A very readable volume about the Grand Central Air Terminal is this book:
Underwood, John. 1984. Madcaps, Millionaires and 'Mose'. Heritage Press, Glendale, CA. 144pp.
Some of this information is from the Blue Book of Aviation, Roland W. Hoagland, Ed., published in 1932 by The Hoagland Company, Publishers, Los Angeles, CA. 292 pp.
The cover of this handsome book is deeply engraved, and the fly leaves are printed with terrific art deco accents. Inside are brief biographies of contemporary aviation figures, as well as tables of various data.
Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.
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CORLISS CHAMPION MOSELEY
C. C. Moseley was born July 21, 1894 in Boise, ID. The 1900 U.S. Census cites Moseley living with his family in Boise. His father's occupation is listed as "Stockman." The 1910 Census places him living in Idaho at age 15. He is cited as a "Poultryman," probably working on his father's farm.
At some point over the next decade (probably early) his family moved to California. Moseley registered for the draft during WWI and completed the form below. Given that he was age 22, this card was completed June 5, 1916. His home address was given as Los Angeles. As with many things, the details are in the fine print. If you look carefully at the diagonal printing at the lower left of this card, the text says, "If person is of African descent, tear off this corner." Some things change; some things remain the same.
In the U.S. Army he served with the Allied Expeditionary Force in France from November 21, 1917 to August 17, 1919. He learned to fly and was part of Army racing teams during the 1920s.
The 1920 U.S. Census places him (age 25, single) living with his family in Los Angeles, CA. Along with his parents are his sister, Ella (20) and brother David (15). His father is in "Business." Moseley is in "Aviation" for a "US Air Line Co." The next ten years were significant in his advancements.
The 1930 Census places him at 627 Palm Drive in Beverly Hills, CA. Today this is an affluent neighborhood; one of large, tile-roofed homes set back from the Drive, dotted with swimming pools and tennis courts. On Google Earth, the home at that address today looks like it might have been built during the era. He lived with his wife, Viola (married ca. 1922), daughter Marquita (age 4; 1926-2011), son David (2) and daughter Corliss (9 months). Also living with them are a maid, Alberta Johnson (30) and a nurse Amelia Lund (43). Moseley's occupation is listed as "Vice President" of an "Airplane Company." That was the Curtiss-Wright Flying Service.
The history behind his job is that, in February 22, 1929, the new Grand Central Air Terminal, Glendale, CA was dedicated. Through a series of negotiations, GCAT became a property of the newly formed Curtiss-Wright Flying Service, which was based at GCAT. Moseley, being a fresh manager with Curtiss-Wright, quickly became, according to Underwood (left), "... the dominant personality at Grand Central and would remain so for nearly four decades." By 1932, Moseley was the manager of the facility.
Photograph, left, from the Blue Book of Aviation (BBA) cited in the left sidebar. Please direct your browser to the Cosgrove Collection over on the Davis-Monthan Airfield Web site for another photograph of Moseley.
C.C. Moseley, or "Mose", appears twice in the Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT) Register. Because of his position at GCAT (see above) these two incidences are probably a large underestimator of the times he landed an aircraft there.
His first appearance in the GCAT Register was on Tuesday, June 9, 1931 at 4:09PM. He a single unidentified passenger in the Curtiss Junior, NC10957. There was no information in the Register regarding his itinerary. He remained on the ground for about 25 minutes before departing. His airplane only appears one other time in the Register.
His second appearance was about a month later on Thursday, July 2, 1931 at 2:29PM. He was solo in the Curtiss Robin, NC971K. Again, no information regarding his itinerary. He remained on the ground for about ten minutes. This time his airplane was a well-known trainer owned and operated by the Curtiss-Wright Flying Service (CWFS). NC971K appears in the Register 48 other times flown by CWFS flight instructors Mason Menefee, James Gaskill, Nate Morse and Harold Sweet.
The Moseleys traveled internationally. In August, 1928 an immigration form lists him at age 33 among a list of passengers returning to the U.S. from Honolulu. He is accompanied by his wife Viola, age 26 (11/7/1898-?). On August 4, 1930, Moseley piloted an excursion to and from Agua Caliente, Mexico. The immigration form, below, documents that trip. Note Viola Moseley among the passenger list. NC9787 was a workhorse Curtiss Thrush (6-passenger airplane) owned and operated by CWFS and flown by CWFS instructors and students as well.
On April 13, 1937 he arrived on shipboard at Los Angeles from the Panama Canal Zone with Viola. Relatedly, on this same ship, actress Mona Rico (age 26) was a passenger. She is connected directly to GCAT Register pilot and airline operator C.W. Gilpin. She was a passenger five years earlier on one of Gilpin's airliners on July 13, 1932 when it crashed in Mexico and Gilpin was killed. Mona survived with injuries to her head and body. She had just been recently married in Mexico City and was on a honeymoon flight with her husband, who was also injured. Documentation of her fateful flight is at the Gilpin Photograph and Document Collection at the link.
After WWII, he and Viola traveled to Honolulu in February, 1947. Also, Moseley and his family traveled to Honolulu aboard the S.S. Lurline on June 28, 1948. With him were wife, Viola (now 49), Son David (now 20), a daughter Polly (18; could this be the infant Corliss in the 1930 Census?), and a daughter Sandra (16). Daughter Marquita was not among them. In September, 1949 he and Viola flew from Copenhagen, Denmark to New York via Scandinavian Airlines System. For plane spotters, they flew in SE-BDE, a Douglas DC-6 that crashed on landing in Goose, Labrador in 1951. The good news then? The passengers were uninjured as were the crew except for one member who received minor scratches and cuts. The bad news? The aircraft suffered substantial damage. And in March, 1950 they flew from Honolulu to San Francisco aboard United Airlines NC31227.
In March, 1952, an article appeared in the Arizona Republic that announced Viola Moseley's intention to divorce C.C. (article, right). I don't know exactly when the divorce became official, but within the next four years he married Audrienne Harvey Moseley (1913-1980).
On July 17, 1956 there is record of Moseley and Audrienne departing Madrid, Spain for return to New York City. And the Beverly Hills city directory, 1964, lists Moseley as the president and board chairman for the Grand Central Industrial Center. Audrienne H. is listed as his wife.
Moseley flew west June 17, 1974 in Los Angeles. His obituary from The New York Times of June 19th is at left, above. His grave marker is at right. He is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, CA along with Audrienne. Note the Army aviator's wings on his memorial.
Moseley also landed at Tucson once on Sunday, February 26, 1928. His full biography is over on the Davis-Monthan Airfield Web site at the link. The information there includes many photographs and additional information about his military and business careers.
THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 12/06/15 REVISED: