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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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 Noyes and her airplanes to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.


Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.





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Blanche Noyes landed four times at Parks Airport. Noyes' first visit was on Wednesday, June 19, 1929. This time she flew the Waco she identified as NC9521. She entered no information about passengers, home base or destination. Her second landing was about a month later on Saturday, July 13, 1929. She flew an unidentified Waco, which was most likely 9521. She was headed for Detroit, MI.

Her third landing was on Saturday, August 24, 1929 as a competitor in the 1929 National Air Races (NAR; held August 24-September 2). Please review below the news article from The New York Times that describes her experiences during that cross-country event. An excellent photograph, below, captures all the female competitors in the 1929 Derby as they waited for fog to clear at Parks Airport on August 24th. This photograph is online at the St. Louis University Libraries Digital Collection (SLU).

1929 NAR Competitors, August 24, 1929, Parks Airport (Source: SLU)

The competitors are, left to right, Mary von Mach, Jessie "Chubbie" Keith-Miller, Gladys O'Donnell, Thea Rasche, Phoebe Omlie, Louise Thaden, Amelia Earhart, Blanche Noyes, Ruth Elder and Vera Walker. Another photograph of Noyes "propping" her Travel Air is at the link.

Her fourth visit was between August 15-18, 1931 (she didn't enter a date in the Register). She was apparently solo in the Great Lakes she identified as NC302Y. Based at Cleveland, OH, she identified her destination as Clover Field, Santa Monica, CA. where she would compete in the 1931 NAR. Below, from The Cleveland Press Collection (CPC), is a photograph of Noyes in the cockpit of her airplane that was named, "Miss Cleveland" and sponsored by The Halle Brothers Company. A photograph of brother Samuel H. Halle is at the link.

According to the CPC, the location of this photograph is Cleveland. Given the date of her arrival at Parks Airport, this photo was taken at least three days later, placing her at a point way east of her cited destination in the Parks Register, which was Santa Monica. We could conclude, if the location is Cleveland, chances are the photo date is wrong. If the date is correct, then chances are the location is not Cleveland. Does anyone KNOW the actual date or location?

Blanche Noyes in Cockpit of Great Lakes NC302Y, August 21, 1931 (Source: CPC via Woodling)
Blanche Noyes in Cockpit of Great Lakes NC302Y, August 21, 1931 (Source: CPC via Woodling)

Regardless, the Cleveland Plain Dealer of August 14, 1931 captured her departure in the article below, right. She tempted superstition by applying for the NAR on August 13th and accepting race number 113, above. She said to contest chairman and Register pilot E.W. "Pop" Cleveland, "I wish it were Friday the 13th."

Noyes' Departure from Cleveland, OH, Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 14, 1931 (Source: Woodling)
Noyes' Departure from Cleveland, OH, Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 14, 1931 (Source: Woodling)


From the article, we learn that her airplane, above, was painted cream (fuselage) and red (wings and accent stripe), and that her employment at the time was flying an autogiro for the Standard Oil Company of Ohio.

Through her flying years, Noyes had excellent press coverage, being cited in articles in The New York Times alone at least ten times between 1929 and into the 1970s.

For example, citing the 1929 NAR referred to in the article at right, The New York Times of August 23, 1929 documents the airborne fire and tribulations of some of the other pilots competing in the women's cross-country derby.

The fire in Noyes' airplane, a Travel Air during the 1929 Derby, was allegedly started by a cigarette. The article states, "Blanche Noyes found somebody's lighted cigarette had caused a small fire in her plane. In making a forced landing near Pecos [TX] she damaged the landing gear."

This same article gave a sense of her competitiveness. After discovering the fire at 2,000 feet, she slipped and, "... drifted her plane to the ground, crashing through mesquite bushes three feet high. From the baggage compartment she pulled a mass of charred and burning clothing and flying equipment, burning her fingers as she did so.

"In spite of this, and the fact that a take-off appeared almost impossible she clambered back into the plane and drove it through the dense bushes into the air.

"In doing so she tore the bottom of the fuselage and smashed the right side of her landing gear. Ten minutes of flying brought her near Pecos.

Gipson Race, The New York TImes, June 24, 1934 (Source: NYT)



"Mrs. Noyes believed that a cigaret [sic] was dropped into the baggage compartment by some one who assisted her in stowing her luggage at El Paso. She does not smoke, she said."

Further description of her experience in the mesquite is on pages 160-152 of this REFERENCE. The newspapers continued their day-by-day coverage of the 1929 Derby, since it was the first time women were allowed to compete. None mentioned that Noyes had only had her pilot license a few months before she departed cross-country from Santa Monica. Her success in handling an in-flight fire, a forced landing and a hazardous take-off is testimony to the quality of her training In the hands of her husband, Dewey, below. After all of this, at Cleveland she and her Travel Air still placed fourth overall in the Derby.

Noyes appears in The New York Times again on August 6, 1930 as part of a group of women who boycotted the 1930 women's events during the 1930 NAR. Because the events were specified to be flown by aircraft with size and horsepower restrictions, Noyes, Louise Thaden, Elinor Smith, Ruth Nichols and Amelia Earhart declined to participate, having concerns that their skills with larger aircraft were just as good as the men. Further, from the article, "The women also objected to the addition to the flying personnel with the race of two army pilots and a flight surgeon who will accompany the planes on their flights East. This addition is admirable from a safety standpoint, they pointed out, but is not welcome among women competitors unless similar precautions are taken with the men's races."

