Col. C.B. Cosgrove, Jr.

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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.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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: John M. Miller

What can be said of a pilot of John Miller's stature in the aviation community? He was an accomplished engineer, military pilot, barnstormer, record-setter, air transport pilot and test pilot. They just don't come more "Renaissance".

Not only that, but of all the Davis-Monthan Register pilots, John is one of three that I know of who are alive as of the upload date at the bottom of this page (the others are Robert N. Buck and William T. Piper, Jr).

The five images that follow were taken by Burt Cosgrove, Jr. at Tucson in 1931 during John's record-setting trans-continental flight with his autogiro. See John's link, above, for details. His flight from Poughkeepsie, NY to San Diego, CA was the first time an autogiro had been flown coast-to-coast. The record he set in 1931 was only bested in October 2003!

It is not certain, either from comments on the backs of the images (there were none), or from the recollections of C.B. Cosgrove, III, whether the pictures were taken on May 28th when John was westbound on his trip, or on June 21st when he was returning eastbound.

BUT, a little detective work let's us date the images during his westbound leg on May 28th. The reasoning is, in the image below, we see behind John and his autogiro a Loening amphibian (note the outboard pontoon on the left wing, and the three-bladed prop). In all likelihood the Loening is NC9772, which is cited in the Register right next to John, having landed just an hour earlier that morning. What a thrill for the lucky bystanders on this late spring morning to have these two unusual aircraft land simultaneously! And what luck for us to be able to date the images.

John Miller & PCA-2 Autogiro
J. Miller & PCA-2 Autogiro

Additional information on John's autogiro, NC10781, is available on this site. The image below shows warmup or taxi operation with rotor stationary. It shows the registration number to advantage on the rudder.

Just imagine Burt Cosgrove with his Leica framing and taking these shots during these moments in the life of the early Davis-Monthan Airfield! Could he have sensed that John's trans-continental record would stand for the next 72 years?

J. Miller & PCA-2 Autogiro
J. Miller & Autogiro

Image, below, in all its verticality, shows early departure taxi with rotors turning and Tucson mountains in the background.

John Miller & PCA-2 Autogiro
J. Miller & Autogiro

Image below, aircraft turned around and ready to take off for San Diego.

J. Miller & Autogiro Departing Tucson, 1931
J. Miller & Autogiro

Below, the obligatory Golden Age aviator's pose on the wing near the aft cockpit. Helmet flaps upturned; button-up leather jacket; necktie askew; striped (silk) socks; suitcase ready to be stowed in open baggage compartment. In a conversation I had with John, he mentioned a bad sunburn he got on his face during this flight. We can see in this image the edges of that burn defined by where his goggles fit over his eyes. SPF products were still 50 years away!

John M. Miller, Tucson, AZ, May 28, 1931
John M. Miller

Note the engine takeoff driveshaft and gearing that spools up the rotor just near his left ear. Note also the cable bracing geometry for the rotor blades. The rotors are fabric covered, and we can see a few dings in the leading edge surface of the blade facing us.



The Register

To use the photographs of The Cornelius Burton Cosgrove, Jr. Collection 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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