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There is no biographical file for pilot Ebrite in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.

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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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ALVA ROY EBRITE

A.R. Ebrite was born in Pueblo, Adams Co., Colorado, September 20, 1890. As such, he was probably one of the older pilots to sign the Register. In the 1910 U.S. Census, he was living in Long Beach, CA, with his parents. His father was John H. Ebrite and mother was Ethel. He had a brother, Ernest. He listed his occupation as electrician for an electric company.

Interestingly, his birthplace cited above comes from an application by him to join a pilots' organization. Compare this with the birthplace cited on his draft information card exhibited below. While the date is the same, the place of his birth is identified as Peebles, OH. While there is a Peebles in southern Ohio, with a population of 1,782 people, it is tempting to think that someone misheard or misspelled his place of birth: Pueblo vs Peebles. On the same application, dated October 26, 1942, we learn he was living in Ontario, California, doubtless in connection with his then occupation, at the Cal Aero Academy, with the military rank of Captain.  At the time he had 7,800 hours of flying time.  By 1944 he had 9,034 hours as verified by the Department of Commerce.

However, back to our subject. He married Ruby Lillian Smith on February 9, 1913. They did not have any children. In the 1920 U.S. Census he is living with his wife in San Pedro, CA and is listed as unemployed. He soloed at Long Beach on January 2, 1919.  He held commercial license #212.

Ebrite landed at Tucson three times. His first two times were with passenger Nicholas H. Putnam. Please direct your browser to Putnam's page to learn the circumstances of their flights and to better understand Ebrite's interesting passenger.

Their first landing was Tuesday, May 24, 1927 at 1:08PM. Based at Long Beach, CA, Ebrite and Putnam arrived from Santa Barbara, CA in an unidentified Waco aircraft. They remained on the ground until 3:00PM, departing then for New York, NY. They made a second landing at Tucson Monday, June 20, 1927 in an unidentified Travel Air. They were westbound from El Paso, TX back to Santa Barbara.

Ebrite's third landing was on Sunday, September 11, 1927. He carried as passenger David Taggard in the International F-17 identified simply as "17." Based at Long Beach, they arrived from Yuma, AZ and cited their destination as, "Demonstration tour of east." In the remarks column of the Register appears the signature of "R.V. Cummins." Cummins was a member of the U.S. Border Patrol. Please direct your browser to the link for further information about Border Patrol activities at Tucson in 1927.

Ebrite bought the American Albatross B-1, NX6772, (not a Register airplane) in 1929 while he owned Aero Corp. and the Ebrite College of Aeronautics at Long Beach. The airplane flew for charter work and was sometimes seen as "Ebrite New Albatross," reportedly because it was repowered with a 400hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp engine. It was also used in 1929 for endurance record attempts by Register pilots John Gugliemetti and Lee Schoenhair, but without success.

A site visitor shares the two-page article below from the December, 2012 issue of Flight Journal. It shows a 1929 photograph of what was called the "Flying Ironing Board" standing in front of Ebrite's establishment at Long Beach. The Journal would like to know specificallyl about the airplane. If you can help, please use the link above and respond directly to Joe Gertler of Flight Journal at their e-mail address.

Flight Journal, December, 2012 (Source: Gertler)
Flight Journal, December, 2012 (Source: Gertler)

Page 2 is below. I split the airplane so it and the signage would be more legible. I include this article because it shows Ebrite's business.

Flight Journal, December, 2012 (Source: Gertler)
Flight Journal, December, 2012 (Source: Gertler)

Mr. Woodling (cited, right sidebar) shares several historic perspectives from local newspapers. For example, the article below quoted from the Press-Telegram, Long Beach, CA for Tuesday, February 21, 1961, cites Register pilot Earl Daugherty and Al Ebrite.

Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram, February 21, 1961 (Source: Woodling)

Daugherty City Aviation Pioneer

By F. WINSTON TUCKER

The first school of aviation was started here in 1919. Earl Daugherty leased ground near the southwest corner of Willow and American Avenue (now Long Beach Blvd.) for the operation.
The first year 1,785 nervous passengers paid to see Long Beach and vicinity from the air. Because of the opening of Daugherty Field, Long Beach was selected for a national flying tournament, with Southern California and Eastern fliers participating. During the years that followed many successful meets were held here.

IN 1924 EIGHTY acres of city-owned waterland was set aside for the beginning of our present municipal airport. The first civilian parachute school in the country was started here. Under the capable direction of Al Ebrite, a local aviator, 29 determined pupils either jumped or were pushed into space with each frantically tugging at his ripcord. Some were taught wing-walking. Those who did not slip or were not blown off joined air circuses in the East or went into motion pictures after finishing the course.

AN AVIATION ordinance was adopted by the city and a commission was appointed to enforce it. Daugherty was made chairman of the commission. Later he closed his flying field and moved to the municipal airport. His flying then consisted of instructing, photography, motion picture work and cross-country trips. On one assignment he was asked to deliver $1,750,000 worth of bonds to Reno, Nev. In an airplane accident in December 1928, Earl S. Daugherty was killed. His contribution to aviation will not soon be forgotten.

In the Independent, Long Beach, CA appears on Tuesday, June 18, 1957 and on February 19, 1958, the following.

Long Beach, CA Independent, June 18, 1957 (Source: Woodling)

30 YEARS AGO

Al Ebrite, well known Long Beach aviator, arrived home from a thrilling flight east where he took part in the aerial reception to Col. Charles Lindbergh at Washington, D. C., New York City, and St. Louis; he narrowly escaped
death in a crash at El Paso, Tex.

Long Beach, CA Independent, February 19, 1958 (Source: Woodling)

30 YEARS AGO

THREE PERSONS were Injured when two p l a n e s
piloted by two of Long Beach's most prominent fliers
crashed over the MunicipalAirport while attempting to land; Al Ebrite and Roy Crawford were the pilots
who were involved.

 

 

 

 

 

Ray Crawford, mentioned in the article on the right, is also a Register pilot, landing Monday, April 2, 1934.

Below, Ebrite's draft information. Interestingly, he cited his occupation as "actor." Indeed, he performed in two silent shorts, "The Secret Marriage" released March 19, 1914 and "Lure of the Green Table," released December 25, 1914.

Ebrite's Draft Card, June 5, 1917 (Source: Woodling)
Ebrite's Draft Card, June 5, 1917 (Source: Woodling)

Below, Ebrite's obituary from the Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram ("Alva Ebrite Services Set at Orange") of March 2, 1960. He died February 28, 1960 during the same year as his esteemed passenger Nicholas H. Putnam.

"Funeral service for Alva Roy Ebrite, 69, early-day aviator and among the first to have a hangar at Municipal Airport, will be conducted At 2 p.m. today in the chapel of Melrose Abbey Cemetery, Orange.  During World War II Ebrite was chief aviation instructor at Cal-Aero Academy, Ontario. Ebrite was an escort for Col. Charles A. Lindbergh when the latter returned from his historic flight to Paris. The pioneer aviator, who retired in 1945, was said to be the first pilot west of the Mississippi River to hold a commercial license. He flew in World War l and was a member of Long Beach Flyers Post, American Legion. He leaves his wife, Ruby. "

Note a possible discrepancy in the statement that he flew in WWI and the date of his solo at Long Beach cited above, January 2, 1919. He might have been a military pilot during WWI and this date defines his first civilian solo. Thanks to site visitor John Lyon for pointing out the discrepancy.

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 04/13/12 REVISED: 10/19/12, 10/24/13

 
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I'm looking for photographs of pilot Ebrite and his airplanes to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.
Thanks to site visitor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.
 
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