Saint Paul to Winnipeg Air Tour in 1928


Plane and Auto Tour Planned by Crookston Men. Crookston – (AP) – An airplane and automobile tour to Winnipeg May 28 is planned as a result of the conference here between members of the Crookston derby day committee and the delegation of Winnipeg residents who flew to Crookston yesterday. The delegation, led by Captain J. H. Holley, air pilot for the Western Canada Airways corporation, made arrangements for the international goodwill tour, the Canadians pledging their support and co-operation and offering the hospitality of Winnipeg during the first of the Crookston group. Captain Holley, considered one of the best pilots in Canada, declared he would fly down to take part in the Crookston air derby and would be accompanied by at least one other ship from his company. He and his companion flier will pilot the planes back to Winnipeg on the good-will tour. It was indicated that several Winnipeg automobiles would come for the derby events and pilot back the motor caravan. (The Winona Republican-Herald, Saturday Evening, April 28, 1928, Volume 28, Number 61, Page 12)

Army Air Service To Help Crookston Open New Municipal Airport. Crookston – (AP) – Issuance of an order by the war department for participation in opening of the Crookston airport on May 26 and 27 by the army air service was announced today in a message from Congressman C. G. Selvig to James C. Kelly of Crookston. An airplane race from St. Paul to Crookston, with controls at Wold Chamberlain field, Minneapolis, and at Little Falls, will open the air derby being held to celebrate the opening. Speed Holman and Colonel L. H. Brittin of the Northwest Airways, will be in charge of the race and will accompany the racers as traveling referees. Fifteen planes will take off May 28 on a good will air tour to Winnipeg, the first international flight of its kind on record. A motorcade of 100 cars will leave in advance of it. The visitors will be guests of Canada, the Western Airways, Winnipeg Aero club, and civic organizations. (The Winona Republican-Herald, Saturday Evening, May 12, 1928, Volume 28, Number 73, Page 1)

Plan Complete For Air Derby. Good Will Tour to Winnipeg To Be Closing Feature of Crookston Show. Crookston, Minn., May 22. – (AP) – A squadron of airplanes will hop off from here for Canada on an international good will tour at the conclusion of the Crookston Air Derby which is to be held in this city next Saturday and Sunday, May 26 and 27. More than a dozen ships are expected to take off for Winnipeg on Monday, May 28. The air derby will open with a race for light planes from St. Paul to Crookston, with cash prizes to be awarded to the winners. Taking off from the St. Paul Airport, the racers will make a brief stop for short controls at the Northwest Airport Show at the Wold-Chamberlain Field, Minneapolis, and at the home town of Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, Little Falls.

The program at Crookston will include short distance speed races, parachute drops, air maneuvers, acrobatics, an American Legion Aviation Dinner and a night sham battle combined with a mimic air raid. Cooperating with the Crookston committee are Colonel L. H. Brittin of the St. Paul Association and Charles (Speed) Holman of the Northwest Airways, who will accompany the racers as traveling referee, in his Laird plane in which he won the National Air Derby race in 1927, and established a world looping record. Exhibition flights will also be given by Holman during the two-day program. The 109th aero squadron, under command of Major Ray Miller, Minnesota Aircraft Association, the National Aeronautics association, Department of Commerce, American Legion posts of St. Paul, and the Western Canada Airways, Ltd., of Winnipeg are cooperating in arranging the program. Fliers, aircraft manufacturers and aviation enthusiasts from all sections of the northwest are expected to be present for the derby. (Grand Forks Herald, Wednesday, May 23, 1928, Volume XLVII, Number 171, Page 3)

Ten Airplanes Leave St. Paul for Crookston. St. Paul – (AP) – Nosing into a light head wind, ten airplanes took off from the municipal airport here today in the first St. Paul-Crookston air derby. A few minutes later they landed at Wold-Chamberlain field, Minneapolis, and then took the air again for Little Falls where they are to make another stop before making the last jump to Crookston. (The Winona Republican-Herald, Saturday Evening, May 26, 1928, Volume 28, Number 85, Page 13)

