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There is no data for NC535E in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.

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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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FOKKER F-10A NC535E

NC535E (S/N 1035 ) landed at Tucson three times, each flight piloted by Lake Littlejohn. His first visit, on Sunday August 25, 1929, caused him to enter in the remarks column of the Register, "Elevation marker exceptional". Littlejohn was to become a Department of Commerce inspector in the late 30s. Based at Los Angeles, CA, Littlejohn and his seven unidentified passengers were eastbound from Los Angeles to El Paso, TX.

About six weeks later he signed the Register again on Tuesday October 8, 1929. This time he carried Byron Erkenbrecker, Jr. as his sole passenger. They were southeastbound from Los Angeles to Douglas, AZ.

Littlejohn had about an 18-month hiatus in his visits to Tucson, signing the Register next on Saturday April 4, 1931. Still based at Los Angeles, he carried Andy Anderson as his sole passenger. They were westbound from El Paso to Los Angeles. No reason was given for any of Littlejohn's flights with NC535E.

Below, an image of NC535E from this source. We see this large airplane in "Rio Grande" livery, posed with a group of well-dressed passengers.

NC535E, Date & Location Unknown
NC535E, Date & Location Unknown

Below, shared by site visitor Michael Boss, is another photograph of NC535E in Rio Grande livery. The photo is from the San Diego Aerospace Museum online stream. Standing in front of the airplane, at center, is Register pilot Pancho Barnes. Does anyone RECOGNIZE any of the others? The engines appear to be undergoing maintenance.

NC535E, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM via Boss)
NC535E, Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM via Boss)

 

The Van Nuys News, April 12, 1929
The Van Nuys News, April 12, 1929

Rio Grande was an oil company. The company purchased and flew the airplane for business. The news article, right, from The Van Nuys News of April 12, 1929, tells of the purchase of NC535E. $80,000 was a huge sum to pay for an aircraft of the era, but this one is described as being fitted with every luxury. Metropolitan Airport was one of the major Los Angeles-area airfields of the Golden Age.

To put things in perspective, two visits to Tucson by 535E occurred before the market Crash that took place on Black Thursday (October 24, 1929), followed by Black Monday and Tuesday (October 28 and October 29, 1929). We can wonder if the 18-month hiatus until the third Tucson landing had anything to do with the Crash.

As happens many times among people of the Register, passenger Lynn Lockhart (last paragraph in the article) shows up elsewhere flying with Register pilot Eddie Stinson in an unidentified Stinson aircraft, and in Stinson NC209W with pilot Irving Kravit. Perhaps the people shown in the image above are some of those listed in the news article at right. Does anyone KNOW?

Rio Grande sponsored a radio crime drama series, from November 29, 1933 to September 8, 1939, titled "Calling All Cars". This link takes you to a site that describes the drama programs and shows a Rio Grande Petroleum Company poster advertising the series.

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UPLOADED: 11/29/08 REVISED: 11/30/08, 09/28/11

 
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I'm looking for photographs of this airplane, of pilot Littlejohn, and for information about Littlejohn to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.
Thanks to Mike Gerow for identifying the Rio Grande news article and the Web link.
 
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