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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 here.

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You may view other motion picture films on this site by following this link.

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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 Tours". It is available from Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., Missoula, MT.

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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.

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MOVING PICTURES:

CHARLES LINDBERGH & THE "SPIRIT OF ST. LOUIS"

AT TUCSON

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 the "Spirit".

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
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
"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.

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You may review this and all the film clips on www.dmairfield.org here!

UPLOADED: 04/02/07 REVISED: 06/03/08

 
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FILM CREDITS

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 and Art.

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!

 
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