Crookston Turns Out To Welcome Derby Airplanes. Ten Planes Leave St. Paul for Overland Flight – To Go to Winnipeg. Crookston – (AP) – Eyes turned skyward as the first contingent of approximately 30 airships began arriving here this afternoon for Crookston’s two day air derby, which is attracting thousands of persons from the section. The derby, which will bring together the largest flotilla of airplanes ever assembled in this vicinity, is sponsored by the Crookston Association of Public Affairs and the local post of the American Legion. A program of races, flying exhibitions and aerial contests, in addition to a band concert and baseball game will be given as entertainment. Tonight a sham air raid and pyrotechnic display will be the outstanding events, while Sunday afternoon a program of air events, including races and stunts, will be staged. A fleet of airplanes which took off from the St. Paul airport shortly before 11 o’clock this morning was expected here this afternoon. A Legion rally and dinner will be held tonight with Legionnaires from all parts of northwestern Minnesota expected to attend. An air and automobile good will tour from here to Winnipeg will be made Monday, when the Canadian city will dedicate the Winnipeg flying club’s airport. (The Winona Republican-Herald, Saturday Evening, May 26, 1928, Volume 28, Number 85, Page 13)

Crookston Air Derby Program Opens This Afternoon. Dozen Planes To Compete In 300 Mile Race. Sham Air Raid Tonight to Conclude First Day’s Events. Crookston, Minn., May 25. – (AP) – The two-day air derby program will open here Saturday afternoon with a dozen planes competing in the 300-mile St. Paul to Crookston air race. In addition to 12 participants in the race from 10 to 15 additional machines will be here to take part in the Saturday afternoon, evening and Sunday air programs. In addition to a program of races, flying exhibitions and other aerial contests, a band concert and baseball game will be offered as entertainment. Saturday night a sham air raid and pyrotechnic display will be staged while on Sunday afternoon another program of air events will be given. Ten thousand people are expected for the programs and between 25 and 30 airplanes, the largest flotilla of air machines ever gathered together in this section. The air derby program is sponsored by the Crookston Association of Public Affairs and local post of the American Legion. (Grand Forks Herald, Saturday, May 26, 1928, Volume XLVII, Number 174, Page 1)

Page 1. Plane Stunts, Ball Games On Air Derby Program Today. Johnson Wins First Place In Big Race. Crowd Thrilled at Night Performance, Sham Battle. Planes Will Go On to Winnipeg Monday for Dedication. By F. Leslie Erhardt. Crookston, Minn., May 26. – Hundreds braved wind and cold here tonight to gather at the Crookston Airport for a program of stunt flying, sham battle and fireworks display concluding the opening day of the Crookston Air Derby. Though all of them did not take the air, fifteen planes were on the field during the evening. Chief among the stunt pilots was Vern Roberts, formerly of Fargo and now of Moline, Ill., who with his Monocoupe ran the gamut of air stunts and held a shivering audience breathless time and again. Following the program of stunt flying, a gorgeous array of fireworks was set going and kept ablaze for some time while a great beacon streamed a glaring light across the field lending it the dress of day. Sham battle activities were withheld because of high wind and consequent danger of spectators port and surrounding fields. While some maneuvers were made, the army planes were not permitted to take the air. Both during the afternoon and evening passenger flying held the stage and will be continued on Sunday’s program. Scores of persons were accommodated Saturday. Johnson Wins. “Thunder” Johnson, of the Twin Cities, with a time total of three hours and 43 minutes won the St.

Page 2. Paul-Little Falls-Crookston air race with Gene Shank, St. Paul, second at three hours and 45 1/2 minutes. Other places in the race were as follows: Anderson, Minneapolis, 3:50 1/4, third; Roberts, Moline, Ill., 3:54, fourth; McDonald, St. Paul, 4:10 3/4; (?) through Minneapolis, 4:20; Rueschenberg, Grand Forks, 4:25 3/4; Lane, St. Paul, 4:39, Sargent, Minneapolis, 4:50 1/4, and Pierce, Minneapolis, 5:52. Winners of the first lap, St. Paul to Little Falls, were Anderson, first, Johnson, second, and Shank, third. Time in the race was delayed because of heavy winds.

