Monday, April 27, 2009

Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan of Santa Ana

Anonymous writes about his/her memories of meeting Douglas "Wrong Way" Corrigan in Santa Ana during the 1960s...

when i was growing up in santa ana in the 50s/early 60s there were still homes located within small orange groves,many with barns,one of these groves was located as best as i can remember around the north flower area almost into orange,as the story went it was owned by douglas (wrong way)corrigan and that he kept his trans atlantic aircraft in the barn,in the late 1960s i was taking flying lessons from an instructor who owned 2 aircraft at orange county airport,while taxing back to the tie down after a lesson i noticed the other aircraft was out and there was an older man standing next to a parked car,my instructor asked if i know who he is,i answered no and he said that was douglas corrigan,we parked the aircraft and i was introduced to him,he was there waiting to pick up his son who was on a solo flight in the other aircraft,after a short conversation we shook hands he wished me luck and i wished the same for him and his son,and i drove off just as the other aircraft was taxing back in,the really sad part of all this is his son was killed several years later when the single engine cessna he was piloting crashed into the windward side of catalina island


  1. Yes, Douglas lived up the street from me on North Flower Street and his son Roy worked for the OC Register, mostly weekends, in a variety of capacities - tape winder (yes, they had tape in those days), sports reporter, etc. A terrific kid, and his death in the Catalina crash saddened us all. Gary Lycan

  2. I was an Air Traffic Controller at Orange County Tower (SNA) the night Doug's Son crashed near Catalina. I had him up in the tower while the search was in progress. I kept the tower open past 11pm in order to allow him validation 1st hand. He, his brother & wife were there. I got the whole "wrong-way" story 1st hand! Great man. Grand memories.

  3. Mitch - Floral ParkJuly 06, 2010 12:29 PM

    I live in the neighborhood near were Douglas lived. It is a great piece of history for our neighborhood.

  4. I'd love to hear what his version of the story is. Did he ever admit flying to Great Britian on purpose or did he still maintain he got lost on his way to Cali?? A great and gifted guy!

  5. We lived in Santa Ana and I remember my Dad sold insurance and had made a call on Mr. Corrigan sometime in the 60's and then coming home and telling us about meeting "Wrong Way" Corrigan and what his history was.


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