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YOUR PURCHASE OF THESE BOOKS SUPPORTS THE WEB SITES THAT BRING TO YOU THE HISTORY BEHIND OLD AIRFIELD REGISTERS

Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register 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

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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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HENRY ALEXANDER JASTRO CHADBOURNE

"Jack"

Albuquerque Citzen-News, February 7, 1907 (Source: newspapers.com)
Albuquerque Citzen-News, February 7, 1907 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

Jack Chadbourne was born May 22, 1907 in Albuquerque, NM. In the 1910 U.S. Census, his first, he lived at age 3 at 506 West Figeras Avenue, Albuquerque.

He lived with his father, Merriam O. (1877-1964), mother, Carolyn Louise (nee: Jastro; 1879-1954), and his infant sister, Carolyn (1909-1994). His father's occupation was manager of a "street railway." The street railway job was under development at the time of the Census, as indicated in the Albuquerque Citizen-News, February 7,1907, right, and evolved just before Jack was born. Earlier his father was an officer in the New Mexico National Guard. His parents were divorced in 1915.

Chadbourne was at once a grandson of immigrants and of California pioneers. His maternal grandfather, Henry Alexander Jastro (18481925; mentioned in the article, right), was a German immigrant and pioneer settler and entrepreneur in Kern County California. And, the maiden name of his maternal grandmother was Baker. Her father had founded Bakersfield, Kern County, CA.

I found no 1920 Census information about Chadbourne. Slim details of his early life appeared on pp. 28-31 in a 2015 online history treatise by Gilbert Gia entitled, "HENRY A. JASTRO Commodore of Kern County, Biography, Kinships and Politics, 1848-1925" (PDF 575kB). This source suggests Chadbourne had university training (Columbia and Princeton). He might not have graduated from either, because later Census forms coded his education level as "H4," meaning that he had attended four years of high school.

Although well-off, unlike his grandfather Jack seems to have led a fragmented life, moving in and out of public notice. The few pages in Gia reflect this. And, for another example, the following sketch appeared in The Pied Cow, 1997, Vol. 14, No. 2, Issue 29, a newsletter published by one Chadbourne family (not sure if they are related). This is the only photograph of Jack Chadbourne I have found. If you have others you're willing to share, please let me KNOW.

Chadbourne in The Pied Cow, 1997, Vol. 14, No. 2, Issue 29 (Source: Link)
Chadbourne in The Pied Cow, 1997, Vol. 14, No. 2, Issue 29 (Source: Link)

 

Pieced together from several sources, Jack was married at least four times across three decades. The first time was at age 21, although there is some uncertainty about that. Documents show he wed on August 18, 1926 in Honolulu, T.H. to Eunice Putnam (of the publishing family; 1907-1972), age 19. The Santa Barbara, CA city directories for 1928 and 1929 recorded their residence as 40 Arroyico Lane in Santa Barbara. Their marriage certificate is below. Interestingly, an immigration form I examined captured the Chadbourne family enroute to the wedding. It listed Chadbourne, his mother and sister sailing aboard the S.S. President Lincoln from San Francisco to Honolulu on July 10, 1926 (arriving July 16th).

H.J. Chadbourne Marriage Certificate, August 18, 1926 (Source: ancestry.com)
H.J. Chadbourne Marriage Certificate, August 18, 1926 (Source: ancestry.com)

Curiously, other documents identifed Eunice and Chadbourne's original marriage date as January 18, 1927 (corroborated by the Gia reference), not August 18, 1926, as shown on this marriage license. Puzzling as well was an immigration form that listed Chadbourne sailing from Honolulu for San Francisco with his family on the S.S. President Wilson August 19th. Eunice was not among the passengers, and Chadbourne was identified as "single" on the form..

Equally as puzzling, Eunice, identified as a single woman, was recorded on a later immigration form. She departed alone from Honolulu on the S.S. City of Los Angeles on August 28th and arriving in California September 3, 1926. If they ever married in Honolulu, or elsewhere in January 1927, Eunice and Jack were separated by divorce in July 1929.

