Pilot Eyes

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Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Booth, CB-435000-01, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), 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 at the link. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.


Evening World, November 11, 1929. This is the sole reference available at the National Air & Space Museum for pilot Booth.


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Edward Fearon "Doc" Booth, USMA Graduate, 1924 (Source: Norris)
Edward Fearon "Doc" Booth, USMA Graduate (Source: Norris)

From "Who's Who in Aviation" from 1928, we learn that Doc Booth was born in Spearfish, SD June 14, 1902. He graduated the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) in 1924. He was trained as an Army aviator (first solo October 17, 1924) during 1924-25 at Brooks Field and Kelly Field, TX. He was in the 3rd Attack Group from September 1925-July 1926, then served as a flying instructor at Kelly Field in July 1926. I have no information on when he left the military. He must have moved from Texas in the late 1920s, however, since "Who's Who" places him in New York in 1929, employed in aviation.

The photograph, left, is shared with us by his granddaughter who says about him, "Doc was a wonderful and gracious man, very reserved, meticulous but with a remarkable dry wit. He passed away in 1984."

On one occasion in New York he had a nightmare flight, with a different kind of passenger. It started when a young woman came to the airport where he worked to hire an airplane to take her for a ride. They entered and flew away in a Curtiss Robin monoplane.

At 1,500 feet, the woman asked from the rear seat for Booth to go higher. At 2,000 feet he turned around and noticed the woman sitting with her eyes closed as in meditation. Several minutes later he again turned around and saw the door open, and the woman tumbling through space toward the ground. The cabin was empty.

The headline of the (Long Island) Evening World of November 11, 1929 reads, "PILOT SEES PASSENGER GO THROUGH CABIN DOOR HIGH OVER VALLEY STREAM". Papers found in the woman's purse, which was left in the airplane, contained an unaddressed note, which indicated she intended to commit suicide.

After he saw the woman hurtling toward the ground, Booth immediately landed and reported the incident. Police found her body in a meadow about two miles north of the airfield.

The trauma of this event may have been too much for him, since it now appears he moved again to Texas. About a year later, Edward Fearon Booth landed at Tucson for the first of four times between December 20, 1930 and August 5, 1932. Each time he was flying one of two different Lockheed Vegas as a civil pilot. He was solo twice; the other times with multiple passengers. Both Lockheeds were based in Texas. The Vegas he flew were NC7805 and NC162W. From these links, you'll find out that both aircraft had varied and interesting lives, which, as with many of their contemporaries, terminated in accidents.

His granddaughter provides us (via Friend of Delta Mike Airfield, Inc., J.R. Hofmann) with this artifact of Booth's aviation life. It is his flight goggles, carefully preserved in their original metal case.

E.F. Booth's Flight Goggles (Source: Booth Family)
E.F. Booth's Flight Goggles (Source: Booth Family)

Besides his four visits at Tucson, he also is represented in the Clover Field Register, landing there once on Tuesday, December 23, 1930, flying the same airplane, NC162W.


Dossier 2.1.51

UPLOADED: 03/08/06 REVISED: 01/24/13, 04/26/13, 07/18/13

The Register
I am looking for images and information for pilot Booth. If you can help, please contact me via this FORM.


http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org 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, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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