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OTHER RESOURCES

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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Rodengen, J.L. 1998. The Legend of Cessna. Write Stuff Enterprises, Inc. 255 pp.

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Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America. 1929. Aircraft Year Book. Aeronautical C of C of America, NY. 484 pp. See the Race statistics beginning on page 429.

NOTE: Because of the publishing lag, information for the 1928 Air Races appears in the 1929 issue of the Aircraft Year Book.

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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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"ON TO LOS ANGELES"

NATIONAL AIR RACES, 1928

This is an example of how the Davis-Monthan Airfield transient Register provides wonderful snapshots of brief and exciting periods during the Golden Age, and how, combined with other sources (left), it is possible to bracket the Register entries within the larger context that places the pilots and aircraft in Tucson.

Broadly, on pages 58-61, the Register lists 42 civilian planes, pilots and passengers who landed at the field for fuel and comfort during the 1928 National Air Races (NAR). Thirty-seven of them placed in the race. Tucson was an important waypoint, because once they reached it, there was only a day or so of flying left before the finish line in Los Angeles. A report from the finish line appeared in the New York Times of September 11, 1928, available at the link (PDF 114kb).

Cessna Aircraft in the National Air Races, 1928

For the Cessna Aircraft Company specifically, the plan was to enter eight aircraft in the race. Among the Cessnas that landed at Tucson, Earl Rowland piloted NC7107 (image, right, from Rodengen was taken later during the 1934 NAR) in Class A.

In the Class B category, Clyde Cessna himself was flying race number 97 (aircraft registration number not listed in the Register). Fellow Register pilot George Curtis Quick flew with Cessna. Jay Sodowsky was in NC5336, and Ed Schultz flew NC5035. There were four others, none of which logged in at the Airfield. The Cessna “team” planned 16 stopover points across the country; five were overnight.

On September 5, 1928, at 5:43:45 AM, seven of the eight Cessna airplanes departed Roosevelt Field, Long Island and began their race. One of them dropped out before takeoff (Francis "Chief" Bowhan); another landed for technical reasons soon after. The remaining six made their way westward toward Mines Field, Los Angeles.

Earl Rowland, September 1928

A few days later, four of the six landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield. One of them, Earl Rowland, would finally be the first-place winner of the Class A race. As his suit of clothes might suggest, Mr. Rowland had a rough trip over Texas and elsewhere. Hot weather raised cylinder head and oil temperatures. His engine developed ignition problems upon takeoff from Ft. Worth. At El Paso a tire went flat. These problems were repaired and he departed El Paso at 5 AM. The photo, left, from Rodengen, is of Earl Rowland with Cessna BW NC7107 after winning the NAR, September 10, 1928. His winning time was 27:00:31.

Mr. Rowland landed at Tucson on September 9th (with Wm. Kowalski as passenger). They arrived from Lordsburg, NM, a field about halfway between El Paso and Tucson. He did not record the time of his arrival, but it was probably in the morning. He departed the same day for Yuma, the next control point for the race. He won the race on September 10th when he landed at Mines Field.

The other three pilots, Clyde Cessna (who didn't list a passenger, but was probably carrying Curtis Quick, since Quick was the officially-registered pilot for the race), Mr. Schultz (carrying R.W. Yahner), and Mr. Sodowsky (carrying Miss L.M. Westhoff), all arrived at Davis-Monthan on September 11th, all inbound from El Paso. They departed on the same day, and Mr. Shultz ultimately took fourth-place, and Mr. Sodowsky 8th place, in Class B.

Below is Cessna NC5035 flown by Ed Schultz to win fourth-place in Class B, 1928 National Air Races. “My Name is Red Wings” is written under the cockpit window.

Curtis Quick, Clyde Cessna and their airplane came in last (14th in the B race), yet Cessna's new cantilever wing design performed well enough to earn the Cessna Aircraft Company $10,910 in prize money overall.

