C.B. Cosgrove, Jr.

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Burt Cosgrove was the manager of the Davis-Monthan Airfield from 1928 to 1932. As well, he was a pilot and airplane owner, and a competent amateur photographer. This collection of images comes from his Leica camera that he kept handy at the Airfield during his tenure.

The Cornelius Burton Cosgrove, Jr. Collection is important to understanding the role the Davis-Monthan Airfield played in civil, commercial and military aviation during the Golden Age. It gives us almost a day-to-day "movie" of the comings and goings of the people and airplanes of the era. It provides significant insight into the humanity and pioneering spirit of the people who give us the art and science of aviation here in the 21st century.

The images of the Collection are presented without touch up or modification, except for squaring margins, sizing and optimizing for web download. Unless otherwise indicated, they were scanned at 200dpi, using a Hewlett-Packard 4370 scanner.

Where some images may have interesting details viewed better at higher resolution, the scans were made at a higher dpi (300-1200dpi depending on details). These higher-resolution images are made available as PDF files, downloadable ad lib, so as not to slow display rates for the main pages.

The images are displayed without much technical commentary. Rather, the links will take you to further information, where available.

Take time to examine these important records of the Golden Age of Aviation. Enjoy everything!



Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.


http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org and the 10th year of effort on the project dedicated to analyze and exhibit the history embodied in the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ. This book includes over thirty people, aircraft and events that swirled through Tucson between 1925 and 1936. It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders. Order your copy at the link.


Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register, 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.


Art Goebel's Own Story by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Available as a free download at the link.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. What was it like to fly from Oakland to Honolulu in a single-engine plane during August 1927? Was the 25,000 dollar prize worth it? Did the resulting fame balance the risk? For the first time ever, this book presents the pilot and navigator's stories written by them within days of their record-setting adventure. Pilot Art Goebel and navigator William V. Davis, Jr. take us with them on the Woolaroc, their orange and blue Travel Air monoplane (NX869) as they enter the hazardous world of Golden Age trans-oceanic air racing.


Clover Field: The First Century of Aviation in the Golden State. With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great.



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Image Grouping ID: People Last Name A-C


Nine of the following eleven images are of people who signed the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register. One is of a letter to John Collings, and one is of the descriptive data on the back of H. Campbell's picture.

George H. Benefield, below, was an Air Corps pilot and officer, and one can only imagine the time it took to shine and lace the boots. In1929 he became manager of the new Pioneer Hotel in Tucson.

George H. Benefield, ca. 1918, France (?)
G.H. Benefield

Regarding that new Pioneer Hotel, click here to see another image of Benefield "on duty" at the Hotel and to have some fun with that Tucson landmark of the Golden Age!


Image, below, is of "Ace" Bragunier, the Davis-Monthan pilot I have identified as having the perfect pilot name. This must be an early image, because he looks very young. "Ace" landed at Tucson four times during 1928-29. Each time he carried passengers. Two of his aircraft, Ford NC1781 is pictured here and Ryan NC3648 is pictured here. He worked for a time for Maddux Airlines out of Los Angeles, CA.

Clarence "Ace" Bragunier, Date Unknown
"Ace" Bragunier


Pilot Cy Caldwell was a writer and editor.

Cy Caldwell, 1927
Cy Caldwell


Pilot H. Denny Campbell, below, shows proof that he was fired upon down in Mexico.

H. Campbell, ca. 1924
H. Campbell

The data below, from the back of the image above, tell the story. I did modify the contrast of this image for better readability, typos and all.

Campbell Image Data
Campbell Image Data


Pilot Ray H. Clark, below, date and location unknown, landed 14 times between 1925 and 1931. He was a military pilot during those years, based mostly in Texas and California. In this photo, his airplane was designed by George H. Prudden, 1896-1964. None of his landings was in a Prudden aircraft. Is that a parachute under the horizontal stabilizer?

Ray H. Clark, Date Unknown
Ray H. Clark


John Collings landed once at the Airfield flying Ford trimotor NC1102 probably under the auspices of Maddux Air Lines. He carried his wife, and H.L. Russell. Later in his career Collings was operating head of TWA, in which role he was sent the letter below by one of his line pilots, who proved to be a master of comic alliteration. The letter's author, Harry Campbell, was the 5th pilot hired by TWA. He taught C.B. Cosgrove, III to play chess.

The letter to John Collings, below, is shown without comment. It is one of the wonderful, fun items that illustrate the wit and comic sensibilities of the close-knit Golden Age pilot community.

John Collings Letter, 1940
John Collings Letter, 1940



B. Connell, 1930
R.T. Connell, 1930


Harvey Weir Cook is memorialized in Indiana by having his name attached to the Indianapolis International Airport. He was connected with aviation since 1917.

H. Weir Cook, Date Unknown
H. Weir Cook


Joe Crosson, below, signed the register May 19, 1929 flying Lockheed Vega NC857E. He was the pilot for the first Wilkens-Hearst Antarctic Expedition, which sailed from New York on September 22, 1928. He was the brother of Marvel Crosson, a budding female pilot who was killed 1929 Powder Puff Derby. A well-known arctic pilot, Crosson was tasked to fly the bodies of Will Rogers and Wiley Post back to the US from Alaska after their crash in 1935.

Joe Crosson, Date Unknown
Joe Crosson


Col. Clarence C. Culver is the brother of Harry Culver, Los Angeles real estate developer and passenger signator of the Davis-Monthan Register. As the image below might suggest, Col. Culver was at the forefront of communications for aircraft.

Clarence C. Culver, Date Unknown
C.C. Culver


UPLOADED: 01/10/07 REVISED: 12/25/11

The Register

To use these photographs for any purpose, please contact their owner:

C.B. Cosgrove, III at 5555 Zuni Rd., SE, Suite 206, Albuquerque, NM 87106

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