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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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


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Barry Morris Goldwater, Date Unknown (Source: findagrave.com)
Barry Morris Goldwater, Date Unknown (Source: findagrave.com)


Barry Goldwater visited Tucson at least once as a passenger with pilot W. Stuart Woodson. They landed in a Curtiss Robin, NC77H (S/N 448). They didn't leave a date in the Register, but their landing was sometime between Saturday, March 26 and March 31, 1932. They arrived at Tucson from Phoenix, where Goldwater lived.

To be fair, Goldwater signed his name in the Register as "B. Goldwater," so there's no guarantee he was THE Barry Goldwater. It's a safe bet, though, because he lived in Arizona, he was a pilot and there is a red check after the name. Red checks appear elsewhere in the Register signifying a VIP.

Goldwater, a 2nd generation American, was born January 1, 1909 (thus making him 23 years old when he signed the Register). His grandfather's name was Goldwasser when he immigrated to the United States from eastern Europe.

Stuart Woodson, his pilot, was cited as an aviator in the 1930 US Census. According to this biograpical sketch/interview from Flying magazine, January 2017 (PDF 880Kb), Goldwater learned to fly in 1928-29. He soloed in 1930, according to his biography published when he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) in 1982.

Goldwater was not a good student. As a consequence. his parents sent him to a military secondary school from which he graduated in 1928. He then attended the University of Arizona in Tucson, but left after a year to join his family's successful mercantile business. He married Margaret Johnson September 17, 1934.

He did well, in spite of the fact he called that move a bad decision. The 1940 U.S. Census placed him living in Phoenix, AZ at 5 West Manor Drive. That address today holds a large, stately home in a like neighborhood. His home was valued at $20,000. His occupation was coded as "President and General Manager" of a "Retail Department Store." Goldwater, at 31 years old, lived with his wife, Margaret (31), two sons and a daughter and three servants. He remained with the business into the 1950s.

I found little about his flying experiences during the 1930s. But the NAHF link states, "In 1939, when World War II erupted in Europe, Barry was not only president of Goldwater’s (the family store), but also a first lieutenant in the Army Reserves. Meanwhile, a great buildup of American airpower was underway and a flight training school opened at Luke field near Phoenix. As chairman of the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s Armed Service Committee that he visited the new field [sic]. When its commander discovered that Goldwater was both an Arizonan and a reserve officer, he quickly signed him up for a one-year tour of active duty with the Air Corps. The commander desperately needed someone who knew his way around the state."

Goldwater's wartime activities were summarized at the NAHF link as follows.

"Reporting to Luke in August 1941, Goldwater was quickly disappointed to find that his vision deficiencies and age disqualified him from pilot training. Instead, he became a public relations officer and also attended the Air Corps Supply School at Patterson Field. However, Goldwater’s camera was what finally opened the door to flying, for when he returned, he found that every new pilot wanted to be photographed flying his plane. Aloft in an accompanying plane, Goldwater took a photo of a pilot. Then his own pilot allowed him assume the controls and log the flight time.

"Soon after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Goldwater oversaw the building of an advanced flying school at Yuma, Arizona, where he earned his wings in 1942. As its director of gunnery, he helped to develop the vastly superior “curve of pursuit” training method, which revolutionized gunnery results and which the Army Air Forces adopted. In 1943, Goldwater transferred to the air transport command, ferrying warplanes and supplies to overseas war zones. Soon afterwards, he experienced his most famous war duty while serving as operations officer of the 27th Ferry Squadron. Goldwater volunteered to participate in the first and only attempt to ferry fighter planes to Europe. Taking off from New York in P-47 Thunderbolts equipped with extra fuel tanks, he and nine other pilots flew to Newfoundland. After reaching Greenland, they headed for Iceland, knowing that a forced landing in the frigid Atlantic meant certain death. Fortunately, they arrived safely in Scotland. It was an epic adventure for which Goldwater received the coveted Air Medal.

