Darius and Girenas

10 litas coin issued to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the flight across the Atlantic of Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas.

On July 15, 1933, Stasys Girėnas along with Steponas Darius, attempted a nonstop flight from New York City, USA to Kaunas, Lithuania - a total of 7,186 km, in a Bellanca CH-300 Pacemaker airplane named Lituanica. After successfully crossing the Atlantic Ocean in 37 hours and 11 minutes of nonstop flight, they crashed on July 17, 0:36 AM (Berlin Time) by the village of Kuhdamm, near Soldin, Germany (now Pszczelnik, Myślibórz area, Poland) due to difficult weather conditions combined with engine defects. Both aviators were killed in the crash. They covered a distance of 3,984 miles (6,411 kilometers) without landing, only 650 km short of their final destination.

Steponas Darius (known as Stephen Darius in the USA; born Steponas Darašius; January 8, 1896 in Rubiškė, now Klaipėda district of Lithuania – July 17, 1933 near Soldin, Germany) was a Lithuanian-American pilot.
Born in Rubiškė, in the Kovno Governorate of the Russian Empire, Darašius emigrated to the USA with his family in 1907. In 1917 he joined the United States Army, after the United States entered World War I, and changed his name to Darius. He served as a telephone operator in the 149th field artillery regiment, fighting in France, was wounded and was awarded the Purple Heart medal. In 1920 he returned to Lithuania, and joined the Lithuanian army, graduating from military school in 1921. He helped to organize the Klaipėda Revolt of 1923. While living in Lithuania he completed aviation training. In 1927 he returned to the USA and started working in civil aviation.
Living in Lithuania he was actively promoting various sports. He initiated building of first stadium in Kaunas, that later was named after him - the S. Darius and S. Girėnas Stadium. He used to play basketball, baseball, ice hockey, was practicing also boxing and athletics. Since he was first to publish booklets about basketball and baseball, he's considered the one that brought those sports to Lithuania. He was also first chairman of Lithuanian Physical Education Union, and a founder of Sporto Žurnalas (Sports magazine).

Stasys Girėnas (known as Stanley T. Girenas in the USA; born Stasys Girskis October 4, 1893 in Vytogala, Lithuania – July 17, 1933 in Pszczelnik near Soldin, Germany) was a Lithuanian-American pilot.
Born in Vytogala, in the Raseiniai District, he emigrated to the USA in 1910. As a young man he worked in printing house. He joined the United States Army in 1917, during World War I, where he was trained to become a mechanic. In 1919, after retiring, he worked for some time as a taxi driver in Chicago, at the same time learning to fly. He bought a plane and in 1925 he was injured in an air crash, but he continued flying and working in civil aviation. In 1931 have won the main prize in Chicago air festival for the best landing of the plane with its engine turned off.

Darius and Girenas


Darius and Girenas
Darius and Girenas
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KM# 94
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