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


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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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


Pack's papers are archived with the Arizona Historical Society. At the link is the finding aid. The biographical information at left draws up;on the finding aid.

The Pack Family Collection consists of four boxes, one oversized, arranged into 8 series:

(1) Arthur Pack Diaries 1908 - 1953;

(2) Correspondence 1910 - 1918;

(3) Military Papers 1917 - 1919;

(4) Miscellaneous;

(5) Charles Pack papers 1871 - 1927;

(6) Alice Hatch Pack papers 1879 - 1885, 1917;

(7) George W. Pack papers, 1801, 1864 - 1904;

(8) Pack Family photographs.


Poling-Kempes, Lesley. 2005. Ghost Ranch. University of Arizona Press. 285+ pp. ISBN: 978-0-8165-2346-7.



A.N. Pack landed twice at Santa Monica. First, on Monday, August 13, 1934 at 3:00PM, he flew the Fairchild 24C-8C he identified as NC14321, S/N 2612. He noted that he owned the airplane. He carried one unidentified passenger. They were inbound from Albuquerque, NM, with destination stated as San Francisco, CA. They remained overnight in Santa Monica, departing northbound the next day at 1:45PM.

His second visit at Clover Field was over a year later, on Thursday, December 12, 1935 at 11:50AM. He was solo in the Fairchild 24C-8C he identified as NC14792, S/N 2668. He noted that he owned the airplane. Inbound from Burbank, CA, he recorded his destination as Carpinteria, CA. No reason was given for either of his flights to Santa Monica.

A.N. Pack was born February 20, 1893 (one source says 1892, but his gravemarker, below, says 1893)) in Cleveland, OH. The 1900 U.S. Census, his first, placed him living in Cleveland with his parents, Charles L. (43) and Alice (41), two brothers, George (11) and Randolph (9) and sister Beulah (3). His father's occupation was coded as "Forestry expert." Pack was coded as "In school."

He attended the Adirondack-Florida School in Pine Grove, FL, until 1910. As a young boy, he fancied pigeons and his accumulated papers archived in the Arizona Historical Society (right sidebar) includes a manila envelope labelled “Prizes won by pigeons - early 1900s,” which contains red and blue ribbons from 1907 - 1908 Cleveland Fanciers Club Show, 1901 Pan American Exposition, Buffalo, NY, and 1903, 1906 and 1907 - National Fancier’s and Breeder’s Association, Chicago, IL.

Pack's father became a renowned forestry expert and conservationist. He won national recognition for his work in forestry. He continued to add to the family fortune with their lumber business, and eventually became one of the largest manufacturers of lumber in the United States. In 1926, Pack wrote the book titled, "Our Vanishing Forests." It is available for download at the link. His father's fortunes allowed Arthur to live a life of plenty. Indeed, in 1934 Pack published another 244-page book titled, "The Challenge of Leisure." That book is also available for download at its link.

The 1910 Census placed him at age 17 living with his parents, brothers and sister in Lakewood, NJ at 250 Forest Avenue. That address today is a modern, two-storey apartment building. The elder Pack was coded as retired. They had five servants living in the household with them. For the servants' descendants who might be searching for them, here are their names. Francis Ryan (26), from Ireland, maid; Hildegard Frenzen (32), Sweden, lady's maid; Bessie Rourke (60), Ireland, laundress; Elizabeth McLooney, (32) Ireland, waitress; Charlota Hanson (33), Sweden, chambermaid.

Pack continued his education at Williams College in Massachusetts. In 1915 he graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. After graduation, he worked as an aide in the United States Ordnance Department in Washington D.C. During World War I. From, his draft registration card is below. He was characterized as medium height, slender build with blue eyes and red hair. He specified deferment because of occupation.

A.N. Pack Undated WWI Draft Registration (Source:
A.N. Pack Undated WWI Draft Registration (Source:

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.

A.N. Pack, Military Service Summary, 1917-18 (Source:


Pack's deferment claim due to occupation was in vain, since he was enlisted in the ordnance section of the army in November 1917. He was stationed in England as a first lieutenant in the Ordnance Department, and just as he was being discharged in 1919, he was promoted to captain. A summary of his service, in cryptic mil-speak, is at right. I don't know where or when he learned to fly, but it wasn't in the military. While in the military, he was involved behind the scenes in pioneering efforts to use airplanes in warfare. It was laterm after his time in the military, that he obtained his private pilot's license.

