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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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

Elmer C. McLeod, right, signed the Register once at Tucson, Thursday, April 11, 1929. His was the 1,556th signature in the Register. He identified his airplane, signed his name and those of his two passengers, stayed overnight, climbed back in his Travel Air the next day and moved on at 7:30 in the morning. Please direct your browser to his link for more details about his flight through Tucson, including a chart of his itinerary.

We are fortunate to have extensive 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 (see below). Friend of, Tim Kalina, found, bid, won and donated all the items to Delta Mike Airfield, Inc. We owe Tim great quantities of thanks for generously sharing these artifacts with us. They provide a remarkable window into the flying life of one Register pilot.

I don't know where it will lead to have all these obscure photographs, documents and artifacts online. I'm fairly sure they'll be viewed more widely than if they were displayed in a glass case in a museum. All I ask is that if you download any of these items and your analysis leads to interesting discoveries, please SHARE your findings.


For your convenience in working through the materials, I have divided the McLeod Photograph and Document Collection into four sections. Click the highlighted titles to go directly to the sections. Throughout the Collection, if there is no "Source" citation in the photo captions, then the items are part of the Collection. Otherwise, I have cited the source. There are PDF files available in several sections for you to download and study at your leisure. You will need Adobe Reader 8.0 or greater to read them. Please direct your browser to the link to download (free) the appropriate version of Adobe Reader.


LOG BOOKS This section exhibits and discusses nine log books. Six of them are pilot flight log books covering twenty years between May 9, 1928 through March 31, 1948. These books record McLeod's flights on behalf of several different employers, including Pickwick Airways, Aviation Service Company and Lockheed Aircraft. They record his flights made with many different airplanes throughout the United States, Mexico, South America, Europe and Asia.

Uniquely, his log book covering June 27, 1935 to February 2, 1938 (q.v., PDF page 10) cites ten test flights by McLeod totaling over 13 hours made in the Lockheed 12A Electra NX/NR16040. This was the twin-engined aircraft Amelia Earhart flew to her Pacific disappearance on July 2, 1937. McLeod performed the final acceptance testing of her aircraft at the factory about a year earlier.

Log Book Pouch, Ca. Late 1920s
Log Book Pouch, Ca. Late 1920s

The log pouch, left, part of the Collection, was specifically designed to hold the 5.5" x 8.5" log format of the day. This is a canvas, snap-closure bag made of heavy canvas with a button hole tab at the top for attachment to clothing or a handy stud in the cockpit. A pencil holder is folded under the flap.

These pouches were commonly given to pilots by oil companies, in this case the Richfield Oil Company of California. McLeod penned his name in block letters. A second pouch of the same material, design and size was also part of the Collection. But it is plain brown with no printing on it. Compare this pouch with the one used by Register pilot Glover E. "Roxy" Ruckstell and now in the collection of the San Diego Aerospace Museum.

This section also exhibits a single engine log book for the Wright R-975 300HP engine installed in Ryan B-5 NC132W covering the period February 17, 1933 to July 22, 1935. It also exhibits an aircraft log book for the Douglas DC-3, NC63250. This book is an AIRCRAFT log, which usually is limited to recording routine and special maintenance activites performed on the aircraft. But, this one records flight destinations and times as well, and, since McLeod did not sign his name anywhere in this log, it is not clear if he was pilot in command of any of the flights. Only circumstantial evidence says that he was.

Finally, this section presents a single aircraft log book for Ryan B-5 NC132W covering the period October 24, 1930 to July 29, 1932. Separately, the Ryan landed once at Tucson while in the employ of Pickwick Airways on Tuesday, October 29, 1930. The pilot was Thomas Morgan, the founder and owner of Pickwick Airways. That flight is documented in this log.

It is not clear how or why McLeod was in possession of the aircraft and engine log books, since these documents are generally passed along with the airplane and engine when they are transferred to a new owner. Perhaps the two craft and the engine were destroyed, and ownership of the books became moot. Does anyone KNOW the history of the airplanes or the Wright engine?


E.C. McLeod, Pilot ID Card, Mexico, 1930
E.C. McLeod, Pilot ID Card, Mexico, 1930



TRAVEL DOCUMENTS This section exhibits six documents associated with McLeod's flights to Central and South America. The documents include a Mexican pilot identification card, and several Letters-of-Introduction which bear customs/visa stamps from Mexico, Venezuela, Brazil and other Central and South American countries.




E.C. McLeod, Photographs
E.C. McLeod, Photographs



PHOTOGRAPHS This section exhibits twenty-two photographs of subjects related mostly to McLeod's work at the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation.





