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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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 Vance 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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Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.



Paul A. Vance, American Airlines, 1938 (Source: Web)


Paul Vance was born November 29, 1899 in southeast Oklahoma in the Chocktaw Nation (Oklahoma did not become a state until 1907). The 1900 U.S. Census, his first, placed Vance at six-months old living in South McAlester, Choctaw Nation, Indian Territory (later Oklahoma). He lived with his father, Patrick A. (age 34), mother, Ella May (30), and his older brother, Griffin B. (6). His father was a "Wholesale Grocer."

The January 18, 1938 portrait, left, is from the link. It shows Vance in his American Airlines uniform (see below). In 1938, according to the caption on the back of the photo, he flew the route from Fort Worth, TX to Glendale, CA.

The 1910 Census placed Vance at age 10 living with his parents in San Antonio, TX at 336 Gladstone Avenue. That address today is in a working class neighborhood with many Anchor fences. His father (age 44), was in "Real Estate." His mother, Ella May (39) was not employed outside their rented home. Brother Griffin was now 14 years old.

In 1920, the Census placed him at age 20 living at 616 Avenue C in San Antonio. He was enrolled at an unidentified university (from a later Census we learn that he completed two years of college). His father (54) was still in real estate. Brother Griffin was now a father himself, and his wife and infant son lived with the family. Griffin was a "Demonstrator" for an "Auto Distributor."

Vance married Frances Randolph Perry (1903-1992) on April 26, 1922. In the 1926 and 1927 San Antonio city directories he is listed as a salesman and department manager with the Jack Neal Nash Company. He learned to fly ca. 1916 at San Antonio, TX at the famous Stinson school. His instructor was Eddie Stinson. An early photograph of him posed in front of a Curtiss JN is below. The following three photos are courtesy of Vance's grandson.

Paul A. Vance & Curtiss JN, Date Unknown (Source: Vance Family)
Paul A. Vance & Curtiss JN, Date Unknown (Source: Vance Family)

Below, Vance's F.A.I. license dated November 26, 1926.

Paul A. Vance, 1926 F.A.I. License (Source: Vance Family)
Paul A. Vance, 1926 F.A.I. License (Source: Vance Family)

Below, Vance's 1927 sporting license.

Paul A. Vance, 1927 Airplane Sporting License (Source: Vance Family)
Paul A. Vance, 1927 Airplane Sporting License (Source: Vance Family)

He gained enough experience by 1929 to be hired by an air transport company. Vance landed and signed the Peterson Field Register once, on Tuesday, July 2, 1929 at 5:15PM. He arrived solo from San Antonio in the Travel Air he identified as NC9842, a model 6000-B, S/N 1036. He noted in the Register that the airplane was owned by Texas Air Transport. He remained overnight in Colorado Springs, departing the next morning at 6:30AM for New York, NY. He carried four unidentified passengers outbound, probably on a charter flight east.

The 1930 Census placed Vance (age 30) living with his wife, Frances (26) in Justice Precinct #2, Bexar County, TX. They rented their home. Living with them was Jeff Roberts (60), a servant, identified on the Census form as a "widowed negro." Vance's occupation was recorded as "Aviator" at an "Air Port." He was identified as a veteran of the "WW," meaning WWI.

Vance was mentioned in an article from the Dallas Morning News, Dallas, TX, May 22, 1930, below. He was working for Southern Air Transport at the time. Jimmy Youngblood was not a Register pilot.

Dallas Aviator Falls to Death
Workaday Crash Kills Airman of Fame in Flood and Fire.

Too steep a bank in a strong wind spun a plane to ground near Tulsa Wednesday afternoon and as it smashed Jimmy Youngblood of Dallas was fatally injured. He died as his wife was winging to Oklahoma having taken off soon after word of the accident reached Love Field.

Having unloaded Paul Vance, a companion pilot of the Southern Air Transport, Inc., after a ferry flight from Fort Worth, Youngblood was starting home. Five hundred feet up after leaving Garland Airport at Tulsa the plane was caught in the heavy gust. The injured man was taken to a Tulsa hospital, where he died.

At the Dallas airport a fast plane was put on the line as word was sent to the Oak Lawn home of Jimmy Youngblood's wife, a bride of a year ago in February. When she arrived at Love Field and the waiting ship she was whisked northward but arrived after her husband's death.