He married Eleanor “Brownie” Brown (1898-1992) in 1919. They had two children; Eleanor and Margaret. On April 26, 1920, Pack and Eleanor were documented on an immigration form arriving at Vancouver, British Columbia aboard the S.S. Makura from Honolulu, T.H. His mission was identified as lumber trade. Perhaps this was a (delayed?) honeymoon trip combined with his lumber business.

The 1920 Census placed Pack at age 26 living at the same Lakewood, NJ address with his father (60) and mother (58) and four servants, Helene Ryan (43) from Ireland, working for the family as a waitress; Mary J. Yeomans (50), maid, from England; Mary A. Coffey (57), from Ireland, laundress; Jane Gobery (28), Ireland, chambermaid; Katie McGrath (30), maid, Ireland. Pack was coded in the 1920 Census (collected January 14-15, 1920) as "married," but neither Brownie nor any children were living with him in the elder Pack's household. His occupation was coded as lumber dealer.

A little over a year later, he and Brownie were documented on a U.S. Immigration form returning from Liverpool, England aboard the S.S. Cedric. They landed in New York on October 24, 1921. At some point they separated and divorced.

Because of his father's work in forestry, Pack developed an early interest in nature and conservation. On September 10, 1929, he was photographed, below, while making a moving picture of a person walking across a one-person bridge in Zion National Park from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). His back is to the camera. The sign warns that the bridge is safe for only one person at a time.

A.N. Pack With Back Towards Camera, September 10, 1929, Zion National Park (Source: NARA)
A.N. Pack With Back Towards Camera, September 10, 1929, Zion National Park (Source: NARA)


A.N. Pack on Shipboard, Date Unknown (Source: OSU)


Besides his books, he also co-founded in 1924, sourced and edited Nature Magazine. The illustrated monthly, popular magazine eventually became Natural History. At right he is shown on shipboard, date unknown, from Oregon State University (OSU) at the link. The photocaption states, "Art Pack standing on the deck of the MV Westward operating an Akeley motion picture camera." The link takes you to a blog with good photos of a vintage 35mm Akeley. If this information becomes unavailable, please let me KNOW.

Also, a nice descriptive video of the Akeley in action is at the link. Coincidentally, the featured Akeley camera in the video was used to film Howard Hughes' 1927 classic movie, "Wings." This link takes you to a trailer for the film.

The 1930 Census Placed him living at 11 Morven Place, Princeton, NJ. That address today is a large, porticoed, two-storey white, clapboard home with a circular driveway. I looks like it could be of 1930 vintage. Pack (37) lived with Eleanor (31), daughter Eleanor (6), Margaret (3) and Vernon (4 1/2), adopted son. Three servants lived with them, Mary Duncan (39), nurse, from Pennsylvania; Nellie Glendora (43), Ireland, cook; Maria Kennedy (49), Ireland, waitress. Pack's occupation was coded as magazine editor.

Pack went to great effort to source his magazine. For example, the March 1931 issue of Popular Science (PS) magazine, below, featured a disguise used by Pack to photograph desert animals.

A.N. Pack in Cactus Costume, March 1931 (Source: PS)
A.N. Pack in Cactus Costume, March 1931 (Source: PS)


In 1936, he married Phoebe Katherine Finley (1907-2000). They had two children, Charles Lathrop Pack II (named after Pack's father), and Phoebe Irene. They bought a ranch in northern New Mexico which they called Ghost Ranch. He wrote two books about the ranch, his autobiography, "We Called it Ghost Ranch," and "The Ghost Ranch Story."

The ranch had been a part of a land grant given to Pedro Martin Serrano from the King of Spain in 1766. The name Ghost Ranch or El Rancho de los Brujos cameĀ from the tales and legends of ghosts and hangings in the ranch's history.

The photograph, below, is from the Oregon State University (OSU) at the link. The date is unknown. Interestingly the photo shows Pack on the left with both his wives. Second wife Phoebe is in the middle, with Eleanor "Brownie" on the right.

