Tales from the Morgue: Davis-Monthan dedicated by Lindbergh himself

2010-03-20T00:00:00Z Tales from the Morgue: Davis-Monthan dedicated by Lindbergh himselfJohanna Eubank, Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
March 20, 2010 12:00 am  • 

While you're out at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base at Aerospace and Arizona Days, try to imagine Davis-Monthan as a dirt field with the Spirit of St. Louis landing and kicking up clouds of dust before Charles Lindbergh himself steps out of the plane to thunderous applause.

Events surrounding Lindbergh's visit were scheduled down to the minute. He was to arrive at 2 p.m. Sept. 23, 1927, and at 2:45, "Col. Lindbergh will drive through Pastime Park so that all war veterans may see him."

At 3 p.m. he would speak at the UA on the football field. From 4:30 to 7 p.m. Lindbergh was allowed time to himself. Then he was scheduled to speak at a banquet at the university commons, at which time he would formally dedicate Davis-Monthan field.

The visit was highly anticipated. From the Arizona Daily Star's front page Sept. 23, 1927:

Tucson, today, in the name of Arizona, opens her city gates to greet Col. Charles Lindbergh, the Lone Eagle of the Atlantic, who will drop from the skies in his silver monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis, to the Davis-Monthan field this afternoon at 2 o'clock.

Half an hour before the trans-oceanic flyer arrives, D.E. Keyhoe, representative of the department of commerce, with his pilot, Phillip Love, and his mechanic, C.C. Maidment, will swoop down upon the field at the Tucson airdrome.

For today is aviation day in the Old Pueblo and representatives of all Arizona and of Mexico will be here to meet and see the man who first flew from New York to Paris.

 

Lindbergh arrived right on time that afternoon, as reported in the Star Sept. 24, 1927, under the headline "20,000 Greet Lindbergh At Tucson Field With Biggest Ovation In State's History."

Twenty thousand people in cars, on foot, and on horseback encircled the Davis-Monthan field yesterday afternoon, as guards of various organizations patrolled inside the barbed wire fence to keep clear the broad expanse of the municipal landing field. Camera men trotted about with open lenses, committeemen hurried here and there on last minute missions, official cars drew up with purring motors to halt in formation ready to leave on a moment's notice, dust swirled, motors roared, and the orderly, well handled crowd waited.

At 1:45 oclock, a mere speck in the northwest, Colonel Charles Lindbergh, aerial conqueror of the broad Atlantic, and his Spirit of St. Louis appeared.

As the pair, now known as "We," came out of the heat-haze over the Tucson mountains, thousands of eyes turned to watch the ship as it circled over Tucson at about 1:50 o'clock. With the sun throwing a sheen from its silver wings, the plane leveled off and headed toward the aviation field. Circling low, the ship swung away again to the north, then back, and at 2 o'clock, nose into the wind, the great silver monoplane swooped down to land and taxied up to the hangar, where the welcoming committee awaited.

 

While the excitement of the famous man's visit was the news of the day, one couple was otherwise occupied:

Stork Follows in Lindbergh's Wake, Her Name's Lindy

Flying right behind Col. Charles Lindbergh yesterday came Old Man Stork bringing with him an eight-pound girl which was delivered to Mr. and Mrs. Ernesto Lopez at 130 West Sixth street, at 2:20 yesterday afternoon, just 20 minutes after the arrival of America's famous flyer.

And as result the proud parents christened the new born child "Lindy" in honor of Col. Lindbergh. The family is from Twin Buttes and had come into Tucson to await the arrival of the stork.

 

They just don't write them like that anymore.

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About this blog

"Tales from the Morgue" is a way for the Star to share stories from the treasure trove of information held in its old files.

Johanna Eubank, aka the Morgue Lady, was a research assistant in the Star Library — also known as News and Research Services — for 18 years before becoming an online content producer. She has had her share of sneezing fits after digging into dusty old files, so she's sure to find a few old stories to re-examine.

If you have suggestions, comments or questions about this blog, e-mail jeubank@tucson.com