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.


the register


I'm looking for information and photographs of this airplane 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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Harry Ashe is signed in the Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT) at least nine times during 1931. Each time he flew the Lockheed Vega registered as NC309H. Ashe was the personal pilot for California Senator (1933-1938) and former Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo. The Lockheed was owned by McAdoo. During his employ, Ashe and McAdoo flew it more than 140,000 miles in support of Treasury and Senatorial duties. McAdoo was one of the first to use airplanes as a business tool (see also California real estate developer and Davis-Monthan Airfield passenger Harry H. Culver).

The 1910 U.S. Census places Ashe with his family in Fulton, GA. He lived with a large family, three sisters and two brothers, plus his parents. His father, age 47, was an "Agent" for "Typewriters, etc."

Ashe served in the Army during WWI and was enlisted August 15, 1917. He accepted a commission on January 27, 1918. He attended the School of Military Aeronautics at the Georgia School of Technology, Atlanta, GA. I do not know if he flew during the war. By 1920, the Census followed him to Pasadena, CA where he lived as a boarder in a private home. He was 23 years old, and worked as a real estate salesman.

Ashe was married the first time on March 31, 1930 at Pasadena, CA to Dorothy E. Miller (b. 1903). They had no children. On March 16, 1936 he married Jeanne Marie Van Dersal (1912-1992). They had a son, Terry, born in1938 in California. According to online records, Terry lives in Chico, CA.

After he left McAdoo's employ, above, Ashe became the personal pilot for millionaire philanthropist Max C. Fleischmann (1877-1951). Fleischmann owned Fleischmann's Yeast, Fleischmann Laboratories, and was a principal stockholder in General Foods. Fleischmann owned, and Ashe flew, the Lockheed 10A Electra, S/N 1032, NC14945. Below is an immigration form dated December 21, 1946 that records a flight by Ashe with this airplane. They arrived back in the U.S. from Mexicali, Mexico.

U.S. Immigration Form, December 21, 1936 (Source: ancestry.com)

A photograph of NC14945 is at Ashe's Davis-Monthan biography link, below. I do not know who Deane J. Severns was. Ashe made another flight from Mexico on April 30, 1941 in NC14945. This time he carried mechanic Dan Withers.

On May 24, 1940, Ashe arrived again from Mexico. This time he flew the Lockheed 14-H2 Super Electra, NC17395. This airplane also belonged to Fleischmann. Ashe's April flight with it might have been an acceptance flight for the new airplane. In May, however, Fleischmann, with his wife and three other passengers were returning from Hermosillo. Mechanic Dan Withers was a long-time employee for Fleischmann and received a $15,000 inheritance upon Fleischmann's passing in 1951.

U.S. Immigration Form, May 24, 1940 (Source: ancestry.com)

Ashe also appears six times in the Clover Field Register, Santa Monica, CA and once at Tucson, AZ in the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register. Additional biographical information, with photographs of him, NC14945 and McAdoo, and news articles, can be found at his Davis-Monthan Airfield biography page at the link. I have no information about Ashe's personal life, or what he did for fun. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.

Harry Ashe was born February 18, 1896 in Alabama (at least one source says 1897). His WWI draft and service cards say 1896 so we'll go with that authority. He earned Transport License T3599. He died February 18, 1974 at age 77.