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This information comes from the biographical file for pilot Dawson, CD-089000-01, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.

Leo H. Dawson is a founding member of the Order of Daedalians.

This site and this site refer to action during WWI by Lt. Dawson.


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.


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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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Leo H. Dawson, ca. 1910
Leo H. Dawson, ca. 1910

Leo Henry Dawson was born November 8, 1893 in New Mexico. He died January 29, 1962. in Los Altos, CA. Image, above, from John Dawson Pierson (right sidebar). It shows Leo Dawson as a youth on his father's ranch.

Leo H. Dawson During WWI, Date Unknown
Leo H. Dawson During WWI

His early combat exploits in France are recorded on the web (see references, left). He downed 4 enemy aircraft during WWI. He was a member of the famous 94th “Hat in the Ring” Squadron

On February 1, 1919 First Lieutenant Dawson, formerly 27th and 94th Aero Squadrons, was awarded the Distinguished Service Gross with Oak Leaf Cluster for action near Hortennes, France, on 19 Jul 1918, and Clery-le-Petit, France, on 4 Nov 1918.

Pilot Dawson landed at Tucson six times between December 1927 and December 1930. He carried one passenger on five of his flights, and flew Douglas and de Havilland aircraft. His home base for each flight was March Field in Riverside, CA. While most of his flights were to and from airports along the southern tier of states, his last flight was a solo venture between Rockwell Field, San Diego, CA and New York, NY in a Douglas O-38.

Who’s Who in Aviation” for 1942 identifies him as a command pilot and combat observer. He learned to fly in the U.S. Army Air Service 1917-18. His military record includes his commission as 2nd Lieutenant from 1918-27, 1st Lt. 1927-35, Captain 1935-40, Major 1940-41, Lt. Colonel 1941-42 and Colonel in 1942.

Later, Capt. Dawson became Commander of the 94th “Hat in the Ring” Squadron 31 Dec 1935 through 31 Dec 1937. During WWI, Lt. Dawson flew aircraft like this Nieuport 28 of the 94 Aero Sqn, below.


Colonel Dawson had a presence in the Pacific at the end of WWII. He was on the U.S.S. Missouri when the Japanese surrendered, below. Dawson is immediately above and to the left of General Wainright. According to his nephew, Dawson's mother circled his face with dark ink to be sure people could identify him!

Leo H. Dawson (in circle) at the Japanese Surrender at the End of WWII

After WWII Dawson was assigned to China. This PDF download (1.25MB) exhibits a letter that then Colonel Dawson wrote to his family from China in 1948. The letter provides us with an intimate look at the social "duties" of a high-ranking military officer based in a foreign land, China at least. Near the end of the letter "Mickey" is mentioned. Margaret Schreiner was Leo's third and last wife. She was known by the family as "Mickey".


Dossier 2.2.44

UPLOADED: 09/23/05 REVISED: 06/14/07

The Register
The images of pilot Dawson, and the letter (PDF file), come to us courtesy of John Dawson Pierson, nephew of Leo H. Dawson. Many thanks to John!


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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.


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.  Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-1-8.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. 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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-3-2.


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