Letter: British flying heroes

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The majority of Americans believe Nonie Niesewand's statement that Charles Lindbergh was "the first pilot to cross the Atlantic" to be true, because the Lindbergh story is so potent in the US that it has blotted out all knowledge of the Britons Alcock and Brown ("Care to join the 100-mile-high club?", 15 November).

Lindbergh's 1927 flight was the first solo crossing of the Atlantic, but Alcock and Brown, two First World War aviators, made the first crossing in 1919 in a Vickers Vimy bomber. They were knighted for their achievement and are still local heroes in Manchester, the city with which they were closely associated.

TONY GLYNN

Southport, Merseyside

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