Fred Noonan Telegram and Photograph

Fred Noonan (1893-1937) was a Merchant Marine officer and navigator who disappeared on July 2, 1937 with Amelia Earhart during their failed around-the-world flight attempt. Noonan served with the Merchant Marine for more than twenty years, including service during World War I, before obtaining his pilot's license in 1930. Noonan then went to work for Pan American Airways (Pan Am) (USA) working first as a navigation instructor, then later as an airport manager and inspector. Noonan later flew as navigator on Pan Am Sikorsky S-42 Clipper flights in San Francisco, including endurance flights made by Edwin Charles "Ed" Musick. Noonan was subsequently tasked with mapping Pan Am's routes across the Pacific. Having met through mutual acquaintances, Amelia Earhart chose Noonan to serve as navigator on her attempted 1937 around-the-world flight in a twin-engine Lockheed Model 10-E Electra. She and Noonan were flying from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island when they disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937. A exhaustive sea and air search, ordered by President Franklin Roosevelt, was unsuccessful in locating Earhart and Noonan.