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Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Keirn, CK-133000-01, -20, 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. Pilot Keirn appears on pages 158 and 164.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


General Keirn has a good Web presence with over 1,000 hits as of the upload date of this page. An Air Force biography is available at the link.


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Lt. Keirn visited Tucson twice, on May 11 and July 1, 1931. Both times he was in control of the Curtiss B-2 Condor bomber. Both times he cited his home base as San Diego, CA Rockwell Field. On his visit of May 11 he was part of a flight of 28 Condor bombers. He noted in the Remarks column of the Register, "In on May 11th 1931, Enroute to Dayton, Ohio for Air Corps Exercises."

Beyond the information from the Register, all I have from his NASM dossier is an Airforce Times obituary published on June 2, 1980. He was ranked General at the time of his death on May 11, 1980, forty-nine years to the day after his first visit to the Davis-Monthan Airfield as a lieutenant.

He was a 1929 graduate of West Point and entered the engineering field after completing flying training in 1930. He had been a pilot only for a year before he brought the Condor bombers to Tucson.

Later, he was chief of the aircraft power plant laboratory at Wright Field, OH, where he was a key contributor to the development of allied jet propulsion during WWII. In 1946 he participated in the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll. He later worked with the Atomic Energy Commission and was deputy chief of staff for research of the Air Research and Development Command, Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, and commander of the 109th Special Weapons Squadron, Bolling AFB, Washington, DC.

In August 1952, he became chief of the reactor development division, ARDC, and in 1953 was chief of the office of Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion. From 1957 until retirement, he was assistant chief of staff for development of nuclear systems at the Pentagon.

I have no photos or birth date information about General Keirn. Can anyone help?


Dossier 2.2.115


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



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.


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