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Balloon Basket, Captain H.C. Gray

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This object is on display in the Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery exhibition at the National Mall building.


U.S. Army Air Corps balloonist Capt. Hawthorne Gray launched from Scott Field, Illinois, on November 4, 1927, on his third attempt to explore conditions and test equipment that would enable air crews to survive and function at altitudes of over 40,000 feet.
The balloon was found in a tree near Sparta, Tennessee, the next day, with Gray's lifeless body still in the basket. He had apparently become confused, parachuting a full bottle of oxygen to earth in an effort to climb even higher. He died from lack of oxygen. "His courage," suggested the citation of his posthumous Distinguished Flying Cross. "was greater than his supply of oxygen."

Date: 1927

Country of Origin: United States of America

Dimensions: 4'9" tall x 3'2" square

Physical Description:Basket and equipment used by Capt. H.C. Gray, USA, in a world altitude attempt. See notes.

Inventory number: A19280013000

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