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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. Or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author. ISBN 978-0-9843074-0-1.

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There is no data for pilot Jones in the archives of the National Air & Space Museum (NASM), Washington, DC.

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CHARLES SHERMAN "CASEY" JONES


Casey Jones was born January 11, 1894 at Castleton, VT. He was one of the older pilots to sign the Davis-Monthan Register. He has an incomplete timeline at the link summarizing his activities during his life. He touched many aspects of Golden Age aviation, from managment, to racing, flight training and writing for the popular press.

On the racing front, below, courtesy of site contributor Andy Heins, is a photograph of Jones (R, with helmet and goggles folded in-hand) with Jack Frost (not a Register pilot). This photograph was taken before August, 1927, because Frost disappeared that month somewhere over the Pacific Ocean during the controversial trans-Pacific Dole Race. They stand in front of Jones' Curtiss racer, which can be seen in another photograph below.

Casey Jones (R) and Jack Frost, Pre-August, 1927, Location Unknown (Source: Heins)
Casey Jones (R) and Jack Frost, Pre-August, 1927, Location Unknown (Source: Heins)

He landed once at Tucson. He arrived solo on Thursday, October 6, 1927 flying an unidentified Douglas aircraft. Based in Chicago, IL, he arrived at Tucson from Los Angeles, CA about 6:00PM. He remained overnight in Tucson, departing the next morning at 6:45AM eastbound to El Paso, TX. "NAT" was written in aircraft registration number field of the Register.

Below, shared with us by site visitor Russ Eggert, is a U.S. Postal cachet from February 2, 1930. It commemorates the 1930 New York Aviation Show.

Casey Jones, Signed U.S. Postal Cachet, New York Aviation Show, February 1, 1930 (Source: Eggert)
Casey Jones, Signed U.S. Postal Cachet, New York Aviation Show, February 1, 1930 (Source: Eggert)

Below, a photograph of Jones, ca. 1931-32, shared with us by friend of dmairfield.org, John Underwood.

Charles Sherman "Casey" Jones, Ca. 1931-32 (Source: Underwood)
Charles Sherman "Casey" Jones, Ca. 1931-32 (Source: Underwood)

The caption on the back of the photograph states that Jones was vice president of public relations for the Curtiss-Wright Corporation about this time, and that they were distributors for Monocouple aircraft. A Monocoupe stands behind him. Jones would be about 37 years old in the photograph, residing on Long Island, NY with his wife and two children. Other photos of Jones are at the link in the Klein Archive on this site.

A sytlized biography is in Time Magazine, November 7, 1932. He had just resigned from Curtiss-Wright two weeks previous to publication. About this time he founded a training facility that exists to this day as the Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology. Note with interest at the link that the large mural painted by Register pilot Aline Brooks is stored at the College.

Below, a letter from March 14, 1933 shared with us by site visitor Jeff Staines. He says about the letter, "It is a letter typed on Casey Jones School of Aeronautics letterhead dated March 14, 1933 and signed by Lieutenant Colonel George A. Vaughn Jr., the second-most scoring WW I Ace that survived the conflict. He also was a stunt pilot and racer who was affiliated with Casey Jones and his school. At that time he was also Commander of the newly-organized New York Air National Guard. The letter details the method used to gain access into the Air National Guard at Miller Field, NY for certain people known to Vaughn."

Letter, March 14, 1933 (Source: Staines)
Letter, March 14, 1933 (Source: Staines)

Below, courtesy of Andy Heins, are three undated photographs of Jones. The first one appears to be an official military photograph (the inscription at the bottom is typical of military photos, but is unreadable). Jones signed this photo to Al Lodwick, who was flight operations manager for Howard Hughes' round-the-world flight in 1938. Note the absence of wheel covers when compared to the other photo of this airplane at the top of this page.

Casey Jones With Curtiss Racer, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Heins)
Casey Jones With Curtiss Racer, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Heins)

Below, another photograph, a formal portrait, signed "with best regards" to Lodwick. Although the date is unknown, the time was 2:10, probably PM.

Casey Jones, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Heins)
Casey Jones, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Heins)

Below, an unsigned formal portrait of Casey Jones.

Casey Jones, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Heins)
Casey Jones, Date & Location Unknown (Source: Heins)

Jones was a participant in the Ford Reliability Tours of 1925 (the first one) and 1926. The Forden REFERENCE, chapter 10, says this about him (published in 1972).

Charles S. Jones was called "Casey," an appropriate name for an aviator, who like the legendary locomotive engineer kept a strong hand on the throttle. The aviator Jones was a Vermonter who planned to be a lawyer, worked instead as a physical education instructor, and became a flyer in the World War. Then he joined the Curtiss organization, was an instructor, test pilot, salesman, inveterate racer, company executive. He competed in the first two air tours. Jones started his own School of Aeronautics in 1932 and it is still going at La Guardia Airport, New York, as the "Academy of Aeronautics." Some time after Casey Jones had retired in St.
Thomas, The Virgin Islands, we asked him to recall the most exciting and interesting times in fifty years of flying. "Well," he said, "I enjoyed every minute of it. Every day, every year. Never did seem like work."

Compare Jones' recollection of his life in flying with that of fellow Register pilot Earl Rowland's. After Casey Jones retired to St. Thomas, he died February 2, 1976, age 82.

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THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 03/09/10 REVISED: 04/16/11, 08/27/11, 10/01/11

 
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I'm looking for photographs and information about pilot Jones to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please use this FORM to contact me.

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http://www.cafepress.com/content/global/img/spacer.gifThe Congress of Ghosts 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, or use this FORM to order a copy signed by the author.  ISBN 978-0-9843074-4-9.

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