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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


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 this 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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Frederic Whitney was born April 16, 1879 in Grinnel, IA. He was one of the older pilots to appear in the Grand Central Air Terminal (GCAT) Register. And, while news coverage was relatively rare, he does have a good U.S. Census record available online. This record tracked him throught his decades as he moved from place to place and enjoyed his aviation career.

The 1880 U.S. Census, Whitney's first, placed him living in Grinnel with his parents and what appeared to be a blended family consisting of his father Gustavus (age 46, a grain dealer) mother Jane W. (age 36), sister Elizabeth J. Sanders (14), brother George L. Sanders (9) and brother William T. Whitney(4).

In 1900, the Census listed Whitney, now age 21, living in Waterloo, IA with his family. His father had remarried Sarah (48). Whitney and his older brother William were classified as "Student." A couple of years later, in 1902, Whitney married Edwena Dawson. They were married in New Mexico on a ranch (her family's?) and then moved to Los Angeles in the early 1900s. They had two daughters, Ruth (1905-1996) and Lavinia (1907-1910).

In 1910, the Census placed Whitney, Edwena (age 30 and Ruth (5) in Cimarron, NM. Lavinia must have died before the Census was taken. His occupation was listed as "Stockman." Whitney taught himself how to fly around 1914 at the age of 35.

On September 12, 1918 he was called to the military draft as documented on his WWI draft card, below. Notice that he identified his occupation as self-employed aviator, working at the airfield at Venice, CA. He was married to Edwena and they lived at 1143 Browning Boulevard in Los Angeles. He was described as tall and slender with blue eyes and light brown hair.

Frederic Whitney, WWI Draft Card, September 15, 1918 (Source: ancestry.com)

He taught flying during WWI. After the war he worked for a company that sold Waco airplanes. The 1920 Census places Whitney, Edwena and Ruth (age 14) living at 1148 Browning Boulevard in Los Angeles. Living with them was Edwena's mother Lavinia Dawson (78) and a niece, Ruby Dawson (20). Whitney was listed as an "Aviator" in the "Aviation" industry.

In and interesting link between Registers, in 1929 Whitney was a member of the Executive Committee of the Professional Pilots Association, which was based in Los Angeles. His name appeared embossed on the head of a letter addressed to Register pilot Charles W. "Bill" Gilpin accepting Gilpin into the Association. You may view that letter at the link; scroll about halfway down the page.

As commercial transport airlines rapidly developed and merged in California and across the country during the late 1920s and early 1930s, Whitney flew for Maddux/TAT then T.W.A. as a senior pilot based in California. He did this until he retired in 1939 at age 60. In the 1930 Census, the security benefits of Whitney's aviation career show up. He was living with Edwena in Los Angeles at 1114 Browning Boulevard (he had moved down the block). He was identified as an "Aviator" with "T.A.T./Maddux." They owned their home, which was valued at $30,000, an expensive home for the time. That address today appears to be a modern, multi-tenant structure. Neither Ruth (who would have been 25 years old), his mother-im-law or niece living were with them.

Frederic Whitney, WWII Draft Card, Ca. 1942 (Source: ancestry.com)
Frederic Whitney, WWII Draft Card, Ca. 1942 (Source: ancestry.com)


It is about this time that Whitney appears six times in the GCAT Register between December 21, 1930 and May 27, 1931. He landed twice in unidentified Fokker aircraft, and four times in Fords. Two of them, NC9641 and NC9644 were identified by number by tower Operator A.J. Lygum. For those flights so identified, he was enroute from or to San Francisco and Kansas City, MO, both scheduled destinations for T.W.A. transports at that time. He carried between four and ten passengers.

Most men during WWII were required to register for the draft. Whitney's draft card is at left. With his career at T.W.A. over in 1939, at the advanced age of 63, he worked at the Hughes Aircraft Company in Culver City, CA. I do not know what his job was with Hughes. I do not have information related to his activities during the 1950s-1970s. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.


Frederic Whitney Headstone (Source: findagrave)


Frederic Whitney died January, 1978 (not sure of the day; if you are, please let me KNOW). He was 99 years old. His last residence was Homer, Alaska. The inscription on his headstone, right, reads, "Paso por Aqui" (Step Here). There is also a pair of wings with "QB" monogram; the Quiet Birdman logo. His pilot certificate, issued in 1923, was a very low number, T12. For comparison, Charles Lindbergh's transport certificate number was T69. The flag is supported and displayed in an American Legion medallion, indicative, undoubtedly, of his WWI service.

Daughter Ruth passed away July 1, 1996 in Alaska. Her obituary appeared in the Anchorage Daily News July 3, 1996, below.

Ruth Whitney Newman, 91, died quietly in her sleep July 1, 1996, at the Anchorage Pioneers' Home. Graveside services and burial were held at Hickerson Memorial Cemetery in Homer. 

Mrs. Newman was born Feb. 8, 1905, on her grand father's ranch at Dawson, N.M., to Edwenna [sic] Dawson and Frederick Whitney. She lived on the J.B. Dawson ranch until age 10, then moved to Los Angeles with her grandparents, later followed by her parents. She graduated from high school and attended the University of Southern California, where she graduated cum laude with a degree in anthropology. Mrs. Newman came to Alaska in 1942 on the Alaska Steamship Lines, landing at Seward and traveling by railroad to Fairbanks. She was taken in by the McGarvey family and had many fond memories of them. During World War II, she worked at Ladd Field in the cryptography department. During this time, she met Dana Newman and married him in 1944. They built a home on the Chena River, living there until 1948, when they moved to Bear Cove on Kachemak Bay. They lived at Bear Cove until 1950, when they moved to Miller's Landing at Homer. In 1971, they sold the Miller's Landing home and moved to their new home on McLay Road in Homer. Her husband died in 1988, and Mrs. Newman continued to live at home until moving to the Anchorage Pioneers' Home in 1992. Mrs. Newman was active in community affairs, Homemakers, the Hospital Planning Commission, Veteran's Auxiliary and the Society of Natural History. She taught school and was a lifetime member of the Pioneers of Alaska. She was also an accomplished gardener and homemaker. She and her husband spent many happy days hiking, exploring and hunting throughout the lower Kenai Peninsula and surrounding areas. She was especially proud of her efforts as a volunteer and curator at the Pratt Museum. 

Among her surviving cousins are Jane Azoy of Pennsylvania, Edwenna and John Cary of Washington, Henry and Tom Dawson of California, Lucy Proctor of Ohio, Jeanne Wilde of Colorado and Delphine Wilson of California. She will be greatly missed by many friends throughout Alaska and other states.












It seems that she traveled to Alaska in 1942. It is not clear if she relocated to pursue her interest in anthropology. After her marriage in 1944, however, Ruth became an early permanent resident of Alaska with her husband. The Pioneers of Alaska appears to be a predominantly Caucasian organization, separated by gender into men's and women's "Igloos."

Edwena Dawson Whitney (b. May 22, 1880) passed away on June 16, 1967. Her headstone is below.

Edwena Dawson Whitney, Headstone (Source: findagrave)
Edwena Dawson Whitney, Headstone (Source: findagrave)









An artist's palette appears in relief on the marker. I could find no information to confirm that she was, in fact, an artist. Daughter Ruth's headstone is below

Ruth Whitney, Headstone (Source: ancestry.com)


Note the discrepancy in the spelling of Edwena's name. I've seen the spelling both ways in the documents I've examined.


All three family members are buried at Homer, Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.