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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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

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ROBERT EDWARD "Bob" DAKE

Robert Dake, 1936 (Source: Boedy's Album)
Robert Dake, 1936 (Source: Boedy's Album)

 

Bob Dake appeared in the Clover Field Register twice, on Saturday August 15, 1931, and on Tuesday, July 9, 1935. At the time of his second landing he looked something like in the photograph at right from Boedy's Album.

To his landing in 1931, he flew the Bellanca CH-300 NC861N, S/N 184. He carried two unidentified passengers westbound from Amarillo, TX. He noted in the Register that the airplane was owned by the Kendall Refining Company.

His second visit logged at Santa Monica was in the Stinson SR-5A, NC13868, S/N 9242-A, manufactured in 1934. He was making a solo local flight around Los Angeles, CA; he wrote "Mines" in the arrived from column and "United" in the destination column of the Register. He noted that this airplane was also owned by the Kendall Refining Company.

Robert Dake was born January 25, 1895 in Chicago, IL. The 1900 U.S. Census, his first, placed him living with his parents, Edward J. (56) and Claribel (41), and older brother, Louis (10) at 680 65th Street in Chicago, IL. I have seen his mother's name spelled Clara Belle. In 1910 he lived with his parents, older brother, and two boarders in Waukeegan, IL, a short distance north of Chicago..

In 1917 he was 22 years old. He registered for the draft at Pittsburgh on June 5th, below. We learn that he was of medium height and build, with blue eyes and black hair.

Robert Dake WWI Draft Registration, June 5, 1917 (Source: ancestry.com)
Robert Dake WWI Draft Registration, June 5, 1917 (Source: ancestry.com)

As with many things, the details are in the fine print. If you look carefully at the diagonal printing at the lower left of this card, the text says, "If person is of African descent, tear off this corner." Some things change; some things remain the same.

Engagement Announcement, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA), April 30, 1922 (Source: newspapers.com)
Engagement Announcement, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA), April 30, 1922 (Source: newspapers.com)
Robert & Agnes Dake, 1924 (Source: ancestry.com)
Robert & Agnes Dake, 1924 (Source: ancestry.com)

 

 

The 1920 Census placed him as a student at an unspecified technical college, age 25, living in Waukeegan, IL in the home of his older brother. A 1924 passport application photograph, left, pictured him and his wife Agnes, whom he had married June 10, 1922.

On the passport application form he identified his occupation as architect. According to his draft registration, in 1917 he was a student in architecture at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. He and Agnes planned a European trip starting in July 1924 for "travel and study." I found no immigration documents that confirmed they had made their voyage.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 19, 1922 (Source: newspapers.com)
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, May 19, 1922 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

Agnes is pictured, right, from the engagement announcement in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Aprill 30, 1922. The announcement stated, "Miss Agnes Pitcairn Lindsay, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. S.S. Lindsay, of Stratford Avenue has chosen June 10 as the date for her marriage to Robert Edward Dake, of Waukeegan, Ill." Notice of her impending marriage appeared in the Post-Gazette May 19,1922, left. Agnes passed away sometime during the next six years.

The 1930 Census placed Dake as a 35-year-old, widowed head-of-household at 1355 Cordova Road, Pittsburgh, PA. He lived with his widowed mother and a lodger, John D. Shaner. His occupation was coded as president of an aviation company. They owned their home, which was valued at $10,000.

Bob Dake Pilot Info, 1928 (Source: Link)
Bob Dake Pilot Info, 1928 (Source: Link)

 

Dake was broadly active in aviation throughout the Golden Age as military airman, corporate officer, air racer and, later, as federal inspector for the Department of Commerce. The synopsis of his career to 1928, left, was found in this REFERENCE. Note he was a lieutenant in the Air Corps, October 4, 1917 to February 4, 1919. Another source stated the he was an "Instructor and Stage Commander." Thousands of articles about him populated newspapers from coast to coast, particularly during and after his participation in the 1928 National Air Races (NAR), in which he placed second in the transcontinental race from New York to Los Angeles with Ted Taney as copilot..

The 1928 NAR Class A Race, named "On to Los Angeles," ran for 2,939 miles from New York to Los Angeles. It was a big event, not only for New York and Los Angeles, but also for Tucson and the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register. At the link you will discover that at least 42 civilian planes, pilots and passengers landed at the Tucson on September 9th for fuel and comfort during the 1928 NAR, including Dake and his airplane, the Vulcan Aircraft Co. model V-3 American Moth NX7556. Thirty-seven of them placed in the race.

I have sparse information about Dake's life during the 1930s. The Oxnard Daily Courier (CA), November 5, 1937 below, summarized his activities for part of the 1930s working for the Bureau of Air Commerce, and provided interesting statistics for the decade 1927-1937.

