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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.


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Floyd Bennett Field Register Pilot


E.F. Skocdopole, High School Yearbook, 1915 (Source: ancestry.com)
E.F. Skocdopole, High School Yearbook, 1915 (Source: ancestry.com)





Erwin Skocdopole was born May 4, 1897 in Waseca, MN. His mother was Sophia (Sachs; 1872 - 1956) and his father was Frederick J. Skocdopole (1870-1948). Photograph, left, from his 1915 high school yearbook. He would have been 18 years old.

Skocdopole has virtually no Web presence.. The 1930 Census listed his father and mother living in Bass Brook Township, MN. But Erwin F. was not with them. They did have three school teachers rooming in their home. The elder Skocdopole was an 1875 immigrant from Czechoslovakia. He owned his home, which was valued on the Census form at $1,000. His occupation was coded as "Cashier" in a "Bank."

I found no U.S. Census data for Skocdopole. That could be because the family changed their name to Scott. My search for Erwin Scott also came up dry.





Saline Observer (MI), April 14, 1932 (Source: Woodling)
Saline Observer (MI), April 14, 1932 (Source: Woodling)




This 1928 REFERENCE, page 165, documented Skocdopole's address as River Forest, IL. From information below, we know that he was a flying instructor in Chicago. The image below from the Brown County Democrat (IN), July 14, 1927, captures Skocdopole and four charter members of the first local women's flying club.

Brown County Democrat (IN), July 14, 1927 (Source: newspapers.com)
Brown County Democrat (IN), July 14, 1927 (Source: newspapers.com)

The people, from left to right, were Mrs. Irwin [sic] F. Skocdopole, Mrs. E. Gorney, Skocdopole giving instruction in hand propping, Mrs. E.L. Campbell and Mrs. A.L. Tourville.

The 1930 city directory for Ypsilanti, MI listed Skocdopole living with his wife, Grace W., at 108 Washtenaw Ave. This location today is a four-storey brick apartment building of 1930s vintage. There was no indication in the directory of his occupation.

However, both 1930 business directories from Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor, MI listed him as a pilot for Flo Flying Services, Inc. owned and operated by Clover Field Register pilot Leonard Flo. The Detroit Free Press (MI), November 3, 1929, below, corroborated the business directories. This brief article gives us a small look into his military service and his work experiences.

Increased Enrollment Taken Care of by Veteran Trainers - Increased enrollment in the Flo School of Flying, as well as an expansion of other divisions, have caused the Flo Flying Services, Inc., of Ann Arbor and Detroit, to increase Its personnel of pilots with the addition of Erwin F. Skocdopole and J. C. Shultz, both experienced flyers. Skocdopole was In Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh's class at Brooks Field, Texas. For the past four years he was a flying Instructor In Chicago and Cincinnati, being operations manager for three years with the Chicago Flying club. He is a licensed transport pilot with more than 2,000 hours and in addition holds a department of commerce mechanic's license.

In 1932 Skocdopole was cited in the Dearborn, MI directory as a pilot living with Grace at 5553 Bingham Avenue in Dearborn. That address today is a small brick home, probably vintage 1930s.

Skocdopole signed the Floyd Bennett Field Register on April 6, 1933 at 7:00PM. Based at Ypsilanti, MI, he flew the Hammond Model 100 NC12841 (S/N 201). This airplane was a three-passenger biplane constructed in 1933. It was manufactured by the Hammond Aircraft Corporation, Ann Arbor, MI. Below is a photograph of a Hammond Model 100 (not Skocdopole's airplane; not a Register airplane).

Hammond Model 100, NC13533 (Source: aerofiles.com)
Hammond Model 100, NC13533 (Source: aerofiles.com)


For at least a year, Skocdopole had been in a business relationship with the Hammond company that was described in the Saline Observer (MI), April 14, 1932, right. It is not clear what his role was in the company. Notice, however, that Dean Hammond, the founder and owner of the Hammond Aircraft Corporation, was his passenger that day and is signed just below Skocdopole in the Register.



Pottstown Mercury (PA), January 14, 1943 (Source: newspapers.com)


Skodopole's mechanic's license, military experience and flight training background would qualify him well for a sales position with the Hammond company. We could speculate that he was on a delivery flight to a new owner in the greater New York area.

I have no information regarding his activites during the rest of the 1930s. By 1943, with WWII in full swing, he was a test pilot based in Detroit, MI. I found one source that documented a B-24 demonstration flight that Skocdopole offered to his old flight school mate Charles Lindbergh.

Skocdopole flew West on January 13, 1943 at Wayne, MI. He was killed in the crash of a North American AT-6 bomber/gunnery trainer he was flying. Notice of his death appeared in many newspapers across the country. One of the sources, the Pottstown Mercury (PA), January 14, 1943, reported the accident, right. W.A. Pongratz was killed with him. I found no information regarding the reason for this accident.

Skocdopole was buried at Ann Arbor, MI. According to the Register, he flew with pilot certificate number 351. The 1928 REFERENCE linked above clarified that his pilot certificate was of the Transport type. His grave marker is below.


Erwin F. Skocdopole, Grave Marker, January 13, 1943 (Source: findagrave.com)
Erwin F. Skocdopole, Grave Marker, January 13, 1943 (Source: findagrave.com)



The Register

I'm looking for information and photographs of Skocdeopole 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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