Jon Lindbergh, son of legendary aviator, dies at 88

Jon Lindbergh, son of legendary aviator, dies at 88
Charles Lindbergh and son, Jon, arrive in Liverpool, England, on the freighter S.S. American Importer in January 1936. Photo by Universal Newsreel/Wikimedia Commons

Aug. 7 (UPI) -- Jon Lindbergh, the son of historic aviator Col. Charles Lindbergh, has died at age 88, his family announced.

Lindbergh died July 29 at his home in Lewisburg, W.Va., of metastatic renal cancer, his daughter Kristina Lindbergh told The New York Times.


The son of a man who piloted the first solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight in history in 1927, managed to emerge from his father's shadow in his own pioneering adventures at sea.

As a commercial deep sea diver, Lindbergh was involved in several experimental diving projects, including "Man-in-Sea" in the Bahamas in 1964. During this project, Lindberg stayed in Edwin Link's "Submersible, Portable, Inflatable Dwelling," for 49 hours at a depth of 432 feet while breathing a helium-oxygen mixture, becoming one of the world's earliest aquanauts.

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Lindbergh also participated in developing and testing the Navy's Alvin deep-ocean submersible to recover a hydrogen bomb in the Mediterranean. An updated version of the same submersible with an improved titanium pressure hall was used to survey the remains from the Titanic, which sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage.

He was born on Aug. 16, 1932, five months after the kidnapping of his older brother, Charles Lindbergh Jr., who was killed in what was referred to as "the crime of the century." Bruno Hauptmann, a carpenter, was convicted for his brother's murder and electrocuted in 1936.


Lindbergh's daughter told The Times his brother's kidnapping impacted him profoundly.

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"They now say that trauma experienced by the mother carrying the child does affect the baby," Lindbergh said.

He earned his pilot's license before we went on to attend Stanford University, but his father steered him away from an aviation career, fearing the the fame would consume him.

While at Stanford, he lived in a tent in Los Trancos Woods, was an active member of the Alpine Club, and made a pioneering dive to the undersea Bowser Cave in California, according to an obituary published in the West Virginia Daily News.

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He graduated with a degree in marine biology, trained in scuba diving, and joined the Navy's Underwater Demolition Team.

Along with his maritime accomplishments, Lindbergh had a short acting career as an extra in the Sea Hunt television series and movies, including Underwater Warrior.

With his first wife, Barbara Robbins, he had six children: Kristina, Wendy, Lars, Leif, Erik and Morgan, and with his present wife, Maura, he had twins: Anne and Alena.

Lindbergh is survived by his wife, Maura, children from both marriages, two brothers, Land and Scott, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

Notable deaths of 2021

Colin Powell, founder of America's Promise Alliance, speaks to the media following an educational roundtable at the White House in Washington, D.C., on July 18, 2011. The former Secretary of States and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, died from complications of COVID-19 on October 18 at the age of 84. Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo


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