"Goldwater’s next assignment was as chief pilot of the “Crescent” supply route. Operating out of La Guardia, its C-54 transports carried vital supplies across the Atlantic to the Azores, then skipped across North Africa, and ended up in India, where America’s first B-29 bombers were based. Later Goldwater became chief pilot of the “Fireball” route operating out of Miami to Brazil, then across the South Atlantic to Africa and on to India. Goldwater sometimes showed his nonconformist personality as a chief pilot. When he found war-weary servicemen waiting for months for a ship home, he gave them a free ride to the United States in his empty planes–until an irate Army inspector ordered him to stop. Goldwater obeyed, but only as long as the inspector was on the base.

"Now fully qualified to fly four-engine aircraft, Goldwater repeatedly requested to be transferred to the bomber command. Instead, he received orders back to the U.S. to serve as Deputy Director of Operations with the 402nd Air Base Unit at Glendale, California, later to be redesignated as the 318th Fighter Wing and moved to Van Nuys. Upon the conclusion of the war, Goldwater left the service as a lieutenant colonel with four and a half years of active duty."

This article, from the Journal of the American Aviation Historical Society, Summer 1968, described a singular mission flown by Goldwater in 1943. It involved the first in-air delivery of single-engine fighter aircraft (P-47s) to England from the United States. There are contemporary photographs of him in the article.

Goldwater Grave Marker, May 28, 1998 (Source: findagrave.com)
Goldwater Grave Marker, May 28, 1998 (Source: findagrave)


His post -war activities included a return to his family business in Phoenix, which was sold in 1962. Also, he had remained in the Air Force Reserves and retired with the rank of Major General in 1962.

In politics, he was elected as a Republican from Arizona to the United States Senate, serving first from 1953 to 1965, then from 1969 to 1987. In 1964 he was the Republican nominee for President but was defeated by Lyndon Johnson. His exploits in Washington, DC are summarized at the NAHF link. His official biography from the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, 1774-2005 reads as below.


Senator from Arizona; born in Phoenix, Maricopa County, Ariz., January 1, 1909; attended the Phoenix public schools, Staunton Military Academy, and one year at the University of Arizona at Tucson in 1928; began business career in 1929 in family mercantile business; during the Second World War entered active service in August 1941 in the United States Army Air Corps, serving in the Asiatic Theater in India, and was discharged in November 1945 as a lieutenant colonel with rating as pilot; organized the Arizona National Guard 1945-1952; brigadier general in the Air Force Reserve in 1959 and promoted to major general in 1962; retired in 1967 after thirty-seven years service; member of advisory committee, Indian Affairs, Department of the Interior 1948-1950; member of the city council of Phoenix 1949-1952; elected as a Republican to the United States Senate in 1952; reelected in 1958, and served from January 3, 1953, to January 3, 1965; did not seek reelection to the Senate in 1964; unsuccessful Republican nominee for President in 1964; elected to the United States Senate in 1968; reelected in 1974 and again in 1980, and served from January 3, 1969, to January 3, 1987; did not seek reelection in 1986; chairman, Select Committee on Intelligence (Ninety-seventh and Ninety-eighth Congresses), Committee on Armed Services (Ninety-ninth Congress); awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on March 12, 1986; died May 29, 1998, at Paradise Valley, Ariz.; remains were cremated.

There is plenty of information online about Goldwater. While his early policy notions would have pleased Democrats, he later evolved to be very conservative and backed Richard Nixon in his fundamentally racist "Southern Strategy," which was conjured to neutralize Democratic president Lyndon Johnson's 1964 Civil Rights Act. Likewise, Goldwater's hawkishness did nothing to endear him to the majority.

Goldwater flew West May 28, 1998 from Arizona. A biographical sketch from findagrave.com is below. His grave marker is above, left.

US Senator. He served in the United States Army Air Corps during World War II as a Lieutenant Colonel and pilot making supply runs in the Asian Theatre (he remained in the Air Force Reserves and retired with the rank of Major General in 1962). He was elected as a Republican Senator from Arizona to the United States Senate, serving first from 1953 to 1965, then from 1969 to 1987. In 1964 he was the Republican nominee for United States President, running with New York Congressman William E. Miller was his Vice-Presidential Candidate. He lost the election to incumbent President Lyndon Baines Johnson, who soundly defeated him by a wide margin. When he retired from the Senate in 1987, he had served a total of 30 years. He died in Paradise Valley, Arizona in 1998. His son, Barry M. Goldwater Jr., served as a Congressman from California.


Dossier 2.3.7


The Register

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


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