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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 here. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.


This link leads you to a book that 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. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.




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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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Following are twelve images of U.S. Army Air Corps aircraft from the Klein Archive that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. Whereas most of the flights by these aircraft to Tucson were what you might call routine, a few of them are notable because of the fame of the aircraft, or of the people who were flying or riding in them.

26-301 Consolidated PT-1, Date Unknown

At left, the Consolidated PT-1 with AAC number 26-301. Based at March Field, Riverside, CA, this airplane landed at Tucson on October, 31, 1927. The pilot, Lt. J.M. Bevans, remained overnight in Tucson and departed back to Riverside the next day.

This airplane was a basic trainer with a Hisso 180 HP engine installed. Bevans landed again at Tucson about two years later flying a DeHavilland trainer, still based at and returning to Riverside.



26-371 Boeing PW-9C, ca. 1927

At right, the Boeing PW-9C with AAC number 26-371. Based at Kelly Field, San Antonio, TX, this airplane landed at Tucson three times. The first landing was on 9/14/1927 piloted solo by Lt. W.A. Maxwell. He was on a long cross-country trip from Marfa, TX to Spokane, WA.

The second visit was on July 11, 1929 flown by Major A.L. Lund. Based in San Diego, CA this time, Lund was on his way from Yuma, AZ to El Paso, TX.

The third landing took place about a week later on July 19, 1929. The pilot was again Major Lund returning from El Paso to San Diego (Rockwell Field).


27-64 Curtiss P-1B, Date Unknown

At left, Curtiss P-1B 27-64 flown twice to Tucson. The first visit was on June 20, 1929 flown by Captain Ira C. Eaker. He was solo on his way from Rockwell Field, San Diego, CA to Oklahoma City, OK. Another airplane flown to Tucson by Eaker is Boeing P-12, 29-353.

The second landing was on March 29, 1930 flown by Major Fred H. Coleman. Based at Aberdeen, MD, Coleman was flying the airplane from Ft. Bliss in El Paso, TX to Mather Field, Sacramento, CA.

Interestingly, pilot Coleman was a member of the first graduating class in "Blind Landing" taught by Albert Hegenberger.


Fokker C-2 Transport 28-120, The "Question Mark"
Fokker 28-120, The Question Mark

At right, Fokker C-2 Transport 28-120, "Question Mark", landed at Tucson on January 21, 1929 at 4:15PM. The pilot was Carl Spatz. Spatz and his crew remained overnight at Tucson, departing at 7:00AM next morning. The location of this image is unknown, but see this link for an image of Spatz and the "Question Mark" on the ground at Tucson on the 21st.

"Question Mark" is a famous aircraft, because it set an early Army refueled endurance record on January 1, 1929. Refer to the link to Spatz' page above for an overview of the flight and just what kinds of preparations went into the endurance flight. The details are withering!

Although it is not clear from the Register, Spatz is identified here as pilot for the landing at Tucson, as he was listed first. Spatz was the official pilot and Eaker was the official co-pilot during the endurance run. As well as Maj. Carl Spatz, Capt. Ira Eaker, Sgt. Roy Hooe, Mr. H.J. Adamson, Capt. Ross Hoyt and Lt. E.R. Queseda are listed in the Pilot field in the Register.

Someone wrote "Question Mark" in the Passenger field. The name of the airplane was based on how long the crew thought they would remain aloft: they didn't really know.

Interestingly, the Army endurance flight coincided with an endurance record set by Bobbi Trout. Their airplanes were in the air at the same time and in the same vicinity. Spatz dropped a note of encouragement from the "Question Mark" that was shared with Trout.


28-129 Douglas O-2H
Douglas O-2H 28-129

At left is Douglas O-2H 28-129. It was flown by J.E. Upston to Tucson on June 25, 1928. Based at Washington, DC, pilot Upston was eastbound from San Diego, CA to El Paso, TX. He carried one unidentified passenger. He left no information in the Remarks column of the Register, so we don't know what the purpose of this flight was.

Upston landed one other time, on 9/6/1928, flying a Curtiss O-1 Falcon. He and his passenger, F.R. Neely, were westbound from El Paso to Los Angeles, CA.



Douglas XO-14, 28-194
Douglas XO-14, 28-194

At right and below is Douglas XO-14, 28-194. This airplane landed at Tucson somewhere during the third week of July 1930. It was flown by MSgt. J.L. Waugh. His passenger was SSgt. George Goodrich.

Interestingly we have two images of this airplane, but not a lot of information about the pilot or the history of the aircraft. The locations of the images are unknown.



Douglas XO-14, 28-194, Location Unknown
Douglas XO-14, 28-194

Note the change in rear cockpit configuration between the top and bottom images. In the bottom image, it appears that the gunner's machine gun mount was removed and a standard passenger cockpit was installed. It is not clear if the airplane in the bottom image was still on the military roster. Perhaps it was and was converted to a military hack, or surveyed and turned into a civil airplane. Does anyone know.




