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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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E.C. McLeod, 1930
E.C. McLeod, 1930

In this section we have three letters written on McLeod's behalf during the early 1940s. Two of them are related to his work with Lockheed-Vega, and one requesting his involvement with the First Motion Picture Unit in the U.S. Army. The 2nd Lt. making that request is familiar to most.

When McLeod worked for Lockheed Aircraft Corporation during WWII, he was with Lockheed-Vega (note the hyphen), a subsidiary of the parent corporation. The Vega name is not referring to the famous wooden Vega represented by 147 landing records in the Davis-Monthan Register. But, perhaps, the Vega Division name was a way of acknowledging the heritage of the famous work horse wooden Vega.

Lockheed-Vega was responsible, early in WWII, to produce the Lockheed Hudson and Ventura, both patrol bombers. Later, Lockheed-Vega manufactured B-17 Flying Fortresses in partnership with, and under license by, Boeing. Below is his identification badge from that time. The badge is about 2.5" wide.

Lockheed-Vega, Chief Pilot Badge, Ca. 1942-43
Lockheed Aircraft, Chief Pilot Badge, Ca. 1942


Below, duplicated by a methanol-based, purple "ditto" process, is a memo from June 1, 1942 appointing McLeod as Acting Chief Pilot for the Lockheed-Vega Flight Operations branch of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. He replaced Register pilot Marshall Headle in that position.

If you follow Headle's link, you will read of an interesting corporate squabble that lies behind the scenes with regard to the following series of appointments.


Lockheed Interdepartmental Memo, June 13, 1942
Lockheed Interdepartmental Memo, June 13, 1942

Soon, below, McLeod is fully assigned as Chief Pilot as of December 1, 1942. Sometime in the transition of various chief pilots, Register pilot Milo Burcham assumed the role.

Lockheed Interdepartmental Memo, January 5, 1943
Lockheed Interdepartmental Memo, January 5, 1943

In a final memo, we find McLeod being "recruited" by Ronald Reagan, currently 2nd Lt. in the First Motion Picture Unit of the Army Air Forces based at Culver City, CA. Interestingly, two brothers, pilot Clarence Culver and passenger Harry Culver, were Register signers. Harry was the namesake for Culver City.

The date of this memo lies between the dates of the two memos exhibited above. It is not clear whether Lockheed-Vega quashed Reagan's request, or if McLeod fulfilled both roles. Unfortunately, there is a gap in his flight log books between May 18, 1942 and April 2, 1946, so we don't know what kind of flying he did during that period.

Memo From Reagan, October 23, 1942
Memo From Reagan, October 23, 1942


Besides these letters, we are fortunate to have other raw materials from across twenty years of pilot McLeod's life in aviation. As sometimes happens, the items in this Collection were at auction on eBay during February, 2011. Friend of, Tim Kalina, bid, won and donated all the items to Delta Mike Airfield, Inc. We owe Tim great thanks for sharing these artifacts with us. To review these other items, please direct your browser to the index for the Elmer C. McLeod Photograph and Document Collection.



The Register
I'm looking for photographs and information about Register pilot Elmer C. McLeod and his work at Lockheed-Vega to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.


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