E.C. McLeod, Lockheed ID Badge, Ca. 1943
E.C. McLeod, Lockheed ID Badge, Ca. 1942-43



LETTERS & ARTIFACTS This section exhibits four Lockheed internal memos and a copy of a letter to Lockheed from then 2nd Lieutenant Ronald Reagan. It also presents McLeod's Lockheed-Vega Division Chief Pilot ID badge, ca. 1943.




The eBay description of this collection of McLeod's artifacts is as follows. Everything that came with the lot, except for a single, incomplete magazine article, is displayed in the sections linked above.

"1930s-WWII - Elmer C. McLeod, Personal Effects & Photos

"These items were donated to the Oregon Air & Space Museum, Eugene, Oregon.  Not meeting the museum’s requirements for display, they have been deemed surplus, and are therefore offered for sale.

"Another early aviator, Elmer C. McLeod started as a barnstormer, doing some air racing, a transport pilot ranging from L.A. to Aberdeen, Washington, from early 1928 on... until hired by the Vega Division of Lockheed Aircraft Co., as a test pilot in the mid-1930s, and ultimately rising to the position of Chief Pilot in 1942.  This lot consists of 8 documents, 4 news articles, 21 photographs, the great majority of which are 8” x 10” in size, and his Lockheed-Vega Chief Pilot badge!  McLeod was the man who, on July 21, 1936, took Ameila Earhart as co-pilot on her first flight in the Lockheed Vega. (see 2 articles). [NOTE: the writer undoubtedly meant to say 'Lockheed Electra'; Earhart had already flown her Vega to several records well-before 1936]. There are also 6 of McLeod’s Pilot’s Log Books, from 1928 - 1942; and 2 Aircraft Log Books from 1930 - 1935, and one from 1946 - 1948.

Logs of the Elmer C. McLeod Collection, Ca. February, 2011 (Source: eBay)
Logs of the E. McLeod Collection, Ca. February, 2011 (Source: eBay)

"The 21 photos include shots of him from the 1930s through the 1950s... most but not all being during his time at Lockheed.  The “Phantom of the Sky” photo was a “mock-up” of a Lockeed 10 Electra, for a film that was being shot in the late 1930s.  Another Lockheed 10 (not shown) crashed in the Mojave Desert, and the 3 photos show the dismantling of what could be salvaged and then burning it. Six small snapshots show McLeod loading and ultimately ferrying a plane to  Capetown, South Africa.  The squarish photo of two men sitting at a table inside an airplane are E.C. McLeod on the left, and L.A. County Sheriff, Eugene W. Biscailuz; Lockheed provided aircraft to the Sheriff’s department (another photo behind the one mentioned here).  There is an early aerial photo of the Burbank Airport & one can see some Lockheed buildings, plus another aerial survey photo taken somewhere along the So. California coast... and more of McLeod in his role as Chief Pilot for Lockheed.

"The condition depends to some extent upon the type of item.  Most of the documents have file folds and the occasional dog-eared corner.  One is a modern photocopy.  The original was signed by Ronald Reagan (the actor)... in his WWII persona as a 2nd Lt., Personnel Officer in the AAF First Motion Picture Unit, Culver City, California.  Since the signature is unmistakably his, the donor wished to keep the original, which is quite valuable!  The two remaining are WWII-era mimeograph “carbon copies”, one of them having both file folds and several edge tears... but basically all there.  The news articles have been extracted from publications of the time, with some file folds.  The photographs range from Very Good + to Near Fine... the faults being bumped or creased corners, and a few light “pressure bends” extending into the image area of the photo.  Almost all of them would be ‘eliminated’ by matting the photo.  Of the 4-5 that appear in the image area, only 2 are going to be noticeable once matted and framed.  The badge is in excellent condition, and the pilot’s logs & maintenance logs, being items that received entries on a regular, if not daily basis, and therefore show they typical wear and tear at the corners and edges, and some degree of smudging here and there.  All in all, this is a great look into the life of a man who grew his wings in that very exciting period when the airplane was just coming into its own!

"Shipping weight is on the order of 3 pounds.  In order to properly protect the photos with all the weight of those log books, I don’t believe it can be done in a way to ship this via Parcel Post.  Therefore I will only send them via Priority Mail Medium Flat Rate Box, where I can separate the two groups from each other and pack filler into the space between so they won’t shift.  The extra $2-4 in postage (depending upon how close you live to Oregon) seems to me to be a ‘no-brainer’ when you consider the historic value contained in this group.  International bidders are invited to contact me for a quote to their country."



The Register
I'm looking for photographs and information about Register pilot Elmer C. McLeod and Ryan B-5 NC132W to include on this page. If you have any you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.


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