"S." Dale or "L." Dale? That is the question. Without getting tedious about it, this is an example where handwriting interpretation is more art than science when dealing with old documents like our Register. Page's signature on Register page 80, at first glance, looks like he signed "L. Dale Page". Upon magnification, it appears that his pen nib might have been a little dry on the upstroke of a cursive"S", leaving the top loop, downstroke and finish looking like an "L". A little sleuthing, below, makes it clear that he wrote an "S".
Page landed twice at Tucson in Waco ASO NC4531 (S/N 828, manufactured in 1927). Both times he was based at Safford, AZ. His first visit, on Thursday December 13, 1928, he carried passenger Ernest S. Wickersham from Safford to Tucson. They stayed in Tucson until the 15th before heading back to Safford. The second visit was solo on Friday, February 15, 1929. He was eastbound from Los Angeles, CA to El Paso, TX. No reason was given in the Register for either flight.
Dale Page was an American Airlines captain before WWII. A site visitor states, "I worked with his daughter in the 70s. Happened to show her an article about a restored AA [American Airlines] biplane trimotor, think it was a Boeing [perhaps a Model 80A or 80B?]. She told me right away that when she was in about the first grade she remembered swinging from the tubular truss behind the pilots' seats, which was in one of the pictures in the article. Her dad flew airshows, probably in late 20s. She had a brochure about some airshow featuring "Captain Page". After WWII he was based in Southern California with AA...."
Airmail Cachet, May 1, 1933, Page's Signature
At this link, you can see this image of an airmail postal cachet from May 1, 1933 (I'm including the image here, right, because the link may disappear sooner or later: the cachet is for sale at $899).
Notice Page's signature in the upper left corner of the envelope. The handwriting matches perfectly his two signatures in the Register.
The cachet celebrates the 5th anniversary of Contract Airmail route #23 (CAM-23), which was operated from New Orleans, LA to Atlanta, GA by American.
Page touched the life of another Register pilot on March 15, 1928. He was an assistant flight instructor working for Burdette Flying Service in Los Angeles. Page was engaged by Bobbi Trout for primary flight training in a Curtiss "Jenny". Veca and Mazzio's book, pages 31ff., relates that Page intended to teach Bobbi that day how to handle engine failure at low altitude. Long story short, the airplane crashed because Page, against all the experience and cautions by legions of pilots before him not to do it, tried unsuccessfully to turn back to the airport after the power "failure" (Page had pulled the throttle back himself).
The crash cost the airplane, facial cuts and a brain concussion to Bobbi, and a few minutes of unconsciousness for Page. The book cited above contains facsimiles of several news articles describing and picturing the accident. I found no record that Page was cited for his lapse in judgement.
There is only one entry in the Social Security Death Index that makes any sense for a Dale Page or our era. He was born June 3, 1896 and died in February, 1969 in California. I'm not sure this is our pilot S. Dale Page, and I have no other information or photographs. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.
UPLOADED: 04/03/09 REVISED: