View products that support dmairfield.org


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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. 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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-3-2.


Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
CulturalMotion PicturesFriendsNon Profit statusProducts and services
ReferencesPublicationsCollectionsGuest EditorsPress Coverage



"Sloan Taylor" was how he signed the Floyd Bennett Field Register, page 2, line 45. Like the others who signed that page, he entered no dates for arrival or departure. He did state that his "airplane" was a "Low wing Ford," that he carried his wife as passenger and that he arrived from Manhattan. "Low wing Ford" probably referred to the automobile, not the airplane. Compare the "Low wing Ford" with Frank Hawks' signature on the previous Register page. He entered for his aircraft a "DeSoto UGLX." In the case of Hawks, it appears he also arrived at the field by automobile (DeSoto) and spoofed the Register by stating that his craft had, "all-metal non collapsable wings."

Continuing, Taylor stated twice on the page "See (unreadable) Harwood." Oren Harwood appeared in the Register on page 1, landing April 1, 1933. Harwood was a Department of Commerce Inspector and flight examiner. Why he was at Floyd Bennett Field to see Harwood was unspecified (but, see below).

With these scraps of information, we can begin to build a picture of Sloan Taylor. He was born May 5, 1896 in Marshall, TX. The 1900 U.S. Census recorded him at age 4 living in Marshall, TX with his grandfather, William Sloan (64), grandmother, Elizabeth (62) and uncle, (Unreadable), age 22. Living with them was a cook, Lizzie Taylor and her two daughters. His grandfather's occupation was coded as "Capitalist." No mention was made of his parents in this Census.

The 1910 Census placed him at age 14 in Tyler, TX living with his father, Edward L. (45), mother, Elizabeth S. (39) and younger brother, Edward S. (13). His father was coded as a "Traveling Salesman" in the "Insurance" business. I found no other Census data for him, or any explanation of why he was living with his grandfather earlier.

Seven years later, his draft registration from WWI is below, dated June 5, 1917. He was 21 at the time of his registration. He was a student at Yale University. I have no information about his earlier education or home life.

William Sloan Taylor, Draft Registration, June 5, 1917 (Source: ancestry.com)
William Sloan Taylor, Draft Registration, June 5, 1917 (Source: ancestry.com)

As with many things, the details are in the fine print. If you look carefully at the diagonal printing at the lower left of this card, the text says, "If person is of African descent, tear off this corner." Some things change; some things remain the same. The not so fine print shows Taylor's signature. The handwriting closely matches that of John Fabian's, the draft registrar. It's safe to say that Sloan did not sign this registration form (but see below). H abandoned Yale and volunteered for the army during his sophomore year. He was assigned to the balloon corps. It is not clear when he learned to fly fixed-wing craft. See his obituary, below.

Sloan was married Saturday, January 2, 1926 to Lillian Horton of Chicago. Their wedding announcement appeared in the Dunkirk Observer (NY), January 8, 1926, below.

Sloan Marriage to Lillian Horton, January 2, 1926 (Source: newspapers.com)
Sloan Marriage to Lillian Horton, January 2, 1926 (Source: newspapers.com)


Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 10, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com)
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 10, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com)


From this form we learn that he and Lillian lived at 211 East 35th Street in Manhattan, and that he was employed by The News Syndicate Company. Taylor was, indeed, a newspaperman. Many articles appeared in local and national newspapers in the late 1920s and 1930s that mentioned him.

For example, during 1929, he made the local papers daily. He hosted a radio program for WOR, Newark, New Jersey. It was aired at 6:20PM and entitled "This Week in Aviation." Part of the WOR schedule is at left. Sloan's program appeared about halfway down the article. He had good positioning, right between Charlotte Robillard and her banjo, the sports, and the General Motors Program broadcast from the Astor Hotel. He might have driven to Floyd Bennett Field to interview Oren Harwood for an article, or for a spot on his radio program.

In June, 1930, he and Lillian were passengers on the first 2-hour flight of Eastern Air Express from New York to Washington, DC. Notice of the flight and the list of passengers appeared in the Eagle, June 14, 1930.

Finally, the Eagle of May 7, 1931 cited Taylor as an attendee of the 100th anniversary meeting in Brooklyn of the French Foreign Legion. On May 5, 1936, Sloan sailed from Veracruz, Mexico on the S.S. Siboney. He arrived in New York on May 12th. Mrs. Sloan was not with him. No purpose for his voyage was listed on the immigration form.

Sloan Taylor, WWII Draft Registration, April, 1942 (Source: ancestry.com)
Sloan Taylor, WWII Draft Registration, April, 1942 (Source: ancestry.com)


Sloan Taylor Signature As It Appeared in the Register
Sloan Taylor Signature As It Appeared in the Register
Chicago Tribune, February 12, 1944 (Source: Woodling)
Chicago Tribune, February 12, 1944 (Source: Woodling)


From the Register, his signature is at right. Compare this signature with the one on his WWII draft registration form, above. It is clear that the Sloan Taylor who signed the Register also signed this draft registration form.

Taylor lived a disappointingly short life. About two years after he registered for the draft, he flew West on February 11, 1944. According to his obituary from the Chicago Tribune February 12, 1944, left, and the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of February 13, 1944, below, he died of a heart ailment.

An interesting finding is that Sloan Taylor's younger brother, Edward Lee "Swanee" Taylor, was himself a well-known and respected aviator, perhaps moreso than his brother.

Swanee Taylor's brief obituary at the Arlington National Cemetery Web site describes him as "EDWARD L. TAYLOR, AVIATION EXPERT, 59."

He died in 1955 and is memorialized at the site as follows:

"ARLINGTON, Virginia - May 29, 1955 - Edward Lee (Swanee) Taylor, one of the most colorful figures in aviation during and after World War I, died of cancer today in Bethesda (Maryland) Naval Hospital.  He was 57 years old.

"For the last year and a half, ever since he learned he was suffering from the disease, Mr. Taylor had permitted himself to be used as a "guinea pig" in the cancer research center of the National Institute of Health. While science succeeded in arresting the spread of the cancer, it was unable to save his life.

"During World War I, Swanee Taylor and his brother, the late Sloane Taylor, were balloonists with the Army.  Swanee Taylor served for many years also in the Naval Reserve.

"Mr. Taylor was noted for his exploits as a "wing-walker" and pilot with the Gates Flying Circus during the Twenties.  He originated and ran the first "Powder Puff Air Derby" for women pilots.

"He devoted much of his life to promoting safe flying.  He produced many scripts for motion pictures and radio programs on that subject and served with the Civil Aviation Administration in the preparation of training films for new fliers. He also directed picture [sic] for the Princeton Film Center.

"Mr. Taylor was born in Marshall, Texas, and will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  He is survived by his widow, Mrs. Clara Taylor of Staten Island, New York, and a son, Lee Taylor." Swanee Taylor survived his brother by 11 years. Swanee Taylor has a modest Web presence. He was also a journalist and radio announcer, and was a talented mimic of snoring and sneezing and other vocal sound effects. He wrote articles and books, some co-written with his brother.

Taylor Obituary, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 13, 1944 (Source: newspapers.com)
Taylor Obituary, Brooklyn Daily Eagle, February 13, 1944 (Source: newspapers.com)



The Register

I'm looking for information and photographs of William Sloan Taylor to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.


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


Contact Us | Credits | Copyright © 2008 Delta Mike Airfield, Inc.
This website is best enjoyed in a 1024 x 768 screen resolution.
Web design by The Web Professional, Inc