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.

PASSENGERS

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:

Friedrichshafen-Tokyo

  • 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)

OFFICERS AND CREW

Commander:

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

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Alastair ReidTom KromerDan GrossmanFinn BendiksbySteve Higgins Recent comment authors
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Tom Kromer
Tom Kromer

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… Read more »

Alastair Reid
Alastair Reid

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 https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/104980057/ The Lincoln Star https://www.newspapers.com/newspage/62125065/ Both links… Read more »

Finn Bendiksby
Finn Bendiksby

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

Steve Higgins
Steve Higgins

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… Read more »

Richard Jacobs
Richard Jacobs

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… Read more »

Richard Jacobs
Richard Jacobs

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… Read more »

Richard Jacobs
Richard Jacobs

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?

Michele Dambach
Michele Dambach

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

Hans Christian von der Fink
Hans Christian von der Fink

Hallo 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… Read more »

Bud Baden
Bud Baden

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,… Read more »

LUIS OTAVIO NASCIMENTO
LUIS OTAVIO NASCIMENTO

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… Read more »

Nigel
Nigel

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.