Guests of City. Included among the guests of the day were Major Ray Miller, St. Paul, Attorney General G. A. Youngquist, St. Paul, Lieutenant Palmer, Minneapolis, and Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Nelson, Minnesota National Guard. They arrived in two army planes. A third army plane was forced to the ground enroute and did not reach here. Pilots and official visitors were guests of the American Legion at a banquet in Eagles hall at 7 p. m. Speakers on the program included George V. Sudheimer, of the St. Paul municipal airport, representing the city of St. Paul, James M. Holley, Winnipeg, representing air organizations, P. J. Bourne, Little Falls, Attorney General Youngquist, James C. Kelley of the Crookston Association of Public Affairs, and A. J. Hanson, of St. Paul, Mayor O. E. Locken, president. Among other guests were G. N. Powell, O. R. Mitchell and Murray Baldwin, all of Fargo. Band concerts and ball games are scheduled on Sunday’s program. Parachute jumping and other air acrobatics also are scheduled. Music was furnished by the Crookston Juvenile band on this afternoon’s program.

Fly to Winnipeg. Monday twelve or more planes are expected to leave here for Winnipeg on the first international good will tour. Arrival of the tour in Winnipeg will open officially the new air port there. A program of welcome and dedication is arranged Monday afternoon at Winnipeg. A motorcade is to accompany the tour. Passengers in the Crookston motorcade and the planes will be met at Emerson, Manitoba, by members of the Royal Canadian Air Force and representatives of the Manitoba Motor League who will escort them to the Winnipeg flying field for the formal dedication of the field. The Manitoban premier will preside at the dedicatory exercises in which high military and public officials will take part. The United States citizens will be guests of the city at a banquet at six o’clock Monday night.

Another guest of honor will be the secretary of the Aberdeen, S. D., chamber of commerce who will make a solo flight from Aberdeen to Winnipeg to take part in the function. James C. Kelly, secretary of the Crookston association of public affairs, will make the flight to Winnipeg in one of the new Waco planes of the Red River Airways, Inc., with Curt Brown as his pilot. Twenty-five ships are the minimum expected to take part in the good will flight according to Mr. Kelly. James Nelson Kelly of Minneapolis, district inspector of the department of commerce will represent William P. McCracken, assistant secretary of commerce for the division of aeronautics, during the air derby. Cameramen from the Fox and Paramount news reel companies will film the giant air derby today. They have expressed particular enthusiasm over the night air raid and sham battles scheduled for tonight.

Holman Carries Mail. Crookston, Minn., May 26. – Charles “Speed” Holman will carry a special cargo of air mail letters to Winnipeg during the international good will flight Monday following the Crookston air derby, it was announced here today. Canadian air mail stamps will be used for the letters. Those which are to be sent to people in the United States will be mailed on the plane’s arrival in Winnipeg. (Grand Forks Herald, Sunday, May 27, 1928, Volume XLVII, Number 175)

Derby Big Success. Crookston, Minn., May 28. – Stunt flying, plane races, parachute jumping and passenger carrying brought ten thousand persons to the Crookston airport Sunday for the closing program of the air derby here. Automobiles packed available parking space on the grounds and long strings of cars edged all nearby highways with the crowd turned out to see the program of aerial acrobatics and contests. Holman Entertains. Opening the afternoon program was a series of stunts by “Speed” Holman in a Northwest Airways, Inc., mail plane. Immediately following came two elimination races preliminary to the final prize race of the afternoon. Honors in the final race were won by E. M. Canfield of Fargo, flying a Travelair, with “Thunder” Johnson, St. Paul, second, flying an Eaglerock, Lyle Thro, St. Paul, third in a Waco, and Tom Lane, St. Paul, fourth in a Waco. As a break in the race program, in the preliminaries of which nine planes were entered, exhibition flying by two army planes of the 190th aero squadron took place, the two flying in both double and single display. (Grand Forks Herald, Tuesday, May 29, 1928, Volume XLVII, Number 176)

