Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register 1925-1936 with all the pilots' signatures and helpful cross-references to pilots and their aircraft is available at the link. 375 pages with black & white photographs and extensive tables


The Congress of Ghosts (available as eBook) 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


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, while supplies last.


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.  Available as a free download at the link.


Winners' Viewpoints: The Great 1927 Trans-Pacific Dole Race (available as eBook) 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, while supplies last.


Clover Field: The first Century of Aviation in the Golden State (available in paperback) With the 100th anniversary in 2017 of the use of Clover Field as a place to land aircraft in Santa Monica, this book celebrates that use by exploring some of the people and aircraft that made the airport great. 281 pages, black & white photographs.


the register


I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot Dick and his airplanes 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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Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.



Russell Dick and Wife, Juliette, Ca. 1960s (Source: Woodling)

Russell Dick was born September 27, 1904 in Cleveland, OH. He landed ten times at Parks Airport between Monday, April 7, 1930 and Wednesday, September 30, 1931. He flew four different Stinson aircraft, NC216W (seven landings), NC218W, NC246W and NC291W. Based at Kansas City, MO, his destinations were generally Kansas City, Memphis or St. Louis.

Kansas City Star, May 16, 1930 (Source: Woodling)


A 1926 photograph shows Dick and Juliette in about the same position as at right. The photo is at the link at the Kansas City Public Library collection.

Dick was a corporate pilot for a haberdasher in Kansas City, KS. A news article from May 16, 1930 issue, left, of the Kansas City Star cites him flying his boss, Herbert M. Woolf, and friends to Louisville, KY for the Kentucky Derby weekend.

Interestingly, other Register people are cited in this article. For example, "S.L. Casey" is actually Davis-Monthan Airfield pilot Casey Lambert, who flew into Louisville his Lockheed Sirius 8A NC16W. He bought this airplane new in 1930 and flew it until 1932.

Davis-Monthan pilot A.W. Gorton was flying for the Curtiss Publishing Company in their Ford trimotor, NC8400 (S/N 4-AT-62). Gorton was singled out in his own right for his Navy experience. And Davis-Monthan passenger Bror G. Dahlberg arrived in his Sikorsky amphibian.

Kansas City Star, July 30, 1930 (Source: Woodling)
Kansas City Star, July 30, 1930 (Source: Woodling)


That Dick flew Stinson aircraft is no surprise, since he was a Stinson distributor based at Fairfax Airport in Kansas City. Image, right, is an advertisement from the Kansas City Star of Sunday, July 30, 1930.

That his landings at Parks Airport dwindled after 1931 is not surprising either, given that the market for aircraft was severely reduced by the Great Depression. Part of his absence is explained, too, by the fact that he went to work for Braniff in 1930, and for TWA in 1932. He retired from Trans World Airlines in 1964 after a long career.

I have no information on Dick's aviation work during WWII. If you can help fill in the details, please let me KNOW.

After the war, however, he did continue as a captain with TWA. In the 1950s, one of his tasks with TWA was to teach German pilots transoceanic flying. The following article from the Skyliner of April 7, 1955 describes the program. The Skyliner was the internal information organ of TWA.

Pilots Named Who Will Assist German Airline

KANSAS CITY—Names of the 11 TWA pilots who are to be loaned to Deutsche-Lufthansa, German airline, to help train German pilots in trans-Atlantic flying were announced today by Paul Frederickson, director of flight operations.

They are:
R. H. Beck, R. J. Dick, J. U. Goetz, R. G. Guss, C. W. Morehead, H. W. Sherwood, Ernest Pretsch, R. L. Simpkins, E. L. Wells, William Rea and J. M. Walker. With the exception of Morehead from San Francisco, all are presently based at LaGuardia or Idlewild.

The 11 TWAers are scheduled to be in Hamburg, Germany, on
May 1 for familiarization with operations of the German airline.
Present plans call for Pretsch to be based in Hamburg while the
others will be based in New York.

A couple of years later, on October 10, 1957, the Skyliner reported on the first polar flight from the United States to Europe. That record-setting flight on September 30th was piloted by Dick along with Steven Hawes. They flew a TWA Jetstream from Los Angeles to London via the polar great circle route in 18 hours and 32 minutes at an average speed of 308 MPH. He carried 44 people, including VIP passengers like Donna Reed (think, "It's a Wonderful Life").

The article states further, "Capt. Dick reported an exceptionally smooth flight, with all passengers excited about participating in a history-making journey. Only a week later the second polar flight from Los Angeles set down at London after a non-stop flight of 17 hours 11 minutes, breaking the record set by Dick's inaugural flight by one hour and 21 minutes.

His obituary appeared in TARPA Topics, May, 1989, below. TARPA Topics is a magazine for retired airline pilots.

I know many of us were saddened to learn that Russ Dick took that journey west on Wednesday, February 1, 1989. He was born 27 September 1904 in Cleveland, Ohio, moved to Cape Coral, FL, from Oklahoma in 1979. He had retired from TWA in 1964. Russ belonged to the Cape Coral Moose Lodge. Among those attending funeral servives were Howard Hall and Gordon Parkinson with Parky giving the eulogy.

Capt. Dick was the first TWA pilot to fly over the North Pole on a Los Angeles to London flight, setting a world's record in 18 hours and 32 minutes. "He loved the air since he was a little boy," said his wife, Juliette. "Flying was all he talked about, all he wanted to do." Although his family resisted his career choice - and instead urged him to become a doctor or pharmacist, he was single-minded. He learned to fly from a pilot at Richard's Airport in Kansas City, Missouri, when he was 20 years old. He bought his own plane and set up a business taking people for rides over Kansas City and it was in his plane that he met his future wife, "He was so handsome, so very kind and he had a wonderful smile,' Juliette said. He literally swept her off her feet. After they were married, she began flying with him in races; they won the Kansas Air Tour in 1928.

In 1930, he began flying for Braniff, and in 1932, he signed on as a pilot with the Lindbergh Line, which later became TWA. He held management positions with TWA.

A happy person to begin with, his wife said flying made him even happier."He enjoyed it so much. When he was teaching, the fellows used to fight tobe able to go out with him, they liked him that much."

Russ was just about the favorite captain for your editor. The first flight with Russ in the Boeing Stratoliner he seemed to take a liking to me, asked if I would like to fly with him to which I, of course, said, "yes sir" and he told the scheduler to set us up together. Guess he sensed this mule loving plow boy from North Carolina needed some help and guidance. Russ was a top flight pilot and gentleman. I never saw him get ruffled or raise his voice no matter what the circumstances. I flew with him for two or three months which was most enjoyable.

Thinking back on his calm strength, I recall once when the weather was bad some young DC-3 captain was hysterically screaming that he was in trouble getting iced up. Russ calmly called him and told him to calm down, fly his airplane and change altitude. Russ was one of those who could get an airplane from here to yonder without screaming at anyone.

Yes, Juliette, he will be sorely missed. I only wish I had visited him in Cape Coral. Almost forgot, what an exhilarating present schedule gave me having Captain Dick for my check pilot on my semi-final ride when checking out to captain in 1948.

Dick also landed once at Peterson Field, on Saturday, April 27, 1929. He flew a Knoll aircraft he identified as NC8861. Based at Kansas CIty, his destination was cited as Wichita, KS. He carried Transport pilot certificate T427.