Douglas O-2K 29-179, Location Unknown
Douglas O-2K 29-179

Douglas O-2K 29-179 landed three times at Tucson. The first two times it was flown by H.A. Sutton on what appeared to be a quick visit to the west coast. Sutton was based in Dayton, OH at Wright Field. On March 2, 1929 he flew westbound through Tucson from El Paso, TX to March Field (Riverside, CA). On March 8, 1929 he returned eastbound from Clover Field, Santa Monica, CA through Tucson on his way back to El Paso and probably east from there.

The third visit by 29-179 was on November 2, 1929. This time the airplane was flown by Lt. L.S. Stranathan. He carried one VIP passenger, Congressman (Melvin) Maas. Based in Washington, DC at Bolling Field, Stranathan was carrying the Congressman from Rockwell Field in San Diego, CA to Ft. Bliss in El Paso, TX. There was no reason given for the trip.

Passenger Minnesota Congressman Maas (May 14, 1898 – April 14, 1964), however, was a Marine Corps officer and had a long political career beginning in 1926 and lasting through WWII. He was a watchdog of things military, and his opinions and statements have a modern ring (see, for example, this link, this one, and this one). He is buried at Arlington Cemetery.


Ford C-4 29-219
Douglas O-2K 29-127

This big Ford C-4 transport, 29-219, left, landed at Tucson three times between 1929 and 1934. For its first visit on August 12, 1929, it was flown by Capt. H.N Dwyer. Dwyer carried two mecanics and the Hon. W. Frank James (R-MI).

Representative James was Chairman of the Military Affairs Committee, which recommended in July 1929 that a "huge expansion" commence at Maxwell Field, Riverside, CA. James is sometimes called the "godfather of Maxwell Field". Perhaps this trip, which arrived from Ft. Huachuca and was northbound to the Grand Canyon, was to promote or help roll out Representative James' legislation.

The other military pilots who flew this airplane to Tucson were R.K. Giannoli (7/2/1931) and Lloyd L. Sailor (8/27/1934). Both were westbound to March Field, Riverside, CA, and both flew with many fewer passengers than their airplane was designed to carry. Sailor wrote in the Remarks column of the register, "Won't be long now", perhaps referring to his expected arrival on the west coast later in the day.


Below, members of the 1st Pursuit Group from Selfridge Field, MI. Photograph taken at Bettis Field, Pittsburgh, PA on November 14, 1926. The members of the Group were not identified on the image (but see below).

In June 2008, site visitor Carolyn Peat says, "... the occasion of them being at Bettis Field was the dedication of the airport being named for the late Lieut. Cyrus K. Bettis. I think the man third from the right without a hat and the center part of his hair showing, could be my father, D. Barr Peat." For additional in formation about Bettis and Peat, please direct your browser to this link

Below, Curtiss P-1 aircraft of the 1st Pursuit Group. This photograph was also taken November 14, 1926 at Bettis Field, Pittsburgh, PA. No numbers were visible on the original image.

Thirteen members of the 1st Pursuit Group landed two years later as a group at Tucson on September 7 and 18, 1928. Ten of them flew Curtiss P-1s, two flew transports and one flew a Douglas O-2H. They were eastbound from Rockwell Field, San Diego, CA to Selfridge Field, Detroit, MI. The members logged in the Register are: L.D. Bradshaw, John K. Cannon, William H. Doolittle, John D. Eagan, Julian B. Haddon, Frank G. Irvin, Trevor Kenyon, Frank D. Klein, Earnest Lawson, Frank Robinson, Robert L. Schoenlein, Rex K. Stoner and Victor H. Strahm. If anyone can identify any of these men in the image above, please let me know. Likewise, if you know why they were flying cross-country as a group, please let me know.


Below, a classic photograph of one of the Douglas World Cruisers (DWC), the "New Orleans". Although this airplane is not listed in the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register, the DWC fleet visited Tucson on September 21-22, 1924 (the Register was first opened at the Airfield about a year later). The fleet was just a week away from completing its round-the-world mission, begun April 6th, which terminated in Seattle, WA. They had logged 27,553 miles in six months and six days, with an actual flying time of 371 hours. They had touched down in 28 countries and had crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Please follow this link for more images on this site of the World Cruisers on the ground at Tucson.

Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) "New Orleans"
Douglas World Cruiser (DWC) "New Orleans"

Lt. Erik Nelson, who was the pilot of the "New Orleans" signed the Davis-Monthan Register five times between 1929 and 1931. Nelson left the Army after winning the Mackey Trophy for the Round-the-World flight. His later landings at Tucson were all in Boeing aircraft, for whom he worked at the time, based out of Seattle, WA.


UPLOADED: 09/23/07 REVISED: 02/07/08, 02/03/09

The Register


Warmest thanks are extended to BRUCE KLEIN, Owner of Bernie's Photo Center, Pittsburgh, PA. His foresight in acquiring image collections on various topics has significantly enhanced our understanding of people and aircraft of the Davis-Monthan Register. His warm and solicitous hospitality was much appreciated as I scanned and organized the images presented for the first time on this website.

And to the staff of the Photo Antiquities Museum of Photographic History, Pittsburgh, PA:

FRANK WATTERS, Executive Director of the Museum, whose enthusiasm for our work with the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register grew consistently as we worked with the volumes of images.

SCOTT YOSS, Senior Curator of the Museum, whose anecdotes and knowledge of photography and the graphic arts were much appreciated.


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