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Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Spatz, CS-796000-01, -40, 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, 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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Carl Spatz, ca. 1932 (Source: NASM)
Carl Spatz

Carl Spatz landed at Tucson and signed the Register six times between 1927 and 1931. He was a prolific figure in military aviation during WWI, through the Golden Age and into WWII and beyond. There are literally tens of thousands of Web references about him.

His experiences included aerial combat during WWI, record flights, base command and generalship during WWII, and he was the first chief of staff of the Air Force, appointed in 1947 by President Truman when the Air Force became a separate branch of the military services.

He was an Early Bird of aviation, having soloed before December 17, 1916. On August 12, 1951, the Reading Municipal Airport in Reading, PA was dedicated as the General Carl A. Spaatz Field. Why the difference in spelling of his surname? Spatz changed the spelling of his name to Spaatz in 1938 to emphasize the correct pronunciation of the long "ah", as in 'spots' instead of 'spats'. His nickname "Tooey" came from his supposed resemblance to a West Point predecessor named Toohey. See the Cosgrove Collection on this site for images of Spatz when he was "Spatz".

Carl Spatz was born June 28, 1891 at Boyertown, PA. He graduated West Point in 1914 and was assigned to Schofield Barracks, Honolulu. He transferred to the Signal Corps in 1915 and learned to fly in San Diego, CA, receiving his wings in June 1916. He was assigned to the 1st Aero Squadron and served with Pershing in Mexico.

He served in France during WWI, receiving the Distinguished Service Cross and promotion to major. One experience he had there was documented in Popular Aviation magazine, August, 1931. It seems he was not satisfied with his role as trainer of pilots in France. He arranged to acquire an armed fighter and flew east over the German lines to do some damage. The article is at the link (PDF 458Kb).

Spatz returned to the United States in October 1919 to take command of Kelly Field until 1921, commander of the 1st Pursuit Group, Ellington Field, TX and Selfridge Field, MI until 1924, then with the office of Chief of Air Corps in charge of the Training and Operations Section until 1929. We find him at Tucson on July 8, 1927 on his way to Langley Field flying a Douglas C-1C Transport, probably in formation with Ralph Royce.

At about the end of his stay with this Section, he and a group of fellow signers of the Register embarked, In a Fokker transport aircraft, on an endurance flight at San Diego on January 1, 1929. Below, courtesy of friend of dmairfield.org, John Underwood, is a photograph of Spatz just after their record flight. Note the "?" painted on his jacket.

Carl Spatz, January 10, 1929, Location Unknown (Source: Underwood)
Carl Spatz, January 10, 1929, Location Unknown (Source: Underwood)

A summary of the flight of the Fokker C-2, 28-120, "Question Mark" is found at the Cosgrove Collection (PDF 367KB; image, below, from this document). Spatz and his men landed at Tucson with this airplane on January 21, 1929 on their way eastbound, from San Diego to Washington, DC, after their endurance record. Other members of the crew listed in the Register were Ira C. Eaker, Roy Hooe, Elwood Quesada and Harry Halverson. See this link for another image of the "Question Mark" from the Klein Archive. And see this link, also from the Klein Archive, for another image of Spatz during WWII.

The Fokker Trimotor "Question Mark" (Source: NASM)
The "Question Mark"

As an interesting aside that you probably won't find in your Google searches for Spatz, I present this logistical scheme for the "Question Mark" flight that I found in the Spatz records at the Smithsonian (cited in the left sidebar). This PDF download (357KB; 9 pages) highlights specifically, 1) the responsibilities of the many personnel outside the aircrew, 2) flight schedules for the "Question Mark" and its support aircraft, and 3) procedures for air-to-air and air-to-ground signaling (the "Question Mark" carried no radios). If you enjoy esoteric military detail, you'll enjoy this.

After the flight of the "Question Mark", Spatz was ordered to Rockwell Field, San Diego, CA in May 1929 to command the 7th Bombardment Group through 1931. Along the way he acquired Transport Pilot license number 1555. See this link, and many others, for biographical details. Carl Spaatz died July 14, 1974 of congestive heart failure.


Dossier 2.2.165

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/17/07 REVISED: 10/29/07, 03/05/09, 03/15/10, 07/31/14

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