S.S. AMERICA, S.S. UNITED STATES sailing on the 'All American' team to Europe

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TWA served as an outlet for Hughes love of the air and Hollywood glamour. Captains at TWA flew in uniform, the owner flew in a loose shirt, fedora, and occasionally without shoes, a unique Hughes style described as described as an ‘eccentric panache’.
In this picture Hughes is in the captain’s seat with Joseph Bartles as copilot. The date is February 15, 1946 and the flight is the domestic inaugural in the Star of California between Los Angeles and New York. On board are Hughes’s friends; Cary Grant, Edward G Robinson, Walter Pidgeon and 33 assorted movie stars. Howard made sure the press noted the 8 hour and 38 minute flying time compare to the 14 to 14 hours required on a United or American Airlines DC 4. His publicity stunts helped propel TWA and the Constellation into a position of leadership.
Photo UNLV Libraries