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.


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


the register


I'm looking for information and photographs of Santry and his airplane 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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D.D. Santry, 1926 (Source: ancestry.com)
D.D. Santry, 1926 (Source: ancestry.com)



Dan Santry was born March 25, 1906 in Ellsworth, KS. At age 24, he is logged in the Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT) Register three times in early 1931. His landings were all recorded early the same day, Sunday, January 11, 1931. Each time he flew the Fleet 2 NC721V, S/N 320, which was co-owned by him and Register pilot H.R. Spicer. In fact, Spicer landed NC721V at GCAT the same day. It's as if they were trading off and practicing their landings and takeoffs.

Each time he landed, Santry carried one unidentified passenger. Perhaps Spicer was Santry's passenger and vice-versa. There is no indication in the Register where they arrived from or what the destination was, although, since this was a Sunday, his flights might have been for weekend pleasure or training rides.

The 1920 U.S. Census places Santry at age 14 living with his family in Ellsworth. His father, Daniel J. (age 61) was an immigrant from Canada in 1872 and worked as a salesman in his own store. Santry was a first-generation American. He shared the house with a younger brother, Horace (8) and his aunt Minnie (50). The portrait, above, left, was from his University of Kansas college yearbook for 1926.


The Van Nuys News, October 21, 1930 (Source: Woodling)
The Bakersfield Californian, October 20, 1930 (Source: Woodling)



Santry was a flight instructor at GCAT, although for whom he worked was not clear. About six months earlier, on October 20, 1930, Santry was involved in an unusual accident in which his passenger was killed.

The accident and its aftermath were documented in The Van Nuys News of October 21, 1930, right. The accident happened at United Airport, Burbank, CA. Please direct your browser to GCAT pilot Benjamin Busch to read about a similar accident.

The accident was also cited in the Bakerfield Californian of October 20, 1930, left. Santry is identified as a lieutenant in the right-hand article. According to his obituary, below, he served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a test pilot. The dates of his service are not listed, but he probably served during the late 1920s, after he graduated college. It is not clear if the Fleet cited as the accident aircraft was NC721V. What is clear is that Spicer brought 721V to GCAT on December 14, 1930. So if it was the crash airplane, it was repaired in about 60 days.

Santry is shown in the April, 1930 U.S. Census as living in Kansas, so perhaps he moved to California after the census was taken. Regardless, the 1940 Census places him at age 34 in Portland, OR living with his wife, Florence E. (26; 1913-2011). Santry is listed as having five years of college education. His occupation was identified as "District Office Manager" in the "Retail and Wholesale Tire Manufacturing" business. Thus, he lived in California for a scant decade. No children lived with him and his wife in 1940.

Interestingly, Florence worked as a secretary for Firestone Tire & Rubber Co., where she met Dan. They were married June 12, 1937, in Portland, OR and celebrated 62 years of marriage before Dan preceded her in death in 1999 (see below). She was a good student. She was in the first class to graduate from Portland State College. She graduated with honors in elementary education. The Santrys had two children, son Joe and daughter Nancy.

I have no information on what Santry did during WWII, but it is fair to guess he contributed to the war effort during the 15 years he worked as auditor for the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company. His employment with Firestone encompassed the WWII years.

Whether or not they moved back to California or had a winter home there, in 1951, the Palm Springs, CA city directory cited him and Florence living at 314 Camino Roma. It is clear from biographical data for Florence, that they resided in Oregon since 1967. They lived in Troutdale for 30 years and raised horses.

I have no information about Santry's family life, what he did for fun, or if aviation was part of his middle years. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.



Santry flew West on February 21, 1999. His obituary, below, seems to indicate that he quit flying in the mid-1930s and moved to Oregon. He became a successful entrepreneur in the tire business, later founding a trucking company.

The (Portland, OR) Oregonian, Sunday, February 21, 1999
Deceased Name: Daniel Draper Santry

A funeral will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22, 1999, in Bateman Carroll Funeral Chapel for Daniel Draper Santry, who died Feb. 17 at age 92. Mr. Santry was born March 25, 1906, in Ellsworth, Kan. He graduated from the University of Kansas and served in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a test pilot. He lived in the Portland area since 1936. He worked as an auditor for Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in Los Angeles and Portland for 15 years until founding Santry Tire Co. in 1946. He later co-owned Dayton Tire Sales Co. and owned Santry Trucking Co. for many years until becoming semi-retired in the late 1970s. He was a longtime member and deacon of Stone Tower Seventh-day Adventist Church. He married Florence Clark in 1937. Survivors include his wife; son, Joe of Portland; daughter, Nancy Youker of Boring; five grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.....

The Santry Trucking Company was founded in 1976 (or 1981 according to another source). By Web search, the company appears to be inactive as of the upload date of this page.