Edward Fearon "Doc" Booth, USMA Graduate, 1924 (Source: Norris)
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
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
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
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)
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.
UPLOADED: 03/08/06 REVISED: 01/24/13, 04/26/13, 07/18/13