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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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This information comes from the biographical file for pilot Hull, CH-815000-01, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum, Washington, DC.

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The definitive reference for early Lockheed aircraft is:

Allen, Richard S. 1988. Revolution in the Sky: The Lockheeds of Aviation's Golden Age. Orion Books, NY. 253 pp.

The history of Hull's C.A.T. experience as it relates to his Lockheed aircraft is summarized on pp. 139-40 of Allen's book.

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Davies, R.E.G. Airlines of Latin America Since 1919. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C., 1984.

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THEODORE TORY HULL

Theodore T. Hull, date unknown (Source: NASM)
Theodore T. Hull

Theodore T. Hull was a banker who, at 36 years old, on March 9, 1929, formed the airline Corporacion Aeronautica de Transportes S.A. (CAT) to operate from Brownsville, TX to Mazatlan and from El Paso, TX to Mexico City.  In late 1930, he opened another line from Laredo, TX to Tampico, adding another important U.S. border port as an air transportation terminal. 

Hull was a prolific visitor to Tucson, landing at least 14 times between April 22, 1927 and March 25, 1930 as pilot and passenger (e.g. with Bob Starkey on April 5, 1929).  Much of his itinerary after 1929 was into Mexico and back.  He carried passengers about half the time. 

He flew a variety of aircraft, including Waco (aircraft number not identified), Fairchild (NC8001, NC1772), Boeing (a military model, A-7727), Ryan (NC7728) and Lockheed (NC46M, NC2846, NC871E, NC2874, NC504K and the Mexican-registered X-ABH).  The latter, as well as the Ryan and some of the other Lockheeds, he bought to operate on CAT.

He was inspected once by the U.S. Border Patrol on April 22, 1927. His itineraries in and out of Mexico probably led to the inspection by the relatively new (1924) Border Patrol organization.

In starting his business in Mexico, he did not scrimp on the quality of his aircraft or the competence and talent of the staff he hired to operate and maintain them.  Paul Braniff was one of the operations managers for Hull.  Lloyd Anderson (Register signer) was Chief Pilot.  Harold Bromley, his plans for a trans-Pacific flight delayed by the crack-up of his “City of Tacoma”, took a pilot position with Hull.  R.S. Allen (reference in left sidebar) cites Bromley delivering a brand new Vega to Mexico during the autumn of 1929.  This was very probably NC2874, as recorded in the Register on August 23rd.  Jack O’Brien (Register signer), Wiley Post and Lowell Yerex were also pilots of the line.  Mechanic/pilot Gordon Barry also worked with Hull.  C.A.T. carried 2,283 passengers in 1930.  The number almost doubled during the first half of 1931.

The Davies reference in the left sidebar contains photographs of two of Hull's aircraft. The Bellanca P-200, XA-BHO (nee: NC684W, not a Register airplane) is below via Woodling, Davies and Underwood. Notice the terminal building.

Bellanca of C.A.T. In Service, Date Unknown (Source: See Text)
Bellanca of C.A.T. In Service, Date Unknown (Source: See Text)

Below, an unidentified Bach in C.A.T. service.

Bach of C.A.T. In Service, Date Unknown (Source: See Text)
Bach of C.A.T. In Service, Date Unknown

Hull died in an accident in Pennsylvania November 25, 1931 when he was ferrying a new Bellanca monoplane from Wilmington, DE to Mexico.  He had trouble over Sudbury, PA and crashed full-speed into the Susquehanna River. C.A.T. remained in operation for another couple of months, and then closed because of bankruptcy (it was early in the Great Depression), as well as strong competition from the growing Pan American Airways system. His wife, Agnes, who was of the Fendrick Cigar family in Evansville, IN, survived him by many years.

Hull’s C.A.T. was envisioned as more than just an airline into Mexico.  His enthusiasm for the concept led him to institute a master pilot’s scholarship in aviation awarded annually to one Mexican youth selected by competitive examination.  The Hull scholarship was intended to consist of an 18-months master pilot’s transport course with primary training at a recognized aviation school in the United States, and advanced training at the C.A.T. base in Torreon, Mexico.  The entire course was personally prepared by Hull and Colonel Roberto Fierro.

The first examination was scheduled for October 1930.  I am not certain, given the demise of Mr. Hull a year later, and the bankruptcy of the airline in early 1932, if the scholarship program was ever instituted, or if it was, if the first student ever graduated.  Does anyone KNOW?

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Dossier 2.1.101

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 05/18/07 REVISED: 11/22/07, 12/22/07, 11/18/08, 04/29/12

 
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I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot Hull 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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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 a 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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