Verde Heritage By Glenda Farley, Cottonwood, AZ Local historian Glenda Farley guides us on a journey back in time to discover fascinating moments that make up our Verde heritage and history.
Thursday, March 21, 2013
1932: CLEMENCEAU AIRPORT DEDICATION Attracts 6000 People March 19-21.
"Thousands of curious, excited, spectators this afternoon were witness to thrilling aerial stunts, parachute jumps, and air races as the two-day Clemenceau airport dedication program got under way." ...
"Host of the crowds is the Verde Valley Air Lines, operators of the port, which has assembled an array of daring fliers of both sexes to entertain those in attendance."
"By noon today --- the program did not start until one-thirty --- twenty of the forty-two planes officially entered in the events had swooped down on the airport from Phoenix and Tucson in Arizona and from four or five fields in California. The other planes from the Pacific coast were delayed in starting because of a heavy fog extending a considerable distance inland from the seacoast."
"Charles Goldtrap of Sky Harbor, Phoenix, flying a Monocoupe, took Ivan Unger high up into the ether and watched him lead out head-first. To the craning crowds below, sheltering their eyes from the sun, Unger looked like a speck way up there, then above him a tiny --- it looked tiny from the ground --- parachute opened, followed by a faint cracking noise --- as it was heard from the ground. He floated gently to earth."
"These details were described over long distance telephone by Carlos Moreno, who was sent over by the 'Courier' to cover the opening afternoon's performance."
Greater crowds and even more stirring events are expected tomorrow, the real big day of the air show, starting at 9:45 in the morning and concluding with a chute jump at one o'clock in the afternoon. At 8:30 tonight there will be a dance in Clarkdale, sponsored by the Jerome Rotary club. At the conclusion of the air events tomorrow afternoon a 2:30 golf tournament is to start on the links of the Verde Valley Golf Club."
"Very much in evidence today at the field were three airline officers; Marcus E. Rawlins, president of the company; William A. Clark, III, vice-president; and M. L. Wheeler, secretary."
(Prescott Evening Courier; March 19, 1932; pages 1, 7.)
WINDY WEATHER HURTS AIR SHOW
"Unusually contrary weather interfered to a disappointing degree with the second and concluding day's Clemenceau Airport Dedication program yesterday. The wind blew a gale both days."
"There was a free-for-all thirty-mile air race won by Gladys O'Donnel of Daugherty Field, Long Beach. ... Runner-up was Roy Wilson of Los Angeles, ... while third place winner was Jim Granger of Clover Field, Santa Monica. ... Wilson did some stunts to please the crowd."
"A late comer to the air events was Amelia Earhart, who zipped in from Los Angeles yesterday afternoon. She holds the distinction of being a trans-Atlantic flier." ...
"THOUSANDS ATTEND AIR SHOW MARKING FORMAL DEDICATION OF CLEMENCEAU AIRPORT; Twenty-nine Planes Enter Events Here Saturday, Sunday, Monday."
"Although dangerously high winds caused postponement of several events until yesterday, 29 airplanes and their pilots and crews and approximately 6000 people attended the air circus at Clemenceau Saturday, Sunday and Monday, formally dedicating the Verde Valley Airlines airport there."
"Due to dense fog Saturday and Sunday, planes from Los Angeles airports that were scheduled to participate in the meet, were unable to leave the ground."
"Unfavorable winds caused postponement of many events and the scheduled two-day circus was finally carried over into the third day." ...
"One of the factors which contributed greatly to the success of the airport dedication at Clemenceau was the presence of the Standard Oil announcer car, operated by the versatile and popular announcer, Frank G. "Happy" Wintz." ...
"The airport at Clemenceau covers approximately 140 acres, and there were cars parked around the entire field, but with the aid of the announcing system the entire crowd was able to hear the progress and results of the events at all times. The officials of the Verde Valley Airlines stated that they keenly appreciated the wonderful assistance that the Standard Oil company rendered in servicing the visiting ships."