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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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

---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 a 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


There is no data for NC5084 in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.


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This airplane was constructor's serial number 123. It left the factory on April 25, 1928 as a Stearman company demonstrator. I was equipped with a Wright J5 engine, S/N 8302. This information comes from this REFERENCE. I know nothing else about this airplane. There is no record of it at the Smithsonian.

Likewise, it is not currently registered with the FAA, although a record is still maintained that identifies it as a deregistered airplane. Its registration was cancelled August 29, 1937. At the time of deregistration, its owner was William S. Bowen of Boston, MA, according to the FAA record. If you know anything about this airplane, please CONTACT me.

NC5084 landed at least once at Tucson sometime between May 27 and 29, 1930. Based in Los Angeles, CA, it was flown by A.L. Warrender carrying a single passenger identified as J.C. Matson. Pilot Warrender did not cite a destination or the dates or times of his arrival or departure.

I say that 5084 " landed at least once," because it is safe to assume it landed earlier as part of the gaggle of aircraft and pilots who were competing in the 1928 Edsel Ford Reliability Air Tour. It was piloted by D.P.Levy during the Tour. Please direct your browser to the page for Bellanca NC6503. There you will see an image of 5084 amid a rank of Tour airplanes on the ground at Indianapolis, IN. Since Levy and 5084 placed 17th in the Tour, it is safe to bet that they landed at Tucson in July. Levy did not sign the Register.

Below, an image I acquired at the EAA Archives at Oshkosh, WI. The photo annotation identifies this engine as an R-915 (Jacobs), so this photo was probably taken sometime after the airplane was delivered. It has an arbor on the bottom of the fuselage and a tail wheel. I do not know what the arbor was for.

Stearman NC5084, Date & Location Unknown (Source: EAA)
Stearman NC5084, Date & Location Unknown

Below, three images of NC5084 as a wreck. The images are shared with us by filmmaker Nick Sparks. We can assume these photographs were taken during 1937.

Stearman NC5084 Wrecked, Date (Ca. 1937?) & Location Unknown (Source: Sparks)
Stearman NC5084 Wrecked, Date (Ca. 1937?) & Location Unknown

What a playground for boys in shorts and overalls, below! This day probably lived on in their memories for a long time.

Stearman NC5084 Wrecked, Date (Ca. 1937?) & Location Unknown (Source: Sparks)
Stearman NC5084 Wrecked, Date (Ca. 1937?) & Location Unknown

Note the landing wheels splayed outward. And the registration number is clear in the image below.

Stearman NC5084 Wrecked, Date (Ca. 1937?) & Location Unknown (Source: Sparks)
Stearman NC5084 Wrecked, Date (Ca. 1937?) & Location Unknown

UPDATE OF March 2, 2017 The photographs below are shared with us by site visitor Sig Hansen. The first one shows NC5084 sometime during the mid-1930s, somewhere in, "Colorado, Arizona, Idaho, or California." The arbor visible in the photograph at the top of this page is not visible in this photograph. Note the hub-deep grass in this field. Mr. Hanson quotes his mother as stating, "Back in the day they could land and takeoff from almost any reasonably flat field or cattle pasture...."

Stearman NC5084, Somewhere in the West, Mid-1930s (Source: Hansen)
Stearman NC5084, Somewhere in the West, Mid-1930s (Source: Hansen)

The registration number is visible in this photograph. The number on the airplane in the background is not readable. It looks like a "Speedwing" model. Note the large, balloon tires. According to Mr. Hansen, the gentleman standing in front of the propeller was a relative, Grant Barney Schley II, who owned the airplane at the time. Schley was killed during WWII and was memorialized below in his secondary school yearbook from St. Paul's School in Concord, MA (graduated 1927). The article below is from the link.

Grant Barney Schley, Ca. 1943 (Source: Hansen)
Grant Barney Schley, Ca. 1943 (Source: Hansen)


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 10/14/09 REVISED: 11/23/10, 12/01/10, 03/02/17

The Register
I'm looking for photographs and information about this airplane to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.
A site visitor says of NC5084, "... it appears in the film 'Skyway' (1933) as an Airmail plane, with the name : "L.A.-Phoenix Express" on the fuselage. It is filmed on Alhambra Airport [Los Angeles]."
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