Jack appeared to be consumed by aviation. I do not know where he learned to fly, but by the time he landed at Clover Field he had earned Transport pilot certificate T3886. In 1928 at age 21 he formed, with another flyer, the Chadbourne-Donze Air Service and airport at Carpinteria, CA. Information regarding the date of the company's founding, and the photograph, left, are from the history of the Jastro family by Gilbert Gia (q.v.).

Chadborne's partner in the Chadbourne-Donze enterprise was Robert Louis Donze (1895-1970). His 1916 passport photograph is at right.

 

Chadbourne's Partner R.L. Donze (Source: Web)

"Robert Louis Donze was a member of the Escadrille Lafayette during WW I. In an account of the Escadrille, there is an announcement that reads: "A marriage has been arranged and will shortly be celebrated between Brigadier-Pilote Robert Louis Donze, Escadrille No.93, French Aviation Corps, youngest son of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Donze of Santa Barbara, CA, USA and Gladys Isabel MacKenzie Penny, only daughter of the late Don Mariano and of the late Mrs. Mackenzie Penny, of Aberdeenshire, Scotland."

"After WW I, Robert returned to Santa Barbara, CA. Among other things, he started the Chadbourne-Donze Air Service in Carpinteria, CA. He is listed as an Aviator in the 1920 and 1925 Census ... Robert died in Los Angeles on February 21, 1970."

 

Donze was described at left as being an aviator in WWI. Before he went to Europe in 1916, Donze worked as a chauffeur in Santa Barbara. He was a good decade older than Chadbourne. His WWI expoits were brief but harrowing, as described in the following text from findagrave.com. By 1942, Donze was an employee of Lockheed Aircraft in Burbank, CA.

Robert Louis Donze Obituary (Source: newspapers.com)
"Robert Louis Donze was born in Santa Barbara, California on 11 February 1895, the son of Eugene and Hortense (Chaffin) Donze. He attended Grammar and High School in Santa Barbara, California from 1900 to 1911. That same year, he began work as a Marconi wireless operator.

"Donze left California for Paris to join the Lafayette Flying Corps. On 7 November 1916, he enlisted in France's Service Aeronautique. From 8 November to 10 May 1917, he attended the aviation schools at Buc, Avord, Pau, and the G.D.E. He received his brevet on the Bleriot on 19 March 1917.

"From 20 May to 15 June, Corporal Donze served at the Front with Escadrille Nieuport 93. On that date he was seriously injured while test-hopping a new SPAD fighter.

"When Sergent Donze's engine had failed him, he had attempted a forced landing. His wheels hit a trench obscured by grass, throwing Donze from the plane. As the SPAD's tail catapulted forward, it nearly severed his left arm."

 

The Fresno Morning Republican, March 29, 1928 (Source: newspapers.com)
The Fresno Morning Republican, March 29, 1928 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

The company's founding was not without normal incidents. The Fresno Morning Republican, March 29, 1928 published an article, left, that described an accident at the airport involving pilot Beauregard Sweeney, passenger Chadbourne and a Lockheed aircraft, probably a Vega. From several sources, the Chadbourne-Donze Air Service served as a broker of Lockheed and Pitcairn aircraft. Likewise, they missed some bills along the way, as in the following small claims notice from The San Francisco Recorder, December 21, 1928.

San Francisco Recorder, December 21, 1928 (Source: newspapers.com)
San Francisco Recorder, December 21, 1928 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

Their air service and airport at Carpinteria, below, were located just south along the Pacific coast from Santa Barbara. The photograph is from the source at the link, page 119.

 

Chadbourne-Donze Airport, Ca. Late 1920s (Source: Link)
Chadbourne-Donze Airport, Ca. Late 1920s (Source: Link)

Below, from Google Earth, is today's intersection of Carpinteria Avenue (US 1) and Dump Road as described above. The orchards to the north are gone now, as is any trace of the airport and Higgins Ranch. Both areas today are residential and light industrial, with some agricultural at center top. The newer, four lane El Camino Real parallels Carpinteria Ave. then veers northward.

