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 pilot Clemm and his 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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Eugene Clemm appears once in the Glendale Register, on Saturday, May 9, 1931 at 11:23AM. He flew the Ford 4-AT-D trimotor NC5578. He co-owned this airplane, S/N 4-AT-24, with fellow Register pilot Russell Reed. Neither geographic nor passenger information was documented for Clemm's flight.

Reed and Clemm purchased NC5578 on November 19, 1930. Like many of the pilots signed in the Register, Clemm, as well as Reed, were only identified by last name by the tower operator who filled in the Register pages. The only clue I had as to their first names was the bill-of-sale information for the airplane, which listed their complete names.

Clemm was born in Ellinwood, Kansas August 30, 1888. The 1900 U.S. Census places him living in Newbury Township, KS with his parents, Eugene and Louise, and two sisters, one younger; one older. His father was a merchant in the dry goods business. Ten years later the 1910 Census documents him at 2954 Pico Blvd. in Los Angeles (a single-storey storefront today). He was unmarried, 21 years old and working as a "Mechanic" in the "Automobile" industry. A directory for the city of San Diego, CA in 1921 shows him moved to Towne Avenue in San Diego.

He was registered for the draft during WWI. His registration card is below. He was 28 years old and had an ore hauling contract with the Groom Mine in Indian Springs, Nevada. He claimed his hauling contract as grounds for exemption from military service. I have no information about his military service, if, indeed, he was inducted. Please let me KNOW if you have any information about his military service. We learn from this card that he was of medium height, slender build, brown eyes and black hair. He had no physical problems that would disqualify him from military service.

Eugene Clemm, Draft Registration, June 5, 1917 (Source: ancestry.com)
Eugene Clemm, Draft Registration, June 5, 1917 (Source: ancestry.com)

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.

Four months after his draft application, the October 12, 1917 San Bernardino County Sun announced Clemm's marriage in Los Angeles at age 29 to Barbara Windsor, age 18. In the 1920 Census, Clemm is living again with his mother and sister, this time on Wall Street in Los Angeles. His mother, Louise (age 54), was widowed and so was Eugene. I have no information about his wife's passing. If you can help with information, please let me KNOW. Clemm was the owner of a garage at this time. According to the Census form, his sister, Vida (20), was a comptometer operator. His mother was unemployed.

I could find no information from the 1930 or 1940 Census. Both of them might have referenced aviation activity by Clemm. Near the beginning of WWII, Clemm was again exposed to the draft. Below is his registration card (undated) for 1942. Notice that he had no middle name. He was 53 years old living in Sunland, CA. There was no tear tab at the lower left of this form, but the military still wasn't integrated until after WWII.

Eugene Clemm, Draft Registration, 1942 (Source: ancestry.com)
Eugene Clemm, Draft Registration, 1942 (Source: ancestry.com)

Interestingly, according to rootsweb.com, Clemm was married a second time on June 21, 1943 in Yuma, AZ to Harriett Avaline Spry (1907-1988). City directories from 1957 and 1959 for Lodi, CA cite Clemm's residence on South Sacramento Avenue, with no mention of Harriett. He died October 4, 1967 at San Diego, CA. I have no information about his family, social or aviation life (other than his marriages, landing at Glendale and his partnership with Reed) through the years. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.