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There is no biographical file for pilot George 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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OTTO CLYDE GEORGE

Otto C. George, 1937, Location Unknown (Source: Web)
Otto C. George, 1937, Location Unknown (Source: Web)

 

Otto George landed three times at Tucson as an Air Corps lieutenant. Each time he was based at Ft. Crockett, TX and carried a single passenger, a Cpl. Perdue. His first landing was on Wednesday, September 5, 1928. He was flying the Curtiss A-3 Falcon identified simply as "41." He and Perdue were westbound, arriving from Ft. Bliss, El Paso, TX with San Diego, CA as their cited destination.

His second visit was on Monday, April 8, 1929. This time he flew the A-3 Falcon identified as 28-91. He and Perdue were on a round-robin flight from Ft. Huachuca, AZ. His third visit was on Thursday, April 18, 1929 again in an A-3 identified as 28-95. They arrived from Ft. Huachuca, but did not list a destination. Neither did they list purposes for any of their flights.

A photograph and quasi biographical sketch is at the link. The photograph at the link is reproduced at right (I don't know how long the link will be valid). The photo is from 1937. Note his belt buckle moved off to his left side so as not to scratch airplane paint.

Joe Baugher's site corroborates the identifications of 28-91 and 28-95 as being Curtiss A-3 Falcons. However, aircraft "41" remains a mystery. Although he identified it as a Falcon, there is no "28-41" assigned to a Falcon. Likewise for 26-41 and 27-41. 28-41 is listed as a Boeing PW-9D by Baugher. George's "41" could have been a squadron number.

Further evidence that it was a squadron number, "39," is found in this image, below, of a Curtiss A-3 of the 90th Attack Squadron. Note the 90th emblem on George's jacket and on the fuselage of his airplane at right.

Curtiss A-3, Squadron No. 39, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Woodling)
Curtiss A-3, Squadron No. 39, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Woodling)

 

 

 

 

 

90th Attack Squadron Insignia (Source: Web)
90th Attack Squadron Insignia (Source: Web)

 

This airplane is squadron no. 39. Note the "Pair-O-Dice" insignia on the fuselage and compare it to the color image of the insignia on the right. The geometry of the insignia changed a bit over the years, but the dice remained the fundamental graphic, showing the "lucky seven." The 90th went through some name changes during its life, but it was known as the 90th Attack Squadron from 1923-1939. Early commanders of the 90th were Register pilots Hoyt Vandenberg and Nathan Twining.

Below, a photograph of the 90th Attack Squadron assembled. The photograph is dated 1930 and is an official photograph of the U.S. Air Force Museum via Mr. Woodling.

90th Attack Squadron, 1930 (Source: Woodling)
90th Attack Squadron, 1930 (Source: Woodling)

Otto George was born November 17, 1904 in Missouri. He died in an accident March 14, 1942 in China at age 37. He was a passenger in a DC-2 departing Kunming for Chunking when it developed engine trouble and crashed about two kilometers from the Kunming Airdrome. All three crew members and eight of his fellow passengers perished. Four passengers survived. He had risen through the ranks to lieutenant colonel at the time of his death. He is buried at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, Honolulu. He rests in plot A 790, having been buried there February 3, 1949 after transfer of his remains from China. Another biography with additional photographs of his gravesite is at the link.

Some of his personal life and military career is pulled together below from various Web sources. His marriage and children are documented in the sketch above. He was apparently assigned to Panama at one time. As a major, located at Bowman Field, KY, he commanded the 46th Bombardment Group from April 18, 1941 to May 9, 1941. Below is a copy of his military record, 1926-1941, via the Official Army Register, January 1, 1942. It follows his promotions through major.

Otto C. George Military Record (Source: Woodling)
Otto C. George Military Record (Source: Woodling)

 

Otto C. George, National Air Races, The New York Times, August 26, 1928 (Source: NYT)
Otto C. George, National Air Races, The New York Times, August 26, 1928 (Source: NYT)

 

That he was a pilot valued for his skills by the Army is corroborated by this article, left, from The New York Times of August 26, 1928. The article identifies him as one of the pilots chosen to represent the Army and compete during the National Air Races that year.

This article reads like a Who's Who of Register pilots. Mentioned are fellow competitors Ralph Royce, Victor Strahm, Rex K. Stoner, William H. Doolittle, Robert Schoenlein, Ralph Wooten, Horace Heisen, Harold L. George, and others.

The Aircraft Year Book for 1929 cites, on page 436, that George placed 7th in the Mason M. Patrick Trophy Race of 120 miles (Event No. 6).

In addition, the article below, shared by Mr. Woodling, from the Galveston Daily News for Tuesday, September 4, 1928 states [My notes are in brackets],

"ATTACK PLANES LEAVE HERE FOR AERIAL RACE
The Third Attack Group of Galveston will be represented at the national air races, to be held in Los Angeles starting Saturday, twelve Curtiss A-3 attack planes leaving Galveston yesterday for the west coast. A large transport plane accompanied the attack planes. The pilots will participate in the Mason M. Patrick trophy races which are scheduled the end of the week. The group is headed by [Register pilot] Maj. John H. Jouett, newly appointed commander of the Third Attack Group. It is expected that the group will reach Los Angeles Thursday or Friday. Officers making the trip included Maj. John H. Jouett, commanding officer of the Third Attack Group, and Fort Crockett, who will also enter as a contestant in the race. Capt. Robert N. Murphy, medical corps, and Maj. Oscar Morales Guatemalan air corps, will accompany the group, flying in a C-1 transport [25-433], piloted by Lt. Richard H. Gilley. The following pilots will participate in the race: Capt. R. H Wooten, Capt. H. N. Helsen [sic], Lt. J. G. Williams, Lt. G. A. McHenry Lt. H. W. Anderson, Lt. E. C. Robbins, Lt. Otto C. George, Lt. Walter W. Gross, Lt. H. M. Newstrom, Lt. G. A. Acheson, Lt. George H. MacNair."

Direct your browser to the bottom half of pages 54-55 of the Register and you will see that everyone in the Galveston article, save for Morales and Williams, are signed in the Register on September 5th at 9:05AM as either pilots or passengers. They remained on the ground forty minutes, then departed to San Diego, Rockwell Field.

News of his fatal air crash was published in The New York Times of March 16, 1942, below. Details surrounding the lives of his fellow officers and other passengers are cited.

Otto C. George, China Air Crash, The New York Times, March 16, 1942 (Source: NYT)
Otto C. George, China Air Crash, The New York Times, March 16, 1942 (Source: NYT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another item from The New York Times of March 16th, below, reiterates the chronology of his military career.

Otto C. George, China Air Crash, The New York Times, March 16, 1942 (Source: NYT)
Otto C. George, China Air Crash, The New York Times, March 16, 1942 (Source: NYT)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet another article, below, from the Dallas (TX) Morning News for March 16th describes the crash with a photograph of George.

Dallas Morning News, March 16, 1942 (Source: Woodling)
Dallas Morning News, March 16, 1942 (Source: Woodling)

 

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/06/12 REVISED:

 
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I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot George 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 with this page.
 
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