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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.


U.S. Department of Commerce. Bureau of Air Commerce. 1937. Descriptions of Airports and Landing Fields in the United States. U.S. Government Printing Office. 222 pp. This book is shared with us by Tim Kalina.


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There are two visits to Tucson that are cited as being from Ames, IA. Both visits were by Wilford Gerbracht, flying Travel Air NC1076. The Ames Historical Society link in the right sidebar describes the origins of the airfield, the Gerbracht business at the airfield, and provides excellent images of the airfield surrounds during its early days.

Below, from the D.O.C. book cited in the left sidebar, is a description of the airfield from 1937. This book is the functional equivalent of the contemporary Airport and Facilities Directory published today by the FAA.

Department of Commerce Description of the Airfield, 1937
Department of Commerce Description of the Airfield, 1937

Below, an aerial photograph of the airfield from 1939. This image, and its Google Earth equivalent, second below, are provided to us by Alan Spohnheimer (cited, right sidebar). As stated above, the trees and structures in the SW corner do preclude landing there.

Gerbracht Airfield, 1939 (Source: Spohnheimer)
Gerbracht Airfield, 1939

Mr. Spohnheimer says of these images, "Attached are two photos of land where the Gerbracht airfield was located south of Ames just east of Highway 69. The smaller image is from 1939, after it was bought out and operated a while by someone else. North is at top of both images." 

Google Earth Image of Gerbracht Airfield, 2009 (Source: Spohnheimer)
Google Earth Image of Gerbracht Airfield, 2009

Above, you can see Highway 69 identified at left. The row of five buildings running north to south seems to align with the 1939 N-S runway, and Topaz Ct. at upper right is aligned with the old E-W runway. Mr. Spohnheimer states, "The state forest nursery is visible at the top of both shots.  The squares of the nursery in each photo can help identify the correct orientation of the older photo.  ... the west end of Crystal Street (coming from highway 69) does show."

Today, if you travel about a half mile due east from this location, you will be on the property of the contemporary Ames Municipal Airport (KAMW).



The Register

Our thanks to Alan Spohnheimer of the Ames Historical Society for sharing photos and information about the locations of the Gerbracht fields.

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