On 18 May 1919 Harry Hawker, chief test pilot for the Sopwith Aviation Company during the First World War, and K. Mackenzie Grieve, an officer in the Royal Navy, took off from Pearl Aerodrome, near St John's in Newfoundland, in a Sopwith Atlantic aeroplane, designed by Tom Sopwith, piloted by Hawker and navigated by Mackenzie Grieve. This was the first ever attempt to fly across the Atlantic. The coast of Ireland was approximately 1,750 miles away on the other side of a notoriously inhospitable ocean. Unfortunately, their aeroplane developed engine trouble after only 1,050 miles and they were forced to ditch in the water, although thankfully they were rescued by a passing ship. Despite its failure this pioneering flight was an enormous feat of courage and airmanship, and this is Hawker and Mackenzie Grieve's own account of the first attempt to fly across the Atlantic, which thousands of air passengers now do every day without a thought for these brave pioneers.