Contemporary Site of Chadbourne-Donze Airport (Source: Google Earth)
Contemporary Site of Chadbourne-Donze Airport (Source: Google Earth)

 

The Los Angeles Times, July 2, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com)
The Los Angeles Times, July 2, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

The Chadbourne-Donze Air Service, and young Chadbourne's field of influence, grew quickly during 1929. The Aero Digest, February 1929 reported:

Aero Digest, February 1929 (Source: Web)

With the cooperation of the Chadbourne Aircraft Sales Co., distributors of Lockheed Vega monoplanes, Russell Grigsby and Sam
Finnerty are organizing the Air Transport Co., of Stockton, to carry mail, express, and passengers from Alameda, Oakland and San Francisco, to Stockton, Yosemite Valley, Mariposa Big Trees, Mono Lake, Cala-
veras Big Trees, Silver Lake, Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake.

 

Aviation Week, May 4, 1929 stated:

Aviation Week, May 4, 1929 (Source: Web)

Chadbourne Aircraft Plans Line

LOS ANGELES (Calif.) An air line linking this city with points in the Imperial Valley and San Francisco is being planned by the Chadbourne Aircraft Company of San Francisco.

The Los Angeles Times, July 2, 1929 carried the article at left.

 

 

 

Ventura Daily Star-Ventura Daily Post, July 9,1929 (Source: newspapers.com)
Ventura Daily Star-Ventura Daily Post, July 9,1929 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

 

Also in 1929 Chadbourne first signed the Clover Field Register sometime between October 29 and November 1, 1929. He flew the Pitcairn PA-6 he identified as NC68M (S/N 51). Based at San Francisco, he entered San Francisco in the Register as his destination. He identified "Chadbourne Aircraft" as the owner of the airplane.

His second landing was on Wednesday, November 6, 1929 at 2:35PM. He flew solo in the Lockheed Vega he identified as NC7425 (S/N 12B; mfd August 31, 1928; registration cancelled during April 1935). Based in San Francisco, he entered no departure date or destination. He also identified "Chadbourne Aircraft" as the owner of the airplane. He soon sold the Lockheed to one R.E. Morrison of Helena, MT.

Interestingly, the Register line above him was signed by Jack Slaybaugh, who, on November 5th, flew the Pitcairn PA-6 NC547K (S/N 47; registration cancelled during February 1956), which also belonged to Chadbourne Aircraft. Slaybaugh worked for Chadbourne, as documented below in text in the Ventura Daily Star-Ventura Daily Post, July 3,1929 announcing a 4th of July celebration.

Ventura Daily Star-Ventura Daily Post, July 3,1929 (Source: newspapers.com)
Ventura Daily Star-Ventura Daily Post, July 3,1929 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Some young boys got the opportunity to fly as reported in the same newspaper on July 9th, left.

The San Francisco Examiner, July 27, 1929 published the following:

San Francisco Examiner, July 27, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com.com)

The sister ship to the Bellanca monoplane flown by Yancey and Williams across the Atlantic to Spain arrived at Mills Field yesterday. Piloted by R. A. Nagle, it carried as a passenger Alfred Chandler, treasurer of the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation. Newcastle. Del., builders of the ship, and Mechanic William McCurtey. The plane is to be delivered to the Chadbourne Aircraft Sales Company of San Francisco, Pacific Coast distributors. The ship, a single-motor, four passenger model, was flown from the East and came here from Santa Barbara. 

 

And finally the San Francisco city directory for 1929, below, published the following about his company, which had acquired a sales manager:

San Francisco City Directory, 1929 (Source: Web)
CHADBOURNE AIRCRAFT SALES CO (H A J Chadbourne) Erik W Friman Sales Mgr, Distributors Lockheed-Vega Monoplanes,
S.57 Mills Bldg 230 Montgomery, Phone DOuglas S131

 

The year 1929 was a busy one for him personally, as well. The 1930 Census placed Jack (age 22) at 40 Arroyico Lane, Santa Barbara, CA. He was classified as "single" on the Census form, corroborating his brief marriage to Eunice Putnam. He lived with his now divorced mother, his sister and a maid, Carry Richardson. Their home was valued at $30,000. Jack's occupation was coded as "aviator."

