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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.

---o0o--- Congress of Ghosts is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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This airfield was located on the northwest shore of San Francisco Bay, between Novato and San Rafael, CA. Construction of Hamilton Army Air Field began ca. 1932. Below, an undated and unsourced photograph taken during the construction phase. It appears that the first two of the final nine hangars is under construction.

Hamilton Field Under Construction, Ca. 1932-34 (Source: Web)
Hamilton Field Under Construction, Ca. 1932-34 (Source: Web)

Below, right, from Popular Aviation (PA) magazine, May, 1935, the dedication of Hamilton Field is documented.

Hamilton Field Dedication, 1935 (Source: PA)


Hamilton Field was initially designated as a bomber facility. The commander at its dedication and during the latter part of the 1930s was Register pilot Hap Arnold. A valuable source is the Abandoned Airfields Web site at the link, which provides additonal information and photographs of the Field. It also traces the evolution of the naming of the Field over the years it was in service.

As WWII approached, the bombers were moved to Utah. During WWII, Hamilton Field became a primary west coast pursuit base. It housed at least four pursuit groups and 4,000 officers and enlisted men. The facility's area was expanded to about 1,600 acres, and its short runways (see below) were extended to 8,000 feet.

Piston aircraft gave way to jets after WWII ended (F-89 Scorpions, F-104 Starfighters and later to F-101B Voodoo interceptors and T-33 Shooting Star trainers in the 1960s), and various command designations were accomodated.

By 1973, Hamilton Field was assigned to the Air Force Reserve and Coast Guard; few line aircraft were housed there. Hamilton Air Force Base was decommissioned in 1974 and the transport squadron in residence was transferred to March Field, farther south. By the early 1990s the facility was dismantled, and, while most of the hangars still remain, they were repurposed to civilian offices and other facilities during the early 2000s. At the Abandoned Airfields link, above, you'll find curent photographs of the area that was Hamilton Field. Besides the repurposed hangars, there is housing, and the majority of the area has been flooded and returned to wetland (see the image at the bottom of this page).

Below, from this REFERENCE, page 26, is a verbal description of Hamilton Field as it stood in 1937.

Facility Directory Description of Hamilton Field, 1937 (Source: Webmaster)
Facility Directory Description of Hamilton Field, 1937 (Source: Webmaster)

The aerial photograph, below, dates from 1938 and is from this REFERENCE. The arrow inked on the negative points north. As above, note that by this time it was a fully military field and that service was, "... in emergency only for civilians." By 1938, seven large hangars were constructed.

Aerial of Hamilton Field, Ca. 1938 (Source: Link)
Aerial of Hamilton Field, Ca. 1938 (Source: Link)

Below, a Google Earth image of the current location of Hamilton Field. Orient yourself by the nine hangars at the left. The runway areas are flooded, the attempt being to re-establish the historic wetlands.

Hamilton Field Location, Ca. 2014 (Source: Google Earth)
Hamilton Field Location, Ca. 2014 (Source: Google Earth)



The Register


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



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.


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.


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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