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This information comes from the biographical file for pilot Clagett, CC-281500-01, 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, while supplies last.


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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


Military Aircraft of the Davis Monthan Register, 1925-1936 is available at the link. This book describes and illustrates with black & white photographs the majority of military aircraft that landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield between 1925 and 1936. The book includes biographies of some of the pilots who flew the aircraft to Tucson as well as extensive listings of all the pilots and airplanes. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author, while supplies last.


Art Goebel's Own Story by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Available as a free download at the link.


Pilot Clagett has a slim Web presence. You can find a short online biography of Clagett and a brief chronology of military assignments (with another photograph) at the links.


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Henry Clagett was born Dec. 19, 1884 in Fort Wayne, MI. He attended the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) at West Point, NY and graduated with a B.S. degree in 1906. He learned to fly during 1917-18 at Kelly Field, TX. He was promoted to 1st Lt. in 1911, Captain in 1916 and Major in 1920. He held Transport Pilot license #1929. Below, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum Flickr Stream (SDAM), is an undated photograph of Claggett early in his career.

Henry B. Clagett, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)
Henry B. Clagett, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)

The SDAM did not identify the event or the reason for the congratulations of Clagett.

Henry Black Clagett, March 5, 1936 (Source: Beckstead)
Henry Black Clagett, March 5, 1936 (Source: Beckstead)

According to his grandson, Clagett was the four-year roommate of General Jonathan Wainwright at USMA; they are buried next to each other at Arlington. He was sent in 1907 to the Philippines to fight rebels. He was an aide to presidents Taft and Wilson, as well as a supporter and friend of Gen. Billy Mitchell. During 1916 he was with Gen. Pershing fighting the Mexican Border war.

Pilot Clagett landed at Tucson once, on Thursday, July 12, 1928. At this time, he was a Major and assigned as Air Officer of the 9th Corps Area, with headquarters at the Presidio of San Francisco, CA. He carried George Sykes as his sole passenger. They were flying an unidentified Douglas O-2H eastbound, arriving from San Diego, CA en route to El Paso, TX. They remained on the ground 15 minutes, departing east at 3:45 PM, which, at that time of year, would get them to El Paso before dark.

In 1930 he was promoted to Lt. Colonel and assigned as commandant of the Air Corps Prumary and Advanced Flying Schools, Brooks and Kelly Fields from 1931-35. In 1935 he was promoted to Colonel and to Brigadier General. He oscillated back and forth between Colonel and Brigadier between 1936 and 1940.

New York Times, May 18, 1941 (Source: NASM)
New York Times, May 18, 1941 (Source: NASM)


He was assigned October 25, 1940 to the 6th Pursuit Wing, Selfridge Field, MI. On March 15, 1941, he was assigned to the Philippine Department effective April 8, 1941. The article from the New York Times of May 18th, left, finds him in that role. In November, he was named commander of the Philippines pursuit interceptor force.

With the coming of WWII, Clagett was assigned as the Acting Commanding General of the U.S. Army Forces in Australia, Brisbane. In 1942, he was assigned as Commanding General of the U.S. Army supply base at Townsville, Australia. He received that assignment from fellow Register pilot George Brett.

In 1943 he returned to the U.S. and assumed the role of Commanding General of Sheppard Field, Texas.


Clagett retired from the military December 1, 1944 due to a disability acquired in the line of duty.   None of the records I examined gave any details about his disability. He died Nov. 14, 1952.


Dossier 2.2.55

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 05/08/10 REVISED: 12/04/13, 11/26/14

The Register
I'm looking for information about pilot Clagett to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

Thanks to Doug Beckstead, base historian at Elmendorf AFB, AK, for sharing his photograph of Clagett.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. What was it like to fly from Oakland to Honolulu in a single-engine plane during August 1927? Was the 25,000 dollar prize worth it? Did the resulting fame balance the risk? For the first time ever, this book presents the pilot and navigator's stories written by them within days of their record-setting adventure. Pilot Art Goebel and navigator William V. Davis, Jr. take us with them on the Woolaroc, their orange and blue Travel Air monoplane (NX869) as they enter the hazardous world of Golden Age trans-oceanic air racing.


Clover Field: The First Century of Aviation in the Golden State. With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great.



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