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First Name: Albert

Last Name: Read

Birthplace: Lyme, NH, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Navy (present)


Middle Name: Cushing

Date of Birth: 29 March 1887

Date of Death: 10 October 1967

Rank or Rate: Rear Admiral

Years Served:
Albert Cushing Read

•  World War I (1914 - 1918)
•  World War II (1941 - 1945)


Albert Cushing "Putty" Read
Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy

Albert Cushing Read was born on 29 March 1887 in Lyme, NH, into a Boston Brahmin family.

Read attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, graduating in the Class of 1907. In 1915, he was designated Naval Aviator No. 24.

As a Lieutenant Commander in May 1919, Read commanded a crew of five on the NC-4 Curtiss Flying Boat, the first aircraft ever to make a transatlantic flight. His flight took place eight years before Charles Lindbergh's historic solo, non-stop flight, and a couple of weeks before Alcock and Brown's nonstop flight. Read's flight started from Rockaway Beach, Long Island and took 23 days to arrive at Plymouth, England. The six stops included layovers at Trepassey Bay, Newfoundland, the Azores, and Lisbon, Portugal.

Later in 1919, upon returning to the U.S., Read predicted: "It soon will be possible to drive an airplane around the world at a height of 60,000 feet and 1,000 miles per hour." The next day, The New York Times ran an editorial in reaction, stating: "It is one thing to be a qualified aviator, and quite another to be a qualified prophet. Nothing now known supports the Lieutenant Commander's forecast. An airplane at the height of 60,000 feet would be whirling its propellers in a vacuum, and no aviator could live long in the freezing cold of interstellar space."

Read trained naval aviators through World War II. He was nicknamed "Putty Read" because his face rarely showed any emotion.


The A.C. Read Golf Course at the Naval Aviation Station, Pensacola, FL, is named in honor of Rear Admiral Read.

Death and Burial

Rear Admiral Albert Cushing Read died on 10 October 1967 in Coconut Grove, FL. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Origin of Nickname/Handle:
He was nicknamed "Putty Read" because his face rarely showed any emotion.

Honoree ID: 2988   Created by: MHOH




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