bellanca with a Wright Whirlwind engine, same as used by Lindbergh and Byrd. On June 6, 1927, Chamberlin's monoplane ran out of fuel 43 miles short of his goal of Berlin, Germany.
Chamberlin was first married to Wilda Bogert of Independence, Iowa. After a divorce, he married Louise Ashby, an airline hostess, in 1936. He was the father of one son and two daughters. Later in life Chamberlin sold real estate. He lived his last years in Shelton, Connecticut, where he died. He is buried at Lawn Cemetery in Huntington, Connecticut.
Time (magazine) wrote on June 27, 1927:
Pilot Clarence Duncan Chamberlin and passenger Charles A. Levine were last week enjoying the hospitality of Germans, resting in the watering place known as Baden-Baden, inspecting huge multi-motored airships at the Dornier and Zeppelin plants. Some of their doings: Frau Thea Rasche, Germany's only licensed woman pilot, was taken for a ride over Berlin by Pilot Chamberlin. Skillful, she also took passenger Levine for a ride. Correspondents heralded the trips as strengthening to U.S. - German relations. Flyers Chamberlin and Levine hustled to Bremen to meet their respective wives, who arrived from the U.S. Said Mrs. Chamberlin on seeing her husband: "Why, your knickers are awful. Didn't you even have them cleaned?" Then the two couples flew to Berlin in three hops. The two wives were reported to be feeling ill after the first hop. "The Columbia is not on the market," said Mr. Levine when Grover Cleveland Bergdoll, a rich American then living in Germany, offered to buy the monoplane. Mr. Bergdoll let it be known that he desires to fly to the U.S. to show that he is no coward, that conscientious objection was his only reason for refusing to fight in the World War.
1927 Endurance record by circling New York City for 51 hours and 11 minutes with Bert Acosta
1927 First ship-to-shore flight, when he flew a mail plane to New York City from the deck of a ship 120 miles at sea.
1927 Second nonstop transatlantic flight, from Roosevelt Field, Long Island to Eisleben, Germany, a distance of 3,911 miles, in 42 hours and 31 minutes.
1927 First transatlantic passenger
History from Wikipedia and OldCompanyResearch.com (old stock certificate research service).
Time Magazine - 1929
Clarence Chamberlin, another trans-Atlantic flyer, became president of Crescent Aircraft Corp., organized in 1928 to manufacture commercial airplanes. They paid $4 for Crescent stock, tried to sell it for $12 to $16 a share with the intimation that Crescent planes had been ordered for passenger service between New York and Newfoundland, Bermuda and London. Clarence Chamberlin, a gull for no long time, was vexed. He asked and received a temporary injunction against Hadley & Co. selling Crescent stock. Chamberlin also had newspapers print his public warning against buying Crescent stocks.