Your copy of the Davis-Monthan Airfield Register 1925-1936 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 It includes across 277 pages previously unpublished photographs and texts, and facsimiles of personal letters, diaries and military orders.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.


Thanks to Guest Editor Bob Woodling for help researching this page.


the register


I'm looking for information and photographs of pilot Krantz and his airplane to include on this page. If you have some you'd like to share, please click this FORM to contact me.





Maunck Chunk Times-News (PA), January 19, 1940 (Source:



Duke Krantz, 1937 (Source:

Duke Krantz landed once at Pitcairn Field, on Friday, April 26, 1940. He flew the Waco AGC-8 he identified as NC2284 (S/N 5061). He carried two unidentified passengers. Based at New York, NY, they specified no time of landing or departure, or destination.

The airplane was registered to the New York Daily News, for whom Krantz worked at the time. Please follow the airplane's link for photographs and for a story that linked Krantz to the Daily News and the airplane. The Mauch Chunk Times-News (PA), January 19, 1940 reported his employment with the company, left. The Lehighton airport is memoralized at the link.

At right, Krantz appeared in an October 4, 1937 newspaper cigarette advertisment that was published nationally. His likeness appeared in hundreds of newspapers during 1937 in conjunction with his quoted testimonial for the brand, as well as in the advertisement below.

Below, another half-page cigarette advertisement that featured Krantz. These kinds of ads were common before the health effects of tobacco were suspected or studied. See a similar ad that featured Amelia Earhart. And Earhart didn't use tobacco!

Duke Krantz, Cigarette Advertisement, 1937 (Source: Woodling)

Krantz was born October 30, 1896 in Lekeryd, Jönköping County in southern Sweden. His father was Per Aina Krantz and his mother was Ida Magnusdotter. He departed Sweden for America on April 10, 1915. The Swedish emigration record states that he was unmarried at the time and traveling alone. His occupation was coded as "Handelsbiträde," or trades assistant. He was headed for Galva, IL. I do not know why he went to Galva. He was 18 years old.

The 1920 U.S. Census placed him living in enlisted men's housing at Kelly Field, TX with many other soldiers. He was identified as a 23-year old private. The next record I found for him was his naturalization papers. He was naturalized in San Antonio, TX February 26, 1921. I do not know what he did between his arrival in the U.S., induction in the military and his naturalization. In 1921, he was a soldier with the 27th Aero Squadron based at Kelly Field, TX. According to the record, he had entered the army on July 28, 1919 from his home in Galva, IL. He was assigned to Kelly Field on October 13, 1919. Below is one of his naturalization forms. He held the rank of corporal. His good character was witnessed by Davis-Monthan Register pilot Theodore J. Koenig.

A.R. Krantz, U.S. Naturalization Form, February 26, 1921 (Source:
A.R. Krantz, U.S. Naturalization Form, February 26, 1921 (Source:

It was not clear if he learned to fly in the army. He was released from the army on July 27, 1922 and began a life of barnstorming. Below is a photograph of Krantz on the left wing as in preparation for a wing-walking exhibition. The image is from the Bergen County (NJ) vintage transportation collection at the link. The airplane, NC2220, was a Standard J-1, S/N GFC-10.

Duke Krantz, Left, Ca. 1920s (Source: Link)

The caption for the photograph above reads, "Aron Fabian “Duke” Krantz began his flying career as an aerial daredevil with the Gates Flying Circus which was based at Teterboro Airport in the 1920s. Krantz, who later flew a camera plane during the filming of 1933’s King Kong, is shown standing on the left wing of the biplane on the marshy Teterboro airfield."

Lund Wedding, Oakland Tribune, July 4, 1925 (Source:
Lund Wedding, Oakland Tribune, July 4, 1925 (Source:


Krantz was a part of the wedding announcement for Freddie Lund and Elizabeth Elkin (later known as Betty Lund) that appeared in the Oakland Tribune, July 4, 1929, left. Another article describing their 1925 Broadway appearance was published in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 1, 1929. By way of understatment, any pilot who flew these stunts today would be chastised in so, so many ways.

On March 14, 1932 Krantz appeared on an immigration form documenting his arrival from New York aboard the S.S. Coamo from San Juan, P.R. that began on March 10th. He appeared to be by himself. No purpose was given for the voyage. Tragically, the S.S. Coamo was sunk by torpedo abut a decade later on December 2, 1942 about 150 miles east of Ireland, killing all 186 passengers aboard. This was the greatest single loss of a merchant crew on any U.S. Flag merchant vessel during WWII.

