Jon Lindbergh, Aviator’s Son Who Took to the Sea, Dies at 88


Jon Lindbergh, an acclaimed deep-sea diver and underwater demolition knowledgeable whose life as the son of Col. Charles A. Lindbergh was formed by the peak of fame and the depths of tragedy that his household skilled, died on July 29 at his house in Lewisburg, W.Va. He was 88.

His daughter Kristina Lindbergh mentioned the trigger was metastatic renal most cancers.

Mr. Lindbergh was one among the world’s earliest aquanauts. He explored the ocean depths, pioneered cave diving and took part in daring underwater restoration missions, together with one to discover a hydrogen bomb that was misplaced in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Spain in 1966.

The quest for journey was in his DNA. In 1927 his father piloted the first solo nonstop trans-Atlantic flight in history, an epic feat that made him arguably the greatest celeb in the world. Colonel Lindbergh and his spouse, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, a author and the first lady in the United States to earn a glider pilot’s license, have been glamorous symbols of the American can-do spirit, they usually flew throughout the world collectively, drumming up curiosity in the fledgling pursuit of aviation.

But their prominence additionally made them a goal — of awe-struck curiosity seekers, paparazzi and evildoers. On March 1, 1932, their 20-month-old son, Charles Jr., was kidnapped for ransom from their house in New Jersey and killed in what the press known as “the crime of the century.”

Between the kidnapping and the trial, Jon Morrow Lindbergh, the couple’s second baby, was born in Manhattan on Aug. 16, 1932. The start, for safety functions, befell in the house of his mom’s mother and father on the Upper East Side, Kristina Lindbergh mentioned by telephone.

His brother’s kidnapping, she mentioned, affected him profoundly.

“They now say that trauma experienced by the mother carrying the child does affect the baby,” Ms. Lindbergh mentioned. She mentioned Anne Lindbergh admitted years later, after a lot remedy, that she had been so frightened of the chance of one thing taking place to Jon, she didn’t enable herself to love him as a lot as she felt she ought to have.

He grew up with fixed safety safety, initially together with his mother and father at the closely guarded property of his maternal grandmother in Englewood, N.J. Even as a child he acquired loss of life threats. The New York Times reported in 1933 that two males have been charged with making an attempt to extort $50,000 from the household by threatening to kidnap Jon, then 6 months previous, in a copycat model of the snatching of his older brother.

His mother and father have been continuously absent throughout his early years, leaving him together with his grandmother as they flew to varied cities round the world on take a look at flights and promotional excursions. When he was 3, a automobile carrying him house from college was run off the street by photographers. The incident compelled the Lindberghs to search refuge in Europe in 1935.

They lived for a time in England, the place the press nonetheless pursued them, then bought a small French island, Ile Illiec, off the rocky north coast of Brittany. Jon, who went to college in Paris, was bilingual by age 5.

The household returned to the United States in 1939, fleeing the gathering storm of World War II. They moved usually, residing in Westport, Conn., on Martha’s Vineyard after which in Detroit, the place Charles Lindbergh labored in the aviation business, partially by test-flying bombers.

(Colonel Lindbergh, an isolationist who opposed America’s entry into the conflict and whom many noticed as a Nazi sympathizer, was barred from the armed forces by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. But he sought to reveal his patriotism by his work in Detroit and by flying fight missions in the South Pacific whereas commanding officers regarded the different manner, in accordance to A. Scott Berg’s 1998 biography, “Lindbergh.”)

The household lastly settled in Darien, Conn., the place Jon went to highschool and spent as a lot time as he may on Long Island Sound. “Always a loner,” Kristina Lindbergh wrote on Facebook, “he adored the ocean as a child, and it became the canvas on which much of his life was drawn.”

He went west to school, enrolling at Stanford; after a time he lived alone in a tent a number of miles from campus to keep away from dorm life. He studied marine biology; began mountaineering, skydiving and cave diving; and joined the Naval Reserve. He graduated in 1954, the similar yr he married Barbara Robbins, additionally a Stanford scholar. They had six kids.

After the couple divorced in the early 1980s, he married Karen Pryor, a famend animal coach. They divorced in the mid-1990s, and he married Maura Jansen, a veterinarian in West Virginia, the place he moved and with whom he had twin daughters. She survives him.

In addition to her and his daughter Kristina, Mr. Lindbergh is survived by the twins, Anne and Alena Lindbergh, and 5 different kids from his first marriage: a daughter, Wendy Lindbergh, and 4 sons, Lars, Leif, Erik and Morgan. He can also be survived by two brothers, Land and Scott; a sister, Reeve Lindbergh Tripp; eight grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

His father died in 1974 at 72; his mother died in 2001 at 94.

Jon Lindbergh earned his pilot’s license earlier than he went to school, however his father steered him away from aviation as a profession, believing that the fame of being Charles Lindbergh’s son would eat him, Kristina Lindbergh mentioned.

“Our grandfather was always worried about too much exposure,” she mentioned. “When my mother was pregnant with me, he told my parents that if I was a boy, not to name me Charles.”

And so whereas Charles Lindbergh had taken to the skies, Jon headed in the wrong way. After school, he did postgraduate work at the University of California San Diego and spent three years as a Navy frogman, working with the Underwater Demolition Team. He appeared as an additional in the tv sequence “Sea Hunt” and had bit elements in a number of films, together with “Underwater Warrior” (1958).

He additionally labored as a business deep-sea diver and took part in a number of diving experiments. They included a 1964 challenge in the Bahamas known as “Man-in-Sea” through which a submersible decompression chamber devised by Edwin Link allowed divers to keep deeper underneath water for longer intervals.

As a part of that challenge, Mr. Lindbergh and Robert Sténuit, a Belgian engineer, set a record by staying in a submersible dwelling for 49 hours at a depth of 432 ft, respiration a combination of helium and oxygen that allowed them to swim outdoors the dwelling with out hurt regardless of the monumental stress of the water above. Mr. Sténuit wrote an account of the experiment in the April 1965 difficulty of National Geographic.

Mr. Lindbergh was additionally concerned in the growth and testing of the Navy’s Alvin deep-ocean submersible, which he used throughout the restoration of the hydrogen bomb in the Mediterranean. An American bomber had hit a refueling tanker in midair and dropped 4 hydrogen bombs, two of which launched plutonium into the ambiance, although no warheads detonated.

He later helped set up Seattle’s water remedy system in icy waters as deep as 600 ft. Finding that he preferred the space, he purchased a secluded Georgian-style house on Bainbridge Island in the mid-1960s and raised his household there. He later farmed salmon in Puget Sound and in Chile as a part of an rising aquaculture business and bought the fish to airways and eating places.

Charles Lindbergh lived lengthy sufficient to see Jon flourish in his profession and was relieved that his son had not adopted him into aviation. “He removed any burden of his own career from his son’s shoulders,” Mr. Berg wrote in his biography, by telling Jon that a lot of what had first attracted him to aviation in the 1920s not existed.

“Thirty years ago, piloting an airplane was an art,” Charles Lindbergh advised his son, but it surely not appeared like an journey.

Rather than turn into a flyer, Charles Lindbergh added, “I think I would follow your footprints to the oceans, with confidence that chance and imagination would combine to justify the course I set.”



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