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Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Dinger, CD-456500-01 , 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.



"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. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.


Pilot Dinger has a very sparse Web presence.


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Harry Dinger landed at Tucson once, on September 17, 1928. He carried four passengers listed as the Honorable W. Frank James, Member of Congress, Major T.W. Hammond, Staff Sgt. Paul Ritter and a Private L'Esperance. They flew the Fokker-Atlantic C-2 transport, number 26-204. From the sources I have examined, it appears he was an "executive" pilot, flying VIPs around the country in transport aircraft (see below).

New York Times, January 13, 1929 (Source: Dinger)
New York Times, January 13, 1929

Based at Washington, DC Bolling Field, they were eastbound from San Diego, CA. They remained overnight in Tucson, departing the next morning at 6:00AM for Washington. There was no purpose cited in the Register for their journey. Dinger noted inscrutably in the Remarks column of the Register, "3-d".

The article, right, from the New York Times of January 13, 1929 cites a crash of a C-2 airplane near Washington. Mentioned in the article is Register pilot Lt. H.H. Mills. Dinger was not involved with this crash, having benefitted from losing a coin toss. His luck changed about 11 months later.

Below, from the New York Times of December 20, 2009, an undated photograph of Dinger. Dinger was killed on this day in an airplane crash. The details of the crash were not in his NASM biographical file, this news photo being the only item.

Harry Dinger, New York Times, December 20, 2009 (Source: NASM)
Harry Dinger, New York Times, December 20, 2009

A brief description of the circumstances leading up to his fatal crash, and the names of other people, including VIPs with him in his airplane, is in Time Magazine for Monday, December 30, 1929. The article suggests the airplane he was flying belonged to then Assistant Secretary of War and Register pilot Frederick Trubee Davison.

Below, Dinger's grave marker at the Arlington National Cemetery.

Harry A. Dinger, Arlington National Cemetery Headstone (Source: Dinger)
Harry A. Dinger, Arlington National Cemetery Headstone

Further to his life, Dinger wrote and published what amounts to a "dead reckoning" guide for military pilots flying from Mather Field, Sacramento, CA to Redding, CA via Marysville, CA. From the Aeronautical Bulletin (PDF 535KB) of September, 1923 we learn the distance to be 133 miles. He describes such landmarks as "... machinery shed with large blue and white ad on the roof" and "the junction of the Yuba and Feather Rivers". Alternate, forced landing areas were described as, "Landing may be made on large grain field on south side of [Yuba] city". In fine print in this document you will read, "Description reported by Harry A. Dinger, first lieutenant, Air Service, dated June 18, 1923. Airplane piloted by First Lieut. John W. Benton, Air Service." Fellow pilot John Benton was not a Register pilot.

He must have been promoted sometime between September, 1928 and August, 1929. He signed the Register in September '28 as a lieutenant. A brief entry in The Coast Artillery Journal (71:4, October, 1929, p. 319) states, "Congressman W. Frank James of Michigan,Chairman of Military Affairs Committee in the House of Representatives, accompanied by Capt. Harry A. Dinger, Air Corps, arrived in Pensacola, Fla., in a tri-motored Ford monoplane, August 5th, to visit and inspect Fort Barrancas and the Pensacola Naval Air Station. They departed August 6th."


Dossier 2.2.69

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 11/09/09 REVISED: 12/04/13

The Register
Thanks to Rod Dinger (pronounced with a long J sound; no known relationship to pilot Dinger) for sharing with us some of the information on this page. Mr. Dinger is the Redding (CA) Airport Manager.
I am looking for additional photographs and biographical information for pilot Dinger. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.
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