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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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 Post 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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Wiley Post, Sans Eyepatch, Date Unknown (Source: findagrave)



Wiley Post appears three times in the Parks Airport Register. His first appearance was on Saturday August 24, 1929. He entered no other information in the Register, so we don't know what airplane he flew, where he was going, or with whom.

His second landing was on Wednesday, January 13, 1932 at 4:35PM. This time he flew the Lockheed Vega he identified as NR105W, known as the "Winnie Mae." Please direct your browser to the link and the links there from to learn about Post's work with the "Winnie Mae." He noted his destination in the "Winnie Mae" as New York, NY.

His final landing was between May 4 & 6, 1932 (he did not cite an exact date in the Register). Based at Oklahoma City, OK, he flew the Bird CK NC765N, S/N 4033. He cited no passengers or destination.

Post was born November 22, 1898 in Texas. The 1900 U.S. Census, his first, placed him at age 1+ living with his parents in Van Zandt county, TX. His father, William (age 31) was a farmer. His mother, Mary (26) was not employed outside their home. Post's older brothers James (8), Arthur (6) and Joseph (4) lived with them, as did a farm laborer identified as Daniel Lee (27).

The 1910 Census located the family in Brown Township, OK. Post's father was still farming and oldest brother James had taken over the role of farm laborer. In addition to his older brothers, three additional children had been added to the family, daughter Mary (8), Byron (6) and Gordon (4-months).

In 1920, the Census placed the family on a farm in Alex, OK. All family members were together. Before he began flying he was a working man who moved from job to job. Below is a letter he wrote from Oklahoma City to his sister Mary in 1919 (she was about 17 years old; he was 21 or so). It reflected the transient nature of his work life. His sister and their family lived in Alex, OK, southeast of Chickasha, the town that Post ultimately called home.

Wiley Post Letter to Sister Mary, January 28, 1919 (Source: Web)
Wiley Post Letter to Sister Mary, January 28, 1919 (Source: Web)

He began his flying career in the early 1920s as a barnstormer, often performing as a parachute jumper. He gained fame as an aerial racer in the early 1930s. He twice completed a single plane, round-the-world flight. In 1931, he did it in 8 days, 16 hours (with Harold Gatty navigating). In 1933 he bettered his mark by doing it in 7 Days, 19 hours flying solo. He pioneered a number of aviation inventions, including the automatic pilot and the high-altitude pressure suit. In 1979 the United States Postal Service honored him on a U.S. Airmail Stamp.

Post was known for his trademark eye patch, which he wore on his left eye. He was blinded in a job-related accident, but received clearance from physicians to fly. Below he is pictured at dinner wearing his trademark, flanked on the right by Amelia Earhart and on the left by another woman who looks like Register pilot Laura Ingalls. The date and location of the photograph are unknown, but it is probably from 1930 in Chicago and the festivities during the National Air Races. Post won the men's cross-country race from Los Angeles to Chicago that year flying the "Winnie Mae," and Ingalls placed 3rd in the Dixie Derby from Washington, DC to Chicago flying her deHavilland Moth.

Wiley Post With Amelia Earhart (R) & Laura Ingalls (?) (Source: SDAM)
Wiley Post With Amelia Earhart (R) & Laura Ingalls (?) (Source: SDAM)

In 1930, the Census placed Post living in Burbank, CA at 220 Providencia Street. He was married to Mae Laine (25), whom he had married three years earlier. She eloped with Post by plane. They had plane trouble and had to land at Graham, OK, where they were married on on June 27, 1927. In Burbank, the newlyweds rented their home for $48 per month. Their address today appears to be a contemporary apartment complex with a shady courtyard across the street from a church parking lot. His occupation was recorded as "Pilot" in the "Aviation" industry. A few years later, the Oklahoma City directory for 1933 recorded him and Mae living in that city.

Post was friends with humorist and American icon Will Rogers. They were both killed in the crash of a Lockheed Orion Post was piloting over Point Barrow, AK on August 15, 1935. News of the crash appeared in the The San Mateo Times (CA) of August 16, 1935, below.


By Frank Daugherty
(United Press Staff Correspondent.) (Copyright, 1935, by United Press)

Point Barrow, Alaska, Aug. 16 -- (UP) -- WILEY POST, 'round-the-world flyer, and WILL ROGERS, cowboy humorist, were killed at 8:18 p.m. Thursday (2:18 a.m. Friday E.D.T.) when their plane crashed 15 miles south of here. The crash occurred as they were taking off from a native village where they had stopped when forced down by engine trouble and dense fog. POST repaired his motor while they stopped for three hours and ate dinner with the Eskimos.

Plane's Motor Fails.
The motor again failed, the natives said, just as the plane took off from the river where it had landed, and the big ship crashed from an altitude of 50 feet to the tundra at the edge of the stream and broke up in the frozen moss hummocks. Its right wing was broken and its engine was driven back into the cabin of the ship. The plane ground looped over on its back. POST'S body was crushed by the motor. ROGERS was thrown out of the plane. Both apparently died instantly.

