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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.


There is no biographical file for pilot Brill in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.


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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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George W. Brill, Ca. 1930 (Source: Woodling)
George W. Brill, Ca. 1930 (Source: Woodling)

George Brill landed twice at Tucson. Both visits were near the time of the 1928 National Air Races (NAR; September 8-16). He was, in fact, a competitor in the cross-country event that year. On Sunday, September 9, 1928, he landed flying the Travel Air he identified as NC6020. He was one of 42 Register pilots who stopped at Tucson for fuel and rest that day on their way to Los Angeles. He carried a single passenger identified as "Putnam." Based at Baldwin Park, CA, they were westbound from Lordsburg, NM to Los Angeles. At the end, Brill took 23rd place, finishing the New York to Los Angeles route in 44:44:06.

Brill's second visit was on Saturday, November 10, 1928. This time he flew the Travel Air NC6479. He carried a single passenger identified as Register pilot Dean Banks. Based at Los Angeles, CA, they were westbound from Wichita, KS to Los Angeles.

Portrait, left, is ca. 1930, near the time he flew for Western Air Express (note cap insignia for WAE).

But, back to the NAR. Thanks to site contributor and Guest Editor Bob Woodling, we have a nice series of news articles that cite the progress of the transcontinental movements of the aircraft and pilots involved in the 1928 NAR. Through them, you'll discover that Brill was newsworthy because at the early checkpoints he held up the rear of the pack. The following news article, datelined September 5th and from a publication not identified, summarizes the race positions at Columbus, OH. Brill is in 31st placed at this point.

Unidentified Newspaper, Ca. September 5, 1928 (Source: Woodling)
Unidentified Newspaper, Ca. September 5, 1928 (Source: Woodling)

Among Register pilots cited in the article (for whom there are biographies on this site) are Earl Rowland, James S. Charles (note discrepancy in middle initial in the article), Tex Rankin, Warren Smith, George Zinn, A.C. Carl, Marion Grevemberg (note misspelling of his last name) and A. W. Killips.

The following article, from the Morning Oregonian, Friday, September 7, 1928, goes into great detail about the cross-country event. Note this is page two of the article. I don't have page one. Earl Rowland would ultimately win the Class A race.

The Morning Oregonian, September 7, 1928 (Source: Woodling)

The Morning Oregonian, September 7, 1928 (Source: Woodling)

The Trenton (NJ) Sunday Times-Advertiser of September 9th features Register pilot George Zinn and his copilot. This article is datelined El Paso, TX on September 8th. Apparently, the whereabouts of Brill were lost for a short time. Mentioned near the bottom of the article are Register pilots John Livingston and Robert Cantwell.

Trenton (NJ) Sunday Times-Advertiser, September 9, 1928 (Source: Woodling)
Trenton (NJ) Sunday Times-Advertiser, September 9, 1928 (Source: Woodling)

The New York Times of September 10th, below, summarized the race near the end, as they passed through Tucson. An idea of how the various racers, in various types of aircraft differing in performance, spread out over the few days of the event is made clear in the first paragraph. They were, "... scattered from the Mississippi to Yuma, Ariz...." Rowland and Rankin jockied near the front of the pack, and Register pilots Eddie Ballough, John Wood, Charles Meyers, C.B.D. Collyer and Eddie Brooks are mentioned.

The New York Times, September 10, 1928 (Source: Woodling)
The New York Times, September 10, 1928 (Source: Woodling)


Numerous promotions in the pilot,
mechanical and traffic personnel of
TWA followed closely upon the an-
nouncement of the new 24-hour service.
Six former co-pilots were promoted to
pilots, five new co-pilots employed and
several shifts made in the assignments
of other pilots and co-pilots.-
Those co-pilots promoted to pilots
were D. L. Mesker, Harvey E.Bolton,
George E. Brill, all of whom are now
assigned to the Southern division flying
between St. Louis and Amarillo; S. D.
Welsh, assigned to the passenger flights
between Kansas City and Columbus;
S. M; Ferguson, Chicago to Columbus;
and R. G.) Hanson, reserve pilot at St.
TWA Skyliner, April 22, 1948 (Source: Woodling)
TWA Skyliner, April 22, 1948 (Source: Woodling)


During the 1930s-40s Brill flew for the airlines. He is shown at the top of the page in the uniform of Western Air Express ca. 1930. When WAE was merged into Transcontinental & Western Air (TWA) ca. 1931, Brill became a TWA employee. He flew as a co-pilot with TWA and was promoted to pilot as documented in a column in the TWA internal news, Line Squalls, for November 1932, right.


Brill passed away April 19, 1948. The article at left appeared in the TWA internal publication, Skyliner, for April 22nd. Born in August, 1902, he was only 46 years old.



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