Remembering an Irish aviation hero


Sir, – Donal Moore (Letters, March 25th) mentions visits he made to see the original Bremen aircraft now restored and on display at Bremen Airport. This was the first aircraft to fly the Atlantic east to west. The Irish Air Corps officer Comdt (later Col) James Fitzmaurice was co-pilot on this historic flight. Mr Moore bemoans the absence of the Irish Tricolour from the flags displayed alongside the aircraft on his visits there. Your correspondent need have no further worries.

Last year (April 12th) was the 90th anniversary of the flight of the Bremen in 1928 and the occasion was celebrated in Bremen city, and by the Air Corps at Baldonnel and in Portlaoise, where Col Fitzmaurice grew up and attended school.

A delegation from the Fitzmaurice Commemorative Committee joined our German friends at the celebrations in Bremen, and people from Bremen later took part in a big commemorative weekend event in Portlaoise in October. This included an exhibition in the Dunamaise Arts Theatre, which ran for four weeks, a film screening of the flight, a fly-past by members of the Irish Historic Flight Foundation and a wreath-laying ceremony by the Irish Air Corps and UN veterans.

The event also included a presentation by the cathaoirleach of Laois County Council, John King, to our German visitors of a Tricolour, which we were assured would take pride of place with other flags in the Bremen hall where the famous aircraft is now housed.

This is a fitting tribute to Ireland’s most famous aviator and to the country he served so proudly and so well. – Yours, etc,



Col James Fitzmaurice




Sir, – Adjacent to Bremen Airport there is a “Fitzmaurice Strasse” to honour the feat of the Irish aviator. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 3.