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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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CLEVELAND, OHIO

The major Golden Age airfield at Cleveland, OH was Cleveland Municipal Airport. Below, from this 1933 REFERENCE, page 176, is a photograph and description of the facility. Notice mention of the "National Air Race Association, National Air Races" (NAR). Cleveland is one of the airfields where the legendary National Air Races took place during the Golden Age of Aviation. The 1928 NAR (Los Angeles), the 1929 NAR (Cleveland), and the 1930 NAR (Chicago) are discussed on this site at the links. Cleveland also hosted the 1932 NAR.

Cleveland Municipal Airport, 1933 (Source: Link)

I left the advertisement for the Westlake Hotel so you can enjoy the early 1930s room rates. At the link you'll find an historical article published in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, April 26, 2009. The article states, in part:

"The hotel became a must stop for aviators, as well as others involved in the airline business; it also served as headquarters for the leading women's flying clubs, including the Ninety-Nines and the Betsy Ross Aviators.

"Amelia Earhart, a frequent guest, was interviewed at the hotel in 1935. She commented on a lucky charm given her for an upcoming long flight: "I think a good mechanic is much better than a lucky charm."

"Other aviators who visited included James H. Doolittle Jr., Wiley Post and Charles Lindbergh, though whether Lindbergh stayed overnight is uncertain."

Twenty-two landings were made by pilots at the Davis-Monthan Airfield who identified their home base as Cleveland. Among them were Cy Caldwell and E.W. Cleveland. Ten Parks Airport and five Pitcairn Field pilots also identified Cleveland as their home base.

Below, from this 1937 REFERENCE, is more data regarding Cleveland Municipal. Notice the latitude and longitude values given for the location. This location today is the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. If you go on Google Earth and search for "Cleveland Hopkins International Airport" you'll find those coordinates dead center on the airport.

Cleveland Municipal Airport, 1937 (Source: Link)
Cleveland Municipal Airport, 1937 (Source: Link)

Note also mention of the Cleveland Air Service Field just a half mile south of Cleveland Municipal. If you know anything about this field, please let me KNOW.

Below, from this 1938 REFEFRENCE, is another aerial photograph of Cleveland Municipal. Taken from the southeast, this is a wider view than the 1933 image above, which appears to have been taken from the north looking south onto the sod field.

Cleveland Municipal Airport, 1938 (Source: Link)
Cleveland Municipal Airport, 1937 (Source: Link)

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Martin Factory Airield, in the northern Cleveland area, is pictured and discussed at the link to the Abandoned Airfields Web site. Notice that later it was also named the Great Lakes Aircraft Company Airfield. It is under this name that at least one Register pilot, Tom Colby with NC840H, is shown on the ground with his Great Lakes airplane. Please direct your browser to the airplane"s page to see Colby at Martin Field/Great Lakes Field. Below, courtesy of site visitor Mark Braunlich, is an aerial photograph of the Martin Field. Although the date is unidentified, it is probably late 1920s. North is to the top.

Martin Field Aerial, Date Unknown (Source: Braunlich)
Martin Field Aerial, Date Unknown (Source: Braunlich)

Mr. Braunlich says, "In the photo, the tracks [running along the bottom of the photograph] were a main line of the New York, Chicago and St. Louis RR, commonly called the Nickle Plate Road.  Today it is part of the Norfolk Southern Corp. system.  There is very little of Martin Field left as open space, most of the remaining field is along the southern [actually southeast, see the photo below] boundary (the tracks).... The rest of the field has become factories that are today mostly abandoned.  Through the Cold War, Gould Ocean Systems built the drive portion of Navy torpedoes on the property.   The old Glenn Martin Co. factory that became the Great Lakes factory in 1929 still stands at 16800 St. Clair Ave., Cleveland but is largely unrecognizable from it's days as an airplane factory; St. Clair Ave. runs along the northern [northwest] edge of the field [to the left of the photograph. The factory has been added onto and very much changed in appearance."

Google Earth, below, exhibits the surroundings today. Compare this photograph to those at the Abandoned Airfields site linked above, and Mr. Braunlich's description.

