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Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Warburton, CW-141000-01, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.

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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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

The New York Times, April 19, 1931 (Source: NASM)
The New York Times, April 19, 1931 (Source: NASM)

 

Barclay Warburton landed once at Tucson Tuesday, September 15, 1931 at 12:15PM. Based at Philadelphia, PA, he arrived from El Paso, TX, remained on the ground an hour, and departed westbound for San Diego, CA. He carried his wife (the former Evelyn Pierce, whom he married April 17, 1931, article right) and Lt. Maxwell W. Balfour in the Stinson Junior, NC10867. No reason was given for his flight.

At right, an article from The New York Times, April 19, 1931. It describes Warburton's second marriage (his second wife was undoubtedly his passenger, above) and provides background on his flight training and lineage. I include this article because of paragraph six. It alludes to a 'round-the-world trip "recently" undertaken.

Warburton made national news during the early winter of 1930-31 with his plan to circumnavigate the globe solo in a single-engine aircraft (a Great Lakes trainer named the, "Little Up and Down").

In fact, the world had already been circumnavigated by airplane in 1924 by a group of Army pilots, most of whom were Register signers (please direct your browsers to, e.g., Leigh Wade, Erik Nelson, Les Arnold and Lowell Smith). As well, Register pilot F.K.Baron von Koenig-Warthausen completed a solo circumnavigation in November, 1929. Wiley Post was a year or more away from his globe-circling flights.

Below, from The New York Times of October 26, 1930, a photograph and article describing Warburton's plan.

The New York Times, October 26, 1930 (Source: NASM)
The New York Times, October 26, 1930 (Source: NASM)

The New York Times, October 26, 1930 (Source: NASM)
The New York Times, October 26, 1930 (Source: NASM)

It is clear from this article that his intent was never to set a record of any kind, rather he wanted nothing, "... but having a good time." Below, a chronology of three short articles that appeared in The New York Times.

The New York Times, November 26, 1930 (Source: NASM)
The New York Times, November 26, 1930 (Source: NASM)

 

 

 

 

The November 26th article, left, cites his departure on his voyage, leaving from Roosevelt Field, LI, NY. This article outlines his planned itinerary. Note that his plans included shipping his Great Lakes by boat across the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

 

 

 

Below, from the December 27, 1930 Times, we learn that he made it to Miami, FL. His departure was delayed by weather.

The New York Times, December 27, 1930 (Source: NASM)

 

Below, from the Times of January 5, 1931, Warburton makes it to Abilene, TX, forced again to land and remain due to bad weather.

The New York Times, January 5, 1931 (Source: NASM)
The New York Times, January 5, 1931 (Source: NASM)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now consider paragraph six of the first article (April 19th, above). Rather than continue to El Paso, TX and then San Diego, CA, it appears from that paragraph that he flew to Reno to be with his soon-to-be-bride. The news dries up after that, and it not clear if he ever continued his voyage past Reno. The Web offers no clues. Does anyone KNOW? A couple of pieces of data suggest he did not continue. First, he visited Tucson during September, 1931, barely eight months after the article at right was published. Chances are, at the rate he was proceeding, he would not have been back from his voyage by then. Second, his name is not among those who are known to have circumnavigated the Earth by airplane.

Warburton was born June 15, 1898. Luck was not with him during 1936. On June 27, 1936 he set off a firework at a party that exploded in his face. Later, he died November 26, 1936 of a self-inflicted gunshot wound he acquired while climbing a fence during a day of hunting.

During his short life he was a socialite, born into wealth as the grandson of John Wanamaker. He was an aviator and served during WWI in the Signal Corps, rising to the rank of lieutenant. He had a son born in 1922 to him and his first wife. He was an assistant director at 20th Century Fox (which might explain his westbound trip through Tucson during 1931).

Warburton has a modest Web presence, with about 500 Google hits for "Barclay H. Warburton, Jr." as of the upload date of this page.

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

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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