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

Doolin has a very sparse Web presence, focused mostly on his WWI experience and his work with the San Francisco airport.




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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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


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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I have very little information about pilot Bernard Doolin. A search of the Social Security Index turns up one close fit for a Bernard Doolin who was born January 21, 1897 and died in September, 1974. Does anyone KNOW if this is our pilot Doolin?

An article in the Oakland Tribune of October 19, 1928 states, "Bernard M. Doolin, better known to bay aviators as "Mike." [or "Mique"] has deserted Mills Field for the Oakland Airport, where he will sell Travel Airs for D. C. Warren & Co. He will demonstrate the plane and [give instruction to students]. Doolin took to the air in 1916. During the war be was with the Twenty Second Aero Squadron. He spent about eight months [closer to three months, see below] in France, part of the time at the front. He has been a figure in aviation around the bay since 1919. His friends were welcoming him to the airport yesterday."

22nd Aero SquadronDoolin, indeed, had a short but active combat experience during WWI. He went to Europe August 18, 1918 and returned to the U.S. on November 18, 1918, credited with one official aerial victory. Some of his experience is documented in this history of the 22nd Aero Squadron (insignia, left). A site visitor states, "Mique was known to be an artist. He was the man that painted the shooting star of the 22nd squadron on the spads. He told me when I was a boy that it was his design. That is how I remember it anyway.  It was about 1968 in San Mateo, CA. The first terminal at SFO was his design as well." I have one other example of his art works and it is exhibited over on Erik Nelson's Web page.

Doolin was featured in the Oakland Tribune on December 22, 1918 as he returned to the United States after the war, which ended just 6-weeks earlier on November 11th. Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for researching and sharing this article. I left the right-hand column of the article intact. None of the people mentioned in either article are Register signers.

Oakland Tribune, December 22, 1918 (Source: Tribune via Woodling)
Oakland Tribune, December 22, 1918 (Source: Tribune via Woodling)

The two photographs below, courtesy of a site visitor, are of Doolin during WWI. The first is of him standing by an Avro model, 1917.

Bernard Doolin, Avro, 1917 (Source: Site Visitor)
Bernard Doolin, Avro, 1917 (Source: Site Visitor)

The second was taken in 1918 standing by a Spad XIII.

Bernard Doolin, Spad XIII, 1918 (Source: Site Visitor)
Bernard Doolin, Spad XIII, 1918 (Source: Site Visitor)

Doolin landed five times at Tucson. He favored two aircraft. He landed three times in the Boeing 40-B-Y NC381 during 1929 and twice during 1931 in the Stearman 4EX NC/NR783H. He visited each time from his home base in San Francisco, CA. Notably, he carried C.B. Cosgrove on his landing on Friday December 13, 1929. On two occasions Doolin carried as passenger Sydney “Mike” S. Chadderton.  Mr. Chadderton was Manager of the Aviation Division for Standard Oil of California. NC783H appears once in the Parks Airport Register at the link.

Below, Doolin appears in the rear cockpit of the Boeing NC381. The source of this photo is the San Diego Aerospace Museum (SDAM) Flickr stream at the link. Four other photos of Doolin and this airplane are at the same link. On one of them, the unidentified man in the front cockpit appears to be holding a camera. From the context of the photos, Doolin was flying in formation with another Boeing, NC397E, which we can safely assume was piloted by fellow Register pilot Erik Nelson. Please refer to his page to view a drawing he made during or just after this flight. The date of the photos was September 15, 1929, and the location was somewhere between Cleveland, OH and New York.

Bernard Doolin (R) and Boeing NC381 (Source: SDAM)

In 1924, Doolin contracted to fly award-winning cinematographer James Wong Howe to shoot "Perils of Pauline." The cockpit photograph, below, courtesy of a site visitor, shows Howe, Doolin and movie camera ready for filming.

James Wong Howe (L) and Mique Doolin, 1924 (Source: Site Visitor)

Below, from site visitor Roger Holden, a photo of Doolin with a Stearman in Standard Oil livery. The Boeing he flew was “Standard of California #2”. This photo was probably taken after June, 1933 when Standard sold the Boeing. Mr. Holden says of the image, "B.M. Doolin standing in front of Stearman 4EX Special NC783H, one of 3 flown by Standard Oil of California, for whom he was Chief Pilot." Note that he signed his name as "Mique."

Bernard Doolin, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Holden)
Berhard Doolin, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Holden)

The Miami Daily News of Sunday, January 9, 1938 reported that Doolin, then manager of San Francisco's airport department, and a San Francisco colleague were in Miami to confer with Pan American officials in an effort to understand and drive the airline's requirements for a large land and sea plane port on the west coast. Doolin reported, "Nothing short of airports having runways 5,000 feet long and 300 feet wide, on a field having completely unobstructed approaches from all directions, will suffice." In 1947 Doolin was the manager of the San Francisco Airport.

His obituary from the San Mateo Times of Wednesday, September 18, 1974 is below, courtesy of Mr. Woodling.

Wednesday, Sept. 18, 1974


Bernard M. "Mike" Doolin, manager of San Francisco International Airport when it was merely Mills Field, and a fighter pilot in World War I, died Monday [September 16th] at Laguna Honda Hospital in San Francisco after a long illness. He was 78.

Although a resident of San Francisco, Mike had many friends on the Peninsula. He had been a part of it since his participation in a civic advisory group that selected the San Mateo county site as location for San Francisco's airport.

He served as its manager from 1932 to 1950, outlining plans for airport development as it is today. He then directed California's State Aeronautics Department for four years, and had since been an airport consultant for United Air Lines.

During World War I he had shot down four German planes while flying with the 22nd Aero Squadron. He was a member of the Quiet Birdmen, an exclusive group among aviators.

His health had long prohibited him from licensed piloting, but it is known that Mike Doolin was occasionally at the controls as recently as four years ago when he and San Mateo businessman Fred Williams made a cross country trip to bring a new plane from Wichita.

Doolin is survived by his wife, Margaret: two daughters, Margo Black, and Michele Moffitt of Los Angeles; a sister, Margaret Wallsten of San Rafael; and one granddaughter....



THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 05/12/10 REVISED: 03/22/14, 04/10/14, 12/10/14, 06/01/16, 06/30/16, 09/08/16

The Register

I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot Doolin and his airplanes to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.



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