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OTHER RESOURCES

OWN A TIME MACHINE

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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OTHER BOOKS FOR YOU

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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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

"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.

"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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Any half warm pilot knows about the flight of Charles Lindbergh, and probably about the books he’s authored, and books that others have authored about him. Likewise, they know about the one-of-a-kind Ryan airplane he flew across the Atlantic in May 1927.

This Lindbergh vignette will not reiterate any of that. Instead, I’ll focus on Lindbergh's flight to the Davis-Monthan Airfield, and the landing he made in the experimental ”Spirit of St. Louis”, NX-211.

I’ll cite contemporary local newspaper articles, agendas and maps related to his brief visit. Things that you don't generally find in the books.

WEB LINKS

There are many Web links to Charles Lindbergh. Here are a couple:

This one gets you to the PBS transcript of "The American Experience", which featured Lindbergh.

This one takes you to the Lindbergh Foundation's site, where you will find other links.

This one takes you to the Smithsonian Institution's Lindbergh collection of artifacts. You will be able to browse 1,305 (as of early 2008) items related to Lindbergh's Atlantic flight, as well as items related to his use of the Lockheed Sirius "Tingmissartoq". Lindbergh's Atlantic flight spawned a marketing dynamo that lasted for some time after the flight. At the link you'll see some of the consumer products, ash trays, buttons, games, etc. that resulted.

This one shows you the original bank check for $25,000 issued to Lindbergh as the Raymond Orteig prize for being the first to cross the Atlantic Ocean non-stop solo by air.

Video link for 12/30/10. This is a very nicely done multi-part video of the preparations and execution of Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight. You can work through the four parts most easily by clicking on the CONTACT button at the link and returning to the menu after viewing each segment. I'm not sure of the longevity of the link, so if you find it is no longer valid, please let me KNOW.

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You may also meet Lindbergh in person, as I did at the San Diego Aerospace Museum (below).

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Another resource of mention is the writing of Ev Cassagneres. His business card identifies him as a "Ryan Aircraft Historian" and "Lindbergh/Spirit of St. Louis Specialist".

He has two books that you should look at. The first addresses the Spirit and is entitled "The Untold Story of the Spirit of St. Louis: From the Drawing Board to the Smithsonian". Published in 2002, it is available from Flying Books International, New Brighton, MN.

The second book is in press, entitled, "Ambassador of Air Travel: The Untold Story of Lindbergh's 1927-1928 Goodwill Tours". It will be available from Pictorial Histories Publishing Co., Missoula, MT.

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A brief, interesting article by Donald Keyhoe (the passenger in the Guggenheim-sponsored Fairchild flown by Phil Love) provides some statistics about the tour.

In view of the nationwide enthusiasm produced by Lindbergh and the tour (especially in the use of air mail and the willingness of municipalities to invest in airports) the following figures document the aggressiveness of Lindberg's itinerary.

Hours flying.............................260

Number of miles flown...22,350

Number of stops..................... 82

Number of stops on time ......81

Number of speeches............147

Number of dinners..................69

Number of parade miles..1,285

Numbers attending parades.....................30,000,000

States visited............................48

As a credit to their piloting skills and planning, and to the quality of aircraft of the time, there was no damage to either aiplane. Neither the Ryan nor the Fairchild suffered accidents.

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FRESNO BEE, August 29, 1929.

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Davis-Monthan Aviation Field Register
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Charles Augustus Lindbergh

Anyone alive and mostly conscious during the 20th century has heard of Charles Lindbergh. He was, after all, the first aviator to cross the Atlantic Ocean solo. Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight took off from Roosevelt Field, Long Island, in May, 1927. Before he left for Paris, Harry Guggenheim, a multimillionaire and aviation enthusiast, visited him at Roosevelt Field.

"When you get back from your flight, look me up," said Guggenheim, who later admitted he didn't think there was much chance Lindbergh would survive the trip.

Lindbergh remembered and did call upon his return. It was the beginning of a friendship that would have a profound impact on the development of aviation in the United States. The two decided Lindbergh would make a three-month tour of the United States, paid for by a fund Harry and his father, Daniel, had set up earlier to encourage aviation-related research. The Daniel Guggenheim Fund sponsored Lindbergh on a three-month nation-wide tour. Flying the "Spirit of St. Louis," he touched down in all the United States, visited 92 cities, gave 147 speeches, and rode 1,290 miles in parades. The excitement generated by the tour stimulated common people and government officials to demand that airfields and other infrastructure be constructed. An explosion of aviation interest occurred after Lindbergh passed through town.

