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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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"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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BOEING FB-1 A-6891

I don't have a lot of information about this airplane, but it does have a Hollywood credit, so we'll go with what we have. A-6891 is a Boeing FB-1. Joe Baugher's site identifies it as one of a series of Bureau numbers A-6884 through A-6893. It is probably serial number 745.

It landed twice at Tucson. The first landing was on Tuesday, December 14, 1926. The solo pilot was W.J. Wallace, who arrived from El Paso, TX and identified himself as a 1st Lieutenant. He landed at 4:30PM, remained overnight and departed at 12:45 the next afternoon westbound to San Diego, his home base. Wallace noted in the Remarks column of the Register, "Transcontinental flight".

The second landing came almost three years later on Thursday, August 22, 1929. The solo pilot, based at Washington, DC, was H.B. Pentland. He was eastbound from Yuma, AZ to El Paso, TX, probably returning to Washington. He noted in the Remarks column, "Department of Commerce". Pentland, indeed, was an officer with the DOC. You can see a photograph of him on Gilbert Budwig's page. The group photograph is keyed so that Pentland is easy to find at the lower right.

As far as Hollywood is concerned, this airplane appears in a motion picture from 1929 entitled simply, "Fighter". The film was directed by Frank Capra and stars Jack Holt and Ralph Graves. Cinematography was by Elmer Dyer, famous for his aerial films of the 20s and 30s, including "Hell's Angels." Dyer is cited in numerous places in the Wynne reference. Another film by Capra and Dyer starring the same people is cited, with a film clip, on Frederick Trapnell's page.

You see the airplane only briefly in the opening scene as it approaches for a landing. The nose-high attitude during the approach is evident, as is the flexion of the main gear when it lands, and the action of the tail skid digging into the ground. The number on the tail of the airplane is visible only briefly as the plane taxis to a stop. Its squadron number was 6-F-4 in the movie.

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 12/22/09 REVISED: 12/22/14

 
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I'm looking for photographs of this airplane and its pilots to include on this page. If you have one or more you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

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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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