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“R” is for Redfern, Paul Rinaldo (1902-1927)

“R” is for Redfern, Paul Rinaldo (1902-1927). Aviator. A native of New York, Redfern moved with his family to Columbia in 1910. From an early age, he displayed an interest in aviation. In the early 1920s he assembled an airplane and transported passengers on day trips around the Carolinas. In 1927 a group of Brunswick, Georgia, businessmen agreed to underwrite a flight from their city to Rio de Janeiro. Redfern supervised the construction of the craft called the Port of Brunswick. It was painted primarily green and yellow—Brazil’s national colors. On August 25, 1927, he took off and was seen by numerous eyewitnesses after he crossed the Orinoco River delta. Then, just two hours flying time from northern Brazil, he disappeared. Despite several search-and-rescue missions, Paul Rinaldo Redfern and his airplane have never been found.

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Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.