Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register 1925-1936 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 eBook) is an anniversary celebration for 2010.  It is an historical biography, that celebrates the 5th year online of 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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 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.


Art Goebel's Own Story 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 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) 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 Abbott 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 Editors Mike Gerow and Bob Woodling for help researching this page.






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Information about Parker B. Abbott was scattered and spotty. What follows is the bits and pieces arranged in roughly chronological order.

Parker Abbott was born October 3, 1898 at Mankato, MN. His first U.S. Census, in 1900, places him at one-year old living in Mankato with his grandfather (Daniel Buck, age 70) as head of household, and his mother (Laura, age 25; 1875-1950), and sister, Norma (age 3).

At age 11, in 1910, Abbott lived with his widowed mother at Pasadena, CA. In the same household lived his sister, his uncle and a cousin. I have no information as to what happened to his father.

Parenthetically, he didn't appear to be a college-educated man based on the types of jobs he held. For example, according to a Minneapolis city directory for 1915, he was an elevator operator for a National Bank in Minneapolis, MN (approximately age 16 or 17). He had extremely good mechanical aptitude, however, which held him in good stead when he joined the military (see below).

And five years later, the 1920 census has him living with his relatively new wife in a boarding house in Denver, CO. His occupation was listed as "Mechanic." I have no record of his family life during his first 20 years. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.

The military seemed to be a good match for him. Marine Corps Muster Rolls available at the National Archives, or on, show that he worked his way up in the military. In 1918, Abbott enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserves. The Muster Roll for July 9, 1918, the month he enlisted, lists him as a private in training at the Mechanic's School at the Great Lakes Naval Training Station in Illinois. He remained there until about January, 1919 when he was placed on the inactive list. Within the next year he was married and living in Denver (see above).

Dallas Morning News, January 20, 1921 (Source: Woodling)


Dallas Morning News, January 28, 1921 (Source: Woodling)


Continuing in the Muster Rolls, in January, 1920 Abbott was promoted to sergeant, still residing in Colorado. He remained inactive until March, when he was assigned to Marine Flying Field, Miami, FL.

In 1921 he qualified as a sharp shooter on the rifle range at Mare Island, CA.

Interestingly, the Dallas Morning News of January 20, 1921, left, cites his participation in a motorcycle race. From the article, it appears he was racing from his late teens. The article at right, from the Dallas Morning News of January 28, 1921, cites his motorcycle champion status in Colorado, as well as defines his qualification as a Marine aviator. He was Naval Aviator No. 4710.

Between June, 1921 and December, 1931 he is absent from the records. According to the 1930 U.S. Census, Abbott was living in San Francisco, CA with his wife Emmlyn and their two children, Norma J. (8 yrs. old) and Parker R. (6). Abbott was identified as a "Salesman" of "cables." He and his wife rented their home at 1260 31st Avenue for $67.50 per month. The "cables" reference makes sense when we review the news article, below, from the Syracuse Herald (NY) of July 27, 1930.

Syracuse Herald (NY), July 27, 1930 (Source: Woodling)

Abbott worked for the E.H. Edwards Company, which manufacured wire rope. As general sales manager, Abbott used the Arrow to cover his territory. It is clear that Edwards and Abbott were early adopters of aircraft as a business tool.

Oakland Tribune, July 1, 1929 (Source: Woodling)
Oakland Tribune, July 1, 1929 (Source: Woodling)


Arrow Representative, Oakland Tribune, February 27, 1930 (Source: Woodling)
Arrow Representative, Oakland Tribune, February 27, 1930 (Source: Woodling)

And it is near this time we find him signed in the Peterson Field Register. He landed at Colorado Springs once on Friday, August 8, 1930 at 3:32PM. He arrived solo in the Arrow Sport he identified as NC215K. In the Register, he is identified as the owner of the airplane. Indeed, he had been named the representative for the Arrow airplane the previous February (news article, right).

He arrived at Peterson Field from Rock Springs, WY. He recorded no destination in the Register. Interestingly, during the previous year, he had flown the same airplane four times to Clover Field, Santa Monica, CA. His flights in a civilian aircraft suggests he was not on active military duty. The Oakland Tribune of July 1, 1929, left, reported that Abbott earned his Private pilot certificate that year, so he was a civil pilot for only about a year before we find him at Peterson Field..

Soon Abbott shows up on the Marine Corps Muster Rolls again in 1931 when he accepted a commission as second lieutentant on August 12th. According to the Muster Roll for May, 1932, he was assigned to San Francisco and detailed to duty involving flying. For illustration, that assignment, cropped from the Muster Roll document, is below.



Marine Corps Muster Roll, June 1932 (Source:
Marine Corps Muster Roll, June 1932 (Source:

On May 22, 1932 he was relieved from active duty. In December he was assigned to active duty again at Fleet Marine Corps Reserve, Naval Reserve Aviation Base, Long Beach, CA. While at Long Beach, on a flight from Alhambra, CA, Abbott suffered an accident on Sunday, December 18, 1932 with the aircraft pictured below, courtesy of Guest Editor Mike Gerow.

