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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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.


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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.


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J.S. McClure, 1926 (Source: Woodling)
J.S. McClure, 1926 (Source: Woodling)

J.S. McClure landed once at Tucson, Monday, August 19, 1929. He flew an unidentified Boeing F2B. Based at San Diego, CA aboard the U.S.S. Saratoga, he arrived amidst nineteen other naval aviators, each signed into the Register on the middle third of page 112. Other than the first six, including McClure, who signed their own names, the rest were entered by an unknown hand all at once. Please direct your browser to the link and review page 112. There you'll see that signers Chourre through Wick comprise the group of twenty. They all remained overnight at Tucson, departing the morning of the 20th for El Paso, TX.

What were twenty Navy pilots doing at Tucson all at once? They were on a grand cross-country flight headed from San Diego to Cleveland, OH and back to participate in the National Air Races (NAR) held August 24th-September 2nd at Cleveland that year. Lt. Cdr. Homer Wick was commanding officer of Squadron No. 1 based on the Saratoga.

J.S. McClure, Ca. 1940s (Source: Web)
J.S. McClure, Ca. 1940s (Source: Web)
J.S. McClure, 1998 (Source: Web)
J.S. McClure, 1998 (Source: Web)

Wick brought his entire squadron through Tucson on behalf of the NAR. During the 1920s and 1930s, the Navy ordered numerous activities by its personnel, ships and airplanes to build confidence in the naval force among the U.S. citizenry, to provide real-life training for personnel, as well as to encourage recruitment. Among the flyers and airplanes with Wick were the Navy aerobatic team named the "Nine High Hats."

McClure's job was to participate with other Navy pilots in event No. 21 of the NAR, the Navy Pursuit Race. It took place on August 30th and covered 100 miles in ten, 10-mile laps. According to the Aircraft Yearbook for 1930, sixteen navy pilots competed. While some of his Navy co-competitors were disqualified from the race because of fouled pylons, McClure was simply described as "out" of the event. I don't know the reason. Please direct your browser to Wick's page to see a tabulation and identification of all the men in his squadron. A brief biography and a nice presentation of photographs of McClure and part of his family, apparently provided by his children, are at the link. The photos above and news article below are from that link.

McClure was a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy (USNA), class of 1926. Below is his photograph and text entry into the Academy yearbook for that year. From the photos above, his concern about thinning hair came to pass.

J.S. McClure, U.S.N.A. Yearbook, 1926 (Source: Woodling)
J.S. McClure, U.S.N.A. Yearbook, 1926 (Source: Woodling)


Undated & Unsourced News Article (Source: Web)
Undated & Unsourced News Article (Source: Web)

From the Web site linked above, another image cites the award of the Legion of Merit for achievements while on duty with the Atlantic Fleet. At right is the undated, unsourced news article documenting the citation. Note he is at the rank of Commander.

I have no information about his role during WWII or his duties during the early Cold War until his retirement. If you can help, please let me KNOW.

JESSE SAMUEL McCLURE, 97, 540 Village Place, Longwood, [FL] died Monday, Feb. 19. Capt. McClure was a professor at Jacksonville University. Born in Canyon, Texas, he moved to Central Florida in 1981. He was a Navy veteran of World War II. Survivors: sons, Samuel, Winchester, Va., Robert, Winter Park; daughter, Susan Howard, Miami; brother, I.W.; sister, Ruth Collins.

McClure was born May 3, 1903 in Canyon City, TX. He graduated from Hillsborough High School in Tampa, FL in 1920. He retired from the Navy in 1956, moved to Florida and spent a brief time as an orange grower. He then went back to college for a teaching degree and taught math and general science before retiring from his second career. He died February 19, 2001 (undated, unsourced obituary, left). The obituary notes his rank as Captain.

He is one of a handful of Register pilots known to see the 21st century. See also, Bobbi Trout, Wm. T. Piper, Jr., John Miller, West Moreau, Busch Voights and Bob Buck. See also his fellow officer who accompanied him through Tucson, Cameron Briggs, who preceded him in death by about a month at age 96 on January 23, 2001 in California.



The Register
I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot McClure 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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