Jean Batten's record breaking flight, 1936-10-16

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Media type
D series, ca. 1935-1950s.
Interviews (Sound recordings)
Sound recordings
RNZ Collection
Batten, Jean, 1909-1982, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Davis, Ernest Hyam, 1872-1962, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Jones, Frederick, 1884-1966, Speaker/Kaikōrero
Melville, Ellen, 1882-1946 (b.1882, d.1946), Speaker/Kaikōrero
Wiseman, W.L., Speaker/Kaikōrero
1YA (Radio station : Auckland, N.Z.), Broadcaster

Jean Batten's record breaking flight arrives [at Mangere Aerodrome, Auckland] from England via Australia, 16 Oct 1936.

This recording consists of commentary prior to and during the arrival of Jean Batten. It includes her speech, aircraft and crowd sounds. [Audio quality is fair to poor. Some parts are unintelligible.] The final part is a studio broadcast she made that evening from 1YA.

Part 1. Unidentified 1YA radio commentator describes her plane arriving, with plane and crowd noise in the background. She was spotted coming in over New Plymouth with reports also coming in of sightings over Mokau and Kawhia.

Part 2. Unidentified commentator describes Jean Batten's plane landing, escorted by several other aircraft, including one from the Achilles, and several from the Auckland Aero Club. There is plane and crowd noise in the background, mounted police gallop out to meet the plane while other police hold back the crowd. Her father runs down runway to meet her.

Part 3. Unidentified commentator describes Jean Batten stepping from her plane, with cheering from the crowd in the background. Mr Ernest Davis, Mayor of Auckland speaks and welcomes her to Auckland.

Part 4. Ernest Davis, Mayor of Auckland continues speaking to the crowd [poor quality - start inaudible ] He welcomes Jean Batten and, calls her 'a very naughty girl for giving us such an anxious time". The Honorable Mr Jones, Minister of Defence speaks and welcomes Jean Batten on behalf of the Prime Minister and New Zealand [ends mid-sentence]

Part 5. Mr Jones' speech continues. He says Jean Batten and Jack Lovelock are the "two of the greatest sports in the world today ...and have brought credit to this Dominion of ours." Mr Wiseman, president of the aero club, addresses the crowd and congratulates Miss Batten.

Part 6. Mr Wiseman calls on Miss Melville [city councillor and President of the National Council of Women, Ellen Melville] to say a few words on behalf of the women of New Zealand. Miss Melville describes the anxiety with which they have followed Miss Batten's flight. She expresses pride, admiration and affection on behalf of the women of New Zealand.
Unidentified man congratulates Mr Batten on the safe arrival of his daughter. He calls upon Miss Batten to speak.

Part 7. Jean Batten speaks. She describes her flight preparations, with nothing left to chance. She left England on October 5th and arrived in Australia a little over 5 days later and then arrived in Sydney in the fastest time ever, one week. She had the plane overhauled in Sydney before continuing her flight onto New Zealand. The flight took 9 and a half hours, another record. "This is without doubt the very greatest moment of my life"

Part 8. Unidentified man calls "Three cheers for Miss Batten". Crowd sings "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow", commentator describes the presentation of flowers by college girls, with Miss Batten standing on a chair so the crowd can see her. He describes reporters surrounding her.

Part 9. Commentator describes Miss Batten moving off to the club house and signs off the relay back to the 1YA studio.

Part 10.
Jean Batten speaking on arrival in New Zealand after her record flight from England [Introduced by station 1YA as being for broadcast to New Zealand, Australia and England]
An unidentified man introduces Jean Batten in a studio recording, made on the evening of 16 October 1936.
She describes it as the greatest and happiest day in her life. She describes the careful preparation she made for the flight. She was tempted to land at New Plymouth when she sighted land, but decided to fly on to Auckland, her 'homeland".
She is very proud that New Zealand, the furthest-flung Dominion, is now linked to Great Britain by flight, and hopes her flight will be the forerunner of an airmail service between the two countries.
She describes bad weather flying over Burma to Siam and Malaya, with storms and hurricanes. She had to fly very low and almost hit a mountain. Heavy rain made it impossible to see the ground. She felt terribly lonely leaving the lights of Singapore and heading out into the blackness.
Four hours later she saw the lights of Batavia and was glad to reach the island of Java.
She describes the flight over the Tasman as a' treacherous last jump'. She thanks all her friends and the kind people at the various aerodromes who lit her way and helped her.