the 15th of June 1919 Arthur Whitten-Brown and John Alcock flew 1900
miles from Newfoundland. Their aircraft was a Vickers Vimy biplane powered by two Rolls Royce Eagle VIII engines of three hundred and fifty horse power each.
After sixteen hours and twenty-eight minutes they crash-landed
in the Derrygimlagh bog, close to the Marconi station having mistaken the soft ground for hard ground and won a £10,000 prize offered by London's Daily Mail newspaper for the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic. This
event is best described in the words of Albert Millar who
was eight years old at the time:
"I was getting ready to go to Sunday School when I heard
a commotion and rushed out onto the street. 1 looked up and
saw this thing flying very low between the houses. The pilot
was waving down. According to John Alcock he was looking for
a place to land and saw what he thought was a green field,
but was in fact the bog.
After Sunday school I came home and the whole family drove
out in my father' s pony trap to the bog. As we walked up
the railway line (which l inked the Marconi station with the
road) we met two farmers coming down. My Father asked did
they see the plane. 'We did, Sir, it's a hell of a yoke'.
1 ran ahead of my parents and saw the plane lying in the bog.
1 ran back and said 'I've seen the hell of a yoke lying in
the bog but it has no wheels'."
The rest is history. Both Alcock and Brown were knighted by King George. On the Errislannan pen insula is a monument,
shaped like a tail-fin, to commemorate this flight. The monument
points down to the exact spot in the bog where Alcock and
Click on this link to learn about the Vimy Project in 2004