Baby name stories: Maitland

Lt. Albert Hegenberger (1895-1983) and Lt. Lester Maitland (1899-1990)
Aviators Hegenberger and Maitland

On June 29, 1927, two baby boys born in Honolulu, Hawaii, were named Maitland:

  • Maitland Paul Stearns
  • Maitland Albert Jowell


Because that was the day U.S. Army Lieutenant Lester Maitland landed in Honolulu after piloting the first transoceanic flight from the mainland to the islands.

Maitland and navigator Lt. Albert Hegenberger set off from San Francisco, California, in a Fokker airplane early on June 28. They flew about 2,500 miles in a little over 25 hours.

Here are some of the quotes they gave the Honolulu Advertiser upon landing:

  • “During the day we flew at an altitude of 300 feet in order to be below the clouds. We encountered cross winds during the first 500 miles, with much rain.”
  • “When night came we climbed to an altitude of 10,000 feet and above the clouds, so that we could see the stars. The weather up there was fine, but very cold. At 2 a.m. this morning our center motor developed trouble and worried us. We descended through three cloudbanks to an altitude of 4,000 feet and the motor picked up and started working perfectly again. We rose to 12,000 feet and remained there until we were off Kauai.”
  • “We were off our course slightly when we sighted Kauai this morning at 6 o’clock. We had come all the way almost exclusively by dead reckoning and celestial observation.”

The airmen got a chance to meet the newborn Jowell baby, whose middle name honored Hegenberger. A photo of the baby, his mother, and the two men ran in the newspapers in mid-July.

P.S. Five weeks earlier, Charles Lindbergh completed his solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.


  • “Active Day for Flyers to Islands.” Los Angeles Times 2 Jul. 1927: 1.
  • Fly by Stars When Radio Beam Lost.” Honolulu Advertiser 30 Jan. 1927.
  • “Honolulu Baby Is Named for Pacific Aviators.” Evening News [San Jose] 12 Jul. 1927: 7.

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