The medal was designed by Robert Schulman, Graphics Coordinator for NASA
In September, 1977, Ben Abruzzo and Maxie Anderson attempted to cross the Atlantic in a helium filled balloon, the Double Eagle. The balloon crashed into the sea off Iceland.
Abruzzo, Anderson and Larry Newman, took off from Presque Isle, Maine, in the Double Eagle II, August 11, 1978. They landed in Miserey, France, August 17, after 137 hours and three minutes in the air. They were about 55 miles short of their goal, Paris. They became the first to cross the Atlantic by balloon.
Congress authorized gold medals to recognize the accomplishment. The medal was designed by Robert Schulman, Graphics Coordinator for NASA. Models were created by mint staff Sherl Winter and Philip Fowler. Bronze copies of the medal (USM 665) were sold to the public.
Abruzzo died in an airplane crash in 1985. Anderson died in a balloon accident in 1983.
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