John Rodgers Flight
Navy Commander John Rodgers and his crew made the first trans-Pacific flight from San Francisco, California to Hawaii leaving on August 31, 1925. The PN-9 aircraft landed in the ocean 365 miles from Oahu, and the valiant crew sailed the craft to Nawiliwili Harbor on Kauai, arriving on September 10, 1925.
- This is the official crest of John Rodgers which symbolizes the service of three members of the prominent Navy family. The anchor represents Commodore John Rodgers who was President of the Board of Naval Commissioners following the War of 1812 until 1836. His son, Rear Admiral John Rodgers led exploring expeditions in Chinese waters and throughout the Baring Strait in 1855; the compass rose is symbolic of his service. Commander John Rodgers II, great grandson of Commodore Rodgers, was a pioneer of naval aviation, and his service is alluded to by the wings.
- The Navy hunted for the PN-9 No. 1 for eight days before giving them up for lost. After sailing the plane for nine days the crew sighted Kauai and crafted a rudder to aid their sailing to the island.
- On the 10th day, a submarine sighted the plane near the entrance to Ahukini Harbor. The sub towed the plane around Kauai into Nawiliwili Harbor. The crew carefully secured the PN-9 before going ashore on September 10, 1925.
- Commander John Rodgers and his crew arrived on Kauai, September 10, 1925, 10 days after departing San Francisco, tired, hungry and thirsty, and excited about the Navy's accomplishment.
- The crew enjoyed a good night's sleep and a huge breakfast the next morning. They had gone without food and water for nearly a week before arriving on Kauai.
- Waving before their departure from San Pablo Bay, John Rodgers (center) and his crew attempted the difficult and dangerous feat of flying over the Pacific Ocean for the first time.
- Kauai residents enthusiastically greeted the Navy aviators and showered them with lei and well wishes, and clean clothing.
- The PN-9 was loaded onto the Navy ship USS Pelican in Nawiliwili Harbor and carried to Pearl Harbor where it was repaired and flew again days later.
- After resting up on Kauai, the crew was transported to Honolulu on the destroyer MacDonough where they were hospitalized for medical examination.
- The PN-9 sits in Nawiliwili Harbor after its amazing adventure: flying 1,870 nautical miles by air, and sailing 450 miles by sea.
- The PN-9 voyage across the Pacific was two years before Charles Lindbergh's solo crossing of the Atlantic Ocean.
- The crew of the PN-9 included Commander John Rodgers, commander and navigator; Lt. B. J. Connell, pilot; W. H. Bowlin, 1st class Aviation Mechanic's Mate; S. R. Pope, second pilot; and O. G. Stantz, radio operator.