The Portuguese Aviators Parade in Fall River

Aviators1 img099 800pxThe Fall River Globe reported on July 10, 1922 that:

“The Portuguese residents of Fall River celebrated the aerial achievements of Admiral Gago Coutinho and Rear Admiral Sacadura Cabral yesterday by a monster parade consisting of ten thousand people, scores of clubs and societies, countless bands, floats, and privately decorated machines. Main Street from the South Park to the North Park was gaily and patriotically adorned with the national colors of the United States and Portugal. The colors of these two nations floated from the stores and private residences by the scores. The elaborate line of march lay from the South Park where it formed to the North Park.sac_gago-300x215 Three distinguished Portuguese gentlemen addressed the twenty-five thousand citizens who gathered there. Despite the terrible heat the streets were thronged with thousands of patriotic residents. It was without a doubt the largest celebration of its kind that has been held in this city for many a day. The array of floats was the best and most varied that ever took part in a parade in Fall River. They showed much thought, genius and skill on the part of their inventors and they were a pride to the Portuguese creators.”

The parade, of which the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese-American Archives owns two post-card photographs, was celebrating the 5,100 mile, 62 hour, 80 day voyage that img097 Aviators 2Sacadura Cabral and Gago Coutinho accomplished in 1922. Theirs was the first flight across the southern Atlantic, from Lisbon to Recife, Brazil. While they were ultimately successful in their mission, as seen in the New York Times article, they did so with plenty of down time for repairs and waiting on replacement aircraft.  In fact, they lost two airplanes—their original Fairey III D hydroplane, “Lusitania,” which sank in the ocean off the tiny rocks of St. Peter and St. Paul, and a second Fairey, “Portugal” which didn’t get much farther before it, too, ditched in the sea. The final leg of the trip, from the islands of Fernando Noronha to Brazil, was in a Fairey 17 named “Santa Cruz.”

ums-1922-07-25-0-001 Aviators paperFor more information please see:

Smithsonian article on the event:

Original report on the event:

The Alvorada Diaria, at left, has been digitized and is available for viewing at

-Sonia Pacheco, Archives Librarian for the Ferreira-Mendes Portuguese American Archives

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