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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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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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LEWIS ALLAYN DAYTON

Lewis A. Dayton was a career officer in the United States Air Service and its successors through the United States Air Force. He was born June 17, 1892.

The New York State Enumeration of Inhabitants for June 1, 1915 identifies Lewis at age 22 living with his father, mother, sister and maternal grandmother at 619 13th Street in Niagra Falls, NY. His occupation was listed as "Tree Surgeon."

Lewis was mustered into the New York State National Guard as a private July 5, 1916, as indicated in the enlistment form, below. We learn that he was a 5' 7.75" tall with blue eyes and brown hair. He was a "Tree Expert." Note, too, the excellent penmanship exhibited by the clerk.

L.A. Dayton, Army Enlistment Form, 1916 (Source: ancestry.com)

Dayton learned to fly at Gerstner Field, Louisiana, in 1918-19, as indicated on his Army record, below, from ancestry.com

Army Record, Ca. 1919 (Source: ancestry.com)

Dayton's military record through 1948 is below, left. He moved steadily through the ranks during the 1920s and 30s, achiving the rank of colonel during WWII.

Army & Air Force Register, 1948 (Source: ancestry.com)

 

Continuing on a personal and residential level, the U.S. Census for 1920 listed Lewis as living at Marfa, TX with the 90th Aero Squadron. He was a 27 year old bachelor who listed his occupation as "Tree Expert" in the "Estates" industry.

The U.S. Census for 1930 had Lewis (at age 38) living at Brooks Field, Texas with his wife Kathryn A. (37, whom he married April 3, 1920), son Lewis, Jr. (9), daughter Dorothy A (7), son Jack M. (4), son Pat A. (1), father Lewis P. (76) and mother-in-law Bonnie H. (76). He identified his occupation as "officer" in the "Army." The 1920s was a productive decade for Lewis in building his family.

It is during this time we find Dayton first landing at Tucson. He visited first on Saturday, June 22, 1929 at 1:20PM. He carried a single passenger he identified as Lt. R.W. Douglass, Jr. Based at San Antonio, TX, Brooks Field, they arrived at Tucson from Marfa, TX in the Douglas O-2K he identified as 29-207. They remained on the ground 40 minutes before departing westbound for Riverside, CA, March Field.

Perth (Australia) Daily Times, December 5, 1937 (Source: Web)

 

His second visit was about three years later, on Thursday, April 14, 1932 at 11:45AM. Promoted to captain, this time he was flying the Boeing P-12-B he identified as 29-337. Still based at San Antonio, he arrived from Marfa and departed for San Antonio the same day. No reasons were cited for either of his flights.

Dayton was involved in at least one unusual incident. At right, from the Perth (Australia) Daily Times of December 5, 1937 we find Dayton's back seater abandoning ship because of a misunderstood signal in the days before cockpit intercoms.

There is no biographical file for pilot Dayton at the Smithsonian. If you have information to help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 07/30/14 REVISED:

 
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I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot Dayton and his airplanes 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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OTHER BOOKS FOR YOU

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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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.  Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-1-8.

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Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race is available at the link. Use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. What was it like to fly from Oakland to Honolulu in a single-engine plane during August 1927? Was the 25,000 dollar prize worth it? Did the resulting fame balance the risk? For the first time ever, this book presents the pilot and navigator's stories written by them within days of their record-setting adventure. Pilot Art Goebel and navigator William V. Davis, Jr. take us with them on the Woolaroc, their orange and blue Travel Air monoplane (NX869) as they enter the hazardous world of Golden Age trans-oceanic air racing. ISBN 978-0-9843074-3-2.

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