 

St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 23, 1932 (Source: newspapers.com)
St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 23, 1932 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

Where was Eunice? The 1930 Census for Eunice (1907-1972) placed her living as head of family at in a corner apartment building at 150 East 73rd Street, New York, NY, a few blocks east of Central Park. She was identified as Eunice Chadbourne, and was coded as divorced and living with her son, H.A. Chadbourne, age two (b. February 10, 1928). It must have been a large apartment (rental was $650 in 1930), because living with them were two cooks, three maids, a waitress and a governess. Eunice was also 22 years old. More information about Eunice and their son is in the Gia document linked above.

Chadbourne was married a second time on December 24, 1932 in Los Angeles to Margaret Reese "Peggy" Morrow, sometimes referred to in numerous news articles as a "society belle."

Some months before their marriage there was uncertainty around their marital status, as documented at the end of the article that appeared in the St. Louis Globe-Democrat, September 23, 1932, right. Peggy appeared in a photograph in the Los Angeles Evening News, July 15, 1930, below, reporting on her return from Europe.

Los Angeles Evening News, July 15, 1930 (Source: newspapers.com)
Los Angeles Evening News, July 15, 1930 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Parenthetially, the rest of the article above was irrelevant to Chadbourne. But, Marian Nixon was an actress who was married to Edward Hillman, Jr., a department store heir, from 1929 to 1933. The article alludes to their approaching breakup. The "Charlie" who kissed actress Paulette Goddard was Charlie Chaplin, whom she would marry in 1936.

The Fresno Bee, March 23, 1933 (Source: newspapers.com)
The Fresno Bee, March 23, 1933 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

Continuing, Peggy Morrow appeared in many Louella Parsons Hollywood gossip columns in the 1930s, mostly reporting on her attendance at social events, being seen while out and about, or on dates with various men. The Fresno Bee, March 23, 1933, right, mentioned her and her new husband a few months after their marriage. The errors in his name are sometimes characteristic of gossip columns.

Monrovia News-Post (CA), June 10, 1933 (Source: newspapers.com)
Monrovia News-Post (CA), June 10, 1933 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

Perhaps predictably, the San Francisco Examiner, June 14, 1933 announced, in Louella's column:

"CHATTER IN Hoilywood: Peggy Morrow has gone to Santa Barbara for a change of climate. Matrimonial difficulties are taking Peg away from the film colony where she used to be such a bright and shining member. When she married she sorta dropped out of things. Rumors are pretty current that Peg and the new husband, John Chadburne [sic & sic], have decided to tell their troubles to a judge."

It appears she did separate from Chadbourne, taking an apartment in West Hollywood where she suffered an uninvited guest. right, as reported in the Monrovia News-Post, June 10, 1933.

She and Chadbourne were divorced and Morrow went on to be as matrimonially prolific as he, including along the way marriages to an advertising executive and to actor Louis Hayward in May 1946, below, that lasted about four years, and an early 1950s dalliance with actor Zachary Scott.

 

 

Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 1, 1946 (Source: newspapers.com)
Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 1, 1946 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

Chadbourne married a third time, and the 1940 Census, taken in April, listed him living at 2344 Stanley Hills Drive, Los Angeles. He lived alone with Patricia, his wife. They rented their home for $50 per month. The Census mentioned nothing about their occupations.

His third wife was Patricia C. Cram (b. 1914) of New York, married ca. 1934 after he and Peggy Morrow were divorced.

 

Less than a year before the U.S. entry into WWII Chadbourne was registered for the draft on December 26, 1940, below.

H.J. Chadbourne Draft Registration, December 26, 1940 (Source: ancestry.com)
H.J. Chadbourne Draft Registration, December 26, 1940 (Source: ancestry.com)

The six-month period that preceded his registration had to be one of trauma for Chadbourne. First, the Santa Ana Register, June 29, 1940, below right, reported a tragic fire at the Chadbourne's home earlier that day. The fire killed his 27-year-old wife. According to the Gia document, she had been smoking and using sleeping pills. Second, the article reports that the fire started well-after Chadbourne had been transported by ambulance earlier in the evening to a sanitarium for treatment for a "nervous breakdown."