Airplanes Take Off for Flight to Canadian City. Crookston – (AP) – Heading a group of eleven airplanes, “Thunder” Johnson of St. Paul, winner of the St. Paul-to-Crookston air race, and Captain J. H. Holley of the Western Airways, Ltd., of Winnipeg, took off for Winnipeg at 11 a. m., today. They were in a moth biplane. The party consists of Russell Anderson, St. Paul, flying an Eaglerock plane; Tom Lane, and Art Pierce, St. Paul, each flying a Waco plane; Major Ray Miller and Lieutenant Palmer, in an army plane; Curt Brown, Crookston, piloting a Waco plane and carrying J. C. Kelly, secretary of the Crookston Association of Public Affairs as a passenger; Charles “Speed” Holman, chief pilot of the Northwest Airways, St. Paul; H. B. Rueschenberg, Grand Forks, representing North Dakota. Dr. O. E. Locken, mayor of Crookston, is accompanying the tour as a passenger of Lyle Thro, piloting an Eaglerock plane. A caravan of automobiles left Crookston at 9 a. m. today and were expected to reach Winnipeg about the same time as the planes. (The Winona Republican-Herald, Monday Evening, May 28, 1928, Volume 28, Number 86, Page 4)

Page 1. 12 Aviators Have Planes At Pageant. Good Will Flight From United States Greeted At Border. Large Crowd Attended Sunday Program at Crookston. (By Staff Correspondent) Winnipeg, Man., May 28. – Twelve visiting United States planes and three Canadian ships stirred 12,000 spectators to high pitch of enthusiasm at the opening program of Stevenson’s Aerodrome of the Winnipeg Flying club here this afternoon. The program was held in conjunction with the good will flight of visiting aircraft from the air derby at Crookston, Minnesota. Clear skies and light winds made the day ideal for flying. A stunt program, featuring “Speed” Holman of St. Paul and including “Thunder” Johnson and Lyle Throalso of St. Paul, Captain Shields of the Royal Canadian force and others, carried through in excellent schedule. 12 Planes Land. Twelve planes of the good will this afternoon, and following luncheon for visitors, took part in the grand taxi-past and take-off of all air craft. Fifteen machines cruised the air together as an eager audience burst into exclamation and applause. Official opening and address of welcome to visitors came at 3:30 p. m., Hon. John Bracken, premier of Manitoba speaking. Christening of a Moth plane of the Winnipeg Flying club as “The Manitoba” followed immediately, Mrs. John Bracken serving in official capacity. Aerial maneuvers by two U. S. army planes of the 109th Area squadron in charge of Major Roy Miller, drew comment from watching thousands. Comment changed to gasps and hurried pointing as “Speed” Holman came over the field in loops, spins and other dizzying acrobatics with his plane.

Wins Friends. Frances Clark, Minneapolis, won hosts of friends to her heart as, in the concluding feat of the afternoon she made a high parachute jump from the Tom Lane St. Paul plane. A thousand persons broke police lines and raced onto the field to surround and escort her and automobile to its hangar. Hers was the first parachute jump made at Winnipeg. With “Speed” Holman as speaker of the evening, a banquet was held in Hudson’s Bay store by the Aviation league. Talks were given also by Attorney General G. A. Youngquist, St. Paul, and S. W. P. A. Straith of the Winnipeg Flying club. Visiting American planes leave here Tuesday morning, on the return trip to Crookston and St. Paul. Included among guests are James C. Kelly, manager of the Crookston air derby, and O. E. Locken, mayor of Crookston, Minn.

For miles Portage avenue, broad highway leading to the airfield, was black with automobile parties, and the welcome by thousands at flying field was hearty and enthusiastic cheers lasting for several minutes as first the fliers landed. Leading the delegation of North Dakota planes, U. S. N., H. B. Rueschenberg of Grand Forks, carrying official greeting of the North Dakota city. “Speed” Holman and Tom Lane, winners of New York-Spokane air derby and holder of world’s loop-the-loop record, and Gene Shank, holder of the world’s light plane loop-the-loop record, were among those who landed in good will tour. With Shank in front cockpit was Dr. O. E. Locken, mayor of Crookston; James C. Kelly, promoter of Crookston air derby, the air race and good will tour, arrives in Waco plane belonging to Red River Airways of Crookston. Captain James H. Holley, Canadian ace, led the airmen up the Red river valley to the outlying field. Leading the tour with Holley was the picturesque St. Paul flyer, Thunder Johnson, winner of the St. Paul-Little Falls-Crookston air race. Met At Border. The United States airplanes were met at the border by Captain Shields flying a Royal Canadian airforce plane. He directed them from there to Winnipeg and on landing on Stevenson field. The Good Will flight from Crookston is in conjunction with the official opening of the Winnipeg Flying Clubs airdrome,

