Biography & Autobiography

Bill Lancaster: The Final Verdict

Author: Ralph Barker

Publisher: Pen and Sword


Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 240

View: 186

Captain William Lancaster was the subject of public attention and controversy during his life as a record-breaking flyer, because of his love affair with Jessie Chubbie Miller (dubbed the Australian Aviatrix) and as the defendant in one of the most sensational murder trials of the twentieth century. His disappearance, which occurred during an attempt to break the London to Cape Town record in 1933, less than a year after his acquittal, led to speculation that his ill-prepared last flight had been driven by desperation, perhaps even guilt.Twenty nine years later, a French military patrol in the Sahara stumbled across the wreck of Bills plane and his body, along with his perfectly preserved log book. For eight days he had calmly recorded his thoughts, looking back over his life as he stoically faced death. In Bill Lancaster: the Final Verdict, we are presented with the original story in full (first published in 1969 as Verdict on a Lost Flyer), complete with an additional postscript written by the late author's daughter. Meticulously researched by Ralph Barker and written with the full cooperation of Chubbie Miller and the Lancaster family, it includes a complete transcript and photographs of the moving account contained within Lancaster's final diary a precious record that has since gone missing.

Bill Lancaster- The Final Verdict

Author: Ralph Barker

Publisher: Pen & Sword Books



Page: 240

View: 195

Captain 'Bill' Lancaster, pioneer flyer of the twenties and thirties, disappeared on a flight over the Sahara in 1933. It was twenty-nine years before his body was found beside the wrecked plane; a logbook tied to the wing, contained the calm yet moving record of his wait for death. Bill Lancaster's dramatic end was in keeping with his adventurous and colorful life. His service career established his reputation as a man without fear, and when he left the RAF in 1926 he turned to trailblazing. An attempt to be the first man to fly a light plane to Australia involved him with a top woman flyer, 'Chubbie' Miller and, neglecting their families, the pair flew together for four years until the depression forced Lancaster to leave in search of work. How Bill Lancaster made a desperate effort to retrieve his fortunes, how Chubbie fell in love with an American writer, Haden Clarke, while he was away, and how Clarke was shot dead on Lancaster's return, leads up to a full account of one of the most sensational murder trials of the century. A story as exciting as the age it is set in, its unique denouement leaves the reader free to pronounce his own verdict on Bill Lancaster, pioneer flyer and adventurer.
True Crime

The Lost Pilots

Author: Corey Mead

Publisher: Pan Macmillan


Category: True Crime

Page: 352

View: 569

The Sahara Desert, February 1962: the wreckage of a plane emerges from the sands revealing, too, the body of the plane’s long-dead pilot. But who was he? And what had happened to him? Baker Street, London, June 1927: twenty-five-year-old Jessie Miller had fled a loveless marriage in Australia, longing for adventure in the London of the Bright Young Things. At a gin-soaked party, she met Bill Lancaster, fresh from the Royal Air force, his head full of a scheme that would make him as famous as Charles Lindbergh, who has just crossed the Atlantic. Lancaster wanted to fly three times as far – from London to Melbourne – and in Jessie Miller he knew he had found the perfect co-pilot. By the time they landed in Melbourne, the daring aviators were a global sensation – and, despite still being married to other people, deeply in love. Keeping their affair a secret, they toured the world until the Wall Street Crash changed everything; Bill and Jessie – like so many others – were broke. And it was then, holed up in a run-down mansion on the outskirts of Miami and desperate for cash, that Jessie agreed to write a memoir. When a dashing ghostwriter Haden Clark was despatched from New York, the toxic combination of the handsome interloper, bootleg booze and jealousy led to a shocking crime. The trial that followed put Jessie and Bill back on the front pages and drove him to a reckless act of abandon to win it all back. The Lost Pilots is their extraordinary story, brought to vivid life by Corey Mead. Based on years of research and startling new evidence, and full of adventure, forbidden passion, crime, scandal and tragedy, it is a masterwork of narrative nonfiction that firmly restores one of aviation’s leading female pioneers to her rightful place in history.

The Flying Adventures of Jessie Keith äóìChubbieäó Miller

Author: Chrystopher J. Spicer

Publisher: McFarland


Category: Transportation

Page: 272

View: 577

Pioneer aviatrix Jessie “Chubbie” Miller made a significant contribution to aviation history. The first woman to fly from England to her native Australia (as co-pilot with her close friend Captain Bill Lancaster), she was also the first woman to fly more than 8000 miles, to cross the equator in the air and to traverse the Australian continent north to south. Moving to America, Miller was a popular member of a group of female aviators that included Amelia Earhart, Bobby Trout, Pancho Barnes and Louise Thaden. As a competitor in international air races and a charter member of the first organization for women flyers, the Ninety-Nines, she quickly became famous. Her career was interrupted by her involvement in Lancaster’s sensational Miami trial for the murder of her lover, Haden Clarke, and by Lancaster’s disappearance a few years later while flying across the Sahara desert.