Ends Colorful Four Years
Another in the Youngblood family is Jimmy Junior, long since initiated into flying and, his father has predicted, just cut out to be a flyer. The workaday crack-up ended a flying career of four years into which had been crowded a sequence of services of mercy.

When the Mississippi River's devastating flood overflowed several States and destroyed property and life National Guardsmen Jimmy Youngblood flew day after day over the valley land, up and down the levees, searching for breaks that might exact more life; back and forth over the flooded region carrying food and serum.

Just Missed West Point.
Later, as a reserve flyer, having been trained in the air as an army man, he was called again by the National Guard to fight disaster---a raging fire that threatened to wipe out the Ozark national forest. Carrying a ranger who mapped the fire-swept regions, Youngblood piloted a plane across the forest, through clouds of smoke, then down close, so his passenger could determine the extent of the fire. They also flew to small towns in the mountains, dropping instructions for fighting the blaze.

Jimmy Youngblood failed to get into West Point because there was no vacancy from his district, although he had passed all examinations; he had "army" in his head and was sent to an army flying school instead.

Sometime after 1930, Vance went to work for American Airlines. The 1940 Census identified his home as Fort Worth, TX. He lived with Frances and the Census form stated that they had a daughter, Paula F., aged one. Later they gave birth to a son, Randolph Michael Vance (1941-2009).

Big Spring Daily Herald (TX), August 18, 1960 (Source: Woodling)
Big Spring Daily Herald (TX), August 18, 1960 (Source: Woodling)


An article in The New York Times of April 22, 1934, below, cited a flight from El Paso, TX to Fort Worth. The airplane type was not identified, but chances are Vance was enjoying a tail wind of great magnitude.

The New York Times, April 22, 1934 (Source: NYT)

The article cites "American Airways," which was the antecedent of American Airlines until 1934. Southern Air Transport, mentioned as Vance's employer in the 1930 article above, was one of the number of small airlines that merged to form American Airways ca. 1930-31. Vance probably transferred his seniority number from Southern to American with the merger.

To continue, Vance and Frances had lived in their rented home in Fort Worth since at least 1935. His occupation in 1940 was listed as "Chief Pilot" for "American Airlines." Interestingly, the 1941 city directory for Casper, WY lists him and Frances living in Casper, probably a temporary relocation. He remained with American Airlines, however, living mostly in Texas, until he retired. At least two city directories list him and Frances living in Fort Worth (1947, 1949).

Paul A. Vance, Grave Marker, Houston, TX (Source: findagrave)
Paul A. Vance, Grave Marker, Houston, TX (Source: findagrave)




Vance passed away July 5, 1960. His grave marker is at right. The Big Spring Daily Herald (TX) of August 18, 1960, above, carried a biographical obituary. It ties together his Texas Air Transport, Southern Air Transport, American Airways and American Airlines careers. The first column of this article describes Vance's kindness in dropping newspapers to isolated rural families as he made his overhead airmail rounds. Similarly, The San Antonio Light (TX) of May 20, 1932 described the "Finders Keepers Club" formed by Vance. As with the newspapers, he dropped small trinkets to the children living in the state tubercular hospital in Carlsbad, TX. The kids rushed out to find the prize, thus "Finders Keepers." A local physician was quoted, "...the club is keeping the children in such from of mind that it will hasten their recovery."

His death certificate is below. It seems, at age 60, he suffered a freak accident. He suffered a blow on his head that rendered him unconscious. He then fell into shallow water and drowned. As reported in the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (TX) of July 5, 1960, the accident occurred at 1:30PM at a Fort Worth boat house where he went to repair a leak in his boat. His wife found him about an hour later floating in about four feet of water. It was hypothesized that he fell and hit his head on a rung of a ladder he was using. He had a large lump on the top of his head. He was identified on the death certificate as a retired airline pilot. Age 60 is the mandatory age for retirement in the airline industry and Vance had been retired since the previous November.

P.A. Vance Death Certificate, July, 1960 (Source:

Vance flew West with Transport certificate T523, a relatively low number. His remains were buried at the Hollywood Cemetery, Houston, TX. Other than information found on, Vance doesn't have much of a Web presence. I have no information or other photographs related to his flying, military or personal life. If you have some you would like to share, please let me KNOW.



THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 05/04/16 REVISED: 09/20/16