Jon Lindbergh, the son of legendary aviator Colonel Charles Lindbergh, died at the age of 88, according to his family.
Lindbergh died of metastatic kidney cancer on July 29 at his home in Lewisburg, West Virginia, according to his daughter Kristina Lindbergh.
The son of a man who flew the first solo non-stop trans-Atlantic flight in history in 1927 managed to break free from his father’s shadow in his own daring marine exploits.
Lindbergh participated in various experimental diving projects as a professional deep sea diver, including “Man-in-Sea” in the Bahamas in 1964. Lindberg spent 49 hours in Edwin Link’s “Submersible, Portable, Inflatable Dwelling” at a depth of 432 feet while inhaling a helium-oxygen combination, becoming one of the world’s first aquanauts.
Lindbergh also worked on the development and testing of the Navy’s Alvin deep-ocean submersible, which was used to recover a hydrogen bomb in the Mediterranean. An updated version of the same submersible with an improved titanium pressure hall was used to survey the remains from the Titanic, which sank in 1912 after hitting an iceberg on its maiden voyage.
He was born on Aug. 16, 1932, five months after the kidnapping of his older brother, Charles Lindbergh Jr., who was killed in what was referred to as “the crime of the century.” Bruno Hauptmann, a carpenter, was convicted for his brother’s murder and electrocuted in 1936.
Lindbergh’s daughter told The Times his brother’s kidnapping impacted him profoundly.
“They now say that trauma experienced by the mother carrying the child does affect the baby,” Lindbergh said.
He earned his pilot’s license before we went on to attend Stanford University, but his father steered him away from an aviation career, fearing the the fame would consume him.
While at Stanford, he lived in a tent in Los Trancos Woods, was an active member of the Alpine Club, and made a pioneering dive to the undersea Bowser Cave in California, according to an obituary published in the West Virginia Daily News.
He earned a degree in marine biology, took scuba diving lessons, and joined the Navy’s Underwater Demolition Team.
Lindbergh had a brief acting career as an extra in the Sea Hunt television series and movies, including Underwater Warrior, in addition to his maritime achievements.
He had six children with his first wife, Barbara Robbins: Kristina, Wendy, Lars, Leif, Erik, and Morgan, and twins, Anne and Alena, with his current wife, Maura.
Lindbergh is survived by his wife, Maura, and their children from both marriages, as well as two brothers, Land and Scott, eight grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.