NOT SO MUCH RESEARCH AS JUST A REAL
On September 28-October 6, 2005, your Webmaster flew to
Tucson on an aggressive schedule of work. On September 29th
I spoke to the monthly luncheon meeting of the Order
of Daedalians at the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base Officers
Club. The Order is comprised of United States commissioned,
warrant or flight officer military pilots, (prop, turboprop,
jet, fixed wing, rotary wing) regardless of branch of service,
of powered, heavier-than-air aircraft who are on active duty,
retired, in the National Guard or Reserve, or who have separated
under honorable conditions, and all WASP. The order was founded
in 1935 at Maxwell Field, AL.
At the meeting, I spoke briefly and generally about this
website and how it was developed. Then I spoke specifically
about some of the Order pilots who signed the Davis-Monthan
Register between 1925 and 1936 (please refer, for example,
Howard and D.J.
Fully 24 of the 35 founding members of the Order
signed the Register. Do the math. That's close to 70% of
founders; an astounding statistic considering that Army Air
Corps bases at the time were distributed across the United
What was post-lunch discussion like, you ask? Well, consider
being able to speak with pilots who flew Mustangs to A-4s,
to A-10s, and all the fixed- and rotary-wing transport and
combat aircraft in between you can think of. And consider
the fact that most pilots are garrulous by nature. And
that, with all good humor, most of them are hard of hearing.
The level and breadth of conversation and laughter were impressive.
At left is your Webmaster with the modest, yet irrepressible, Ralph
Below, 62 members of the Order, including Col. Gibson, attended
the luncheon. I was invited and hosted by Lt. Col. (Ret)
Alan Thomas, a member of the Order.
On Sunday, October 2nd there was a gathering at Col. Thomas'
home. The purpose was to bring together principals from the
Tucson area with some experience or expertise with the old
Davis-Monthan Airfield. Included was the Hudgin family,
who operated the FBO at the old Airfield in the 1930s.
Some of those principals are shown in the photo at left.
From left to right they are: Don McDonald, Alan Thomas, George
Monthan, Your Webmaster, Henry Hudgin, Alfred Hudgin, Louis
How have these proud people touched the Davis-Monthan Airfield
and the Register? Don McDonald remembers seeing pilots and
visitors to the old Airfield sign the original Register.
His recollections helped identify some of the buildings and
the locations of lighting on the old field. I've added his
memories to the Airfield page. Significantly, Mr. McDonald
was a pilot for
J. Parker Van
Zandt's Scenic Airways.
Furthermore, Alan Thomas, our host,
learned how to fly at the old Airfield in 1938, before it
became the present Air Force Base. George Monthan is the
nephew of Oscar Monthan, after whom the Airfield is named.
He provided to our website an important image, which you
can see near the bottom of the page for Lindbergh's NX-211.
The Hudgins are, respectively, brother, great nephew and
nephew of Al
the FBO operator at the Airfield during the 1930s. In turn,
Al Hudgin, the elder, taught Alan Thomas how to fly.
Next, I spent a couple of days at the Arizona Historical
Society in Tucson, and in Phoenix with Louis Hudgin who allowed
me to scan for our website some of the images and memorabilia
passed down by his uncle. These images appear, and will appear,
in various places on the site, not the least of which is
the page for pilot Marie
Thanks, Alan, the Order of Daedalians, and all the Hudgins,
for the great time!!
UPLOADED: 01/14/06 REVISED: 02/16/05