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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.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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During the period of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register, Oakland was a large airfield south of Oakland and east of San Francisco. It was an advanced airfield, with five hangars, a radio range beacon, weather reporting and traveler amenities (hotel, etc.) available at the field.

In 1927, the airfield was laid out as in the following schematic drawing dated August 1927. I exhibited this schematic lengthwise for better readability.

Oakland Municipal Airport, August 1927
(Source: Webmaster)
Oakland Municipal Airport, August 1927 (Source: Webmaster)


Oakland Municipal Airport, Ca. 1931
(Source: Webmaster)
Oakland Municipal Airport, Ca. 1931 (Source: Webmaster)



A short film shows the Oakland Airport operation circa 1928. Note the Boeing Model 40 mail planes, and the large Western Air Express Fokker F-10 trimotor. This is a silent film. Please let me KNOW if this YouTube link becomes inoperative.


At left, from this REFERENCE, page 54, a description of Oakland, ca. 1931. The entire field was available for landing and departing traffic. There were no formal runways except one, a long one on the south side of the field used for special flights (excessive loads). All this in 1931.


Oakland would be famous in spite of it being the departure point for two historic Golden Age flights. The first was the August, 1927 trans-Pacific Dole Race. That race was won by Register pilot Art Goebel and his navigator, William V. Davis, Jr. Two books about these by your Webmaster are available for your enjoyment. They are listed in the left sidebar.


The second flight was the unsuccessful around-the-world attempts by Amelia Earhart in her Lockheed 10A NR16040 (not a Register airplane). The first attempt was in March, 1937, which was terminated by a ground loop accident in Hawaii. Her second departure from Oakland was in May, 1937, and ended with her disappearance somewhere in the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937. There is a movie on that shows Earhart and her Lockheed on the ground at Oakland. The probablility is high that she appears in this film in March or May of '37.


Interestingly, the film was shot by one of the Oakland Municipal Airport's business owners. West E. Moreau operated out of hangar 4 at the field. Please direct your browser to his link to learn about this productive Golden Age aviation entrepreneur.







Oakland Municipal Airport, Ca. 1933 (Source: Webmaster)
Oakland Municipal Airport, Ca. 1933 (Source: Webmaster)


At right, from this REFERENCE, page 24, an aerial view of the northern California Oakland Municipal Airport, ca. 1933.

In 1933, Oakland Municipal was rated A-1-A by the Department of Commerce. At the field there was a radio range beacon station, Department of Commerce Aeronautics Branch Headquarters, U.S. naval Reserve Base aviation unit and radio telephone.

It was located six miles south of Oakland and seven miles east of San Francisco. It was irregular in shape and situated on San Francisco Bay (see photo). An advance from 1931, above, the airfield now had two gravel and earth runways, 7,050 ft. E/W and 3,500 ft. N/S. It was five feet above sea level. It had facilities for landing seaplanes north of hangar No. 5. There was no landing or flood light charge.

Day markings at the airport included the standard circle, "OAKLAND" painted on hangar No. 1 and on the road east of the field. A north indicator arrow was painted on hangar No. 2. For night operations, it had boundary and flood lights, and a rotating beacon with green code flashing "OK".

For communications it had telephone and two-way radio. Boeing Air Transport, Inc. maintained radio station "KFO" and the Department of Commerce maintained radio station "KCV". Weather reports were available on the field.

A modern hotel and restaurant were still at the field. Taxi rate to the city was 15 cents and buses ran every forty minutes beginning at 8:06 AM. Fuel, oil and hangars were available, as was a 24-hour licensed repair depot with licensed mechanics.

Below, from Popular Aviation (PA) magazine, June, 1935, is a view of the airport similar to the lableled one, above. Note, however, the new geometry of the channel at center right, which allowed for a seaplane launch. There are two aircraft aloft in this photograph.

Oakland Airport, Popular Aviation, June, 1935 (Source: PA)
Oakland Airport, Popular Aviation, June, 1935 (Source: PA)

Operators on the field included United Air Lines and eight flight schools: D.W. Wright's aerial school, W.H. Fillmore's aerial school, Monarch Air Service, Moreau Flying Service, Vowles Flying Service, Boeing School of Aeronautics and Derby Flying Club. Service, parts and accessories were available from Pacific Aeromotive Corp., Western Aviation Supply Co. and Spillane & Co.

Below, from this REFERENCE, page 22, a description of the airfield from 1937.

Oakland Municipal Airport, Ca. 1937 (Source: Webmaster)
Oakland Municipal Airport, Ca. 1937 (Source: Webmaster)

Below, from Google Earth, a 2010 view of the Metropolitan Oakland International Airport. The contemporary airport is built on the same property as the original. Note the latitude and longitude values at center and compare with the values in the description above. San Francisco Bay is in the lower left corner.

Metropolitan Oakland International Airport, 2010 (Source: Google Earth)
Metropolitan Oakland International Airport, 2010 (Source: Webmaster)

If you go to Google Earth and explore some of the street names in the airport neighborhood, you'll find Maitland Drive, Earhart Road, Cessna Street, Doolittle Drive and Hegenberger Road, Loop and Place. All named after Register pilots for their aviation activities at Oakland.


UPLOADED: 06/05 REVISED: 12/20/10, 12/17/11, 06/29/14, 12/06/19

The Register
Who Went to Oakland?
Eight pilots who landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield called Oakland their Homebase.

Two pilots arrived at Davis-Monthan Airfield from Oakland, and five listed it as their final Destination.

Steve's Link


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