Dole Race into Danger 

Spectators at the Dole RaceThose daring young men (and women) in their flying machines attracted enthusiastic public attention. And so it was that on August 16, 1927, a crowd of spectators and newsmen gathered at the Oakland Airport to watch the beginning of the Dole Race. Hawaii's pineapple baron, James Dole, had offered $25,000 and $10,000 to the first and second planes to reach Hawaii from the mainland under racing rules.

Like pioneers everywhere, these early pilots took great risk to push back the boundaries of the possible.
Three aviators died enroute to the race. Of the nine entrants, two cracked up during takeoff, one was disqualified, two turned back at the Golden Gate, two disappeared and one of the pilots who flew to search for them also disappeared. In all, seven aviators died in the Dole Race, and only two planes made it to Hawaii. It is on this foundation of courage and daring that commercial aviation and the development of airports has been built.

Deborah Cooper
Oakland Museum of California

Oakland Museum of California Logo  "Walk Along the Water"
  Oakland Museum of California, used with permission.

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