10 July 2012

Fauquier Heritage Institute Lectures in American History

For further information contact: Mr. Gar Schulin at 540-349-5864; or: [log in to unmask]


Fauquier Heritage Institute presents "The Search for Amelia Earhart"

By Gar Schulin

WARRENTON, VA - The 2012 edition of the annual Fauquier Heritage Institute Lectures in American History features distinguished local historians and nationally acclaimed scholars to address a variety of topics of regional and national significance. On Saturday, 21 July 2012, the Institute will host noted historian and Surgeon Dr. White M. Wallenborn, M.D., an authoritative source on the disappearance of American aviatrix Amelia Earhart with his presentation, "The Search for Amelia Earhart." The lecture will be held at 3:00 PM in the John Barton Payne Building, located at 2 Courthouse Square, on Main Street, in Old Town Warrenton, Virginia. Admission is free to the public.

On July 2, 1937, Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, radioed from her Lockheed Electra 10E aircraft en route from Lae, New Guinea, to their intended destination, tiny Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean, that they were running low on fuel with less than 30 minutes remaining with no land in sight in what would prove to be their final radio transmission received by the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Itasca, stationed at Howland Island for the rendezvous with Earhart. The Coast Guard cutter was standing by to assist in maintaining, refueling and sending the Electra on its next leg to Hawaii. Seventy-five years after their mysterious disappearance during her historic "Round the World" flight attempt at the Equator, the imaginations of America and the world remain gripped by the tragedy, as search expeditions continue for Earhart's plane which might provide more clues to perhaps the last great unsolved mystery of the 20th century.

Distinguished lecturer Dr. Wallenborn is a noted scholar, historian, Medical Doctor, U.S. Air Force Rated Flight Surgeon, instrument-rated commercial pilot and veteran Aircraft Crash Investigator for both the U.S. Air Force and the Federal Aviation Administration, He has collaborated with the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum curatorial staff on the Earhart disappearance; and for this special 75th Anniversary lecture, draws upon his expertise and exhaustive research of the case spanning over a half-century in a powerful and compelling presentation updated with new research and long-suppressed details which promise to reveal a greater understanding of the true fate of this pioneering aviatrix and her navigator.

Dr. Wallenborn is a 1951 Air Force ROTC graduate of the University of North Carolina with a degree in Chemistry; and a 1955 University of Virginia School of Medicine graduate. He is also a 1957 graduate of the U.S. Air Force School of Aviation Medicine; and served as a Rated Flight Surgeon in the Strategic Air Command, a B-47 flight crew member in the 19th and 379th bomb Wings, and Commanding Officer of the 379th Tactical Hospital. After discharge from the U.S. Air Force, Dr. Wallenborn completed residency in Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery at the University of Virginia in 1961. Dr. Wallenborn also served on the Clinical Faculty of the UVA School of Medicine from 1961-1994, retiring as Clinical Professor. Among his numerous community service, Board and Commission contributions, Dr. Wallenborn served five terms on the Charlottesville-Albemarle Joint Airport Commission; over thirty-three years at the Martha Jefferson Hospital, including service as Chief of Medical Staff, Chief of Surgical Staff and Board of Trustees; University of Virginia Health Sciences Foundation Board; National Council of the Boy Scouts of America; and Eagle Scout Class of 1946. Among his many awards and distinctions, Dr. Wallenborn is a UVA Raven Society and AOA Honorary Medical Society member; and he is the recipient of the UVA Medical School Alumni Association Outstanding Medical Alumnus Award (1999); the Medical Society of Virginia “Physician of the Year Award,” (1990); Medical Society of Virginia Award; the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award (1999); and Silver Beaver Award (1992). He is Past President of the UVA Medical School Alumni Association, Virginia Chapter of the American College of Surgeons and the Virginia Society of Otolaryngology, among others. Dr. Wallenborn has been honored by both the National Society Sons of the American Revolution and National Society Daughters of the American Revolution; and he most recently served as President of the Thomas Jefferson Heritage Society in defense of the great character, ideals and essential truths of Thomas Jefferson (

The Fauquier Heritage Institute was created to promote the study and love of Virginia and American history. To that end, the Institute hosts a yearly series of public lectures that seek to promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of our local, regional and national history. The Institute welcomes and encourages all volunteers wishing to assist with their programs, and may be contacted at: [log in to unmask]