Vitaly Geyfman

First and Second Non-Stop Transatlantic Flights from New York City to Lithuania. July 15, 1933 and September 21, 1935

Three Frame Exhibit


Objective: Exhibit tells a philatelic story of the early days of aviation between 1933 and 1935 focusing on the two Transatlantic flights from New York City to Lithuania.

Importance: 1933 Darius-Girenas flight was the second longest distance-wise flight in the history of aviation at the time and fourth longest time-wise. The flight also had tremendous philatelic significance: with permits from both US Postmaster General & Lithuanian Government, it carried the first official Transatlantic air mail consignment in history. Despite the tragic ending to the flight leading to death of both pilots, the air mail consignment
survived and was delivered to the intended recipients. In 1935 Leutenant Felix Waitkus was set to repeat the historic, but ill-fated flight of the two heroic Lithuanian pilots, S. Darius and S. Girenas, with a non-stop solo flight from New York City to Kaunas, Lithuania. Although the pilot was unable
to achieve his goal due to the crash landing in Ireland, which severely damaged the airplane, Waitkus became the sixth pilot in history and the only one in 1935 to successfully cross the Atlantic solo.

The Kingdom of Lithuania was created in 1253. During the 14th-15th centuries, it was the largest state in Europe. However, by mid 1930s Lithuania had been reduced to a
small Northern European country on the Baltic Sea bordering Latvia, Poland, and Nazi Germany, with a population of only 2.5 million people. In the early days
of aviation, these transatlantic flights helped put Lithuania on the Aeronautic World Map. The American pilots became instant legends in their Fatherhood.

First Frame

Second Frame

Third Frame