Passengers and Crew of Graf Zeppelin’s Round the World Flight of 1929

A list of passengers and crew aboard the Round-the-World flight (Weltfahrt) of the LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin from August 7, 1929 to September 4, 1929.

Based on Max Geisenheyner’s Mit “Graf Zeppelin” um die Welt, with additional research.


Lakehurst-Lakehurst (the “American Flight”)

  • Lady Grace Drummond-Hay (journalist for the Hearst organization)
  • Robert Hartmann (photographer for the Hearst organization)
  • William B. Leeds (American millionaire and socialite)
  • Lieutenant Jack C. Richardson (U. S. Naval observer)
  • Commander Charles E. Rosendahl (U.S. Naval observer)
  • Karl von Wiegand (journalist for the Hearst organization)
  • Sir Hubert Wilkins (Australian polar explorer; writer for the Hearst organization)

Friedrichshafen-Friedrichshafen (the “German Flight”)

  • Heinz von Eschwege-Lichberg (journalist for Verlag Scherl, publisher of Die Woche)
  • Lt. Col. Christof Iselin (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Max Geisenheyner (journalist for the Frankfurter Zeitung and Das Illustrierte Blatt)
  • Gustav Kauder (journalist for Verlag Ullstein)
  • Dr. Jerónimo Megías (personal physician to King Alfonso XIII of Spain)
  • Heinz von Perckhammer (photographer for Verlag Scherl, publisher of Die Woche)
  • Leo Gerville-Reache (journalist for Le Matin, Paris)
  • Joachim Rickard (American-born journalist for Spanish newspapers; Madrid, Spain)
  • Heinrich Seilkopf (meteorologist, Deutsche Seewarte)

LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin made “two” Round-the-World flights.  The trip’s American sponsor, William Randolph Heast, insisted that the flight begin and end in America, so the “American flight” began and ended at Lakehurst, New Jersey.  But Germans believed that their ship should begin and end its flight in Germany, and so the “German flight” was from Friedrichshafen-Friedrichshafen.

Some passengers were onboard only for particular legs of the flight:


  • Dr. Enti (journalist for the Mainichi Shimbun newspaper, Tokyo)
  • Professor Karklin (representative of the Soviet government)
  • Lt. Cdr. Fujiyoshi (Head of Aviation for the Japanese Imperial Navy; representative of the Japanese government)
  • ____ Kitano (journalist for the Asahi Press, Tokyo)

Tokyo-Los Angeles

  • Lt. Cdr. Ryunosuke Kusaka (representative of the Japanese government; later an Admiral involved in the planning of the Pearl Harbor attack and the Battle of Midway)
  • Major Schinichi Shibata (Japanese Army, representative of the Japanese government)
  • Dofu Shirai (journalist for Nippon Denpo news service)



Dr. Hugo Eckener

Navigation Department:

Captain Ernst A. Lehmann
Captain Hans Curt Flemming
Captain Hans von Schiller
Navigator Anton Wittemann
Navigator Max Pruss
Navigator Hans Ladwig
Navigator/Engineer Albert Sammt
Helmsman Knut Eckener
Helmsman Richard Mueller
Assistant Helmsman Kurt Schonherr
Assistant Helmsman Franz Bartschat
Assistant Helmsman Heinrich Bauer

Hans von Schiller, Ernst Lehmann, Hans Curt Flemming

Hans von Schiller, Ernst Lehmann, Hans Curt Flemming

Engineering Department:

Chief Engineer Wilhelm Siegle
Chief Rigger Ludwig Knorr
Engineer Karl Rosch
Engineer August Grozinger
Engineer Hermann Pfaff
Engineer Karl Beuerle
Mechanic Albert Thasler
Mechanic Oskar Rosch
Mechanic Adolf Wenzler
Mechanic Albert Leichtle
Mechanic Eugen Schauble
Mechanic Bruno Weber
Mechanic Martin Christ
Mechanic Josef Schreibmuller
Mechanic Richard Halder
Mechanic Wilhelm Fischer
Mechanic Raphael Schadler
Mechanic German Zettel
Mechanic Johannes Auer
Mechanic Wilhelm Dimmler
Mechanic Josef Braun
Electrician Philipp Lenz

