90th Anniversary of R34 Arrival in America

by Dan Grossman on July 6, 2009

Today is the 90th anniversary of the arrival of the British airship R34 in America on July 6, 1919, after its historic transatlantic crossing.

R-34 arriving at Mineola, New York.  July 6, 1919.

R34 arriving at Mineola, New York. July 6, 1919.

At approximately 9:00 AM on July 6, 1919, R34 arrived at Mineola, New York after crossing the Atlantic from Scotland, and Major E.M. Pritchard parachuted from the airship to the ground to supervise landing operations.

R34 had departed East Fortune, Scotland on July 2, 1919, and completed the 3,130 nautical mile journey to America in 108 hours and 12 minutes.

Zachary Lansdowne arriving in Mineola, NY on R-34.  July 6, 1919.

Zachary Lansdowne after arrival of R34. July 6, 1919.

The ship was under the command of Major George Herbert Scott, who was later killed in the crash of the R101 in October, 1930.  Also aboard was American naval officer Zachary Lansdowne, who later served as captain of the United States Navy airship Shenandoah.

Just before midnight on July 10, 1919, R34 departed New York for its return to the United Kingdom, arriving in Pulham, England after a flight of 75 hours and 3 minutes. It was the first round-trip crossing of the Atlantic by air.



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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Thomas J. Rose May 30, 2014 at 10:42 pm

I just found in my collection a glass negative of the R-34.


Bill Welker July 10, 2013 at 1:03 pm

This is a great story – and to see how Zachary Lansdowne was on-board! I must do some research to see if I can identify just where in Mineola, New York she landed. This historic flight – first round trip crossing of the Atlantic by air – should not be forgotten!


Carol October 27, 2012 at 9:26 pm

My step-dad came from England through Ellis Island. I wish he had told me how he came into the owning of a model, pretty worn, 23″ in length and on a stand 17″ height. Seeing the pics on the internet it is a replica of the R34 1919. I would be interested in knowing if anyone has something like this.


Ken Gray August 13, 2012 at 1:21 pm

Grandfather was Corpl. J.H. Gray, Engineer on R34. Interested to hear you are researching for a Centenary Comm. Cat was called Wopsie. I have propelling pencil also lamp gifted to my Grandfather. There is an exhibition at East Fortune on permanent display. Please let me know how your research goes and if I can help in any way.
Ken Gray


Kathryn Stucchio February 21, 2012 at 4:59 pm

My Great Grandfather was part of the crew on the R34. We had donated a lot of memorabilia to the air museum on Long Island which I don’t believe they have used. He had left for this flight two weeks after my grandmothers birth in 1919….


Janet Hansen April 28, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I have a picture of the R34 that my Dad got from the Navy. He helped to land it. I would like to know if they have a list of the names who helped land it. My dad’s name is Rudolph William Ebert.


Dick Haywood July 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm

I have a picture of the R34 hanging on my wall in my computer room. My Grand-father, Hote Haywood, was a part of the landing party. My Grandfather was from Bloomfield, In. My Dad got the picture when my grandfather passed away back in 1969. I got the picture when my dad passed away in Oct. of 1980. It says the picture was taken by
Bert Picot, 15 Fourth Ave. Brooklyn, NY. July 6th 1919….


david dean March 8, 2011 at 6:08 pm

are there any pictures available of major scott as he is my wifes grandfather


Dan (Airships.net) March 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm

There are many photos of Major Scott in R101: A Pictorial History


iain ballantyne November 20, 2010 at 10:42 am

any pictures of the stowaway ? he was my grandfather the first air stowaway what a story.


Basil Abbott July 12, 2012 at 5:51 am

I’m researching the R34 for a centenary commemoration in seven years’ time. (I believe in getting on with things.) Was the cat called Wopsie or Whoopsie? The former seems more in period. Also does anyone still have one of the propelling pencils given to the crew by the NY Fire Brigade? I would like to find out more about Billy Ballantyne as well.


iain ballantyne July 26, 2012 at 4:24 pm

hello basil, if you need to know more about my grandfather just send a request and if i can help i
would be delighted.


Basil Abbott July 26, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Dear Ian
I am writing a script about the R34 for the centenary and would love to hear anything more about Billy.

Best wishes


Cherry Macdonald-Taylor May 10, 2014 at 5:34 am

Hi Basil,
Are you Patrick Abbott’s son or grandson? I am Iain Ballantyne’s sons’ step-grandmother. I spoke to Patrick when I visited Edinburgh in July/Aug. 2004. Is he still around? I had his then contact details, etc. Delighted to hear you are working on material for 1919. I know that is one of his hopes.


Ken Gray August 13, 2012 at 1:09 pm

Hi Basil
My Grandfather was Engineer Corpl. J.H. Gray on the R34 and I am interested to hear that you are researching for a Centenary Commemoration.
According to the books I have the cat was call Wopsie( Amercians apparently called it Jazz.
I have the propelling pencil, also a lamp of the Satue of Liberty gifted to my Grandfather as well as the original photos. (All very precious to me and will be passed on to my son.)
There is an exhibition at East Fortune on permanent display.
I look forward to hearing how your research progresses and if I can assist in any way please contact me.
Regards Ken Gray


Basil Abbott November 3, 2012 at 2:34 pm

Only just realised (in November!) that your message was here, Ken. Even a picture of some of your mementoes would be good. See the Diss Community Partnership website for news of what we are doing.


sean o'brennan July 10, 2009 at 6:37 pm

…Another beautiful British airship! Such smooth, graceful lines, and a happy story as well. A rare picture of Zachary Lansdowne. Thanks!


Tael Neilan July 6, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Marvelous! I’m surprised it’s been 90 years already!


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