Image of the Area Surrounding the Old Martin Field, Cleveland, OH, 2014 (Source: Google Earth)
Image of the Area Surrounding the Old Martin Field, Cleveland, OH, 2014 (Source: Google Earth)

The railroad tracks, the old Nickel Plate Road, subtend the lower right corner of the photograph. The text, upper center, is the address, 16800 St. Clair Avenue, of the old Glenn Martin/Great Lakes factory, which still stands. North is roughly to the top left of the photo. The old Martin Field was approximately in the center of this photograph, between St. Clair Avenue and the railroad tracks.

Further, Mr. Braunlich annotated the aerial photograph as seen below. The Glenn Martin/Great Lakes Aircraft factory is marked in this photo, and is visible in the Google Earth image above. The railroad spur is no longer in existence (see the remnants of it in the photo just above), seemingly cut off from the main line. The factory, and the smokestack in the lower left of the photograph below, also have significance for another Register pilot. Lady Mary Heath. in August, 1929, while practicing dead stick landing in anticipation of the National Air Races, she and her airplane snagged a support wire on the chimney and crashed, resulting in severe injuries to Lady Heath.

Martin Field, Annotated Aerial, Date Unknown (Source: Braunlich)
Martin Field, Annotated Aerial, Date Unknown (Source: Braunlich)

Below is a street view of the Martin manufacturing building.

Glenn L. Martin Company, Late 1920s (Source: Braunlich)
Glenn L. Martin Company, Late 1920s (Source: Braunlich)

When the airfield was the Martin manufacturing facility, views like those below would be common in the factory areas. First is a view of a Martin torpedo bomber. This one is A-5713 which, according to Joe Baugher's site, was a Martin MT, a version of the Martin MB-1 manufactured for the U.S. Marine Corps. The model was later redesignated the TM-1.

Martin MB-1, Martin Field, Cleveland, OH, Date Unknown (Source: Braunlich)
Martin MB-1, Martin Field, Cleveland, OH, Date Unknown (Source: Braunlich)

Below, another view of a Martin airplane rolling off the assembly line. The workers appear to be taking a break.

Martin Assembly Line During a Worker Break, Date Unknown (Source: Braunlich)

The Martin plant was taken over by the Great Lakes Aircraft Company circa 1929. A full-page general advertisement for the company from Aero Digest, July, 1929, is below. What appears to be the powerplant for the facility stands at center right, with tall windows and a slender smoke stack.

Great Lakes Aircraft Advertisment, July, 1929 (Source: Braunlich)

The airplane appears to be NC9413, a Great Lakes 2T1, S/N GL-6. Inside the Great Lakes plant, a scene like that below was common. At least 19 airframes under construction can be counted along the left side of the image.

Great Lakes Aircraft Manufacturing Plant, August 5, 1929 (Source: Braunlich)
Great Lakes Aircraft Manufacturing Plant, August 5, 1929 (Source: Braunlich)

Finally, the photographs below taken during 2012 show the old manufacturing plant as it stands today.

Glen Martin/Great Lakes Manufacturing Facility, 2012 (Source: Braunlich)
Glen Martin/Great Lakes Manufacturing Facility, 2012 (Source: Braunlich)

 

Glen Martin/Great Lakes Manufacturing Facility, 2012 (Source: Braunlich)

 

Glen Martin/Great Lakes Manufacturing Facility Powerplant, 2012 (Source: Braunlich)
Glen Martin/Great Lakes Manufacturing Facility Powerplant, 2012 (Source: Braunlich)

In the aerial view below, the powerplant sits at center right, with St. Claire St. at lower left. The rail spur visible in the annotated photograph, above, fed the small factories visible at lower right.

Mr. Braunlich, who visited the area in 2012, says about the spur and the factories, "... the ties are all still there and some of the rails but a lot of the rails were taken up for scrap.  That rail spur fed a number of small warehouses west of the Glenn Martin factory that all fed the factory.  Some of those warehouses were only recently torn down."

Glen Martin/Great Lakes Manufacturing Facility, 2012 (Source: Braunlich)
Glen Martin/Great Lakes Manufacturing Facility, 2012 (Source: Braunlich)

 

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 04/30/14 REVISED: 05/04/14

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

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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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