Radio Department:

Chief Radio Operator Walter Dumke
Radioman Willy Speck
Radioman Leo Freund

Passenger Department:

Chief Steward Heinrich Kubis
Steward Ernst Fischbach
Cook Otto Manz

20 Comments on "Passengers and Crew of Graf Zeppelin’s Round the World Flight of 1929"

  1. We are researching a passenger from Columbus Ohio, by the name of Donald Casto, who was on the flight from Lakehurst to Germany, that departed late October, 1928. This was the flight with the stow away, Clarence Terhune. Can you confirm Mr. Casto was on board, or provide a passenger list? We have a vintage telegram offering him a seat for $3,000. We have pictures of him in Lakehurst. Looking for confirmation he was on board.

    • Alastair Reid | July 21, 2018 at 7:36 am | Reply

      Hi Tom,
      I typed “donald casto graf zeppelin” into Google and it came up with two contemporary newspaper articles (possibly the same article syndicated) that seem to suggest that he was indeed on board for that flight.
      The links are:
      The Indianapolis Star
      The Lincoln Star

      Both links won’t allow you to open them unless you sign up for a Free Trial, which I am afraid I did not bother with, being a lazy Brit with no direct personal interest. But probably well worth giving a shot from your point of view.
      Best wishes,

  2. Finn Bendiksby | March 2, 2017 at 4:29 am | Reply

    Somewhere,i have read that Hearst invited Sir Hubert Wilkins, just married to the Australian actress Suzanne Bennet invited both as Honymoon tour onboard. In that case, Lady Grace Dummond-Hay was not The oly Female on board

  3. Steve Higgins | January 9, 2017 at 9:35 am | Reply

    Surreal and stunning documentary! How much of the film footage was origional? As a pilot I am so envious of the ‘bridge’ space (not cockpit) of the Graf, passenger accommodation too.
    How the Graf ascended and descended (performed), how they navigated uncharted territory – at night too – would have been worth a whole subsequent documentary.

    • @Steve Higgins, Much of the footage was “original” but not all of it shows LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin; “Farewell” misleadingly includes film of other airships, including Hindenburg and U.S. Navy airships (look for crew members wearing typical white U.S. Navy uniforms).

  4. Richard Jacobs | January 6, 2017 at 4:12 pm | Reply

    Thank you so much Dan! I love old movies. In “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” there’s a line: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” I’ll keep this in mind regarding the stow-away! Too bad. The “documentary” sure played with the facts. Oh well, it was a nice story. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond. Wonderful site!

  5. Richard Jacobs | January 5, 2017 at 9:32 pm | Reply

    I couldn’t answer you above, so I have to do so here. Yes. I am referring to the “documentary” which, I did not know was fictionalized. I suppose the story of the stow-away (who “appears” in the footage) was fiction too. Too bad. Anyway, if you could confirm this, or enlighten me as to the rest of that story, I’d appreciate it! Thank you.

  6. Richard Jacobs | January 5, 2017 at 9:10 pm | Reply

    Wonderful article on an amazing subject.
    One thing I wonder about though, after watching the documentary, what happened to the stow-away. the kid trying to get to LA to become a movies star?

    • @Richard Jacobs, What documentary?

      (Are talking about Farewell, the fictional movie based loosely on Lady Grace Drummond Hay?)

      LZ-127 Graf Zeppelin did have a stowaway, but it was not on the 1929 Round the World flight, and he was not trying to get to Los Angeles; he went in the other direction. A young man names Clarence Terhune stowed away on the Graf Zeppelin in 1928 on a flight from Lakehurst to Friedrichshafen, Germany.

