July 16-24, 1969

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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 here. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.


This link leads you to a book that 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. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.


"Art Goebel's Own Story" by Art Goebel (edited by G.W. Hyatt) is written in language that expands for us his life as a Golden Age aviation entrepreneur, who used his aviation exploits to build a business around his passion.  Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.


If you google "moon landing 1969", there are some 860,000 hits as of the upload date of this page.


Neil Armstrong, always a private person, has no personal Web site that I could find. But a museum is named in his honor in his hometown. Information about it is here. His Web presence is prodigious, however, with over 2.5 million Google hits as of the upload date of this page.


An interesting browse is Buzz Aldrin's Web site.


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JULY 16-24, 1969

It is a fair question to ask why the first landing by humans on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969 is celebrated on a Web site focused on aviation activities in Tucson, AZ between 1925 and 1936.

The answer is fundamental and simple. To wit, the second person to set foot on the Moon, E.E. "Buzz" Aldrin, Jr., is the son of our Register pilot E.E. Aldrin, Sr. who landed at Tucson Monday August 9, 1926 at 11:00 AM.

Most of us who were alive and aware in 1969 know exactly where we were and what we were doing when the first humans placed themselves on the Moon on July 20th. I was a graduate student at the University of Illinois sitting in my car at the Champaign-Urbana airport waiting for a flight to arrive. I had my car (AM) radio on and heard of the touchdown on the Moon at about quarter after three that afternoon. My personal radio and TV were on constantly over the next 24 hours. I never saw Walter Cronkite so gleeful. (Moments after I wrote the last sentence, I learned that Walter Cronkite passed away.)

Another important reason for celebrating the anniversay is the two photographs below. Your Webmaster took these photos in real time from his impecunius student-quality black & white TV. I've been carrying them around for years, and now I actually have a relevant venue for their display!

The first one shows Neil Armstrong (born August 5, 1930) on the moon just after saying, "That's one small step...." There are few photos on Earth that are so rich in philosophical context.

Neil Armstrong Setting Foot on the Moon, July 20, 1969 (Source: Webmaster)
Neil Armstrong Setting Foot on the Moon, July 20, 1969

Below, Buzz Aldrin (born January 20, 1930) on the Moon, facing the American flag erected soon after arrival to commemorate the landing. Aldrin watched the flag blow down during departure, a victim of rocket exhaust.

Buzz Aldrin On the Moon, July 20, 1969 (Source: Webmaster)
Buzz Aldrin On the Moon, July 20, 1969 (Source: Webmaster)

Details of the lunar mission and landing are tabulated as follows. Central Daylight Time was in effect where I was in Urbana, Illinois at the time.

Date Time Activity
July 16, 1969 13:32:00 Zulu; 08:32:00AM CDT Launch of Apollo XI Mission
July 20, 1969 20:17:40 Zulu; 03:17:40PM CDT Touchdown on the Moon
July 20, 1969 02:56:00 Zulu; 09:56:00PM CDT First Step on the Moon
July 24, 1969 16:50:35 Zulu; 11:50:35AM CDT Splashdown on Earth

More broadly, it is not too far a stretch to say that this lunar mission, just 66 years after the Wright Brothers' first flight, would not have been possible without the astronauts, engineers and technical innovators being able to stand on the shoulders of their fellow aviators and the people in the aviation industries who preceded them in this feat.

To that point, it should be clear if you've spent any time at all on dmairfield.org, ALL of our pilots who passed through Tucson and signed the Register, as well as the technologies they flew or had a hand in developing, set foot or touched wheels on the moon with Armstrong and Aldrin that day, and had a hand in some small way in every other mission to space.



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