Lindbergh visited the Davis-Monthan Airfield once. He was on that tour that started at Mitchel Field, Long Island, NY, July 20, 1927, and ended at Mitchel Field on October 23, 1927. The tour was a celebration of his trans-Atlantic success.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE IN TUCSON ON THE DAY OF HIS VISIT?

PLEASE NOTE: AS OF APRIL 2, 2007 A MOVIE OF LINDBERGH AND NX-211 ON THE GROUND AND IN THE AIR AT TUCSON IS AVAILABLE ON THIS SITE AT THE LINK!

A lot of ink has been laid on paper that describes Lindbergh's life and deeds. This Web page won't reiterate that. Rather, if focuses only on the things that are tour- and Tucson-related. There's plenty of information and links here that you may not find accumulated in one place.

An article describing Lindbergh's visit to Tucson and the cactus replica of the "Spirit of St. Louis," the "Spirit of Tucson," is at the link (PDF, 3Mb). This is a great link summarizing his 1927 Tour. You may see another image of Lindbergh on tour here. He arrived at Tucson eastbound from San Diego, CA. He was fêted at San Diego, much as he was at Tucson. You may view a video of Lindbergh in San Diego on September 21, 1927 at the link. The video is posted online by the San Diego Aerospace Museum. Please let me KNOW if the link expires. The SDAM also posts a number of photographs of the Tour at the SDAM Flickr Stream. Scroll down near the bottom of the page at the link. Below is a map showing the route of his tour. He visited Tucson between San Diego, CA and Lordsburg, NM.

Lindbergh's 1929 U.S. Tour (Source: Web)
Lindbergh's 1929 U.S. Tour (Source: Web)

When Lindbergh visited Tucson on the afternoon of September 23rd flying the "Spirit of St. Louis" the city fathers were well-prepared. Below, retyped in about the same font and format, from an original at the Arizona Historical Society library, is the agenda they built for him. He was greeted in Tucson by about 20,000 people.

LINDBERGH DAY
Program
 
HEADQUARTERS SANTA RITA HOTEL

12:45 – Mayor’s committee meets at Santa Rita hotel to go out to aviation field.

1:30 – Department of Commerce red monoplane piloted by Philip Love and carrying D.E. Keyhoe, manager of tour and C.C. Maidmont, mechanic, will arrive at the new Davis-Monthan airfield.

2:00 – Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, flying his silver monoplane, Spirit of St. Louis, will arrive at airfield. Parking space north and west of field and along Alvernon Way and Broadway available to cars. No cars or persons, except mayor’s committee, will be allowed on field.

2:45 – Colonel Lindbergh will drive through Pastime Park so that all war veterans may see him.

3:00 Colonel Lindbergh will speak for 20 minutes at football field at University of Arizona. Grandstands will be reserved for grade and high school children unattended by adults. Parking space on Polo field and north and west of gymnasium available. Loud speakers for 25,000.

4:30 to 7:00 –Colonel Lindbergh’s own time.

6:45 – Banquet at University Commons at which Colonel Lindbergh will speak.

8:00 – Dance at Gymnasium. Everybody Welcome.

ROUTE TO AVIATION FIELD

Go east on Congress Street through Subway to Ninth Street (first street north of Subway); Turn to right; East on Ninth Street to Park Avenue; South on Park Avenue to Broadway; East on Broadway, past Country Club to Alvernon Way (northeast corner Randolph Park); then two miles south to Aviation Field.
ROUTE OF PARADE
Aviation field, north on Alvernon Way to Broadway; West on Broadway to Park Avenue; North on Park Avenue to Speedway; West on Speedway to Stone Avenue; Thence to Pastime Park, returning same route to Sixth Avenue and Speedway; South on Sixth Avenue to Fourth Street; East on Fourth Street to University.
NO CARS TO ACCOMPANY COL. LINDBERGH TO PASTIME PARK
KEEP OFF THE FIELD
Keep Route of Parade Clear
Let Arizona distinguish herself by so doing.

