Will Rogers - Wiley Post Memorial, Walakpa Bay

The Rogers-Post Memorial Site, located on the North Slope of Alaska, is the location of a plane crash that killed humorist Will Rogers and aviator Wiley Post. In 1935 Post became interested in surveying a mail-and-passenger air route from the West Coast of the United States to Russia. Short on cash, he built a hybrid using parts salvaged from two different aircraft: the fuselage of an airworthy Lockheed Orion and the wings of a wrecked experimental Lockheed Explorer. On August 15, the pair were flying from Fairbanks to Barrow when they encountered fog and low-visibility. They became uncertain of their position and landed in Walakpa Bay to ask for directions from a group of Alaska Natives. On takeoff, the engine failed at low altitude, and the aircraft, uncontrollably nose-heavy at low speed, plunged into the lagoon killing both men. A memorial was built at the crash site that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more about the site here.  Download the CoastView app and click on the picture below to explore Walakpa Bay. See all the CoastView blog posts on our website here.