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This information comes from the biographical file for pilot Macready, CM-037000-01, et seq., reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, 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.


"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. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.


Air Force Times Oct. 1, 1979

Los Angeles Times Sept. 24, 1979.

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John A. Macready
J.A. Macready

John Macready was born in San Diego, CA on October 14, 1887, long before the birth of aviation. He attended Los Angeles public schools and graduated from Stanford University in 1912 with a degree in economics. He was the Pacific Coast light-weight boxing champion in 1924.

Beginning in the the early 1920s he was a test pilot for developing and testing an early General Electric turbo-supercharger. Over a period of six years he pushed an open cockpit biplane higher into the atmosphere exploring regions as high as 40,800 feet. He survived temperatures as low as -80 degrees F. and breathed oxygen straight from a welder's tank.

He landed only once at Tucson as a civilian pilot flying Lockheed Vega NC926Y, owned by the Shell Oil Company. Macready was the aviation manager for Shell. Click this link to see other images of him on this site.

He carried four unidentified passengers in this airplane painted orange-yellow with red trim and named "No. 4". They arrived on June 2, 1931 from Phoenix, having left San Francisco on their way to Douglas, AZ.

Below, an image of Vega NC926Y with Macready in vignette at the upper right corner. It is signed "Sincerely, Till we fly again. Capt. J.A. Macready."

John Macready, NC926Y, Signed Souvenir, Ca. 130-35 (Source: Howard)
John Macready, NC926Y, Signed Souvenir, Ca. 130-35 (Source: Howard)

Compare this photograph with the similar one at the airplane's link. Notice the difference between the portraits of Macready, while the image of the airplane remains the same. These souvenirs were probably given to passengers as a memento of their flight.

Earlier, Macready and fellow military pilot Oakley G. Kelly set a major east to west trans-continental flight record in May, 1923, when they flew a single-engine, high wing Army Fokker T-2 over the 2,625 miles from Mitchel Field, NY to San Diego, CA in 26 hours 50 minutes and 48 seconds. They contacted the ground only once over Ohio by throwing down a message that read, "Expect to have lunch in San Diego tomorrow. Everything all right. Averaging about 92m.p.h. and engine working fine." They executed their flight without beacons or radio communication or navigation aids, depending only on their compass, road maps, rivers and railroad tracks for landmarks.

Below, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum (SDAM), a photograph of their airplane, 64-233, on the ground with a contemporary automobile.

Fokker T-2 64-233, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)
Fokker T-2 64-233, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)

Below, Macready (L) and Kelly give perspective on the fuel and oil load carried by their airplane to get it across the continent (U.S. Army Air Service Official Photograph). An image and additional information about Fokker 64-233 is at the NASM Web site.

Fuel & Oil Load for the Record Attempt (Source: NASM)
Fokker T-2 Cargo of Fuel & Oil

Image, below of the airplane in flight (U.S. Army Air Service Official Photograph).

Fokker T-2 64-233 Aloft During Record Flight (Source: NASM)
Fokker T-2 Aloft

Below, a color portrait of Macready courtesy of the SDAM.

John Macready, Post-Transcontinental Flight, Ca. 1923 (Source: SDAM)
John Macready, Post-Transcontinental Flight, Ca. 1923 (Source: SDAM)


Their achievement had been preceded by two aborted attempts for west to east. The first attempt on October 5, 1922 ended when they couldn't get their heavily laden (with fuel) airplane over the mountain ranges east of San Diego.

John Macready, 1940 (Source: NASM)
J.A. Macready, 1940

The second attempt ended in Indianapolis a month later when a leaking radiator resulted in engine failure and a forced landing. Their final attempt from east to west on May 2, 1923 easily cleared the mountains, since the fuel most mostly burned off by the time they reached that far west.

Macready resigned from the air service in 1926, but was recalled during WWII and flew with the 12th Air Force as a Colonel. Image, right, from the Los Angeles Times 9/24/1979. John Macready died September 16, 1979 at age 91 at Mariposa, CA.




The following table summarizes Macready's many early achievements.

Macready Achievements


Dossier 2.1.117

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/13/07 REVISED: 10/12/07, 03/12/09, 01/06/10, 06/25/11

The Register

The souvenir photo is shared with us from the collection of Elmer and Carol Howard via their son, Kurt.



T-2 Book

The book, above, published in 1964 is entitled "The First Nonstop Coast-to-Coast Flight and the Historic T-2 Airplane". It presents the entire story of the preparations and execution of the flight. You may learn about the Smithsonian Annals of Flight series at the link. Or you may download a copy of the entire book by clicking this link (PDF 24MB). For other volumes in the Annals of Flight series, please see the REFERENCES.

Another image of their Fokker T-2 is available here on this site.

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