According to the Register, the "red monoplane" cited in the agenda above was Fairchild FC2 NS-7, registered with the Department of Commerce. It landed Friday at 1:30PM, with Lindbergh following at 2:00. Refer to page 22 of the register for Lindbergh’s signature, and those of Love, Keyhoe and Maidment who accompanied Lindbergh in the red Fairchild. An interesting aside is that Phil Love is one of only two other pilots (the other was Major James Lanphier) to fly the Spirit of St. Louis solo.

When he got to the field in the mid afternoon, he spoke to the crowd. Here is the text of the speech that Lindbergh delivered to about 5,000 people on September 23rd at the football field on the University of Arizona campus. Although his itinerary alloted 20 minutes for these words, I can't believe he took the full time. The motion picture film shows him at the podium delivering this speech.

“Citizens of Arizona, we are just beginning the third lap of our tour which is taking us to all the important cities in the country. This tour was organized for the purpose of promoting aviation in the United States, and it is under the auspices of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics.

There is no other means of transportation by which a tour of this schedule could be made. Only once during this entire tour have we been delayed and that was not due to mechanical trouble, but due to weather conditions in the New England states. Airplanes of today are reliable, fairly economical, and high in performance. The engine in The Spirit of St. Louis is the same in which the trip across the Atlantic was made.

Your interest in aviation is manifested by your attendance here today and by your splendid airport in Tucson. It should be the object of every city to maintain equally as good airports as here, and that is one of the purposes of this tour. I thank you."

With that, Lindbergh retired to the Santa Rita Hotel in Tucson, where he met briefly with reporters, then rested before an evening of activities, including dinner with 400 guests. According to the Register, he departed east to Lordsburg at 7:45 the next morning. Today the Santa Rita is the Clarion Hotel, at 88 E. Broadway Blvd., serving terrific northern Mexican cuisine in the restaurant, "Cafe Poco Cosa" (note: "Cafe Poco Cosa" has moved and is now at 110 East Pennington St., Tucson, AZ; it is worth your visit).

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WHERE DID HIS AIRPLANE STAY?

While Lindbergh went about his tour duties, NX211, the "Spirit of St. Louis", stayed behind at the airfield. Below is an image of the airplane while on the ground at Tucson. This image came from the collection of Mrs. Charles Mayse, via Mr. Cassagneres (see left column). Her husband, Charlie Mayse, a Golden Age pilot from the Tucson area, signed the register ten times. Please see this link on this site for additional images of NX-211 on the ground at Tucson.

What looks like a fuel delivery was probably not. The truck was probably supplying motor oil and not gasoline, as gasoline is not, and from their Web site never was, a product Calumet provided.

NX-211 at Tucson

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WHAT WAS IN THE NEWS REGARDING HIS VISIT TO TUCSON?

Considerable press coverage appeared around his visit. Beginning on September 9th, The "Tucson Citizen" listed the names of the reception committee for Lindbergh's visit. The committee included a number of Gold Star mothers of local aviators. Among them are, "Mesdames Luke, Davis and Monthan." Of the last two the article states, "The new aviation field which Lindbergh will be asked to dedicate will in all probability take the name of the old field, 'Davis-Monthan' and committeemen deemed it only proper that the mothers of the aviators be present on the Mayor's reception committee." Both these women are seen on the dais with Lindbergh in the movie film.

On September 22nd, the "Citizen" headlined, "PLANS PERFECTED BY LOCAL COMMITTEE TO GREET FAMOUS FLYER: Conqueror of Atlantic Due to Reach Field at 2 o'Clock, Which Will Be Signaled By Mighty Blast of Tucson Whistles".

The article heralded the arrival of the Lindbergh entourage the next day. It reviewed his itinerary and introduced the "red monoplane", its pilot Phil Love, and its passengers Keyhoe (writer) and Maidment.

Below is an image of that monoplane, from a period magazine advertisment for Fairchild aircraft. The placard on the door describes the Lindbergh Goodwill Tour, and its sponsorship by the Daniel Guggenheim Foundation grant. You can also see this airplane taxiing in the movie film. It was red in color. Note how the wings could be folded.

Guggenheim Fairchild N-S7

This same article also lists a group of Navy planes flown in from San Diego on the 22nd and the morning of the 23rd to participate in the activities. Refer to Register page 22, just above Lindbergh's signature, for pilots McGomery, Radford, Greber, H.R. Bogusch, and Richardson. They departed on Saturday the 24th, just before Lindbergh's takeoff toward Lordsburg.

