Wrong Way Corrigan Day | July 17
Mon Jul 17th

National Wrong Way Corrigan Day

On July 17th, the transatlantic flight of an Irish-American stunt pilot from Galveston, Texas, was commemorated. Douglas Corrigan (January 22, 1907 – December 9, 1995) gained notoriety for an unplanned transatlantic flight to Ireland on July 17, 1938.


Douglas Corrigan's fascination with flight as a youth was not unusual. Charles Lindbergh's transatlantic flight may have been the most memorable moment in his young life. The young stunt pilot went from California to New York in 1938, flying from California to New York. On his arrival, he begged for permission to duplicate his hero's historic flight. Unfortunately, the flight service refused his request due to the age of his 1929 Curtiss Robin aircraft.

Corrigan told officials he was returning to California after only having a magnetic compass. According to the article, after takeoff, cloud cover prevented Corrigan from accurate navigation. Nothing but water as Corrigan plummeted below the clouds just hours later. Corrigan's navigation was off, but he knew it wasn't. Despite the chaos, he continued on his journey. He landed in Ireland 28 hours later, surprisingly.

Corrigan's tale of his flight never faltered. Corrigan stuck to his original explanation amid rumors that he illegally planned this flight.

After the flight

That's My Story The wayward pilot wrote about his misadventure in his memoir, That's My Story. While out of print, you will find a few copies for the right price. Corrigan also received a film contract and soon played himself in The Flying Irishman. He tested bombers during World War II. The stunt man and other familiar war heroes in parades toured the country after the war. Corrigan and his wife and family settled into a quiet life after the notoriety died down. Occasionally fortune will bring him back to him as Corrigan turns into a journalist who wants to question the veracity of his account.

Corrigan's corrigan said that the right way to see national wrong way corrigan

Discover the past of transatlantic flight and more stories like Douglas Corrigan's. Visit an air museum or watch The Flying Irishman on display. To post on social media, use the hashtag #WrongWayCorriganDay. Also check out these other 8 Amazing Firsts in Flight.

Corrigan Day is the longest in national wrong way corrigan day history has been observed

Corrigan Day is a national Wrong Way Corrigan Day, which is based on the date Corrigan left New York in 1938. In 1987, Long Island commemorated Corrigan's flight's 49th anniversary. The city held a parade in honor of the 80-year-old pilot. "Wrong Way Corrigan Day" was the event that was commemorated. In 1992, Corrigan's hometown, Galveston, Texas, also declared Wrong Way Corrigan Day. They chose January 22nd to commemorate their hometown hero's birthday.