View products that support


This information comes from the listings of Non-Prefixed and Non-Suffixed aircraft reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.


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.


The definitive reference for early Lockheed aircraft is:

Allen, Richard S. 1988. Revolution in the Sky: The Lockheeds of Aviation's Golden Age. Orion Books, NY. 253 pp.


Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
CulturalMotion PicturesFriendsNon Profit statusProducts and services
ReferencesPublicationsCollectionsGuest EditorsPress Coverage




This airplane is a Lockheed Vega Model 5 (S/N 160; ATC #384) manufactured during May 1931 by Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, CA.  It left the factory with a Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine (S/N 3898) of 450 HP.  It was a seven-place airplane.

It sold on May 28, 1931 to Parks Air College, East St. Louis, IL.  It is on this same day that we find this brand new airplane descending into Tucson a little after noon.  What a sight and sound that must have been! It was flown by J.M. Herschel carrying two unidentified passengers.  They were eastbound from Los Angeles, CA to St. Louis, MO on what was undoubtedly the ferry flight from the factory to its new home.

Parks kept NC972Y only four months before selling it to the Phillips Petroleum Corporation, Bartlesville, OK.  We find the airplane at Tucson for the second time on October 8, 1931 flown by Billy Parker.  He carried his wife as sole passenger.  They were eastbound from Los Angeles to Bartlesville. Parker was the aviation manager for Phillips.  The airplane remained with Phillips for five years. Below, NC972Y in Phillips Petroleum livery.

Lockheed NC972Y in Phillips Petroleum Livery
Lockheed NC972Y in Phillips Petroleum Livery

In 1933, during its Phillips tenure, NC972Y, below, was identified under its wing with, "Official Use National Air Races 1933".

Lockheed Vega NC972Y
Lockheed Vega NC972Y

On December 22, 1936 it was sold to Aero Transport Corporation, Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, CA.  It was used for charter and movie work for the next three years.

On January 30, 1940, NC972Y was sold to E. Duke Gartner of Palm Springs, CA. He kept it barely a year and turned it over on December 8, 1941, the day after the attack on Pearl Harbor, to Herbert L. White (California Aircraft Corp.), Metropolitan Airport, Van Nuys, CA.

A mortgage release held up its sale to the next owner, the U.S. Engineer’s Office, War Department, San Francisco, CA.  It finally was transferred to the government on January 8, 1943.  According to the NASM record, the airplane was to be operated outside the U.S. “per document #77499”.  It did not get a chance to do so, because it was destroyed in a hangar fire at Van Nuys on October 10, 1943. Burned in the same fire was our Fokker Super Universal NC9724.


UPLOADED: 06/22/06 REVISED: 07/07/06, 02/22/07, 02/20/09

The Register

Images courtesy of Tim Kalina, friend of dmairfield.

If you have additional images or information you'd like to share about this airplane, please use this FORM to contact me.

Contact Us | Credits | Copyright © 2008 Delta Mike Airfield, Inc.
This website is best enjoyed in a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.
Web design by The Web Professional, Inc