“In the early 1900s, local fairgoers were amazed by the daredevil exploits of early aviators like Bay City legend Lionel DeRemer and also a fellow Michigan flyer named Bud Mars from Muskegon. A hundred years ago, Mars had the reputation of being the most daring flyer in the country. It was said that he swooped under the bridges across the Mississippi River. While many of his compatriots died during exhibition flights, Mars survived numerous close calls and lived on to what then was a ripe old age.
“Mars was first to fly in Hawaii. On Dec. 31, 1910, before 3,000 paying customers in Honolulu. Hawaii was the first stop on the Curtiss Airplane Company’s 30,000-mile demonstration tour which included Japan, China, the Philippines, Siam, Singapore, Java, Persia, Africa, the Holy Land, Egypt, Spain, France, England, and ‘anywhere else bird men had not been seen before.’
“Mars was one of the first aviators to demonstrate flight in Japan, and that’s where he made history. He took the emperor, Hirohito, then 11 years old, on his first plane ride [in 1911].”
– “Final Quote Immortalized Bud Mars, Flyer Who Took Japan’s Emperor Aloft”, by Dave Rogers, MyBayCity.com, 2012
“Bud and his team flew exhibitions throughout the Far East in such places as the Philippines, Thailand, Siberia, Hong Kong, and Japan. In many of these places, such as the Philippines, he was the first aviator to grace their skies.
“He was surprised to find several airplanes in Japan, but not surprised to discover that they were all ‘in disuse because the officials did not understand how to manipulate them.’ After giving an exhibit of his flying skills there, the Japanese officials were so impressed that they immediately began working on their own airplanes and even bought one of Bud’s airplanes. Bud later observed: ‘I believe the keenest interest in the world in flying is to be found in Japan where the government is now actively engaged in experiments for military purposes.’
“… After nearly seven months in the Far East [Mars] returned to the United States where he was hailed as being the first American, and possibly the first aviator in the world, to almost completely circumnavigate the globe by airplane and ship.”
– The Mystery of Korea’s First Aviator, by Robert Neff, 2007