EMILE CHOUREÉ PHOTOGRAPH & DOCUMENT COLLECTION

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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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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THE EMILE CHOUREÉ PHOTOGRAPH & DOCUMENT COLLECTION

During the week of February 9, 2015, your Webmaster had the opportunity to travel to the Pacific Northwest to work with an extraordinary Collection of aviation memorabilia from the 1920s and 30s that was accumulated, owned and passed down by Register pilot Emile Choureé. Choureé (his family pronounces their surname "show-RAY") was a U.S. Navy pilot who signed our Register twice during 1929 and 30. Please direct your browser to his link for a biographical sketch of pilot Choureé, and the context around his visit at Tucson. Among other things, because of his Collection, we have a greater appreciation of why he came through Tucson.

After the passing of Choureé's son late in 2014, his estate was managed by the gentleman, Gordon Leuckenotte, pictured below (R) with your Webmaster. Choureé's memorabilia, in a couple of footlockers, was inherited by Mr. Leuckenotte who contacted me through dmairfield.org and offered to share this Collection with us via this Web site. We should all be grateful to Mr. Leuckenotte for allowing us to see and learn about the great things that follow.

Your Webmaster (L) With G. Leuckenotte, February, 2015
Your Webmaster (L) With G. Leuckenotte, February, 2015

BACKGROUND Emile Choureé was a U.S. Navy pilot born in 1894. He was designated Naval Aviator #1591 in 1918. He married Catherine Davis in 1920. He was a career Navy officer, achieving the rank of Lieutenant Commander. Significantly, he participated with Navy flight teams at the National Air Races (NAR) where he served as the announcer at their aerobatic performances. He also flew support aircraft for the team, carrying mechanics and other support personnel, as well as tools and spares. He died in an air crash at Scott Field, East St. Louis, IL in January, 1938. He had two children. They and his wife survived him. A ship, the U.S.S. Choureé (ARV-1), posthumously was named after him. It was launched about a year before the end of WWII, on May 22, 1944, about six years after his passing. He collected and left behind a significant number of photographs, documents and memorabilia related to his naval career and personal life, many of which have to do with the NAR he attended and participated in.

THE COLLECTION

Emile Choureé's Collection consists of his pilot log books, hundreds of documents, dozens of objects, photographs, and a group of carefully compiled and well-preserved scrapbooks. I chose to categorize them into five sections as follows in order to simplify your pathway through them. Please click the links to go to the specific sections.

 

Emile Choureé, High School Diploma, June 28, 1912

 

DOCUMENTS There are hundreds of documents in Choureé's Collection. Not all were digitized during my visit to the northwest. For example, one grouping, his Navy personnel jacket, spans April 23, 1927 through May 16, 1935. It comprises over a hundred fragile pages, which record his orders, assignments and promotions during that period. A second jacket contains notes and solutions to celestial navigation problems while he was at-sea on various cruises. A third folder contains correspondence and other documents related to his activities while an employee of Consolidated Aircraft. Only some of these documents were scanned. Rather, this section highlights 30 documents which are relevant to his early life, Navy training, promotions, homelife and work. An example, right, is his high school graduation certificate.

 

Emil Choureé, Leather Flying Helmet

 

 

OBJECTS This section exhibits 29 physical items relevant to Choureé's Navy career. Among these are his dogtags from 1918, his formal bicorn hat and epaulettes signifying his ranks as lieutenant and lieutenant commander, and his ceremonial dress sword. One view of his leather flying helmet is at right. More views are at the link, along with other items.

 

 

 

Emil Choureé, National Air Races Announcer

 

 

 

PHOTOGRAPHS Choureé's Collection contains hundreds of photographs, many exhibited in the SCRAPBOOKS documented below. This section features 53 loose photographs that range from portraits to aircraft types to personnel groupings to aerial views. At right, as a lieutenant, a portrait of Choureé taken as he faces the microphone at the National Air Races.

 

 

 

 

 

Emile Choureé, Pilot Logs, 1918-1937
Emile Choureé, Pilot Logs, 1918-1937

 

PILOT LOG BOOKS This section presents and discusses the contents of six of Choureé's flight log books maintained while he was a Navy pilot. They record his flights from July, 1918 to January, 1937. A seventh log, recording his flight activities from April, 1928-September, 1930 is, unfortunately, missing from his Collection. If you know the whereabouts of his flight log book, which documents his flying from April, 1928 to September, 1930 please let me KNOW.

 

 

Emil Choureé, Scrapbooks
Emil Choureé, Scrapbooks

 

SCRAPBOOKS This section of seven scrapbooks exhibits an extremely valuable trove of photographs of Choureé's early naval assignments. These are collected in two scrapbooks and illustrate shipboard activities, aerial views of his bases, and leisure activities.

As well, five additional scrapbooks contain news articles, souvenirs and photographs from the National Air Races of 1929-1931 and 1933-1934. Choureé was intimately involved with these Races, since he was the designated announcer for the Navy performance teams during those years.

 

You will find in this Collection the memorabilia that were important to a naval officer of broad experience and responsibility. His skills as a public speaker and pilot made him a first-person observer of, and participant in, some of the premier aviation events and naval assignments of the Golden Age. Choureé died at Scott Field, IL in an airplane accident while on duty, January 26, 1938. One posthumous testimonial described him as, "Aviator, executive, engineer, air race narrator, husband, father, friend."

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 06/16/15 REVISED:

 
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YOU CAN HELP

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

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Thanks to Gordon Leuckenotte for sharing the Chouree Collection with us.

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OTHER BOOKS FOR YOU

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. ISBN 978-0-9843074-2-5.

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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.  Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-1-8.

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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.

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