Roger's Watch Running.
The country surrounding the scene is almost as low as the river. The moss hummocks, partly frozen protrude from the water. The plane crushed the hummocks when it crashed and rescuers worked in about two feet of water to extricate the bodies.

POST'S body was completely submerged as he lay crushed and still beneath the tangle of the wreckage of the motor and controls.

POST'S watch on his wrist stopped at 8:18 p.m., which fixed the time of the wreck. ROGERS' watch was still running when Sergeant STANLEY MORGAN of the U. S. Signal Corps, and United Press correspondent reached the wreckage.

MORGAN and this correspondent had been notified by a native runner who came running terrified into Point Barrow with news of the tragedy.

Man Whale Boat.
They reached the scene in a motor whale boat manned by natives. ROGERS' body was found lying outside the plane. It was battered badly. It was necessary to pull the wreck to pieces to extricate POST'S body. Gasoline had spewed on the water and caught fire, flaming briskly for only a few moments. The plane was demolished.

Bodies of the famous air duo were placed in the whale boat and brought here where they were taken to the Presbyterian Mission hospital by DR. HENRY GRIEST, its superintendent. They will be held here until the Coast Guard Cutter 'Northland' returns to take them to Nome. The 'Northland' left Point Barrow only yesterday after its annual summer visit when it brings a doctor, dentist, United States commissioner, and supplies for the government employees here. The 'Northland' probably will take the bodies to Nome, but perhaps to the States.

On Leisurely Trip.
POST, 'round-the-world record holder, and ROGERS, the humorist movie actor and famous air traveler, were on a leisurely trip around Alaska. Originally they intended to visit Point Barrow several days ago, instead they flew from Aklavik, N.W.T., to Fairbanks and spent the interval visiting Central Alaskan points. They took off yesterday from Fairbanks and their arrival had been awaited at this farthest north outpost of civilization with keen anticipation by the few white persons here.

While natives and whites were struggling to beach the boat carrying the bodies here, an ink-stained piece of paper fell from ROGERS' pocket into the sea.

Picture of Daughter.
Unfolded, the soggy paper was discovered to be a rotograveure picture of ROGERS' daughter, MARY, vacationing in Maine.

One of the natives fell beneath the rollers which were used to beach the heavy whaling boat. He was crushed badly. Stray bits of the plane wreckage caught in the current of the river on the bank of which the plane landed, and floated down into the Arctic ocean.

Son Rushes Home.
Los Angeles, Aug. 16 -- (UP) -- WILL, JR., 23-year-old son of WILL ROGERS, about to sail on a short cruise aboard an oil tanker, was sent rushing home to Beverly Hills today, but the report, "Some kind of an accident has happened to your father."

Washington, Aug. 16 -- (UP) -- Colonel CHARLES A. LINDBERGH may fly on a tragic mission to Alaska to supervise return of the bodies of WILL ROGERS and WILEY POST, killed in an airplane crash, advices today indicated. While the capital mourned the deaths of the famous actor and the equally famous aviator, advisories to Assistant Secretary of Treasury STEPHEN B. GIBBONS indicated that a telephone conversation this afternoon would decide whether America's premier flier would undertake the mission.

Blow To Hollywood.
Hollywood, Aug. 16 -- (UP) -- The death of WILL ROGERS and WILEY POST was a tragic blow to Hollywood, and members of the film industry struggled to put their feelings into words today. ROGERS was regarded by all as the chief ambassador of the industry and the spokesman for every actor, grip, carpenter and underling.

Their crash airplane was the Lockheed Orion Model 9E, NR12283, S/N 195, manufactured in May, 1933 (not a Register airplane). The airplane was operated for a time by Transcontinental & Western Air (T.W.A.), sold to aircraft broker Charles Babb, then purchased by Post. Below is a piece of fabric from the airplane retrieved at the crash site shared by Tim Kalina.

Lockheed Orion NR12283 Fabric, 1935 (Source: Kalina)
Lockheed Orion NR12283 Fabric, 1935 (Source: SDAM)

The official Department of Commerce accident report (PDF 67Kb) stated that modification of the airplane by adding floats caused it to be nose heavy. The report pointed out that this fact was known by Post. The nose heaviness made the airplane impossible to control in level flight in the case of engine failure, which happened seconds before the accident. The DOC stated:


Mae & Wiley Post, Date Unknown (Source: SDAM)



I would add another, justifiably primary, cause: pilot error. Post bet his and Rogers' lives that the engine on the airplane would continue to run. No modern pilot I know would accept that bet.

Regardless, a memorial for him and Will Rogers stands today in Nehalem, Alaska, near where their plane crashed. Post is buried in Oklahoma City, OK. Rogers is buried at Claremore, OK. Mae passed away March 16, 1984 at Lubbock, TX. She is buried at Oklahoma City next to Wiley. She never remarried. They had no children. Photograph, right, appears posed with Mae inflating a tire while Wiley smokea a cigarette in the car.

Post also signed the Register of the Davis-Monthan Airfield twelve times between November 17, 1928 and February 17, 1931. Please direct your browser to the link for more biographical information about Post.