These 21 images document people and airplanes, military
and civilian, who not only landed at the Airfield, but also
contributed to the science and practice of aviation in peacetime
and in war.
Below, Augie Pedlar and Mildred Doran visited Tucson on
July 19, 1927. They landed at 9AM, stayed for two hours,
probably for these photo ops, and departed west at 11AM.
They would not visit Tucson again.
They were enroute
from Flint, MI to San Francisco, CA as Dole Race participants.
The departure date of the race was on August 16, 1927. The
airplane is probably Buhl Airsedan NX2915, "Miss
Doran", painted with red wings and nose, blue tail and
white fuselage. Pedlar is 24; Doran 22. They are accompanied
by a Navy Chief named Manley Lawing, who was slated to be
Pedlar's navigator for the Dole competition.
Lawing, Doran & Pedlar, Tucson 8/16/1927
Below, Lawing, Doran and Pedlar in front of "Miss Doran"
of Flint, MI. You can see the name lettered behind Miss Doran's
Chief Manley Lawing, Mildred Doran & Augie
Below, data on the back of the image above.
Lawing, Mildred Doran and Augie Pedlar
Lawing was disqualified as navigator by race officials and
a substitute was made by the name of Lt. Vilas Knope from
North Island, San Diego. Doran went along as passenger on
race day. As the data on the back of the first image, above,
states, Pedlar, the navigator and Doran were lost during
the Dole Race. No traces of them or their Buhl were ever
found. Details of Pedlar and Doran's Dole Race activities,
as well as all the other competitors, can be found in the
Forden reference in the left sidebar.
Wiley Post and Harold
Gatty (below) landed at Tucson on
February 17, 1931, about four months before their around-the-world
flight. Although their airplane wasn't identified, it was
probably the "Winnie Mae".
Wiley Post & Harold Gatty
Below, William Pryce, C.B.
Cosgrove, Jr., James B. Carroll and Ralph Baez.
Pryce, although not a signer of the Register, was a friend
of Cosgrove and his wife. Pryce later flew the Pacific Clippers,
and became senior pilot at Pan American later in his career.
James B. Carroll signed the Register three times as a military
pilot during 1928, 29 and 31. He was a lieutenant at the
time, later being promoted to captain. Ralph Baez signed
the Register at least once in 1931 as a Captain (there was
another, earlier signature by a Lt. "Baez" with no initial.
It was probably Ralph Baez). I do not know why Pryce, Carroll
and Baez accompanied the Cosgroves to Honolulu, unless it
was part of their air line or military duties.
The image is on the ship "President
Coolidge" at Honolulu during the voyage Cosgrove and
his wife made to the far east. Date: May 26, 1932.
William Pryce, C.B. Cosgrove, James B. Carroll,
E. Rowell and Francis T. "Cocky" Evans were
Marine Corp aviators. Rowell landed at Tucson three
times between 1926 and 1929. His visit on December 15, 1926
was identified in the Remarks column of the Register as a
"Transcontinental flight". He was westbound, remained in
Tucson overnight, and continued his way on to San Diego,
CA the next day at 12:45PM. Evans did not sign the Register.
Extensive references to Rowell (and some mention of Evans)
download >7MB). This download is a valuable book about Marine
Corps aviation and aviators from 1912-1940.
Ross E. Rowell (L) & Francis T. "Cocky" Evans With
Another three images of Ross Rowell straight from
Cosgrove's album. Note the deep gouges from the tail skid
in the center image. This bomber isn't recorded
in the Register. Location: San Diego, CA.
Ross Rowell, Date Unknown
Ryan, probably in San Diego, date unknown. Note
the beautiful machined texturing of the cowling, a hallmark
of Ryan aircraft.
T. Claude Ryan
Below, Dewey Simpson carrying C.B. Cosgrove, Jr. At first
glance this is just a frolicsome prank for the camera by
two 30-something young men. However, the importance of this
image is that Simpson and Cosgrove were the first two managers
of the Davis-Monthan Airfield.
Dewey Simpson was born in Laredo, TX June 21, 1897. He served
in WWI and saw duty in France. Upon discharge, he reenlisted
in the Army Air Service in July 1919 and was sent to Tucson
in 1925 as a noncommissioned officer in charge of the original
airfield located on the corner of 6th and Irvington
(the present rodeo grounds). On October 6, 1927 he, the Register,
and the airfield were moved to the location, which
was dedicated by Charles Lindbergh during his visit in September
1927, in the far northwest
corner of the present Davis-Monthan Air Force Base.