This photo caption states, "Group photo including Arthur Pack, Phoebe Finley, Brownie Pack, Irene Finley, William Finley Jr., and an unidentified man at the base of a large tree." I cropped the other three people out of this frame. I believe Irene was mother of Phoebe and William, Jr. The people were all in warm clothing, and, from the large tree behind them, the scene appeared to be captured in a forest.

This photograph was undoubtedly taken before 1936 when he married Phoebe. Brownie wears a wedding band. I do not know the precise details of how or when Pack and Phoebe decided to be together, or when Pack and Brownie decided not to be (but, see Phoebe's 2000 obituary, below).

A.N. Pack (L), Phoebe Finley & Brownie Pack, Date Unknown (Source: OSU)
A.N. Pack (L), Phoebe Finley & Brownie Pack, Date Unknown (Source: OSU)

A photograph of Pack in front of what appears to be a Fairchild with a friend is below. The photo is from the Poling-Kempes reference in the right sidebar. The last two digits of the airplane registration number appear to be 32 ot 22, which would eliminate it being one of the Fairchilds he flew to Santa Monica.

A.N. Pack, Antelope, Airplane, 1934 (Source: Reference)
A.N. Pack, Antelope, Airplane, 1934 (Source: Reference)


Tucson Daily Citizen, September 20,
Tucson Daily Citizen, September 20, 
1952 (Source:


The 1940 Census placed Pack at age 47 living in New Mexico. Phoebe (33) was with him, as were sons Vernon L. (14) and Charles L. II (1). His occupation was coded as ranch manager.

In 1941 he began building Ghost Ranch Lodge, in Tucson, AZ. In 1946 he moved there permanently, though he and Phoebe still spent summers at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico. The 1948 city directory for Tucson listed their residence as Ghost Ranch Lodge.

In 1952 he was named ‘Man of the Year’ in Tucson. Arthur and his father founded the American Nature Association of Washington D.C. He also persuaded his father to found the Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation.

Pack and a friend, William Carr, co-founded the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum (ASDM) in 1952. The museum was made possible by a donation from the Charles Lathrop Pack Forestry Foundation. Arthur was the first president of the museum.

Also in 1952, he and four other investors filed plans to incorporate a school, named the Southern Arizona School. The Articles of incorporation were published in the Tucson Daily Citizen, September 20, 1952, right (I truncated the publication after part of Article III, as the rest was boilerplate).

The name of the school, Southern Arizona School, had some history in the state before 1952. The Southern Arizona School for Boys was initially developed and opened 1926-1930 in Sabino Canyon. Significantly, Russell B. Fairgrieve was a co-founder of the original school. Note that he is signatory to the Articles of Incorporation at right. I am not sure just how their 1952 corporation helped the School.

An article in the magazine, Saguaro from December, 1986 provided a brief history of the School. The article is below. The Arizona School for Boys closed shop in 1974, after it was acquired by another school. The article suggests that, in the late 1980s, the school property was threatened by a public works highway project.

Southern Arizona School, Saguaro, December 1986 (Source: Web)
Southern Arizona School, Saguaro, December 1986 (Source: Web)

Pack and Phoebe, in a later, undated photograph, are below, from the Desert Museum collection.

Phoebe & A.N. Pack, Date Unknown (Source: ASDM)
Phoebe & A.N. Pack, Date Unknown (Source: ASDM)


A.N. & Phoebe Pack Grave Marker, 1975 (Source:
A.N. &  Phoebe Pack Grave Marker, 1975 (Source:


Arthur Pack, Obituary, The New York Times, December 8, 1975 (Source: NYT)
Arthur Pack, Obituary, The New York Times, December 8, 1975 (Source: NYT)




Until his passing, Pack was very civically engaged in Tucson. He was president or chairman of several national and local organizations. In 1972 he established a one million dollar trust fund for St. Mary’s Hospital. Arthur Pack Municipal Golf Course in Tucson was named after him. It is an 18 hole public course, designed by Lee Trevino, built in 1977.

A.N. Pack flew West on December 6, 1975 at Tucson, AZ, age 82. At the time of his death, he had contributed over $500,000 ( one source said $1million) to the development of the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. It was listed as among the ten best zoos in the world. His obituary from The New York Times, December 8, 1975 is at right. More of his civic activities are mentioned there. Both he and his wife were quiet doers in southern Arizona charity. Pack flew with Private pilot certificate P30328.

