Dr. Eric Hobson, professor of English, previously facilitated the donation of historical records from the Matto Grosso Expedition to Penn Museum and was recently featured in an article published on the museum’s website. He discovered the records after reaching out to Hans F. Due Jr., son of Hans F. Due who was a pilot in the expedition.
After understanding his unique collection of items, Hobson directed Due, Jr. to Penn Museum. Once visiting the museum, Due, Jr. donated documents and materials from the expedition including a map with flight patterns, letters from Pan American Airlines/Panair, a list of supplies taken on the plane, the Engine Handbook, a telegraph key, photographs taken by Due, Sr. and three letters to Due Sr. from financial backer on the expedition, Fenimore Johnson.
The Matto Grosso Expedition was a zoological and ethnographic expedition over the Matto (now Mato) Grosso plateau of western Brazil. Due, Jr. was assigned to Flight Operator to the NC146M for four months in 1931. This expedition was based in Desclavados, Matto Grosso, about one thousand miles from Rio de Janeiro.
Dr. Hobson will be releasing a book on the expedition soon, but in the meantime, he will be discussing the Matto Grosso Expedition and Brazilian General Candido Rondon in an upcoming issue of Expedition, the Penn Museum’s member magazine.