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Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and airplanes is available here.

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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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

Register Signers Stuart Auer, Freddie Lund & Milo Oliphant, Date Unknown
Register Signers Stuart Auer, Freddie Lund & Milo Oliphant, Date Unknown

I have very sparse information about pilot Milo Oliphant . I have one image, left, provided by Andy Heins. "Fearless" Freddie Lund squats at left front. Stuart Auer (note misspelling on the photo) signed the Register as a passenger with John P. Wood on September 22, 1928. The other men are unidentified. If you can identify them, please let me KNOW.

Milo Oliphant landed Wednesday, September 26, 1928 at 4:30 PM at Tucson. He carried a single passenger, William Drury. Based at Ypsilanti, MI, they were eastbound from San Diego, CA to El Paso, TX in Waco ASO NC3244 (S/N 832, manufactured in 1927).

Escanaba Press (MI), May 1, 1931 (Source: Woodling)

 

 

 

Given the closeness of Tucson landing dates of Auer with Wood, Oliphant with Drury - and Freddie Lund landed on September 19 - this image might have been taken sometime near the end of festivities following the "On to Los Angeles" National Air Races that year. Wood placed third in the transcontinental Class B race. And Drury placed first in the International Air Race, Windsor, Ontario to Los Angeles, CA.

A couple of years later, Oliphant was involved with the 1931 Michigan Air Tour that ran from June 18-27. Oliphant was a distributor for Waco aircraft at Ypsilanti, MI at the time. At right, from the Escanaba Press (MI), May 1, 1931, he is cited as providing a Waco aircraft from his distributorship to act as the pathfinding ship for the Tour.

As with many aviation events of the Golden Age, the Michigan Air Tour of 1931 was commemorated with postal cachets as the one below from June 18, 1931 (partial image captured from eBay).

Postal Cachet, Michigan Air Tour, 1931 (Source: eBay)

Interestingly, one of the pilots mentioned in the article at right, Wayne J. Sheldon, is a Register pilot who landed at Willow Grove, PA, Pitcairn Field on Thursday, November 5, 1931 flying the Pitcairn PCA-2 autogiro he identified as NC2624. If you have any information about Sheldon or his autogiro, please let me KNOW.

The article sheds light on some of the preparations that went into organizing, mapping and executing the air tours that were common during the Golden Age. State and local organizations organized them and, between 1925 and 1931 there were seven National Air Tours. The 1928 National Tour passed, enmasse, through Tucson Tuesday, July 10, 1928. Please direct your browser to the link for details.

Later in the 1930s, Oliphant was employed by the Michigan Department of Aeronautics. Under their employ, he was asked to supply testimony for a bill (House Resolution 11969), which was in Congress during 1936. A news article from June 9, 1936 Lewiston Daily Sun (ME) cites the veto of the bill by President Roosevelt, stating there was, "...no immediate military necessity...."

News, June 9, 1936 Lewiston Daily Sun (ME) (Source: Google)

 

 

 

Before the veto, Oliphant and many other aviation officials provided their comments in the Congressional Record, a portion of which, with Oliphant's comments, is below. Although Oliphant's affirming testimony supporting the bill was to no avail, other bills forming the Civilian Pilot Training Program would be enacted just three years later, in 1939, as WWII approached.

 

Oliphant's 1936 Support of H.R. 11969 (Source: Woodling)

 

Chicago Tribune (IL) - January 25, 1985
Deceased Name: MILO OLIPHANT, EX-DIRECTOR AT GOSS PRESS

MILO E. OLIPHANT, 82, the grandson of a founder of Goss Printing Press Co., was on the company`s board of directors and was its corporate secretary. He was also an aviation engineer and pilot, winning the First International Airways Race from Windsor, Canada, to Los Angeles.

Mr. Oliphant, who retired to Carolina Village, near Hendersonville, N.C., in 1975, died Friday in a Hendersonville hospital. Memorial services were pending.

Mr. Oliphant, a Chicago native, graduated from Austin High School and, in 1925, from the University of Michigan with a degree in aviation engineering.

In 1928, he won the race from Windsor to Los Angeles.

In 1940, Mr. Oliphant joined the firm begun by his grandfather, Jacob Walser, along with Samuel and Frederick Goss, in 1885. Goss Printing, once the world`s largest manufacturer of newspaper, magazine and rotogravure presses, was built in Chicago and later moved to Cicero. The Tribune was among its longtime newspaper clients.

Mr. Oliphant was a member of the board of directors and was elected corporate secretary in 1950. He retired in 1968 when the firm became Rockwell Graphic Systems Division.

Survivors include his wife, Virginia.

Oliphant passed away during January, 1985. His obituary from the Chicago Tribune is at left, courtesy of Mr. Woodling. It provides a brief biographical sketch. No mention is made of a military career. He would have been in his late 30s at the onset of WWII, and perhaps his work building printing presses was considered a critical skill which kept him out of military service. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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UPLOADED: 04/15/08 REVISED: 02/19/15

 
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I'm looking for information about pilot Oliphant and photographs of his airplane to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.

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OTHER BOOKS FOR YOU

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.

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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.

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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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