H.J. Chadbourne Draft Registration, December 26, 1940 (Source: ancestry.com)
H.J. Chadbourne Draft Registration, December 26, 1940 (Source: ancestry.com)

 

Santa Ana Register, June 29, 1940 (Source: newspapers.com)
Santa Ana Register, June 29, 1940 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bakersfield Californian, June 29, 1940 reported similarly, below.

The Bakersfield Californian, June 29, 1940 (Source: newspapers.com)
The Bakersfield Californian, June 29, 1940 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Salt Lake City Tribune, April 30, 1942 (Source: newspapers.com)
Salt Lake City Tribune, April 30, 1942 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

 

 

 

Note that the back of his draft registration states that he was paroled from the state hospital on the date of his registration. The Gia document linked above alludes to an air crash in China a few years prior that triggered the breakdown.

I found no details related to his flying experiences in Spain, China or the U.S. army, save for the article, right, from the Salt Lake City Tribune, April 30, 1942. From the article, it appears that, if he flew for the army, it was not in a combat role due to injuries in a car accident. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Helen Beck, 1924 (Source: ancestry.com)
Helen Beck, 1924 (Source: ancestry.com)

 

He enjoyed married life, because he married for the fourth time on November 12, 1945 to Helen Mae Beck (nee: Marlin) in Tucson, AZ. Helen's likeness from her 1924 Phoenix, AZ yearbook is at right. Their marriage certificate is below.

 

Helen's 1940 Census information listed her living with her husband, Otis J., and their two children in Emery Park, Tucson, AZ. I do not know what transpired between the Becks that ended their marriage between 1940 and 1945. But it wasn't because of loss during WWII, because Otis died in 1983. Neither do I know when or where they separated.

 

 

 

H.J. Chadbourne Marriage Certificate, November 12, 1945 (Source: ancestry.com)
H.J. Chadbourne Marriage Certificate, November 12, 1945 (Source: ancestry.com)

Gia offers the following regarding Chadborne's later years:

Extract from Gilbert Gia Source Linked Above (Source: Web)

"In 1942 Jack became a $21-a-month private in the US Army. He said that year, 'I fought in the other wars for money, but I'm fighting in this one simply because I want to see the American way of life continued.' [see Salt Lake City Tribune, April 30, 1942 above]

"In 1950 Los Angeles Times columnist Braven Dyer called Jack, who was then 43 and identified as a 'sportsman' in Santa Barbara, and asked him to identify the best quarterback in professional football. Jack’s name did not appear again in newspapers until his mother died in 1954. Nine years later an account noting May Koshland’s [his aunt] death mentioned Jack.

"His name dropped out of US newspapers for six years, but in 1969 he wrote to a Spanish magazine [he wrote in Spanish] about the Vietnam War and prefaced his comments with these words, 'Some years ago I wrote a letter to the magazine stating that the Americans would lose their war in Indochina, and that was in an era when the press regularly announced the prompt ‘liquidation’ of the Viet Cong. I based my prediction on my long residence in Asia before and after WWII, on my knowledge of the terrain of Indochina, on the nature of the F.N.L., and on my personal experience with the US military. I had in fact been an officer on MacArthur’s general staff in Korea and had seen Vo Nguyen Giap in 1954, a little before Dien Bien Fu.'

"In 2015 Imogene Brower [a relative by marriage of Chadbourne's first wife, Eunice] wrote, 'After Louise J. Chadbourne [Jack's mother] died [in 1954], Jack went to Spain and eventually met Manuele Benitez, whom he married. Her influence is credited with ending his drinking. Carleton and I visited them once at their apartment in Madrid during the 1970s. He was now called Enreque. Jack was happy, sober, and later became baptized to please his wife. Jack’s family was not religious...'"

Jack Chadbourne flew West June 15, 1970. He was 63 years old. I found no news articles or U.S documentation reporting his passing, perhaps because he may have died in Spain. Regardless, he carried with him Transport pilot certificate T3886.

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