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Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Robertson, CR-455000-01, 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, 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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Capt. W.R. Robertson landed once at Tucson, Tuesday, September 11, 1928. He flew the Curtiss Robin NC7496 (S/N 7). He carried his wife as passenger. Based at St. Louis, MO, they were westbound from Roswell, NM to Los Angeles, CA. They remained overnight in Tucson, continuing their flight to Los Angeles next morning at 7:00.

W.M. Robertson in Pilot, 1937 (Source: NASM)
W.M. Robertson in Pilot, 1937 (Source: NASM)

The good news about Robertson's airplane is that it is currently registered with the FAA and owned by a person in Guam. Because of that, there is no record for it at the Smithsonian (which only maintains records for aircraft that are no longer registered).

This REFERENCE, page 360, presents a tabular biographical sketch. Robertson was born January 25, 1897 at DeSoto, MO. He attended the University of Missouri from 1916-17. He was an officer in the Army. He was a 2nd Lieutenant from 1918-24; 1st Lt. 1924 in the Missouri National Guard (NG).

He went full time with the Air Service from 1924-1928, when he became a Captain in the Missouri NG, then in the reserves from 1929-36. He must have moved to Ohio, because from 1936-39 he was in the Ohio NG (with the 37th Observation Squadron according to the article at right). Note that he signed the Register "Capt." The date of his landing coincides with his service with the Missouri NG.

Robertson learned to fly at Souther Field, Americus, GA in 1918. He held commercial pilot certificate no. 401 (a very low number among Register pilots). He married Pauline Ann Slusher on August 14, 1924. As of 1942, the date of the reference, he had accumulated 6,300 flight hours.

In the late 1920s Robertson began work with the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) and moved through the ranks through the 1930s becoming chief of the general inspection branch by 1941. The article, right, from his NASM biographical folder (cited, left sidebar) provides a rambling look at how he was perceived by the aviators he regulated.

Among his CAA duties, he was the director of the Cleveland National Air Races (NAR) from 1929-39. According to the article at right, he was probably on his way to the NAR at Los Angeles in 1928 when he landed at Tucson.

Robertson was a member of the Quiet Birdmen. He died during September, 1980 at age 83 at Miami, FL.


Dossier 2.1.140


The Register
'm looking for photographs of pilot Robertson 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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