The second-place winner of the Class A race, Robert Dake, also stopped at Tucson enroute (with Ted Taney as passenger). He landed on September 9th flying American Moth NX7556. The third-place winner, William Emery, also landed on the 9th flying Travel Air NX6269. Dake and Emery signed in at Davis-Monthan one after the other. But Rowland logged in four lines below them. They landed in that order, too, at the Yuma checkpoint. It was a close race, in which Mr. Rowland obviously made up time between Yuma and Los Angeles.

Twenty-first place went to pilot Daniel A. Kundle. Please direct your browser to the page for competitor George W. Brill to review a series of news articles describing the race from their different perspectives across the country.

Below, from frequent contibutor Mike Gerow, is a photograph taken by his father of the flight line in Los Angeles sometime during the NAR.

National Air Races, Los Angeles, CA, Ca. September, 1928 (Source: Gerow)
National Air Races, Los Angeles, CA, Ca. September, 1928 (Source: Gerow)

In the foreground are two Bellancas. Identified by frequent site visitor Russ Plehinger as Veedol, a Bellanca J, NX-5315, S/N 106, Wright J-5 Whirlwind flown pilot Emil H. Burgin. Neither the airplane nor Burgin appear in the Register. The second one back with #185 on the fuselage is the Wright-Bellanca WB-2 known as Columbia, which made a trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Berlin two weeks after Lindbergh's flight to Paris. Note that the Veedol is not the same airplane as the Bellanca J-300 Miss Veedol, NR-796W, S/N 3004, Pratt & Whitney Wasp. Miss Veedol was flown across the Pacific by Register pilot Hugh Herndon and Clyde E. Pangborn. Please direct your browser to Herndon's link for details on their trans-Pacific flight.

An exhibition was scheduled with the 1928 NAR. It was held at a site near Mines FIeld. Below, also from Mike Gerow, the main entrance to the “Aeronautical Pageant of Progress,” held Sept 8-16, 1928. Celebrating 25 years of powered flight, this event coincided with the opening of Mines Field, later LAX, and the operation of the National Air Races.

Entrance, "Aeronautical Pageant of Progress," September, 1928 (Source: Gerow)
Entrance, "Aeronautical Pageant of Progress," September, 1928 (Source: Gerow)

Next, a long-view of the exhibit facility. Note the trash on the ground. Some things don't change.

Long-View, "Aeronautical Pageant of Progress," September, 1928 (Source: Gerow)
Long-View, "Aeronautical Pageant of Progress," September, 1928 (Source: Gerow)

Finally, the interior of the exhibit hall. Note the fabric ceiling and structural supports. Compare this photograph with the one on the page for Register airplane Blackhawk NC730K.

Interior, "Aeronautical Pageant of Progress," September, 1928 (Source: Gerow)
Interior, "Aeronautical Pageant of Progress," September, 1928 (Source: Gerow)

Military Participation in the 1928 National Air Race

Some military pilots of the Register also participated. Below is an article from the Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletter of October 17, 1928 documenting Navy pilots who competed in some of the race events. Note pilots Kane, Crommelin, Burroughs and Cooper.

Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletter, October 17, 1928 (Source: Webmaster)
Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletter, October 17, 1928 (Source: Webmaster)

Further along in the same Newsletter (pp. 10-12), the following article appeared in the section specifically geared toward the Eleventh Naval District, San Diego. The third paragraph of this article provides a nice summary of the military and civilian aircraft present at the event. Note mention of Register pilot Dudley Steele.

Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletter, October 17, 1928 (Source: Webmaster)
Bureau of Aeronautics Newsletter, October 17, 1928 (Source: Webmaster)

Below is a spectacular panoramic view of naval pilots who participated in the 1928 NAR. This photograph is shared with us by site visitor Bill Lindsley, whose grandfather is pictured between the "CAL." and the "OCT." in the image. Although his grandfather is not a Register pilot, numerous Register pilots are pictured in the photograph, including E. Chourre, Dunlap (?), Peterson (?), Williamson (?), E.C. Parker, S.E. Burroughs, D. Smith, Dorris Gurley, F. M. Trapnell, W.M. Dillon, J.G. Crommelin, J. Shannon, H.R. Bogusch, Clarke (?), A.C. Davis, M.B. Gardner, D.W. Tomlinson, J.D. Barner, A.P. Storrs, W.V.R. Vieweg and Cooper (?).