He had received an honorary doctorate of science degree from the University of Arizona and an honorary doctorate of law degree from the University of New Mexico. His and Phoebe's ashes were enshrined on the hill above Ghost House at Ghost Ranch.

Two of Phoebe's obituaries are below. The first, from the Santa Fe New Mexican, Saturday, May 13, 2000, is very brief.


Born February 2, 1907 died May 9, 2000 in Tucson, AZ.

Predeceased by her husband Arthur N. Pack. Together they owned and operated the Ghost Ranch for many years prior to giving it to the Presbyterian Church.

Made possible by their generosity are the Espanola Hospital and the Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson.

Survived by Vernon Pack, Charlie Pack, Margaret McKinley, six grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.




Her second obituary, from the Arizona Daily Star, Tucson, AZ, Saturday, May 13, 2000, below, provided more detail. A couple of sentences about half-way down in this obituary might suggest the context of the forest photograph, above, but Pack does not appear to be in his 40s in that image.


Philanthropist Phoebe Pack dies at 93

Phoebe Pack, who quietly established herself as a philanthropist in her own right while husband Arthur was being feted for his community leadership, died Tuesday She was 93

Friends described Mrs. Pack as a generous and charitable woman, always on the lookout for opportunities to help others. Although she would never consider stealing the limelight away from her husband, a businessman who co-founded the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, friends say she made significant contributions to local health care agencies and Mount Vernon, George Washington's Virginia home.

"She was just a remarkable person," former Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum director Bill Woodin said. "She did so much in a very quiet way." She was born Phoebe Finley in Portland, Ore., in 1907. Her father was a nature photographer who often submitted pictures to Nature Magazine, a publication edited by Arthur Pack.

But Pack and Phoebe Finley barely knew each other until 1936, when Finley's mother suggested she spend the summer at Pack's Ghost Ranch in Northern New Mexico.The sparks first flew during a backcountry trip, described by Arthur Pack in his 1966 book "We Called it Ghost Ranch":"Before long, our guests retired to their teepees. Phoebe and I faced each other across the dying embers of the fire. "Well," she said, "I guess it's time to turn in."

"Yes," I mumbled, "I guess it's time to hit the sack." I stepped forward and the next moment, almost involuntarily, we walked straight into each other's arms.

"Phoebe married Arthur, a 46-year-old father of two, at the ranch that summer."She was very, very important to Arthur," said the Rev. Paul Sholin, who met the Packs when they moved to Tucson in the 1950s. "They were almost inseparable. She never did much without consulting him."

She helped run the dude ranch, reviewing dinner menus and greeting guests. During World War II, the ranch became a vacation spot for scientists working on the atomic bomb at nearby Los Alamos."

Men would come over for Sunday dinner, bring their wives, spend the night," she told the Arizona Daily Star in 1990. "We could not ask them anything except whether they liked the food."

In 1941, the Packs built a second resort in Tucson: the Ghost Ranch Lodge, one of the first hotels on Miracle Mile. They wintered there for several years, and moved there permanently after the war.

Grandson Mark Bahti, owner of Bahti Indian Arts, said the Packs devoted themselves to philanthropy. Phoebe Pack championed community health, culminating in her leading a 1976 fund-raising drive for St. Mary's Hospital.

"The thing that motivated her most was her desire to help others," Bahti said. "She was always alert for what she could do to help others."

In 1962, Mrs. Pack joined the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, a private group of 30 that owns and operates Washington's home.

She also served on the boards of Tucson's YMCA, the Mental Health Association and the Alcoholism Council.

"She was happy for the opportunity to be of help," Bahti said. "All of us got the sense from her that the reason you help your community is because you're supposed to."

In addition to grandson Bahti, Pack is survived by daughter Margaret Bahti; son Charles Pack and eight grandchildren....


Pack was also signed in the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register, Tucson, AZ. He arrived there on Thursday, March 21, 1935 at 11:40AM. He carried a single passenger he identified as his wife. They flew in the Fairchild he identified as NC14321, the same one he brought through Santa Monica the year before.