Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on June 18, 1970 · Page 40
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 40

Phoenix, Arizona
Issue Date:
Thursday, June 18, 1970
Page 40
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Page 40 article text (OCR)

ALL EDITIONS 24 The Arizona Republic Phoenix, Hum., Jane 18, Mexican 'bomber* will have place in book on Arizona aviation history By NYLE LEATBAM No one in 1913 had really decided if those newfangled flying machines could havfe any practical use in a war but Mexican revolutionaries were willing to try it. Agents brought a crated Curtis biplane, complete with a supply of aerial bombs, into Arizona by train, then hauled it in wagons to a ranch south of Tucson. As they assembled the airplane for flight into Mexico, the law showed up and confiscated the machine* posting a guard. Next morning the airplane and the guard had both disappeared, presumably across the border for an early attempt at strategic bombing. The guard was suspected of being a double agent. A complete account of Arizona's aviation history is now being written to shed light on this and other episodes. The book should be ready for publication in about 18 months. Ruthe and Bob Reinhold of 333 E. Catalina Drive have been part of Arizona aviation longer than most (and less than some, they would hasten to add). For years they have thought someone should write a history. Ruth his better known as the hardworking copilot of another flyer, Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., than as a historian, but she doesn't mind research and talking to the oldtimers. About four years ago, Ruth began putting together a few notes and photos with moral and financial support from Photo eourtwy of H*ton SchnHtt Joe Schmltt stood beside his Thomas Morse Scout for this photograph at the old air field located at Central and Roanoke in 1923. Powered with a LaRhone rotary engine of 80 horse power, the "Tommy" was the first U.S. fighter produced in quantity, and many, like this one, were bought as surplus by civilians. Goldwater and James Vercellino, head of the State Department of Aeronautics. Help also came from Bert Fireman of the Arizona Historical Foundation at Arizona State University. One of many interested individuals, Gil Hausler, spent countless eye-straining hours reading 50 years of microfilmed newspapers in The Arizona Republic and The Phoenix Gazette library. The project snowballed. Ruth almost was overwhelmed with the volume of photos and notes from albums and dusty trunks as aviation veterans dug into their pasts. In 1934 America's foremost woman flyer, Amelia Earhart was flying about the United States in an autogyro, sponsored by the Beechnut Chewing Gum Co. Photographer E. D. Newcomer chartered a camera plane and flew out to meet her near Gila Bend. It was a slow trip back because the Just about two decades after Arizona's Indian wars ended, its aviation history began. Libraries are full of works about the Apaches and the cavalry and their pioneer contemporaries, but no one has ever put together a definitive history of Arizona's long love affair with flying. Until now. „ , \ autogyro flew at a airspeed of about 60 miles per hour. The camera plane flew circles around her most of the way back, but they finally reached Phoenix. Newcomer shot this photo of her as she turned over the county court house and the downtown section. About 1931 a Northrop Alpha piloted by Harland Hull across Arizona for Western Air-Express, made a forced landing beside the Little Colorado River near Leupp on the Navajo Reservation. There were no injuries and the airplane, not badly damaged, was Phot* cwntMy Luc*m* Wtlfett repaired and put back in service. The Alpha carried 2 or 3 passengers plus mail inside while the pilot flew from an open cockpit. The original Apache Airlines operated this Kreutzer K3 trimotor in 1929-1930 on schedule front Phoenix to Superior and Globe, where the photo was made in front of their hangar, at Globe's Midland Airport. With three LeBlond engines of 90 horse power, Photo courtesy Ralph Vawhn the little trimotor carried five over the mountains in relative security and comfort, the last word in safety in those days. Photo courtesy Stacy C. Hlnkl* One of the most interesting photos among those being collected by Ruth Reinhold is a souvenir from the border flying days of Lt. Stacy C. Hinkle, showing the overlapping of two eras. Army troopers and airplanes worked together to police the Mexican border. The DH4 flying above the cavalry in 1920 is of the 12th Aero Squadron. The borders flyers did not have the best safety record, averaging one wrecked airplane for each 40 hours of flying. When the twin engine Lockheed F1A arrived la Gila B«n4 Nov. 26, 1918, after a troubled flight from San Diego, the whole town turned out, Refueled, it blew a tire, trying to avoid an enthusiastic Ford driver who raced them on take off. Next day, repairs made, pilot Bob Ferneau is shown at (he controls in the rear cockpit, ready 10 try again. On its second try to take off from an ln> provished runway at Gila Bend, one of the engines of the Lockheed F1A failed 20 feet in the air. The airplane smashed into the ground, ending ihe attempt lu fly from Hun Diego to Washington. Pilot Bob Ferneau was not hurt, but crewmen Leo Flint and Swede Meyerhoffer were badly injured. They survived due to the care of a doctor and nurse who were present and alf>w th;tnks Photos courtwy of Mr*. 0. to the help of Mrs. U. L. Logan of Gila Bend who turned a bedroom of her store into a

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