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This information comes from the biographical file for pilot Tinker, CT-33900-01, -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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.


"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. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.


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Clarence L. Tinker, date unknown (Source: NASM)
Clarence L. Tinker

Clarence Leonard Tinker landed twice at the Davis-Monthan Airfield as a major in the Army Air Corps. Click this link to the Cosgrove Collection on this site to see an image of Major Tinker on the ground at Tucson, probably during 1929. He led an important and illustrious life in aviation, terminated too soon.

Major Tinker signed the Register in January 7, 1929 and August 23, 1933. In 1929 he carried a single passenger, Master Sgt. Clendening in Curtiss A-3A Falcon, 27-310. In 1933 he was solo in Boeing P-12-E, 31-352.

He was born at Osage County, OK on November 21, 1887 of Osage Indian heritage. He was raised at Pawhuska, OK, Indian Territory. He attended Wentworth Military Academy from 1906-1908 and joined the military soon after. There is at least one other Osage who signed the Register, air racer and transport pilot Francis D. "Chief" Bowhan.

He served as a Lieutenant in the Philippine Constabulary from 1908 to 1912 and he was married October 8, 1913. He was then Lt. in the infantry from 1912-1917 and a Captain in the infantry 1917-1920. It was his experience in WWI, reported in the newspapers, that convinced Tinker that the military future lay in aviation.

While on duty as Professor of Military Science and Tactics at the Riverside, CA Polytechnic High School and Junior College, he transferred to the Air Service in 1920 and learned to fly at March Field, California. He held Combat Observer and Command Pilot classifications. From 1927-1930 he held command positions at the Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field, TX. He held the rank of Major from 1920-1935, during the period we see him at the Airfield.

General C.L. Tinker, ca. 1940 (Source: NASM)
General C.L. Tinker

After 15 long years of interbellum doldrums, he was promoted to Lt. Col. in 1935 and Colonel in 1936. These promotions came on the heels of his performance with the U.S. air mail. As Colonel he revamped the National Guard squadrons during a four year interim before generalship.

He became Brigadier General in October 1940, serving at MacDill Field, Tampa, FL as Wing Commander. His promotion made him the only American Indian general in the United States Army. In December 1941, at age 53, he was assigned as Chief of the Hawaiian Air Force at the outbreak of WWII.

General Tinker was killed in action during a bombing raid on Japanese ships near Midway on June 7, 1942. He became the first American General to die in WWII. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal posthumously, and a 3-day Osage dance was held a Pawhuska in his honor. The New York Times of June 21, 1942 said of the dance:

"Except for the inevitable modern touches -- the sightseeing townspeople in modern dress and the occasional automobile among the tepees -- the scene was much the same as in ancient times."

His portrait is enshrined in the Osage Indian Museum at Pawhuska. Tinker AFB, OK was named in his honor on October 14, 1942.

Below, an official Air Force photo courtesy of Major S. "Smash" Tobin, Tinker AFB pilot, and Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center History Office, U.S. Air Force.

Clarence Tinker, Date Unknown (Source: Tobin)
Clarence Tinker, Date Unknown


Dossier 2.2.6

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/23/07 REVISED: 02/19/08, 03/24/08

The Register
I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot Tinker and his airplanes to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.


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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