C. E. Shankle With JN-4
Clarence E. “Dutch” Shankle (1893-1973) enlisted
in the Aviation Section, Signal Corps, in 1917 from his home
in Texas. He received his pilot rating before the Armistice
in 1918 and served as an instructor at various airfields
during the Great War. When General Billy Mitchell proved
in 1921 that aircraft could sink naval vessels, Lt. Shankle
was a member of the squadron of MB-2 bombers from the 1st
Provisional Air Brigade which sank the German battleship
"Ostfriesland" off the east coast of the U.S.
Shankle landed at Tucson twice, on December 20, 1926 and
on October 23, 1929. He was in the military at the time, flying
Douglas aircraft. His home base was listed as Boston, MA.
He was the Regular Army Instructor to the 26th Division, Aviation
Unit, stationed in Boston. His duty was to guide the National
Guard flyers through proficiency training, maneuvers, and
cross country flights. He was a very accomplished instructor,
holding ratings as an airship pilot, balloon observer, and
aeronautical observer in addition to being an airplane pilot.
His wife, Joan Fay Shankle
(1908-1964), was another race pilot and record setter. They
were married February 29, 1928, and Dutch Shankle taught her
to fly, soloing her on May 13, 1929. Issued on July 5, 1929,
she was the first woman to receive a private pilot’s
license in Massachusetts (license no. 7838).
During 1930, Dutch Shankle was promoted and assigned to
Fort Sill, OK, commanding the 88th Observation Squadron.
About a year later, he resigned from the military and they
moved to their PM Ranch just north of Tubac and 40 miles
south of Tucson. They built an airstrip to keep their Stearman
J-5 and Lockheed Sirius (Stearman NC5491 cited once; Lockheed
NC13W cited three times in the Register piloted by his wife).
The first annual Tucson Air Show was held in 1933. Flying
the Stearman, Captain Shankle won the free for all Air Race
Trophy. The next year, in the second annual show free for
all, which was now named for him, Capt. Shankle, in a field
of 19 contestants, won for the second time.
He returned to active duty during WWII and retired as a colonel.
He died in Los Angeles in 1973.
Image, below, dropping bombs and seeming to enjoy
C.E. Shankle Dropping Bombs, Date Unknown
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/06/06 REVISED: 01/17/06, 11/21/06