Some of this information comes from the biographical file for pilot Stephens, reviewed by me in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.




Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register (available in paperback) 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 Kindle Edition eBook) is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of www.dmairfield.org 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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 (available in paperback) 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 (available as free PDF download) 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 Kindle Edition 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 & Kindle Edition) 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 pilot Stephens and his airplane to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.






You may NOW donate via PAYPAL by clicking the "Donate" icon below and using your credit card. You may use your card or your PAYPAL account. You are not required to have a PAYPAL account to donate.


When your donation clears the PAYPAL system, a certified receipt from Delta Mike Airfield, Inc. will be emailed to you for your tax purposes.





Moye Stephens was born February 21, 1906. A very readable biography by author Barbara Schultz is this REFERENCE. Stephens appears once in the Register of the Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT) on Sunday, December 21, 1930 at 11:07AM. He was solo in the Stearman C-3B he identified as NR882N.

It is very opportune to find Moye Stephens, flying that airplane, signing the GCAT Register on this date. Stephens was no-doubt staging the airplane at GCAT in preparation for the round-the-world voyage that he and the airplane's owner, Richard Halliburton, departed on the very next day. A photograph of Halliburton, Stephens and actor Ramon Navarro appears on page 137 of Schultz's book taken on the day before their departure, which would have been the day Stephens brought NR882N to GCAT.

Below, from the San Diego Aerospace Museum Flickr stream, is an unusual signed photograph showing four Register visitors. From left to right they are Jimmy Angel, Richard Halliburton, Pancho Barnes and Moye Stephens. The airplane behind NR882N is NX3622 a Zenith Albatross operated by Angel. Angel had, on December 15th, just failed to complete a men's refueled endurance flight record with that airplane.

Register Visitors, Ca. December, 1939, GCAT (Source: SDAM)

Below, written courtesy of author Schultz, is a description of Moye's early flying experience and his voyage with Halliburton.

"Moye W. Stephens grew up less than a mile from Rogers Field in Los Angeles.  Enamored with aviation since attending the Dominguez Air Show in 1911, he traded work for lessons at Rogers.  Leo Nomis and Eddie Bellande were his mentors.  After several lessons in a Standard, Moye received his pilot’s license on September 12, 1924.  Two weeks later, he left southern California for Stanford University as a pre-law major. 

"Clover Field became Moye’s airport of choice during his school vacations.  Leo Nomis, also a resident of Clover, sold Moye his first airplane in 1925 - a Thomas Morse Scout.  In the summer of 1927, Moye began work as a flight instructor for Theodore T. Hull’s American Aircraft Corporation.  That December, he received a transport license which enabled him to work for Norman A. Goddard’s Palo Alto School of Aviation flying Wacos.  The summer of 1928, Captain G. Allan Hancock asked Moye to teach him to fly.  Moye gladly accepted the chance to instruct in a Travelair 4000 as well as ferry Hancock’s Buhl Model CA-8 Senior Sedan to the Buhl factory in Marysville, Michigan for a thorough inspection.  It would be experience in this aircraft that enabled him to become a captain for Maddux Airline.   

"In his first semester of law school, Moye received a call from Eddie Bellande.  There was an opening at Maddux.  Moye withdrew from school and, after making three landings in a Maddux Ford trimotor, he began flying the Gambler’s Run to Agua Caliente, Mexico.  When Maddux merged with TAT, Moye easily transitioned into the captain’s seat as he would later do for TW&A in 1930. 

"Moye enjoyed his career as an airline pilot but when famous adventurer/author Richard Halliburton approached him in the spring of 1930 with a proposition to make a world flight, Moye couldn’t refuse.  The airplane chosen for the epic flight was a Stearman C3-B, dubbed the Flying Carpet.  Following months of preparation, Moye and Halliburton departed Grand Central Airport in Glendale, California on December 22, 1930. 

