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Ruth M. Reinhold's 1982 book entitled, "Sky Pioneering: Arizona in Aviation History" (University of Arizona Press, Tucson. ISBN 0-8165-0737-6). Cf. p. 110.

The "Home Marie" article is courtesy of Louis Hudgin and the Hudgin Family Collection.

The newspaper references throughout the center column came from the archives of the Arizona Historical Society, Tucson, AZ. I am very grateful to the staff of the Society for their help during my visits to their facility.

Uniquely, one of these articles places Pilot Graham at the Airfield on May 19, 1930.

Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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Marie Graham landed at the Airfield May 19, 1930 at 10:30 AM. She was flying a Great Lakes airplane, NC207K with passenger Victoria Thompson. They were flying from Phoenix to Tucson. Pilot Graham noted in the remarks column "Arizona Air Service."

Marie Graham was the first female flight instructor hired in AZ. According to Ruth Reinhold (reference, left), she also worked for Scenic Airways, Sky Harbor, Phoenix. She held limited commercial license number 8698, a relatively low number. She was a member of the Ninety Nines.

We are fortunate with Marie Graham to have a series of news articles that parallel and illuminate her activities in aviation for a few years.

Below is a news article which describes one of her early jobs in aviation. The obligatory pilot photo with leather helmet and goggles is an icon of the era.

Although this article is of unknown source and date, from its context with other known publications it is probably from late 1929 or early 1930 (see elsewhere below).

"Home Marie", ca. 1930



The next two articles document her receiving her pilot's license. She was the very first woman to receive a license in the state of Arizona. Articles are from the Tucson Citizen. According to a quick lookup of her address in Streets & Trips, she lived in a neighborhood now encircled by Interstate routes 10 and 17 in downtown Phoenix.

License Articles, 1929



January 8, 1930

This one corroborates the first, undated article above.

Unfortunately, Miss Bradley and her Robin did not enjoy the honor of being documented in the Register, however, because they were not among the 26 entries for the month of January 1930. For whatever reason, Marie neglected to sign in or out. Perhaps the weather was a factor.

Note that the Davis-Monthan Airfield is referred to as the Mayse airport. That is a holdover from when the location of the airfield was at what is now the rodeo grounds at the corner of 6th St. and Irvington in Tucson. All that is left of that airfield is the original hangar building , which is now used as a buggy museum.

The Santa Rita Hotel is the same one Lindbergh stayed in during his visit just a couple of years previous.






Commercial License March, 1930

This article, left, from the Arizona Republican of March 14, 1930, documents her receiving her limited commercial license. The end of the article is truncated, as it was at the Arizona Historical Society archives where I acquired it.


Her achievement was a big deal back in 1930, as not many women had acquired the training.

Commercial License, March 1930







The other article, right, from the Tucson Star of March 23, 1930 belatedly notes her achievement.



Her Visit to Tucson, May 19, 1930

In the article, above, from the Tucson Star we pinpoint her visit to the Airfield when she signed the Register on May 19, 1930. Her passenger, Victoria (Mrs. Mark B.) Thompson is also mentioned in the article.

Their quest for funding, however, was already moot at Tucson, because no funds were available to support an Arizona female candidate in the 1930 Air Derby (see the next article, of an earlier date). She did not compete in the 1930 Derby.

Pilot Jack Thornburg, mentioned at the end of the article, signed the Register just below Graham. They were the only two pilots and their aircraft to represent themselves in the Register that day.

Lack of funds? Only two airplanes visiting the Airfield on that day? Effects of the Depression?


No money!
No money!


The Register
I'm looking for photographs and other information about Pilot Graham. If you know of any, please use this FORM to contact me.

The center column of this page documents the flying activities of Marie Graham. I know nothing of what she was like as a person.

What were her likes and dislikes? What was her educational background? Who did she hang out with? If you know, please let us in on it.

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