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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Richardson, Holden C., 1878-1960



  • Existence: 1878 December 7 - 1960 September 2

Biographical Note: Holden C. Richardson

Holden Chester Richardson was an officer in the United States Navy and was noted as a pioneer in U.S. naval aviation. He was born December 7, 1878 in in Shamokin, Pennsylvania. He graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1901 and was taught to fly by Glenn Curtiss in 1913. He was the Navy's first engineering test pilot, helping develop floats, hulls, and the first catapult system. Instrumental in the development of the Curtiss NC flying boats, he was the pilot of NC-3 in the first aircraft crossing of the Atlantic Ocean in 1919. He earned a Navy Cross for this work.

Richardson died on September 2, 1960. He was posthumously enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1978 and in the Naval Aviation Hall of Honor in 1981. Richardson Field near Shamokin, Pennsylvania was also named in his honor.

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