Fashion Show, The New York Times, March 16, 1935 (Source: NYT)

To continue, she made the news again in 1934, left, as a competitor in the Third Annual Gipson Race held at Roosevelt Field, New York. Her base of operations was cited as Atlanta, GA. Several fellow Register pilots are cited in this article. Among them are Clarence Young, Clarence Chamberlin, Clyde Pangborn, Manila Davis, Edith Foltz and Ruth Barron.

Again she appeared in the Times on March 16, 1935. This time, right, the article was for the typical gender-aligned topic of fashion. Noyes was host of the event. These kinds of articles show up from time-to-time in the Golden Age papers. I have never found an article where male aviators engaged in a fashion show.

Considering that the women, all members of the 99s who sponsored the fashion show, had protested back in 1930 their patronizing and paternalistic treatment by the male organizers of the NAR (see above), it seems contradictory that they would feed into that sexism by offering flight wear named "Chiquita Pilota," and evening wear named "Fair Weather" and "Perfect Visibility."

Dewey Noyes With The Waco 9 "Miss Pittsburgh," Date & Location Unknown (Source: Web)
Dewey Noyes With The Waco 9 "Miss Pittsburgh," Date & Location Unknown (Source: Web)


Blanche Noyes was married to Dewey L. Noyes, left, a flight instructor and pilot in his own right. In this undated photograph (ca. 1928?), he poses with a Waco 9 named "Miss Pittsburgh." The airplane is not a Register airplane, but it hangs today in the passenger terminal at the Greater Pittsburgh International Airport. He taught Blanche how to fly. A photograph of Noyes from November 20, 1928, and another from November 23rd, during her training, are at the links. This was an example of a common occurence: female student marries flight instructor. A photograph of them in an "intimate pose" is at the link. He died in an airplane accident in December, 1935.


Air Marking, The New York Times, August 14, 1936 (Source: NYT)


With her husband's passing she appears to have slaked her grief by continuing to fly and compete. In 1936, she teamed up as co-pilot with Louise Thaden to win the New York to Los Angeles Bendix Trophy Race in a Beech C-17R Staggerwing.

They won $4,500 for their 14:54:49 winning time, plus a prize of $2,500 for a new women's record: this was the first time women were allowed to participate in the Bendix Race. The New York TImes of September 5, 1936 reported the win and couldn't seem to resist reporting on the clothing worn by Thaden ("clad in blue green culottes and a green flannel shirt") and by Noyes ("white suit and blue silk waist"). A photograph of Noyes and Thaden from September 5th is at the link. Another photograph, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum Flickr Stream (SDAM), is immediately below. The photo shows Louise Thaden at left with Vincent Bendix and Noyes.

In August 1936, article, left, she went to work for a Works Progress Administration effort under the auspices of the Air Marking Group. The group's job was to paint the name on the roofs of prominent buildings, with directional arrows, of the nearest town at 15 mile intervals across the country. She and her team painted thousands of names and arrows.



Below, the Bendix victory in 1936.

Louise Thaden, Vincent Bendix, Blanche Noyes, Bendix Race Winners, 1936 (Source: SDAM)





Blanche Noyes, The New York Times, August 21, 1942 (Source: NYT)
Blanche Noyes, The New York Times, August 21, 1942 (Source: NYT)


Blanche Noyes, Obituary, Cleveland Plain Dealer, October 9, 1981 (Source: Woodling)

















When WWII broke out she was required to remove them for security purposes. An article in The New York Tmes of August 21, 1942 described the removal process. She used her own Cessna aircraft to fly grid patterns and identified any town names remaining on the roofs. After that she contacted local authorities to have the name removed. Then she flew the grid again to verify removal. Above is an image of her from that article. The reporter described her as a "petite brunette."









Another article in Flying magazine, July, 1942, described the removal process, below.

Marker Removal, Flying Magazine, July, 1940





Notwithstanding the wasted effort of the past six years, Noyes stated in the article, "The war has changed the situation so completely that I really don't mind it at all.... The Markers have always served well and saved many lives, and they will go into service again as soon as the war is over." Within twenty-six days, all the markers on the west coast, about 1,000 in all, were deleted and obliteration of east coast markers was about completed. The good news was, at the same time the army was ordering the removal of markers in the coastal defense zones, officials asked for more markers within a fifty mile radius of primary and basic training fields, none of which were situated in defense zones. After the war, she restored the coastal markers, adding more until 1952.


Noyes was born June 23, 1900 and flew West on October 6, 1981. Her obituary from the Cleveland Plain Dealer of October 9, 1981 is above, right. She flew while carrying Transport license number T6540. She was quoted in 1977 (The New York TImes, August 6th), "Age is the only phobia that I have."


Besides her four landings at Parks Airport, Blanche Noyes signed the Registers at Clover Field twice and Pitcairn Field once. Please direct your browsers to the links at the top of the page to learn about the context of those landings.












THIIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/17/14 REVISED: 07/15/14, 01/01/15