James J. Ward

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Ward taking off on September 13, 1911

James J. Ward (born Jens P. Wilson in 1886 in Denmark – 1923)[1] was a pioneer aviator who made one of the earliest attempts at transcontinental flight.


He flew a Curtiss Model D pusher biplane named the "Hearst Pathfinder". On September 13, 1911 he attempted to win the William Randolph Hearst Prize flying from Governors Island in New York to California.[2] He withdraw from the race on September 22, 1911 after his aircraft's engine failed and he crashed in Addison, New York.[3]


  1. ^ Shooting Star: Aviator Jimmie Ward of Crookston by Steven R. Hoffbeck
  2. ^ "Flier, Seeking to Reach San Francisco, Lands at Calicoon Late in the Afternoon". New York Times. September 15, 1911. Retrieved 2010-11-25. James J. Ward, who left New York for San Francisco Wednesday, flying for the W.R. Hearst $50,000 prize for a transcontinental flight, reached Callicoon, N.Y., a few miles from here, at 4:35 o'clock this afternoon. He covered 59 1-10 miles in 57 minutes, having left Middletown, N.Y., at 3:38 o'clock. 
  3. ^ "Ward Quits Coast Flight. Comes to Grief at Addison". New York Times. September 23, 1911. Retrieved 2010-11-26. 

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