Also on the 22nd, the "Citizen" headlined that, "LINDBERGH IS GIVEN RIGHT TO HUNT BUFFALO", and, "...America's ace of aces, will be granted special permission to shoot a bull buffalo and two deer in the Kaibab forest during his coming visit to Arizona."

On the 23rd, the "Citizen" headlined the day's activities. What a high time it was: "VAST THRONG HERE TO SEE AIR VIKING: Notables From All Over Ariz. Participating: Seven Hours of Hearty Hospitality Is Day's Program". It reports, "His airplane circled over the city three times before going to the field. An ovation of thousands of automobile horns greeted him as he landed." "Five Navy planes were lined along the field, having come in from San Diego." And, "Leading hotels last night turned away a large number of applicants for rooms, all available space having been previously taken by advance reservations, many of which had been on file for several weeks time."

On the late afternoon of the 23rd, Lindbergh granted an interview with ten members of the fourth estate at the Pueblo Club. Their headlines on the 24th: "SOUTHWEST SPECIALLY ADAPTED TO AVIATION, LINDBERGH'S OPINION: Year-Round Conditions Here Are Best, Says Flier In Interview With Press; No Air Pockets Here to Endanger Traffic". They reported, "His tanned face bore a sincere expression and his keen, rather small eyes reflected a mature mind in a youthful frame." Lindbergh speculated for reporters that, "There will be three main transcontinental routes in the future, one the northern, another the central, and the third a southern route, which will pass through Arizona.

"Time is worth more to Americans than the people of any other country, and for this reason, he pointed out, commercial aviation will soon become a great factor in our transportation."

They reported that Lindbergh felt, "The present tour has not been as tiring as he expected it to be.... He has had between 275 and 280 flying hours in the Spirit of St. Louis, and has traveled about 25,000 miles with the original motor, without overhauling."

Also reported on the 24th in a separate article, "The Spirit of St. Louis motor which carried him across the Atlantic....was tuned up shortly before eight o'clock this morning, and at 7:50 a.m. he took the air to start the last third of his gruelling [sic] tour of the country.

"Slipping easily through the air, the silver-toned plane circled about the city, made an air visit to Pastime Park, then returned to swing about the city until a few minutes after eight o'clock, when he pointed the Whirlwind-motored nose of the plane eastward to Lordsburg, N.M. At Lordsburg, he was due to make a brief visit, taking the air after an hour's stay for El Paso. Enroute to that point, he will pass over and circle about Silver City, N.M. and Fort Bayard, N.M."

In retrospect, the press found that, "Certainly the visitor acted the gracious guest. He agreed to all requests of the aviation committee, went where he was scheduled, shook hands with those presented to him, posed for pictures at the field, on the campus and elsewhere, and on occasion produced the smile which has added greatly to his popularity. But he did draw the line on autographs, at least in public, stepped slightly back when crowded by overenthusiastic women, and avoided answering questions which he deemed too personal."

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The four photographs below come to us from Ty Sundstrom as stills from a movie film of Lindbergh's goodwill tour around the U.S. Mr. Sundstrom states they are from a "yardsale" film, " ... from Lindbergh's United States Guggenheim tour and were taken on September 1st, 1927." September 1st would place Lindbergh in Pierre, SD, westbound in his tour.

Lindbergh and Documents on the Horizontal Stabilizer (Source: Sundstrom)
Lindbergh and Documents on the Horizontal Stabilizer

Lindbergh can be seen in the images above and immediately below, hatless, doing some paperwork on the horizontal stabilizer of his airplane. He looks like he might be signing souvenir posters. Indeed, he is signing posters similar to the one shared with us by site visitor Linda Roark, below, right, from the link.