"Many stops were made enroute to Roosevelt Field, Long Island including Halliburton’s home in Memphis as well as Philadelphia and Washington for travel documents.  From Long Island, Moye flew the Stearman to the Curtiss-Wright Factory in Patterson, NJ to resolve some engine trouble that had plagued the entire trip to the east coast.  Two weeks later, the R.M.S. Majestic steamed toward Southampton with the Flying Carpet safely secured on deck. 

"Moye supervised the reassembling of the airplane’s wings at the Avro factory in nearby Hamble. With additional travel documents obtained in London and Paris, Moye and Halliburton headed south to Africa - the most dangerous part of the world flight – 1,600 miles across the desolate Sahara to Timbuctoo, with only a compass.  The experience served him well when he later crossed the Syrian Desert and the harrowing mountains of Persia.  The Flying Carpet took aloft princes, princesses, and the Queen of the Headhunters.  The airplane flew within 15 miles of Mt. Everest and down the Malay Peninsula to Singapore where pontoons replaced the Stearman’s landing gear.  Moye charted a course to Oakland on oceanic maps but the route contained too many miles over open water.   A much safer option was chosen.  Moye and Halliburton departed Singapore for Borneo’s head-hunter country and then Manila.  The last leg of the world flight was aboard a ship bound for Oakland and, after replacing the landing gear, back to Grand Central.

"Moye’s flying experience upon his return consisted of flying for a Fairchild distributorship; demonstrating and selling the Lockheed Vega in Australia and New Zealand; and flying Jack Northrop’s prototypes including the N1M Flying Wing."

Below, Stephens (L) and Halliburton posed with NR882N, The Flying Carpet.

Moye Stephens (L) & Richard Halliburton, With NR882N, Circa 1930 (Source: Halliburton)
Moye Stephens (L) & Richard Halliburton, Circa 1930 (Source: Halliburton)

Many news publications covered their itinerary through the next 18 months. A simple summary statement of their effort appeared in the British aviation magazine Flight on July 1, 1932. It said simply, "During their tour they have covered some 50,000 miles over most of the world's out of the way places in the Near East, India, the Malay Straits, the South Seas, Borneo and the Philippines." They had been away from home from December 22, 1930 to June 2, 1932.

As you might guess, Moye Stephens, through his flying life, had myriad connections with other Register pilots (see the links to Bellande, Hull and Nomis, above). He was best friends and flew at Northrop with Dick Ranaldi. A photograph of Stephens with Ranaldi is about 3/4 of the way down the linked page. In Schultz's book, Stephens can be found in photographs with Pancho Barnes and Jimmie Angel, above. Davis-Monthan Register pilot Howard Fey showed him the ropes as a beginning transport pilot. Fey and Stephens are mentioned ain a 1964 issue of AOPA magazine at the link (PDF 1Mb).

Interestingly, Stephens had a wife, Inez, in common with Register pilot Ross Hadley. Inez Buttora and Hadley divorced on April 19, 1937. Stephens and Inez were married a week later on April 26, 1937. They remained married for many years, through retirement. Moye Stephens passed away December 12, 1995, a couple of months shy of his 90th birthday; Inez followed six-months later, on June 30, 1996. He flew with Transport pilot certificate number T1667.

Stephens also landed once and signed the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register on Thursday, September 13, 1928 at 9:45AM. Please direct your browser to the link to learn about the circumstances surrounding that landing.



(January 9, 1900 – presumed dead after March 24, 1939)

The Flying Carpet Party in Venice, The New York Times, Sunday, September 6, 1931 (Source: NYT)
The Flying Carpet Party in Venice, The New York Times, Sunday, September 6, 1931 (Source: NYT)


Although not signatory to any Register, Richard Halliburton is worth mention. Halliburton, a distant cousin to the Halliburtons of the early oil industry as well as today's logistics and supply company, was an adventurer and raconteur.

