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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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Ammon Kreider landed once at Tucson, Thursday, September 20, 1928 at 4:50PM. According to the Register, he arrived solo from Los Angeles, CA. he departed the same day westbound to El Paso, TX. He left no purpose for his trip, but it could have been related to the airplane he was flying, NC5624, a Kreider-Reisner (Fairchild) KR-31, S/N 164. Kreider was president of Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Co., Hagerstown, MD.

Kreider was born February 18, 1886 in The 1900 U.S. Census placed Kreider at age 14 living with his parents at 53 East Main St. in Annville, PA. That address today is a large, multi-family building with gray stone facing and a metal roof. His father, Aaron (age 36), was the proprietor of a shoe factory. His mother, Lizzie (35), was not employed outside her home. Little wonder, because Ammon was the oldest of six brothers that ranged in age from 14 to 2 years old. Living with them was Susan Hitz (35), a servant, and Ellen Brightbill (24), a boarder who worked as a hat trimmer.

Kreider's name appeared in the yearbook for Pennsylvania State College for 1908, but with no photograph or write-up, and only one activity: class football. I do not know if he graduated. He was married at age 23 in Harrisburg, PA to Nettie Susana Ellen Lockeman on March 22, 1909. Their marriage license is below.

Kreider-Lockeman Marriage Certificate, March 22, 1909 (Source: ancestry.com)
Kreider-Lockeman Marriage Certificate, March 22, 1909 (Source: ancestry.com)

The 1910 Census cited Kreider and Nettie living at 219 N. Catherine St., Middletown, PA. He was a superintendent at his father's shoe factory.

In 1917, at age 32, Kreider was registered for the draft during WWI. His registration card is below. We learn that he was of medium height and build, and had brown eyes and blonde hair. I have no records of military service, if any.

A.H. Kreider, Draft Registration Card, September 9, 1918 (Source: ancestry.com)
A.H. Kreider, Draft Registration Card, September 9, 1918 (Source: ancestry.com)


Kreider Obituary, Muncie Sunday Star (IN), April 14, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com via Site Visitor)
Kreider Obituary, Muncie Sunday Star (IN), April 14, 1929 (Source: Site Visitor)



The 1920 Census placed Kreider and Nellie at 4 Fourth Street, Lebanon, PA. This address today is a large, three-storey brick home that appears to be 1920 vintage. Kreider and Nellie had two children living with them, daughter Nettie Margaret (9; b. 9/27/10) and son Ammon H., Jr. (1), as well as a housemaid, Emma Kisling (30). His occupation was coded as a manager at the shoe factory.

I don't know when he learned to fly, but it was before 1923. An article from the Lebanon Daily News (PA) for August 14, 1923 reported that he was injured in an airplane accident, below. The Fourth and Cumberland Streets address agrees with that of the home he lived in at the 1920 Census, above.

Lebanon Daily News (PA), August 14, 1923 (Source: newspapers.com via Site Visitor)
Lebanon Daily News (PA), August 14, 1923 (Source: newspapers.com via Site Visitor)












Aviation must have bitten him hard, because he co-developed the Kreider-Reisner Flying Service with Lewis Reisner in 1925 and then the Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company (Hagerstown, MD) in 1927. This company moved into aircraft manufacture. The company designed and manufactured the Challenger series of three-place, open cockpit biplanes (C-2, C-3, C-4).

The airplane Kreider brought through Tucson was a Kreider-Reisner C-2 model, which became the Fairchild KR-31. It was similar to the airplane pictured below. He was a member of the Quiet Birdmen.

Kreider-Reisner C-2, 1927 (Source: aerofiles.com)







Unfortunately, Kreider flew West April 13, 1929 as the result of a mid-air collision at the Ford Airport, Detroit, MI. He was a participant in The All-American Aircraft show. His obituary appeared Sunday, April 14, 1929 in the Muncie Sunday Star, right, under the headline "2 Aircraft Officials Die in Fall." The article describes the circumstances of the accident. Apparently neither pilot saw the other. A similar article appeared in the Davenport Daily Times (IA), April 13, 1929. Kreider's death certificate is below. It was a horrible accident.

Reisner left the company soon after Kreider's death. The Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Company had been active in one form or another from 1923-1929. After Kreider's death and Reisner's departure, Kreider-Reisner Aircraft Co. was acquired by Fairchild in 1929. Fairchild continued to manufacture their KR- series into the early-1930s based upon Kreider-Reisner designs.







A.H. Kreider, Death Certificate, April 13, 1929 (Source: ancestry.com)
A.H. Kreider, Death Certificate, April 13, 1929 (Source: ancestry.com)

His survivors included his widow, Nettie (1884-1976), his daughter, Margaret Kreider, 16, a student at Goucher College and his son, Ammon, Jr., 10. Kreider's grave marker is below as it sits in the Annville, PA cemetery. Notice the Quiet Birdmen winged logo.

Ammon Kreider Grave Marker, April 13, 1929 (Source: findagrave.com)
Ammon Kreider Grave Marker, April 13, 1929 (Source: findagrave.com)
Aaron Kreider Obituary, Great Falls Tribune (MT), May 20, 1929 (Source:)
Aaron Kreider Obituary, Great Falls Tribune (MT), May 20, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com via Site Visitor)

His father, severely traumatized by the death of Kreider, passed away a short time later. His obituary from the Great Falls Tribune (MT), May 20, 1929, right, reported his passing.

None of his siblings survive today. I found no records for his children. Nettie's obituary appeared, below, in The Mercury, Pottstown, PA, February 9, 1976 (thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling).


The Mercury, February 9, 1976

Mrs. Nettie Bitler, 91 dies after brief illness

Mrs. Nettie (Lockeman) Bitler, 91, widow of Luther C. Bitler, 38 High St., died Sunday at Pottstown Memorial Medical Center, following a brief illness. Born in York, she was a daughter of the late W.E. and Cassie (Kraut) Lockeman. Mrs. Bitler lived in Hagerstown, Md., for most of her life. She moved to Pottstown one year ago, to live with her daughter, Mrs. Margaret Kilburn. She was formerly the wife of the late Ammon H. Kreider. She was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Hagerstown, Md. Surviving with her daughter is one son, Ammon H. Kreider Jr., Seattle, Wash.; and two sisters, Mrs. Agnes Adams, Chicago, 111.; and Mrs. Catherine B. Grove, Havertown; and two grandchildren....





The Register

I'm looking for information and photographs of Kreider 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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