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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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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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ETHEL MAUDE RICHARDSON (Mayes)

Santa Ana Register, April 18, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

Ethel Maude Richardson was born October 4, 1904. She landed and signed the Clover Field Register once, on Friday, May 9, 1930 at 1:07PM. She was solo in the Avro 594 Avian IIIA NC392, S/N R3/CN/148. She arrived at Santa Monica from Santa Ana, CA and cited her destination as Culver City, CA. Her airplane was owned by her husband W.C. Mayes (see below).

Santa Ana Register, January 5, 1930 (Source: newspapers.com)
Santa Ana Register, January 5, 1930 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

It is fairliy clear she did the bulk her flight training at the Eddie Martin Airport in Santa Ana. If you scroll down at the link, you'll see an aerial view of the airport during the 1930s, much the way Richardson saw it. Eddie Martin is signed three times in the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register and once in the Parks Airport Register, East St. Louis, IL. This contemporary magazine article from 1989 describes activities and history of the Eddie Martin Airport (PDF 140kB).

She was described as a student in the article at left from the Santa Ana Register for April 19, 1929. I don't know when she soloed, but sometime early in 1929 would be a safe guess. This article described the organizational meeting for the Eddie Martin Pilot's Association. Note the readings for entertainment, and the renditions of tunes on a musical saw.

The article, right, from the Santa Ana Register for January 5, 1930 announces that she received her Limited Commercial permit. This certification was one step below full Transport certification.

Upon her landing at Santa Monica, she was among a group of at least 19 other women who landed at the same time, about mid-day, on Friday, May 9, 1930. The other women's flights originated at several airfields around Los Angeles (Richardson's originated in Santa Ana (where she lived with her family), but their unanimous destination that day was Culver City, CA. Register pilot Clema Granger was opening an airfield there, so their flights were a fly-in gathering in celebration of that event.

Ethel Richardson, May 9, 1930 (Source: Kelly)
Ethel Richardson, May 9, 1930 (Source: Kelly)

 

At right, from this REFERENCE by Kelly, is a photograph of Richardson cropped from a group photo of the women who celebrated the opening of Culver City Airport that day. The complete photo can be viewed at LaVelle Sweeley's link.

From the Register, the group consisted of (in order of their signatures in the Register), W.V. Ludlow (?), Melba Gorby(*), Mary Cline, Jean Stuart, Richardson, Helen M. Beck, Eileen Curley, Clema Granger, Eunice Sargent, Patty Willis, Ruth AlexanderGladys O'Donnell (*), Aline Miller, LaVelle Sweeley, Elizabeth Kelley, Katherine Truett, Lindsay Holladey, Edith Bond, Felice Farrow and Peggy Gilliland. If you know anything about these women, please let me KNOW. I list their names here so that the search engines will find them. The ? after Ludlow signifies that I am not sure of gender or whether Ludlow was a member of the group. The asterisks denote charter members of the newly-formed (1929) Ninety-Nines, a women's aviation organization still active today. Curiously, when I checked my lists of 99s membership names for either Richardson or Mayes, she was never a member of the 99s.

Santa Ana Register (CA), September 16, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com)
Santa Ana Register (CA), September 16, 1929 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

However, she was an active member in the Eddie Martin Pilot's Association. She was "Navigator" for the organization, as reported in the Santa Ana Register for September 16, 1929, left. Note that fellow Register pilot Gladys O'Donnell was identified as their speaker, fresh from her second place finish (September 2nd) in the first Women's Air Derby of the National Air Races, right behind Louise Thaden. From the National Air & Space Museum online collections, the pin below, right, was worn by pilots who were members of the Eddie Martin Pilot's Association.

Wings Pin, The Eddie Martin Pilot's Association, Ca. 1930s (Source: NASM)
Wings Pin, The Eddie Martin Pilot's Association, Ca. 1930s (Source: NASM)

 

As far as her family was concerned, the 1910 U.S. Census placed Ethel at age 5 with her parents and younger brother in Orange Township, CA. The Census form was distorted so it was difficult to decipher. Her father worked as a plumber.

The 1920 Census placed her living at age 15 with her parents, William H. (43; 1876-1949) and Mabel B. (38; 1881-1966) at 529 South Broadway in Santa Ana, CA. She had a younger brother, Ralph (12) and sister, Evelyn (5). Her father was employed as a plumber. Their address on Google Earth today is a two-storey frame house on the corner of Broadway and Bishop that could be 1920s-era.

Santa Ana Register (CA), September 29, 1930 (Source: newspapers.com)
Santa Ana Register (CA), September 29, 1930 (Source: newspapers.com)

 

In 1930, the Census placed her at age 25 at home with her parents and sister Evelyn (15). They had moved to 314 North Shaffer Street in Orange Township. Her father, now 53 years old, was still in the plumbing business, and Ethel was employed as an "Assistant" in a "Doctor's Office." Ralph, now 22, was not living with them. They owned their home, valued at $6,500.

Within a year or so of the Census, she married a man 23 years her senior, Walter Charles Mayes (1882-1959), a physician, perhaps the same physician in whose office she worked. Walter was first married to a Mary Leslie Lunny (1884-1960) by whom he had two daughters, one aged 23. He was clearly the "Doc Mayes" listed as "Assistant" in the Eddie Martin Pilot's Association article just above. I believe they were both pilots. They were married September 26, 1930. News of issuance of their marriage license was published in the Santa Ana Register (CA) of September 29, 1930, right.

 

The 1930 Census in her neighborhood that year was taken on April 21st and she was coded as single. In the photograph above, dated May 9th, she wears a ring on her finger, perhaps an engagement ring. Given their marriage license date, their wedding was probably sometime during the fall of 1930.

The 1931, 1933 and 1934 city directories for Orange County and Anaheim, CA cited Walter and Ethel living at 218 South Main Street in Santa Ana. That address today is not residential. It is not clear if she continued flying after her marriage. I found no news references for either her or Walter regarding aviation activites through the rest of the 1930s and beyond. If you can help fill in the blanks, please let me KNOW.

Lordsburg Liberal (NM), March 6, 1942 (Source: Woodling)
Lordsburg Liberal (NM), March 6, 1942 (Source: Woodling)

 

The 1940 Census recorded Ethel (age 35) and Walter (57) living in Ensenada, NM, northwest of Santa Fe. According to Google Earth, Ensenada today is a very rural location. It must have been doubly so in 1940. Their neighbors were recorded as farmers and laborers living in large families. His occupation was listed as "Medical Doctor" in "Private practice." She was not coded as working outside the home.

They listed their 1935 residence as Boston, and, indeed, they were missing from the 1935 and 1936 Orange County directories.

There was no trace of them after 1940. One explanation could be that Walter and his first wife were missionaries in Korea in the early 1920s, having adopted their daughter, Roma Vista. Speculating, perhaps Walter and Ethel returned to Korea or to some other country to do missionary work, although Korea was probably already under Japanese control in the early 1940s. I have no idea why they were in Boston in 1935-1936.

Mayes' daughter, Roma Vista, was married in 1942 as reported in the Lordsburg Liberal (NM), March 6, 1942, right. Ethel and Walter were not mentioned as guests.

Ethel Richardson Mayse, 1904-1984 (Source: findagrave.com)

 

Ethel Mayes died October 10, 1984 in Corona Del Mar, CA. She is buried next to Walter in the crypt at left. She survived Walter by 25 years. I do not know if she remarried. She flew West with pilot certificate number 9369.

 

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 08/29/16 REVISED: 09/14/16