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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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: C.B. Cosgrove Images


In this section of the Collection I present 18 images and one PDF download (39MB, big file because of detail!) containing 15 newsclippings in which Col. C. Burton Cosgrove, Jr. is the subject.

The images below of Cosgrove document his life in portraits from two to 93 years of age.

Age 2 20's 30's
40's 40's 90 Years Old
93 Years Old

Two images in uniform were taken when he was with the United States Air Force during and after WWII.

Two color images were taken during the late 1990's while in retirement in Albuquerque, NM.

Larger, uncropped views of these images are available here.


Airplane Ride Card
Ride Card

His son speaks of his father taking his first airplane ride as a boy at a barnstorming event for which this image, left, shows the location (Silver City, NM), type of airplane (Standard, a popular barnstorming model), altitude and speed reached. It is boldly signed by the pilot.

The fact that the original card remained in his collection for over 80 years is testimony to its meaning.

Compare this artifact with some of the items Hap Russell kept in his curio box.

Pilot License
Pilot License

At right is his private pilot license issued in 1930. From the frayed edge it appears it was carried in a billfold. The numbering system for pilot licenses beginning in the late 20s (federal licenses were required after 1926) was sequential. Thus, Cosgrove was the 1,990th person to acquire a federal pilot license. This is a fairly low number.

Other pilots of the Register enjoyed low numbers, too. For example, Clarence Young was number 2 (notice that Young, as an officer of the CAA, signed Cosgrove's license), Cloyd Clevenger was number 141, Phoebe Omlie 199, Ruth Nichols 326, Joan Shankle 417, and Wallace Beery was 3298.








Contrast the image above with the one below of his Air Corps Reserve pilot license issued in 1939. Besides gaining five pounds and stating his blood type, little has changed.

Military Pilot License
Military Pilot License

Below is an image of the black leather cover for his military license.

Military Pilot License Case, 1939
Military Pilot License Case


Image, below, of a single page from a Cosgrove album. The two images do not seem to be related to each other. They are split out below...

Album Sheet
Album Sheet

Below, the principals are identified as "?", Capt. Johnson and Hunting. "?" is a common symbol used throughout Cosgrove's photo albums when he was referring to himself.

"?", Johnson, Hunting
Three Pilots

This photo could have been taken February 20, 1926. On that date, Lt. L.E. Hunting arrived at Tucson in the late morning carrying as passenger Capt. Johnson. They were flying a deHavilland DH-4M2. Although difficult to tell the model in the picture, the aircraft above is a deHavilland.

Douglas C-1 Transport
Douglas C-1 Transport

Image, above is unidentified as to date or pilot. From the Register database there were 47 landings by C-1 Transports. None are in any way identifiable by the number 79. This is a nice starboard rear quarter shot of the model, however.


Images below of Cosgroves numerous membership cards for the Anciente and Secret Order of the Quiet Birdmen. The upper and bottom images are of metal cards issued by the organization. It seems the cards had to be of metal to withstand the partying engaged in by QB members.

Cosgrove's QB ID
Cosgrove's QB ID
Cosgrove's QB ID


The image below is of one news article that announces Cosgrove's role as a Travel Air dealer for Arizona and New Mexico. This PDF download contains this article, plus 14 others which range from 1928 and Cosgrove's early affiliation with the Davis-Monthan Airfield, and 1972 with the obituary of his wife.

Cosgrove TA Dealership


The image below was taken sometime during Cosgrove's tenure as field manager for American Airlines (1930-31). The person at left is Ben Fidler, radio operator for American Airlines. This image shows the AA Terminal in the background. The terminal was situated at the northwest end of the airfield. Its location now is under the roadway now called Alvernon Way.

Cosgrove (R) & Ben Fidler
Burt Cosgrove (R) and Ben Fidler

C.B. Cosgrove, Jr., left, with Mrs. Martin Jensen, Martin Jensen, B.F. Mahoney, H.A. Edwards & Harvey Bowlus. Image location and date are unknown, but the airplane behind them could be Jensen's specially modified Ryan, which he used to carry the MGM lion in a cage.

C.B. Cosgrove, Jr., left, with Mrs. Martin Jensen, Martin Jensen, B.F. Mahoney, H.A. Edwards & H. Bowlus
C.B. Cosgrove, Jr., left, Mrs. M. Jensen, Martin Jensen, Mahoney, Edwards & Bowlus


UPLOADED: 11/21/06 REVISED: 01/04/07, 02/12/07

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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