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This may be a little off topic but I could not find a better community or website.

I have two photo postcards with a man in front of a plane. Pretty sure it's Charles Lindbergh but an exhaustive Google search for anything related visually has only turned up another picture of CL with a similar jacket on. So is this who I think it is? Can anyone come up with a "verifiable" narrative to accompany these photos? Perhaps the type of plane in the background?

Photo1

Photo2

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    $\begingroup$ I don't believe it is Charles Lindbergh, Lindbergh has a pretty noticeable divot in his chin, this gentleman does not. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Mar 16 '17 at 15:45
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    $\begingroup$ Are you sure that is a plane? $\endgroup$ – Prodnegel Mar 16 '17 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ BTW, if I were the OP I'd have these photos lovingly framed in glass on my wall. And now that we know the who, when & where, I'd have that info on a little bronze plaque on the frame. And I'd love them, and look at them for inspiration, and growl at my wife if she threatens to dust them off. $\endgroup$ – Omegacron Mar 16 '17 at 20:35
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    $\begingroup$ I think the plane is a Lufthansa Dornier Merkur airliner. $\endgroup$ – TomMcW Mar 16 '17 at 20:40
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    $\begingroup$ @Omegacron: The registration number is more likely "D-1...." like in this photo, here's the result when mixed with the one here. So now there are 14 candidates. $\endgroup$ – mins Mar 16 '17 at 22:03
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The pictures are of Clarence Chamberlin, after he landed near Boeblingen in 1927. Thanks to Omegacron for pointing out this website, which also has the exact same picture as the 2nd one you have. https://www.boeblingen.de/,Lde/start/WirtschaftEntwicklung/Chamberlin.html

Notice the similar bouquet of flowers, postcards in his front left jacket pocket, and how his jacket is buttoned.

enter image description here

enter image description here
(gettyimages)

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    $\begingroup$ @ymb1, will do that thanks, thought it went without saying. I couldn't find markings on the New York which match the 1st picture (looks like a capital D), so am kind of stumped on that so far. $\endgroup$ – Prodnegel Mar 16 '17 at 19:40
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    $\begingroup$ I gave you a +1 for the find, but that quote is wrong. He was flying the "Miss Columbia" when he landed in Eisleben. He CAME from New York, so maybe that's where the confusion was. $\endgroup$ – Omegacron Mar 16 '17 at 20:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Omegacron, corrected and sourced, thanks! I would add the matching picture to your post! $\endgroup$ – Prodnegel Mar 16 '17 at 20:25
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Thanks to the research of the other two answers, I finally found the context for these two photos. They are indeed of Clarence Chamberlin (a contemporary of Lindbergh) and were taken on June 15, 1927 at the Stuttgart-Boeblingen Airfield in Germany. The following page describes the events leading up to the photos, although the original is in German:

https://www.boeblingen.de/,Lde/start/WirtschaftEntwicklung/Chamberlin.html

Long story short, he was attempting to beat Charles Lindbergh on the transatlantic record, but Lindbergh won due to numerous delays. Chamberlin decided to go a little further, to Berlin, and beat the distance record instead. There were numerous technical problems with his plane, however (the Miss Columbia), and he ended up having to land in Eisleben, about 90 miles west of his goal on June 6, 1927. After a day spent repairing the plane, he then proceeded to Berlin. The event seen in the photos is a parade/celebration thrown in his honor as he leaves on the 15th.

By comparison, here's a photo from the same event showing Chamberlin in the same clothes:

enter image description here

I was unable to identify the specific plane behind him in the photos, but it was NOT the Miss Columbia. Due to the many technical problems experienced during the race, Chamberlin elected to return by sea. What we see in the photos is him about to board a passenger plane that will take him to the ship. As far as I can tell, the Miss Columbia was shipped back separately, although his co-pilot (and the plane's owner) Charles Levine wanted to fly it back despite the problems.


What About the Plane Type?

The plane that Chamberlin is boarding in the photos looks to be a Dornier Mercury, which was a common passenger plane in Germany at the time. The door size/shape and top of the plane (what we can see, at least) match up quite nicely. Here's a shot of one from a similar angle:

enter image description here

Thanks to @TomMcW for finding that.

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  • $\begingroup$ You are correct, the 2nd picture is there exactly as well $\endgroup$ – Prodnegel Mar 16 '17 at 20:22
  • $\begingroup$ There's a lot about Lindberg, Chamberlin and Levine in one of Bill Bryson's newer books, Summer 1927, really interesting read. Aviation features heavily. theguardian.com/books/2013/sep/26/… $\endgroup$ – James Mundy Mar 22 '17 at 9:36
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enter image description here
(wikimedia)

I may be wrong, but it looks very like Clarence Chamberlin; the Wikipedia picture is quite small, but if you look at some other pictures you can see a very strong resemblance. According to Wikipedia he carried the first transatlantic passenger, flew an aircraft off a ship, and was a famous barnstormer. So there are plenty of reasons why he could have ended up on postcards.

I don't know what the aircraft is. Wikipedia says that Chamberlin's most well-known aircraft was Miss Columbia, a Wright-Bellanca WB-2. But the pictures of it show it has a square door under the wing, whereas your pictures show a rounded door rear of the wing. He was also associated with the "Curtiss Condor CO" (a Curtiss T-32 Condor II?) but again, it doesn't seem to match visually.

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  • $\begingroup$ Another picture with the same jacket, and another postcard. $\endgroup$ – mins Mar 16 '17 at 16:51
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    $\begingroup$ @ymb1: Well it's Pondlife 's answer, he decides (he's in charge, he's the boss, the head man, the top dog, the big cheese, the head honcho, number one) $\endgroup$ – mins Mar 16 '17 at 18:40
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    $\begingroup$ @mins you forgot "el numero uno" $\endgroup$ – FreeMan Mar 16 '17 at 20:24

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