The New York Age, October 8, 1932 reported Krantz transporting three New York chiropodists (today called podiatrists) and their wives to Washington, DC for a pleasure trip. Their trip had been funded by grateful patients. Sigificant for the era, The New York Age was one of the most influential black newspapers of its time, and Krantz's passengers were black. A companion article reported an increase of 60 percent in Negro dentists over the past ten years.

Two crew manifests completed for U.S. Customs placed Krantz flying from Quebec to Albany, NY on August 19,1933 in NC13252 (not a Register airplane), and from Quebec to Albany on May 29, 1936. He flew the Waco DQC-6 identified on the form as NC16218 (not a Register airplane). No reason for his flight was specified, but his Transport pilot certificate was documented on both forms as T10368.

On July 19, 1937, in Burlington, VT, Krantz married Ellen Margaret Kauser. Their wedding license is below. She was 23, and he was over 40.

Krantz/Kauser Wedding License, July 19, 1937 (Source:
Krantz/Kauser Wedding License, July 19, 1937 (Source:


Mason City Globe-Gazette (IA), February 17, 1940 (Source:



For the 1940 Census Krantz and Ellen were living at 22 Thornwood Lane, North Hempstead, NY. That address today is a modest, two-storey clapboard home sitting back from the street on a shady, well-manicured property. They owned their home, which was valued at $12,000 on the Census form. His occupation was coded as "Pilot" for the New York Daily News at a salary exceeding $5,000 per year.

About 1942, Krantz, along with just about every able-bodied man in the U.S., registered for the draft. His registration card is below. He and Ellen lived still at 22 Thornwood Lane. He was employed by the New York Daily News.

Krantz WWII Draft Registration, Ca. 1942 (Source:

The 1945 Atlanta, GA city directory cited Krantz and Ellen living at 100 Montgomery Ferry Drive NE. I do not know when they moved from New York to Georgia. His occupation was cited as test pilot for Bell Aircraft.

Krantz flew West on April 16, 1974 at age 77. Cause of death was a heart attack at Key Largo, FL. His family declared that he was very strong physically, but his smoking habit probably contributed to his death.

Duke Krantz Obituary, Albuquerque (NM) Tribune, April 19, 1974 (Source: Woodling)




Krantz Obituary, Galesburg Register-Mail (IL), April 22, 1974 (Source:
Krantz Obituary, Galesburg Register-Mail (IL), April 22, 1974 (Source:



Krantz's obituary, left, from the Albuquerque, NM Tribune, April 19, 1974, cites his early aviation life as a pioneer with the Gates Flying Circus. The last paragraph of the article cites his WWII and later experience. He was a member of the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame. Interestingly, an advertisement for a clothing store near this article, announced men's suits on sale for $49.99 (two for $89). His grave marker is at below.

A.F. Krantz, Grave Marker (Source:



A second obituary, above right, cited his birth date and place, and mentioned that he had married Helen Woodward in 1912 while he was still in Sweden, and that he had worked for The New York Times.

I questioned a couple of the statements in this second obituary. First, I found no mention anywhere of Helen Woodward, either in Krantz's Swedish emigration papers or in the 1920 U.S. Census. The fact that he arrived in the U.S. in 1915, his 19th year, means that he married early if he had married at all. If he was married, the fact that Krantz's Swedish emigration record stated that he was single, suggests he was divorced before he left Sweden.

Second, neither did I find any evidence that he worked for The New York Times. A search of the Times archives showed no mention of articles, bylines or photographs that might have been contributed by Krantz in an aviation capacity. I found one article that reported Krantz's daughter, Linnea, was engaged to be married, The New York TImes, October 23, 1964. She was identified as "Miss" in the obituary above, however, suggesting that perhaps she never married.

Krantz was inducted into the New Jersey Aviation Hall of Fame. He was among the first class of inductees who were nominated in 1973. One of the significant exhibits at the Hall of Fame is the original spinner from Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis. The spinner came into Duke Krantz's hands as a rejected part and he kept it on his mantelpiece for many years. It was inherited by his son, "Ron" Duke Krantz, Jr., and then donated to the Hall of Fame. I believe his son was born sometime during the 1940s.

I did find several news articles from the 1960s that featured Krantz's son, who had established himself in the aerial photography business during the 1960s.



THIS PAGE UPLOADED: 01/26/14 REVISED: 07/18/17