There is conflicting information that creates a mystery as to which one of two Interstate Cadets Cornelia was flying that fateful morning. One of those aircraft is flying, and one has been lost to a scrap heap somewhere in Kansas. Because one of the two aircraft has been found and restored to flying condition, and because we are approaching the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, it is time to do some deeper research in hopes of resolving the historical mystery, and the subsequent debate, that has lasted for over 70 years.
Cornelia’s logbook reflects that she was flying Interstate Cadet registration number 37345, with a Continental 65 Horsepower Engine. The narrative in the logbook entry states: “Flight interrupted by Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor….” The mystery comes from verbal aviation legend in Hawaii that attached the story of Cornelia’s historical flight to Interstate 37266 as the aircraft Cornelia was flying. That verbal legend was validated in 2012 by one the former Hawaiian resident owners of Interstate 37266 (see appendix 1) in the early ‘70’s. The dispute that leads to the mystery is a dispute between the facts as seen in Cornelia’s logbook, and the facts as passed down through local aviation legend in Hawaii.
The restoration of Interstate Cadet 37266 has warranted deeper research into the few bits of historical data surrounding the mystery. That mystery has stood for over 70 years primarily because there are no records or photographs that directly, and quickly, resolve the mystery but by researching deeper into the information available, there are facts that prove Cornelia’s logbook carries an error that makes it impossible for Cornelia to have been flying 37345, the aircraft in her logbook, when she witnessed the start of the attack on Pearl Harbor from the air.