We're not sure if he had the luck of the Irish, but we'd argue he did, because pilot Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan might have died in obscurity if he hadn't had the good fortune to drift off course and end up in Ireland en route to Long Beach from New York during a 1938 trip.

Of course, whether or not he really went off course is up for debate, according to a remembrance at KPCC (89.3 FM): The American of Irish descent long wanted to embark on a then-rare cross-Atlantic trip but was denied by authorities. He wanted to emulate his hero, Charles Lindbergh, form whom he once worked as an airplane mechanic.

After the trip to Dublin, which he claimed was precipitated by heavy cloud cover and a bad compass, Corrigan was treated to a hero's welcome in L.A. and even had a film, Flying Irishman, made in his honor. “Honest, I meant to go to California,” he maintained.

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