Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references
to pilots and their aircraft is available here.
You may view other motion picture films on this site by following this link.
Two books that you should look at:
The first addresses
the Spirit and is Cassagneres, E. 2002. "The Untold Story of the
Spirit of St. Louis: From the Drawing Board to the Smithsonian".
It is available from Flying Books International,
New Brighton, MN.
The second is Cassagneres, E. 2006. "Ambassador
of Air Travel: The Untold Story of Lindbergh's 1927-1928 Goodwill
It is available from Pictorial Histories Publishing Co.,
A brief, interesting article by Donald
Keyhoe (the passenger in the Guggenheim-sponsored Fairchild NS-7
flown by Phil Love) provides some statistics about the tour.
Click here to review all the film clips available at www.dmairfield.org.
CHARLES LINDBERGH & THE "SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS"
Sit back and enjoy four minutes and 15 seconds of Charles
Lindbergh's visit to Tucson, September 23-24, 1927, about
4 months after his trans-Atlantic flight. His visit was part
of a 22,000 mile, 48-state tour sponsored by the Guggenheim
Foundation to promote air commerce.
He arrived that
Friday and signed the Register at 2:00PM. His entourage consisted
of another Fairchild aircraft, NS-7, its pilot, Phil Love,
and two officials. Military aircraft had been dispersed from
San Diego to greet them.
This is a silent film. Use your
cursor and the menu bar below the image to control the movie.
Our movie begins with military aircraft lined
up in ranks; the old hangar in the background. You see people
milling in anticipation, and cars parked in long rows that
brought people to the Airfield to greet Lindy. You see briefly
four women in period dress sitting on a bench fanning themselves
in the heat of that autumn afternoon.
Then he arrives! You see NX-211, the "Spirit"
of St. Louis", taxiing in a cloud of dust. Next Lindy exits
his airplane and is greeted by an assortment of people under the wing of
He is guided to a facsimile of the "Spirit"
made of local ocatillo and other cactuses (designed and fabricated by local florist, Hal Burns), and he poses with
and greets officials.
These officials, seen in passing in the movie, are identifiable, L to R, as Hal Burns, Sheriff McDonald, Sheriff Cob, Kirke Moore (holding what looks like a presentation box or briefcase under his arm), Lindbergh, Harry Holbert, Sheriff Thompson and Jack Dyer. Below, an image of the entourage taken slightly after the the moving picture film panned across the group (note Mr. Burns joined the group and was introduced to Lindbergh during the pan).
Lindbergh With Greeting Officials, September 23, 1927
Next we see Lindbergh enter an open-top car
followed by a view of the "Spirit" left behind in the hangar.
We see Lindbergh et al. speeding toward the campus of the
University of Arizona where he is feted by a large crowd
dressed in finery. You may read about this afternoon itinerary
and learn about what he said here.
After his brief talk, he posed on the dais
with four women. One of them, on Lindy's immediate left,
is the mother of Oscar Monthan, one of the Airfield's namesakes.
Then Lindy is whisked off to the Santa Rita Hotel for the night
and we see the crowd at the University disbursing.
Next, we are at the Airfield on Saturday near
8:00AM. A technician hand props the "Spirit of St. Louis"
and we see the engine running and warming up. the crowd is
shown anticipating Lindy's departure. The camera pans right
to show the Fairchild NS-7. The "Spirit" taxis out in a cloud
of dust as an unknown photographer snaps the image below.
"Spirit of St. Louis", September 24,
1927, Tucson, AZ
Note the full right aileron deflection, probably
to compensate for the wind (check the wind sock on top of
the hangar). In the movie, the "Spirit" roars off eastbound
toward its next destination, Lordsburg, NM, in a cloud of
Tucson dust, shining in the morning sun.
Next, the Fairchild "chase" plane is shown
taxiing for departure. We leave that scene with shots of
the crowd, barefoot boys posed in front of the cactus "Spirit",
cameras being dismantled and men looking to the eastern sky
following the "Spirit" and the Fairchild out of town.
On the morning just before his departure Lindbergh
wrote in the Register, "Your
field is excellent." You can see Lindbergh's Register
entry on page 22.
You may review this and all the film clips
UPLOADED: 04/02/07 REVISED: 06/03/08
This clip is shared with us through the courtesy of Les Wolf & Family
of Tucson. The films come
to us through Lt. Col. (RET) Alan Thomas, long-time friend of dmairfield.org. The original film, camera and projector
belonged to Les Wolf’s step dad; John Phieffer. According
to Mr. Wolf’s late grandmother Mr. Phieffer owned the first
16mm equipment in Tucson at the time. The films, original
camera and projector were retrieved during a remodel of the family
home in January 1989.
At that time the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson was undergoing
substantial remodeling and they discovered footage of its original
construction among the film reels. The films were donated
to the Arizona Historical Society and to local TV stations, which
used them in their broadcast stories about the Temple of Music
Mr. Wolf says, “My father (… now deceased) was born
in Tucson (1917) and [lived] thru all that history [which] didn’t
impress him as it did me. Subsequently he “allowed” donation
of these materials in our shared name; Les Wolf & family. All
my family dearly loves Tucson and its history. On their behalf,
thank you for your interest.”
It is we who should thank
Mr. Wolf and Lt. Col. Thomas!