Souvenir Poster Signed by Lindbergh, 1927 (Source: Web)
Souvenir Poster Signed by Lindbergh, 1927 (Source: Web)

The description of the poster (from an auction site, so I don't know how long the link will be valid) states,

"Charles Lindbergh: Signed Spirit of St. Louis Poster. On May 21, 1927, Charles Lindbergh stunned the world when he flew from New York to Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis. Literally overnight, he became the most famous man in the world. Just about two months later, Lindbergh and his plane began a sweeping national tour sponsored by multimillionaire Harry Guggenheim. With its designated purpose being the generation of increased public interest in, and support of, aviation, Lindbergh and The Spirit of St. Louis visited 48 states and landed in 92 cities from July 20 through October 23, 1927. For those larger cities on the flight path, but not on the tour, Lindbergh would fly low above a waiting crowd and drop a canvas tube containing one of these signed posters. With a great image of the legendary plane, the poster carries a salutation and indirect apology - "Because of the limited time.....it is impossible for the 'Spirit of St. Louis' to land in your city". The poster is enhanced by a spectacular signature, almost 3" long and over 1" high: "Charles A. Lindbergh". 19" x 26.5" sight size. Some toning and spotting, folds, a slight tear and small damp-stain in the lower left corner, else very good."

Below, the anemometer-like cups to the left of Lindbergh's head operate the wind-powered generator for the earth inductor compass.

Lindbergh and Documents on the Horizontal Stabilizer (Source: Sundstrom)
Lindbergh and Documents on the Horizontal Stabilizer

Below, we might be seeing Lindbergh behind the airplane between the wing struts. The famous lack of windows and forward view in the "Spirit of St. Louis" are well-illustrated in this photograph, as are the vents for the large fuselage fuel tanks visible as three inverted "L"-shaped tubes protruding from the top center of the wing. These can also be seen from the rear in the top photograph.

The machined metal of the engine and nose cowling is shown well. This is a process called "engine turning", which looks very rich and elegant, but was allegedly used to mask tooling marks that were inevitable on the hand-formed cowling. The tube protruding nearest from the left wing is the ram air pitot mast, used to measure airspeed.

Spirit of St. Louis at Pierre, SD (Source: Sundstrom)
Spirit of St. Louis at Pierre, SD

An interesting article, below, appeared in the August, 1930 issue of Popular Aviation magazine (PA). It describes the long-range fuel tanks installed in the "Spirit of St. Louis."

Long-Range Fuel Tanks, Popular Aviation, August, 1930 (Source: PA)
Long-Range Fuel Tanks, Popular Aviation, August, 1930 (Source: PA)

Below, the rear of the airplane has been lifted clear of the ground (note the tail skid is elevated above the grass) and it appears the men are turning it away from the fence and the crowd, perhaps in preparation for startup and departure from Pierre. From the positions of the control surfaces in this photograph, the control stick in the cockpit is toward the left, in the full forward position, and the left rudder pedal is depressed.

Spirit of St. Louis at Pierre, SD (Source: Sundstrom)
Spirit of St. Louis at Pierre, SD

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Dossier 2.1.11

THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 04/13/05 UPDATED: 05/01/06, 04/02/07 (movie), 10/12/07, 01/28/08, 04/14/08, 02/02/09, 06/06/11, 01/03/12, 06/17/14, 12/24/14

 
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THE FAMOUS AND THE SOON-TO-BE FAMOUS

Some of the aviators, like Lindbergh, had already made a name for themselves before they landed at the Davis-Monthan Airfield. There were others, like Wiley Post and Jimmy Doolittle.

Some, like Bobbi Trout, the air racers and many of the mid-grade military officer/pilots, were on the cusp of becoming "somebody". They would have to wait 5-10 years for their moments of fame.

There is plenty of "stuff" out there on the Web and in the bookstores about the life of Charles Lindbergh, the specifications of his airplane, and the impact he made on our lives and ours on his.

In this vignette, I'll show you some things that are relatively rare, and some that are mundane. But they are important, because they reflect the daily responsibilities that formed the Lindbergh infrastructure. A lot of what you'll find on this page and its links isn't published anywhere else.

I'll summarize some period, local newspaper articles. I’ll include a photo of the Spirit on the ground at Tucson, as well as (below) a contemporary (2002) photo of his daughter, Reeve, reviewing and counter-signing my copy of the Davis-Monthan register next to where her father signed it on September 23, 1927.

There's also a picture of his "chase" plane, and texts of the program put together by the greeting committee for Lindbergh's visit to Tucson, and of the speech he gave while on the ground.

Finally, the great film of Lindbergh on the ground and in the air at Tucson.

Today his airplane hangs in the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.

The four still images taken from a "yardsale" film are shared with us by Ty Sundstrom. They are exhibited at left.

Much later in his U.S. tour, Lindbergh landed at Pitcairn Field in Willow Grove, PA and signed the Register there.

 
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