Flight Around the World from Magnuson Park 95 Years After First

Bob Dempster and his Biplane
A float biplane will take off from the Northshore of Magnuson Park in April, ninety-five years after the four planes took off to fly around the world for the first time in Douglas built planes with Boeing pontoons. Bob Dempster has spent the last twenty years building a replica of the historic biplanes. He plans to fly his plane, called the Seattle II following the same route, averaging the same 72 mph, with his wife as co-pilot. He will, however, have GPS, a radio and parachutes. The Seattle I crashed into a mountain in Alaska and did not complete the flight although the pilot and mechanic walked out safely.

Fist Flight Graphic

Considered the second most important event in aviation history after the Wright Brother’s flight, this first around the world flight crossed the Pacific Ocean for the first time and was a race against England and Italy for the title. Supported by the Navy and Coast Guard, it was planned for a year by the government at a time when “firsts” were celebrated. 50,000 Seattle citizens greeted the pilot’s arrival home six months later at Sand Point Airfield and a statue was erected that still stands at the park gate.
Bob will leave early on a weekend day in April and we hope you will come out to wave an American Flag and wish him well. The target date is Saturday April 20th but check his website: www.seattleworldcruiser.org for updates.

Lynn Ferguson, President Friends of Sand Point Magnuson Historic District www.sandptnavsta.org


Little Known History of Sand Point Naval Air Station Landmark District

Seattle’s first airport
Site of the first flight around the world
Headquarters of the 13th Naval District on the front lines of the war in the Pacific

Volunteering for Friends

Friends of Sand Point Magnuson Park can always use volunteers. The monetary value of volunteered hours can be used for matching grants. If you wish to volunteer, please contact
Lynn Ferguson, Board President, 206-523-0391, or click here to email your volunteer opportunity questions.

If you volunteer we ask that you download, save and fill out this Friends Volunteer Hours Tracking Form pdf. Open the form in Adobe Acrobat Reader DC , and then email the signed and completed form .

Contact Friends:

Please contact me, Lynn Ferguson, Board President,

206-523-0391, or click here to email your questions

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  • Educate the public about the importance of this site to aviation and military history
  • Advocate and protect the site a recognized federal, state, and local historic district
  • Inspire a lifelong interest in its social and technological developments.
  • Protect historic buildings and grounds of Sand Point NAS Historic District
  • Oral History Project with video recording of memories
  • Historic District Signage and Design Standards
  • Tours and Education
  • Reunions/Celebrations
  • Encourage recognition and participation of veterans and their service including priority for on-site housing
  • Wall of Honor recognizing both our veterans and sponsors
  • Inspiring Success for Park Residents and all Youth

Sand Point Remembered is an oral history project recognizing the lives of people who served or have memories of Sand Point Naval Air Station, Seattle. This project was conceived and managed by Friends of Magnuson Park with the generous assistance of the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. You can meet the people and hear their stories here.

The Sand Point Remembered project gratefully acknowledges the support of The Seattle Department of Neighborhoods.

Interested in Sand Point's history?

Arrange a historic tour or talk on Sand Point history or 1st Around the World Flight for your group of five or more.

Email: info@sandptnavsta.org

Photo & Memory Search

Friends is in search of photos taken at, and memories of
NAS Sand Point.

Do you have photos/memories of an event or the buildings/ infrastructure before NAS Sand Point was transformed into Magnuson Park?

We are looking for photos and memories as we try to develop signage and visuals of what it was like as an active base.

What is your Sand Point story/photo? Remember the totem pole, cannon or a special plane, event, a dance in the Officer’s Club, or Santa arriving by helicopter?

If you have photos and/or meories you are willing to share, please send an email to photos@sandptnavsta.org if they have
been digitiized, or you can mail copies to us at:

Friends of Sand Point Magnuson Park
Historic District
PO Box 51194
Seattle, WA 98115-1194

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