Navy Pilots at the National Air Races, Los Angeles, CA, October, 1928 (Source: Lindsley)
Navy Pilots at the National Air Races, Los Angeles, CA, October, 1928 (Source: Lindsley)

I post this great photograph vertically so that the annotations are readable. Their aircraft are arrayed behind them. Nowhere else on this Web site is there a photograph that captures so many Register pilots in one scene!

Below is a summary table of the 1928 NAR with links to relevant pilots and aircraft.

PILOTS AND AIRCRAFT IN THE NATIONAL AIR RACES, 1928*

Place
Plane
Reg. No.
Pilot Last Name
Pilot First Name
Log No.
Log Page
Date
Origin
Destination
Class
Race No.
1 Cessna NC7107 Rowland Earl 912 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A 30
2 American Moth NX7556 Dake Robert 907 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
3 Travel Air NX6269 Emery, Jr. W.H. 908 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
4 Challenger NX2433 Kenyon Theodore 910 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
5 Waco NC4331 Rankin Tex 911 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
6 Eaglerock NC7185 Charles James S. 914 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
7 Travel Air NC1404 Detmer Eugene J. 909 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
8 Travel Air NC2928 Derryberry Louis E. 913 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
9 Swallow NC706 Smith Warren B. 924 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
10 Challenger NC7040 Zinn G. 915 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
11 Stinson SM-2 7104 Hopkins George W. 916 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
12 Bi-plane Lone Eagle NC5610 Wittman S.J. 921 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
13 Waco 10 NC5480 Killips Arthur W. 921 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
14 Waco 10 7375 Chadwick Stewart 923 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
15 Berliner Mono NC7106 Turner Samuel H. 917 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
16 Waco 10 NC4856 Stanley Alfred H. 918 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
17 Challenger (Kreider) A.H. A
18 Moth CAXP Carberry John E. 926 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
19 Lincoln-Page NC5961 Grevemberg M.E. 925 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
20 Pitcairn PA-4 (Owen) A.K. A
21 Travel Air 2000 NC6107 Riley, Jr. Sidney A. 927 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
22 Kreider-Reisner 7246 Phillips Don S. 922 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
23 Travel Air NC6020 Brill G.W. 929 58 9/9/1928 Lordsburg Los Angeles A
1 Waco 10 7527 Livingston John 937 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 95
2 Laird LC-R 7086 Ballough E.E. 936 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 40
3 Waco 10 NX5533 Wood John P. 938 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 114
4 Cessna NC5035 Schultz Edw.  G. 949 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 96
5 Waco 10 NX5673 Meyers Charles W. 939 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 79
6 Buhl Airsedan   Schoenhair L.F. 942 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 49
7 Travel Air NX6128 Wells T.A. 940 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 106
8 Cessna B NC5336 Sodowsky Jay 946 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 100
9 Pacer NX7269 McKinney Ive 944 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 110
10 Lockheed Vega NX6239 Marrs Maurice 952 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 48
11 Lockheed Vega NC6911 Shaw B.H. 943 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 186
12 Ryan B-1 NC5217 Merritt R.J. 953 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 154
13 Fairchild NC3496 Whittall M.W. 954 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 41
14 Cessna A   Quick G.C. 951 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma B 97
1 Lockheed Vega NX7429 Cantwell Robert W. 945 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma C 22
2 Fairchild NX5501 Collyer C.B. 947 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma C 143
3 Fokker Spec. Univ. NC3318 Brooks Edward J. 950 60 9/11/1928 El Paso Yuma C 12
*Combination of information from Aircraft Year Book, 1929, and Davis-Monthan Airfield transient Register, and Rodengen.  Pilots in ( ) are the only two not entered in the Register.  All the others signed in. 
The Cessna A (14th place in B race) carried Clyde Cessna as passenger.


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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 7/2/05 REVISED: 12/20/05, 06/05/07, 09/29/07, 03/10/08, 02/05/11, 02/15/11, 10/14/11,12/11/12

 
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I'm looking for information and photographs of the 1928 NAR to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click 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 a 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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