Howard Hughes’ name was officially added to the list of aviation’s immortals on November 17 with the announcement that he had been awarded the famous Collier Trophy “for the greatest achievement in aviation in America, the value of which has been thoroughly demonstrated by actual use during the preceding year.”
The award, established in 1911 by Robert J. Collier, son of the founder of Collier’s Weekly, was based on the following citation:
“To Howard Hughes and his Associates for their epoch-making round-the-world fight in 91 hours and 14 minutes. This flight involved notable advances in aerial navigation, communications and engineering, demonstrated the value of organization and planning in long-range aircraft operation and afforded a world-wide demonstration of the superiority of American products and techniques.”
The Collier Trophy Committee, composed of leaders in American aviation, under the chairmanship of Maj. James E. Doolittle, found it necessary to give many hours of thought, study and labor before they arrived at a decision. The great amount of time and consideration spent in reaching a final decision make Mr. Hughes’ award all the more outstanding.
To quote from a story in Collier’s for November 25: “…the Hughes expedition was a scientific triumph from beginning to end, aside from the record-smashing speed with which Hughes and his flight crew girdled the earth over the Great Circle route. The speed was only one of the manifold results of two years careful, last-detail preparation. Data and experience amassed by the Hughes expedition will be used by aviators for years to come.”
Formal presentation of the trophy, which is awarded each year under the auspices of the NAA, will be made later by President Roosevelt.
In addition to Major Doolittle, the Collier Trophy Committee consisted of Edwin E. Aldrin, Godfrey Cabot, W.R. Enyart, Roger W. Kahn, Reed Landis, Dr. George W. Lewis, L.P. Sharple, Frank Tichenor, T.P. Wright.