  7. Michele Dambach | August 18, 2015 at 8:53 pm | Reply

    Hallo, Ich suche die pers. Herr Gunther Hermann Koblitz. Eine Adresse fur Ihn was Gentzgasse 117, Wien XVIII, und war “Mit Luftschiff Graf Zeppelin, Osterreichfarhrt”. Ein Brief hat den Datum 12 VII 31 9??

    Dank fur Hilfe,
    Michele Dambach

  8. Hans Christian von der Fink | April 28, 2015 at 11:32 am | Reply


    Ich bin bei meiner Recherche über meine Vorfahren auf einen” August von der Fink” gestoßen.

    Er wurde ca 1833 in Hessen geboren, hat als Schuhmacher gearbeitet.

    Dann verliert sich die Spur bis zum 25.7.1855

    Dort wurde er als Private der 10th Infantry im Bürgerkrieg (Civil War) eingetragen.
    Er war laut Angaben ca.22 Jahre alt und war in Buffalo stationiert.

    Leider ist dies die einzige Spur, die ich finden könnte.
    Daher bin ich für jeden Tipp mehr als Dankbar

    Mit freundlichen Grüssen
    Hans Christian von der Fink

  9. Independence, Kansas. USA, Saturday, 8/23/2014

    Howdy: It was 85 years ago today that the “Graf” left Tokyo en-route to Los Angeles. On the Morning of 8/29/1929 (that’s 85 years ago next Friday, current time) She passed over Independence early in the morning. I was almost 5 years old, in pajamas, in my Father’s arms looking up through the trees at the idling magnificent machine that stretched over several blocks, seemingly just above the treetops.

    I will never forget that morning!!

    A.J. “Bud” Baden, born 9/8/24

    • LUIS OTAVIO NASCIMENTO | December 10, 2014 at 8:27 am | Reply

      howdy from Rio de janeiro…

      Such a wonderful story…. Mom is 88 and she told me a similar story all my childhood up today. As the Graff flew more de 100 times to Rio de janeiro, in a regular postal and pax service, Once, The old Graff overflew her when she was 5y, earlu in the morning, whem she clouldn`t sleep, times when she was living in a little town deep in other state in Big Brazil… She´s now is loosing he memories- Alzheimer- … but she never forgets the view she got more than 80 y ago…. Wonderful Bud….You made me think on her, and how wonderful Graff was to her genneration and how it amazes us TODAY…. Take care, And a big hug from Brazil. Thanks for sharing.

  10. Kitano (journalist for the Asahi Press, Tokyo) was actually Kichinai Kitano, he worked for the Osaka Asahi newspaper. He was based in Berlin, had attended univerisity in Germany together with other Japanese students.

  11. Museum in Cedynia/Zehden | November 30, 2011 at 7:58 am | Reply

    Liebe Frau Walch, wir haben mit grosser Freude Ihre Antwort gelesen und moechten Ihnen mitteilen, warum wir uns fuer Herrn Thasler interessieren. In der Umgebung von Cedynia haben wir eine Zigarettendose gefunden und auf Grund dessen, moechten wir in Erfahrung bringen, wie diese in unsere Gegend gelangen konnte. Wir wissen jetzt nicht in welchem Verwandschaftsverhaeltnis zu Herrn Thasler stehen, aber wir freuen uns sehr, wenn Sie uns bei der Loesung dieses Raetsels helfen koennen. Alle die uns dabei helfen koennen, bitten wir uns ueber die E-Mail: [email protected] zu kontaktieren.

    Mit freundlichem Gruss
    Richard Matecki

  12. Hallo, welche Daten möchten Sie den über Albert Thasler und Oskar Fink wissen ?

    Mfg Sylvia Walch geb. Thasler

  13. Hallo, wer kann helfen? Suche die pers. Daten von Oskar Fink (LZ 127 u. LZ 130)
    und Albert Thasler (LZ 127) für mein Archiv. Bin für jede Hilfe dankbar. MfrG Peil

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