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There is no biographical file for pilot Foley 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


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.


Dunne, Edward F. 1933. "Illinois : The Heart of the Nation."


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Vic Foley landed once and signed the Register at the Davis-Monthan Airfield, Tucson, AZ on Thursday, September 17, 1931 at 2:55PM. He flew the Lockheed Vega NC898E (S/N 72) and carried three unidentified passengers. according to the book by Allen, Foley shared 1/3 ownership of this airplane during 1931-32. This airplane still exists. Many still photographs and a video of it are at its link.

Foley identified his homebase as East St. Louis, IL He and his passengers arrived at Tucson from East St. Louis and were westbound to Los Angeles, CA. The photograph below, right, from the St. Louis University Libraries (SLU) Digital Collection, shows Foley in 1928 as a Parks Airport, East St. Louis flight instructor. He is pictured on the ground at the Airport cropped from a grouping of fellow instructors. He carried a pencil in the breast pocket of his white, Parks Airport jump suit.

The group of instructors with him in the original photograph included Clyde Brayton, George Gruen, Harvey Glass and Jack Westcott, plus fellow Register pilots Harvey Parks, Billie Beal, George Lea Lambert and George Roberts. Please link over to the SLU site link above to see the complete photograph. Foley stands third from right in the original. There are several other photographs at the link that include Foley.

A couple of years earlier, on February 13, 1928, Foley was involved in an accident at Muscogee, OK as reported and highlighted in the 1928 accounting of aircraft accidents, below. He was probably barnstorming, and Mr. Quiett was his lucky passenger.

M.V. Foley, Barnstorming Accident, February 13, 1928 (Source: Woodling)
M.V. Foley, Barnstorming Accident, February 13, 1928 (Source: Woodling)

Foley was born February 14, 1900 in Philadelphia, PA (Census data suggests he was born in 1900, as does his grave marker, below). The 1933 biographical statement, below, is from the Dunne reference in the left sidebar and misstates his birth date.

His education background as written above is puzzling. Perhaps he was a wiz kid, graduating from a four-year university at 21 years old, and then followed his passion into aviation rather than practice law. I found no other information that would suggest he practiced law with his LL. B. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1921. Or it could be that Mr. Dunne, who wrote the biography, was in error when he wrote about his education.

Vic Foley, Flight Instructor at Parks Airport, Ca. 1928 (Source: SLU)
Vic Foley, Flight Instructor at Parks Airport, Ca. 1928 (Source: SLU)



Regardless, other than the biography from 1933, above, Foley was a difficult pilot to get a handle on. He has no Web presence that I could find. When I researched my standard newspaper sources, they were cluttered with "Vic Foley," a champion bantam-weight boxer of the 1920s, "Foley's Honey and Tar Compound," an alleged remedy for children's bronchitis and croupy coughs (mothers were "keen" about it) and "Foley's Pills," a diuretic compound.

U.S. Census data were a little more helpful. The 1910 Census, his first, placed him living with his parents in Philadelphia. His father was a foreman at an ironworks. He lived with three brothers and two sisters plus his parents. His father died in 1917 of heart disease.

The 1920 Census placed him as a seaman 2/c aboard the U.S.S. Schenck docked at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. His occupation was identified as "Sailor." His home address was coded as 137 Hermit St., Philadelphia, PA; same as in 1910. He was 19 years old and unmarried. That he was on a ship and in the navy also adds to the puzzle surrounding his education documented above.

His biography gives an account of the harrowing experiences he had in the U.S. navy during WWI. After WWI he spent time in China before transferring to Nicaragua. He was honorably discharged from the navy on July 30, 1921 at New York, NY, and as cited in his biography, furthered his personal flight training before entering employment as a flight instructor with Parks College.

In 1928, he was flying a passenger in North Carolina when he had a off-field landing due to engine trouble. The incident was reported in the local newspaper, below. It is not clear who or what "E.A. Mickey's commercial airplane" referred to.

The Mount Airy News
Mount Airy, North Carolina
June 21, 1928

Airplane Makes Forced Landing
When the motor began missing while on a flight over this city last Sunday afternoon, M.V. Foley, pilot for E. A. Mickey's commercial airplane, gently glided the machine to earth and landed in the pasture field of W.E. Merritt on Ararat river. The plane was doing its usual amount of Sunday business carrying passengers on short flights. The machine was soaring over the city and the pilot felt the plane slip back as one of the cylinders began to miss fire. The pilot played safe and did not attempt to make the flight back to the landing field on the Pilot rood [sic] but came down at the first suitable landing spot. So easy and orderly was the landing that the young man who was passenger did not know the cause of the sudden termination of the pleasure trip until he climbed out of the pit and inquired from the pilot. The engine was soon tuned up and running with a smooth purr but it required two hours to prepare a place from which the plane could rise. A part of the field fence had to be taken up and moved out of the way and when this was done the plane rose gracefully in the air and continued its flights of pleasure.


St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
Sunday, March 12, 1933

MISS HELEN CLANCY, daughter of Maurice Clancy. 2300 Ridge avenue, and Maurice V. Foley of Houston, Tex, were married Tuesday at nuptial mass at St. Elizabeth's Church. The Rev. Father Peter Engel performed the ceremony. Mrs. Charles Danley was matron of honor. Thomas Clancy, a brother of the bride, attended the bridegroom. After the ceremony, a wedding breakfast was served at the Clancy home. Mr. and Mrs. Foley have gone South on a wedding trip. They will make their home in Houston, Tex





I found no 1930 Census information for Foley. But, on Tuesday, March 7, 1933, he married Helen Clancy. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported their wedding, left. In 1940, the Census placed them at 429 24th Street, East St. Louis, IL. On Google Earth, that address today hosts a small, single-family brick home with a red shingle roof. It looks to be 1940s vintage. They rented their home for $25 per month. Living with them were their two children, Maurice, Jr. (6) and Judith (3). His occupation was coded as a "Flyer" at a "Flying School."

I examined documentation related to his application for WWI veteran's compensation. He won a grant of $400 on April 30, 1934. This probably helped a great deal to support his family as the Great Depression deepened.


M.V. Foley, Grave Marker, 1945 (Source: findagrave.com)
M.V. Foley, Grave Marker, 1945 (Source: findagrave.com)


I have no informaton about what he did during WWII, but, given his age and flight instructor status, he probably continued flight instruction. Foley flew West on November 1, 1945 in East St. Louis. Information around his passing stated that he was retired, which suggests, at his young age, he might have been ill. He was buried in Belleville, IL. His grave marker is at right. The other Maurice was probably his son, and the Marys were probably his mother and sister.

,According to the East St. Louis city directory, Helen, as his widow, continued to live in that city until at least 1957. I do not know when she passed away.

Foley also signed twice the Parks Airport Register, East St. Louis, MO.





THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 07/25/17 REVISED: 08/02/17

The Register

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


Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.


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