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

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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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Use this link to the master linking hub to aircraft manufacturers relevant to this Web site.

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Image of the Douglas World Cruiser "Seattle", 1924 (no. 79 10664) from the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.

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DOUGLAS AIRCRAFT

OF THE DAVIS-MONTHAN AIRFIELD REGISTER

INCOMPLETE

There were an astonishing 717 landings by Douglas aircraft recorded at Tucson in the Davis-Monthan Register. Eight were civilian; the rest were military pilots flying everything from BTs to XO-22s. As you might imagine, the list of pilot names reads like a Who's Who of aviation leadership from that era and on into WWII and beyond.

Many of these Douglas military aircraft models are pictured and discussed in the context of the Davis-Monthan Airfield in the book pictured, cited and made available through the top link in the left sidebar. "Military Aircraft of the Davis-Monthan Register" contains excellent B/W photographs and 3-view silhouettes of the aircraft.

Company founder and owner Donald W. Douglas visited Tucson as a passenger and signed the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register twice. Both times he was flying with Register pilot Victor E. Bertrandias. Douglas founded the Douglas Aircraft Company in 1921. He was Company President 1921-1957, and Chairman of the Board from 1957-1967. At the upload date of this page there are over 1,000 Google hits for "Donald W. Douglas".

Bertrandias and Douglas first landed and signed the Register on Thursday, March 17, 1927. Bertrandias, based at Dayton, OH McCook Field, was carrying Douglas (based at Santa Monica, CA) to their next stop, El Paso, TX, and then, noted in the destination column, to Dayton, OH. They were traveling in 26-423, a Douglas C-1C Transport. They stayed in Tucson overnight, continuing east the next morning at 8:40AM.

Their second landing was on Thursday, August 25, 1927. They were again eastbound to El Paso, TX. Their airplane,27-228, was a Douglas O-2H. This landing was about three years after the successful World Flight by Douglas aircraft (see below).

The Douglas company began business by fulfilling a contract for a one-off aircraft named the "Cloudster." Please direct your browser to Donald Douglas' link to learn more about this airplane and to see photographs of it. The "Cloudster" crashed in 1926, enjoying only three years of flight. Below, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum (SDAM), is a photograph of the "Cloudster" post-crash on a beach in Ensenada, Mexico.

The Douglas "Cloudster" Crashed in Mexico, December, 1926 (Source: SDAM)
The Douglas "Cloudster" Crashed in Mexico, 1926 (Source: SDAM)

His next big contract was to build what became known as the Douglas World Cruisers, four large biplanes designed to fly around the world. Below, from the SDAM, an early photograph of the Douglas aircraft factory, Santa Monica, CA, dated 1924. Note one of the World Cruiser aircraft at lower right.

Douglas Aircraft Company Factory, Santa Monica, CA, Ca. 1924 (Source: SDAM)
Douglas Aircraft Company Factory, Santa Monica, CA, Ca. 1923-24 (Source: SDAM)

The World Flight was a grand success and there are many Web resources for it. This book in the REFERENCES is a good source. Significantly, numerous Register pilots were involved as pilots and crew for the flight. Among them were Henry Ogden, Leigh Wade, Alva Harvey, Lowell Smith, Les Arnold and Erik Nelson. They all signed the Register at later dates, flying different aircraft. For most of them, the First World Flight was their 15-minutes of fame that remained with them the rest of their lives. Flight logistics and planning were also important, and several Register signers were involved with the World Flight Committee, Advanced Officers, namely H.A. Halverson, Clifford C. Nutt, M.S. Lawton and Clarence Crumrine.

Below, from the SDAM, the Douglas World Cruiser "New Orleans," number 4.

Douglas World Cruiser #4, The "New Orleans," Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)
Douglas World Cruiser #4, The "New Orleans," Date & Location Unknown (Source: SDAM)

Below, the Douglas World Cruiser "Seattle" as it lay at Port Moller, AK where it crashed on April 30, 1924.

Douglas World Cruiser "Seattle", 1924 (Source: NASM)
Douglas World Cruiser "Seattle"

Obviously, the "Seattle" never landed at Tucson, but its sister World Cruisers did on September 21-22, 1924. Note their visit was about a year before the Register was officially opened at the Airfield.They remained overnight in Tucson. Their visit was documented photographically by Register pilot C.B. Cosgrove, and those photos appear in the Cosgrove Collection. Please direct your browser to the links to learn about this accomplished pilot and his hundreds of photographs related to the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register.

Of the 717 landings by Douglas aircraft at Tucson, over half, 394, were landings logged in the Register by various models of the Douglas O-2. Below, 29-388, an example of the Douglas O-2 type. While this airplane is a Register craft, the occupants, Earl W. Sweeney, front, and Lt. Stowell, are not Register people. Discussion of the O-2 series begins on page 105 in the book cited at the top of the left sidebar. Image, below of the O-2H shared with us by site visitor J.W. Tretter.

Douglas O-2H, 29-388, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Tretter)
Douglas O-2H, 29-388, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Tretter)

Douglas O-2s documented on this site are: 28-129,

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Among the civilian Douglas aircraft to land, are NC14988 (DC-3) and NC16007 (Douglas Sleeper Transport).

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/24/08 REVISED: 12/02/08, 12/01/10

 
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I'm looking for information and photographs related to the Douglas Company and Douglas aircraft (military, civil and commercial) to include on this page. If you have any you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

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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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