Abbott's Crash, December 18, 1932 (Source: Gerow)
Abbott's Crash, December 18, 1932 (Source: Gerow)

Note the oil derricks on the hill in the haze in the far background of this photograph. Signal Hill, just south of the airport, was the site of many oil wells when oil exporation was in its heyday in California during the 1920s.

Albuquerque Journal, December 19, 1932 (Source: Gerow)
Albuquerque Journal, December 19, 1932 (Source: Gerow)


To continue, Abbott's aircraft was destroyed but he made it to the ground safely with his parachute. Tragically, however, his passenger, who also was wearing a parachute, refused to abandon the spinning aircraft and was killed in the crash. The details of the accident are outlined in the news article at left. Can anyone IDENTIFY the airplane?

Another article, published by the Oelwein, OH Daily Register of December 19, 1932, reported that Abbott was thrown clear of the aircraft, ripping his fingernails off in the process of trying to extract passenger Schultz out of his cockpit.

Chances are that the report of a "stalled motor" is in error. Stalled engines leave an aircraft simply to glide to the ground in a controlled descent if the pilot is skilled enough to manage it. However, stalled wings, resulting from allowing the airspeed to drop below a certain point, or otherwise flying the airplane outside its performance envelope, is most likely the cause of a "tailspin."

Amarillo Daily News (TX), March 14, 1934
(Source: Woodling)


Unrelated to the accident, less than a year later, during October, 1933, Abbott traveled from Hong Kong to San Pedro, CA aboard the U.S.S. Roseville. A ship's manifest I reviewed at has him arriving in the U.S. on the 28th, just 25 days after his 35th birthday, which must have been celebrated in Hong Kong just before he set sail on October 7th. The manifest does not include his wife or family members. He was probably traveling alone. I do not know if he was traveling as part of Marine Corps duties. He carried U.S. passport number 2283, and cited his domicile as Alhambra Airport, Alhambra, CA.

Abbott shows up in the news a another time in the 1930s in association with his Marine Corps duties. For example, right, from the Amarillo Daily News (TX) for March 14, 1934, we find him in Amarillo with Allen Lockheed.

They were on their way to Washington, DC for "business conferences." The "Alcor" cited in the article was Lockheed's unique twin-engined monoplane. The airplane, registered NX962Y, is not a Peterson Field airplane, but it is recorded in the Grand Central Air Terminal Register a few years earlier on Sunday, May 3, 1931 at 3:21PM.

The Alcor link above has this to say about the airplane (Alcor and "Duo-4" are synonymous), "The four to six passenger Duo-4 was a high-wing cantilever monoplane. The monocoque fuselage had a wooden structure and was covered with a plywood skin that was molded under pressure. The wings also had a wooden structure and were covered with plywood. The aircraft (registered as NX962Y) was first flown by Frank Clarke in 1930. In March 1931, the Duo-4 was damaged when a sudden gust of wind caused it to nose-over and then collide with a vehicle during a landing at Muroc (now Edwards Air Force Base), California."

In the photograph below, courtesy of the San Diego Aerospace Museum Flickr Stream (SDAM), test pilot Frank Clarke is shown on the right, with Lockheed at left. The photo was probably taken the day of the first test flight, dating the image to 1930.

Lockheed Alcor NX962Y, Allen Lockheed (L) and Frank Clarke, Ca. 1930 (Source: SDAM)

After the accident in 1931, the Alcor was rebuilt and its four-cylinder engines were replaced with six-cylinders, making it the "Duo-6." In this configuration, and in accordance with the news article above, Lockheed and Abbott, "... flew the Duo-6 back east to demonstrate it to the Navy and Army. However, nothing came from this exposure."


Helena Daily Independent (MT) December 27, 1934 (Source: Web)
Helena Daily Independent (MT) December 27, 1934 (Source: Web)


As far as I can determine, Abbott was killed in a plane crash on December 27, 1934 in the Gulf of California, Mexico. The news article, right, from the Helena Daily Independent (MT) reports on December 27, 1934 that Abbott was a passenger on a scheduled Mexican airliner, which crashed near the southern tip of the Baja Peninsula. One source states that he was killed on April 29, 1936, but the news article at right defines the date.

The Salt Lake Tribune (UT), December 24, 1934 (Source: Woodling)












The Salt Lake Tribune (UT), December 27, 1934 (Source: Woodling)



Another article, from the Salt Lake Tribune (UT) of December 24, 1934, left, cites Abbott as the copilot of the flight. And another, three days later, right, cites the hope that Mrs. Abbott held out that her husband and the airplane would be found. Alas, an entry at states that there was "no recovery" of aircraft or bodies.












THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 03/08/15 REVISED: 03/19/15