Oxnard Daily Courier (CA), November 5, 1937 (Source: newspaperarchive via Woodling)
Oxnard Daily Courier (CA), November 5, 1937 (Source: newspaperarchive via Woodling)

 

San Antonio Express (TX), August 8, 1952 (Source: ancestry.com)
San Antonio Express (TX), August 8, 1952 (Source: ancestry.com)

 

In 1940, the Census placed him at age 45 living in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Claris Y., 43, (1897-1982), whom he had married July 11, 1933. Her daughter Claris Young, 12, lived with them. His occupation was coded as federal inspector, aviation. His salary was $3,800 per year, a good sum for 1940. Their daughter completed a European voyage, as documented in a small article in the San Antonio Express (TX), August 8, 1952, right. She was about 24 years old during her trip.

If 1930s information was sparse, WWII information was non-existent, although his work during WWII must have been productive. Post-WWII, the Long Beach Press-Telegram, November 7, 1948 identified him holding the rank of colonel as commanding officer of the 67th Air Service Group. And the same newspaper on September 11, 1950 and on December 3, 1950 identified him as taking command and commanding, respectively, the 448th Bomb Wing of the USAF Reserve Training Center at the Long Beach Municipal Airport. A little over a year later, the same publication on January 23, 1951 announced that the 448th was to stand by for duty in Korea. The wing flew Martin B-26 Marauders.

R.E. Dake Discharge Record, January 31, 1955 (Source: Woodling)

 

Although he was trained as an architect, I found little evidence that he practiced his profession, spending his time rather in aviation endeavors. He retired from the Air Force and was discharged January 31, 1955 with the rank of colonel, left. After his retirement, he participated in the sunset activities of many grizzled aviators, as documented in the Hayward Daily Review (CA), March 27, 1957, below.

Hayward Daily Review, March 27, 1957 (Source:newspaperarchive via Woodling)
Hayward Daily Review, March 27, 1957 (Source:newspaperarchive via Woodling)

 

The following information is drawn from an online exposition of Dake family geneaology.

AHCDGB. Robert Edward Dake

Robert E. Dake on Left
Robert E. Dake on Left [Ted Taney (?) (R)]
Robert was born on Jan. 25, 1895 at Chicago, Cook, Illinois to parents Edward John Dake and Clarabelle (Van Riper) Dake.  He was baptised on Nov. 10, 1895 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Chicago, Cook, Illinois.  In 1915 to 1917, he attended Carnegie Technical College in Pittsburgh, PA.  In 1917 he enlisted in the Army for World War I and was assigned to the 12 Recon. Squadron at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Bexar, Texas where he trained to be a pilot.  He was listed as Second Lt. ASSRC - IL (this was Air Section Signal Corps. Reserve Corps, Waukegan, IL). He first trained at Camp Grant Training Camp in Illinois.

The 12th Reconnaissance Squadron is one of the oldest United States Air Force squadrons, having been involved in every armed conflict the United States has deployed forces into combat since World War I. The 12th Aero Squadron was established in June 1917, shortly after the United States' entry into World War I. Formed at what would become Kelly Field, Texas, the squadron trained at Wilbur Wright Field, Ohio during the summer of 1917 before deploying to France in December 1917.  In 1918, he was mentioned in the US Aviation Record.

In 1919 he flew for the Kenny Aircraft Company to Altoona with Pittsburgh newspapers and sold them to Pennsylvania Railraod westbound passengers. He also did a lot of barnstorming flying after the war.

On Jan. 10, 1922 [sic] he married Agnes Pitcairn Lindsay at Pittsburgh, PA (Agnes was born in 1898).  In 1924 his mother signed for his passport [q.v., above] stating that he was a natural born citizen living in Pittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania. 

In 1928 he was living in Pittsburg [sic], PA and entered an aviation race on Sept 6, 1928 [the 1928 NAR discussed above].  In 1929, he flew in the Cleveland National Air Races (Aug. 24-Sept 4, 1929) in the plane "American Moth" [sic] and won a cash prize of $1,500.   He was a well known pilot in the early days of flying and raced against Charles Lindberg [sic] in races.   In 1935 he was a race offical in the last great cross country aviation race. It appears that he remarried in Cleveland, Cuyahoga, Ohio on Sept. 2, 1935 (wife's name unknown). [Claris Young, married in 1933, see above]

He then made a living in the aviation field and  retired as the Chief of Aviation, General Safety Division, Civil Aviation Administration in Los Angeles, California.

Dakes signed three Registers. He also signed the Davis-Monthan Register even earlier than Clover Field, on September 9, 1928 while competing in the National Air Races. And on Thursday, September 20, 1928 at 3:28PM on the way back east after his second-place win. And he signed the Parks Airport Register sometime between July 6 and August 2, 1932.

Robert E. Dake, Grave Marker, September 18, 1958 (Source: findagrave.com)

 

Even earlier he was part of the aviation community near Pittsburgh. For example, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA) of March 4, 1924 cited his organization and participation in the Aero Club of Pittsburgh's annual ball.

Dake flew West September 18,1958 at Deschutes, OR. He carried Transport pilot certificate T557. He is buried at the Inglewood Park Cemetery, Inglewood, CA. His grave marker is at right, and documents that he served in WWI, WWII and Korea. Wife Claris passed away in 1982 and is interred next to him. If you have information about his life 1930-1958, or photographs of his American Moth NX7556, please let me KNOW.

 

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