Six years before the success of Alcock and Brown the London newspaper Daily Mail offered a prize of £10,000 to
“the aviator who shall first cross the Atlantic in an aeroplane in flight from any point in the United States of America, Canada or Newfoundland and any point in Great Britain or Ireland in 72 continuous hours”
On June 15th 1919 the pilots Capt. John Alcock and Lieut. Arthur Whitten-Brown crash-landed their Vickers Vimy aircraft south of Clifden in the Derrigimlagh Bog. The flight from St. Johns in Newfoundland took the pilots sixteen hours. After an almost trouble-free start they ran into the first problems. Fog and a cloud reduced visibility were causing the first difficulties. Shortly after, the radio failed and conversation became impossible after starboard exhaust and silencer disintegrated. The two men were flying through hail, rain and snow. The freezing cold made the controls freeze up and Lieut. Brown hat to leave the cockpit on six occasions to manually clear ice from parts of the aircraft.
The pilots decided to land in County Galway and made landfall at the entrance of Clifden Bay. Their plan to attract attention by flying over the Marconi Wireless Station failed. They mistook a stretch of bog for a smooth green landing strip and chose this for their landing. Shortly after the wheels touched the ground they sunk into the bog and the nose dipped. Luckily neither Alcock nor Brown suffered serious injury from their dangerous landing. On the 15th of June after singing many autographs for numerous people they left Clifden. The men were headed towards Galway, Dublin and finally London to not only collect their price money of £10,000 but also being knighted by King George.