This image depicts the accomplishment of the first solo flight around the world by a paraplegic. Rode Rodewald's distinguished military career was highlighted as a member of the AVG famously known as the Flying Tigers. Commissioned as an Air Corps pilot, he flew everything from a Piper Cub to the F'86. Rode's flying was halted for a long time after a near fatal accident in a T-33 after the Korean War. Rode was alive but paralyzed from the waist down. But this did not stop him permanently. Following the purchase of a hand-controlled Piper Commanche 260B in 1978, Rode's thoughts of a possible world flight started to become a reality. On July 25, 1984, Rode left the Oakland CA airport and headed East. Except for the extra 60 gallon gas tank installed in the fuselage, he was alone. His route included New Brunswick, Iceland, Scotland, West Germany, Southern Italy, Saudi Arabia via Athens, and Alexandria, Egypt. Next was Dubai on the Persian Gulf, Dacca in East Pakistan and on to Bangkok, Singapore, and Bali. Then it was across the Pacific to Guam, then Ponape and Majuro in the Marshall Islands, finally landing in Honolulu. The final leg of his flight took nearly 13-1/2 hours but at last the Commanche touched down at Oakland on November 11, 1984. Rode had covered 31,350 nautical miles in 230 hours of flying time.
Rode is an inspiration to us all. He proved that for all of us, that nothing short of victory is acceptable. His message to all of us is "If you believe in your dream, you will find a way to make it come true. Time, endurance and ability are mere steps to your goal at the mountain top."
Signed by AVG Flying Tiger Rode Rodewald
Size: 21 x 28 - $135.00