The date on the
image places it ca. 1930-1931. Cosgrove had been airfield
manager since 1928.
Dewey Simpson Carrying C.B. Cosgrove, ca. 1931
Another interesting thing about this image is in the background.
Lurking behind the far right pillar of the terminal building,
between it and the hangar, is a Lockheed Sirius. You can
just see the nose, propeller, landing gear and wings. Five
of this Lockheed model are signed into the Airfield Register,
all in 1930. One of them was owned by Joan
Shankle and Clarence
who were Tucson residents. I would bet money that the Sirius
behind the pillar is NC13W,
belonging to the Shankles. This link corroborates
The image, below, of Dewey Simpson, right, was dated October, 1928, about a year after he brought the Register to the Airfield. The person on the left is unidentified, but his belt buckle, worn to the left side of his pants, suggests he was either a pilot or a mechanic. Both wore their buckles off center so as not to scratch the paint on the aircraft they leaned on.
Dewey Simpson, Right, October, 1928
Below, are two of Cosgrove's images documenting the first
air-to-air refueling exercise of June 28, 1923. The event
occurred before the time of the Register, but the pilot of
the endurance airplane is Lowell Smith.
We find Lowell
H. Smith in the lower,
refueled airplane. Smith signed the Davis-Monthan Register
once on February 20, 1926. Two years earlier, he and his
fellow adventurers won the 1924 Mackay Trophy for their Douglas
World Cruiser voyage, which is highlighted with images taken
by Cosgrove at Tucson here.
But the image below has additional interest for us. It is
unique in that ALL of the personnel, on board both airplanes,
signed the Davis-Monthan Register.
Lowell Smith, 1923
How do we know this? The image, below, is of
the back of the image above. We find that the fuel handler
for Smith is Lt. John Richter, himself a pilot who landed
at the Airfield and signed the Register on September 14,
1929. In the upper, refueling aircraft, the pilot is Virgil
Hine who signed the Register September 25, 1930. His hose
handler was Lt. F.W. Siefert, who landed and signed the Register
as a passenger on January 30, 1928. If that wasn't enough,
their commanding officer, identified as Major H.H.
signed our Register on March 17, 1930 and August 23, 1933.
Lowell Smith Image Data
Spatz in typical Army Air Corps portrait from
Cosgrove's collection. Spatz changed the spelling of his
name to Spaatz in 1938 to emphasize the correct pronunciation
of the long "ah", as in 'spots' instead of 'spats'. He landed
at Tucson six times between 1927 and 1931.
General Carl Spatz
Below, Carl Spatz in front of the big, oil-spattered fuselage
of the Fokker C-2 trimotor transport 28-120 "Question
January 21, 1929. Refer to the last image of this download (PDF
367KB) to see all the members of the "Question Mark" crew
in the same relative position against the fuselage.
Carl Spatz January 21, 1929
Below, signed photo of Eric
Springer in a Curtiss Pusher, location identified as
Griffith Air Park, 1915. He became a management force with
Eric Springer, 1915
Stinson on the left, with unidentified gentleman. By
the clothing on Stinson, these images were taken at the same
time, probably during the Ford Reliability Tour of 1928,
which passed through Tucson July 10th.
(L), Date Unknown
Eddie Stinson (R) with B.F. Mahoney(?)
Below, Graham M. St. John was the pilot of this Douglas
Transport C-1, registration number 25-443, that visited Tucson
on April 16 and April 22-23, 1926. The records in the Register
for April 22-23
completely corroborate this series of images. St. John landed
April 22 at 6PM carrying Capt. R.W. Stone. They were eastbound
from Rockwell Field, San Diego, CA to El Paso, TX, Ft. Bliss.
They stayed overnight, departing on the 23rd at 11AM.
Another transport, not pictured, on the same itinerary,
signed the Register right after St. John. This transport
was piloted by Lt. H.M. Turner carrying a Capt. "Creed" (Creager?).
Yet a third transport is signed in just above St. John, piloted
by Ralph Stirling.
G.M. St. John
We find in the last image the three pilots of the group
of transports: Stirling, Turner and St. John (in the cockpit),
as well as passengers Stone and (probably "Creed")
in the person of Creager. Peggy
Pearson is not listed anywhere in the Register. From the
shadows, it looks like this image was taken
by Cosgrove sometime near their departure time on this sunny
and pleasant Friday morning in April of 1926.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/15/07 REVISED: 01/20/07