Although not wealthy, he managed to find one adventure, execute it, then use proceeds from the resulting books and speaking engagements to fund his next escapade. He repeated this cycle several times during his life and thus maintained his adventurous reputation and a considerable bank account. Halliburton is pictured at left during his layover in Venice, Italy, August 7-15, 1931. Moye Stephens sits second from left. The other people are unidentified.

After his and Stephens' return to the United States, in June, 1932, Halliburton published a book about their adventure. He dedicated it to Stephens (the photograph of them with They Flying Carpet, above, is from the frontispiece of Halliburton's book). Entitled "The Flying Carpet," it is a ripping yarn of Golden Age travel in a Golden Age airplane, flown by a pilot signer of the GCAT Register. It was reviewed in The New York TImes of December 4, 1932. It is an adventure book; eminently readable, with some reservations.

The Flying Carpet Barrel Rolls Over the Taj Mahal, Circa December, 1930 (Source: Halliburton)
The Flying Carpet Barrel Rolls Over the Taj Mahal, Circa December, 1930 (Source: Halliburton)


Halliburton's prose is stilted in some places. When was the last time you saw the word "tatterdemalions" used (page 58 in his book)? Likewise, some of his views and philosophy would certainly be challenged as out of place today, especially as they are markedly elitist and racist. On pages 46ff., for example, he discusses the purchase of two child-slaves in West Africa to wash dishes and control the bats that plagued his sleeping quarters. He remarks, "... both my grandfathers had been slaveowners in Tennessee, and I had been brought up believing in the sanctity of the institution." Stephens cannot be dismissed from supporting the slavery concept. He went along with Halliburton for the purchase of two 10-year olds ($5.00 each) to serve as their personal slaves during their brief stay in Timbuctoo [sic].

The only good news in this scene is that the children, as most 10-year olds, had 10-year old minds of their own and were completely unmanageable by the two bachelors. The children lacked focus around their assigned work, most often wandering off mid-task. In the end, they were sold back to their slave trader when Halliburton and Stephens moved eastward.

Halliburton's book is a maelstrom of conrasts. He visits and describes many of the ancient and sacred places along his route, yet applies his own code of conduct, like swimming in the marble pool facing the Taj Mahal, or turning barrel rolls, right. A similar photograph appeared in the Washington Herald, Saturday, February 13, 1932.

Their Mt. Everest Flight Was Documented, The Washington (DC) Evening Star, January 12, 1932 (Source: NASM)



Especially daft, in Jerusalem he arranged an alley cat marriage between Matilda (chapter XVI), brought to the Holy City in search of a proper Christian mate by her eccentric English mistress, Mrs. Wales. Halliburton, tongue in cheek, arranged for Saint Thomas, a common, grey, feral street cat that he paid two young boys to capture, to be the "groom." He assured Mrs. Wales that Saint Thomas was, "High Church -- the very archbishop of cats." Matilda, as it turns out, left behind in Jerusalem with her new "husband" by Mrs. Wales, quickly changed her tastes and "eloped" with another street feline characterized by Halliburton as, "... the ugliest, sportiest, most disreputable Mohammedan alley-cat in all Jerusalem."

But, where else can you read about a scarlet, black and gold bird that cruises over Constantinople, circles the Sphinx, zooms the Pyramids, soars over the gardens of the Nile, jousts with dust devils, spirals down the Matterhorn, that is flown by bachelors who purchase slaves to do battle with bats?

And then there was their battle with Mt. Everest, left, documented in the Washington, DC Evening Star of January 12, 1932. They managed to struggle to 20,000', but failed to top the 29,141' high Everest. Even if their non-turbocharged engine could have powered them to that altitude, the chance was slim of Stephens and Halliburton remaining conscious without oxygen.

In the end, during his final adventure (which did not include Stephens), Halliburton was lost in the Pacific Ocean and presumed dead (along with several other passengers) during an attempt to sail a Chinese junk from Hong Kong to San Francisco. He was officially declared dead on October 5, 1939.


Dossier 2.1.52


THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 11/27/13 REVISED: 11/21/14, 07/26/18