Page 2. which was dedicated yesterday as Stevenson Field in honor of Captain F. J. Stevenson, who was killed three months ago at The Pas, Manitoba. The Royal Canadian Air Force Co-operated with flying club. Two air force planes participated in the expedition. Also 50 air force men were on hand as mechanics to the visiting planes. The planes were tuned up for the afternoon’s program. Official fliers will be welcomed by Premier John Bracken in the afternoon. Some of the United States visitors are: James C. Kelly, manager of the Crookston Air Derby; Lieutenant Colonel R. A. Rosberg and Lieutenant Colonel J. E. Nelson of the Minnesota National Guard, and L. C. Smith, president of the Saskatoon Flying club. The airdrome was policed by Fort Garry Cadets. They kept spectators at a safe distance from planes to prevent accidents.

Premier Bracken will deliver the address at the opening and welcome the visitors at 3:35 o’clock. Following the address Mrs. Bracken will christen the Winnipeg Flying club’s airplanes. Opening the aircraft display, all machines will taxi past and take off. This will be followed by maneuvers in formation by the three Curtiss Falcon pursuit planes of the Minnesota National Guard. Solitary stunt flying will be supplied by “Speed” Holman. During this performance the sky will be clear. There will also be an exhibition by the Royal Canadian Air Force. With “Speed” Holman as the speaker of the evening, the banquet will be held in Hudson’s Bay store under the auspices of Aviation League of the Young Men’s section of Winnipeg Board of Trade. Boys of the Flying Club and Good Will visitors will be present as guests. (Grand Forks Herald, Tuesday, May 29, 1928, Volume XLVII, Number 176)

Mayor Sends Air Message To Winnipeg. Grand Forks Flier Carries Letter to Winnipeg Executive. Greetings of the City of Grand Forks to the City of Winnipeg on the occasion of the first international good will tour were carried from Crookston to Winnipeg Monday morning by H. B. Rueshenberg, Grand Forks aviator. A message of greeting from Mayor J. L. Hulteng was given Rueschenberg Sunday for delivery to the Winnipeg mayor. Rueschenberg was in the St. Paul-Little Falls-Crookston air race Saturday and, piloting a Travelair, came in seventh out of a list of ten entrants. He took part in the exhibitions of the Crookston derby Saturday afternoon and Sunday. Mayor Hulteng’s message of greeting in full is as follows: “To the Honorable Mayor of the City of Winnipeg: Greetings. The City of Grand Forks sends its best wishes to the City of Winnipeg with H. B. Rueschenberg, Grand Forks aviator, on this the first international good will tour from Minnesota and North Dakota to Manitoba and on the occasion of the opening of the new airport of the Winnipeg Flying club. In addition, Grand Forks extends an invitation to the City of Winnipeg and all Canadian fliers to make use of the Grand Forks airport and facilities at any time. Signed, Mayor J. L. Hulteng, Grand Forks, N. D. Dated this 28th day of May, 1928. (Grand Forks Herald, Tuesday, May 29, 1928, Volume XLVII, Number 176, Page 8).

Winnipeg Mayor Sends Back Greeting. Message Delivered to Hulteng By H. B. Rueshenberg Tuesday. Key to the City of Winnipeg and a silver souvenir crest were given Tuesday to H. B. Rueschenberg, Grand Forks pilot, by Mayor Dan McLean of Winnipeg on the occasion of Rueschenberg’s visit to the Canadian city on the first international good will air tour from the United States to Manitoba Monday and Tuesday. Rueschenberg was the only one of twelve visiting pilots so honored. In addition the Grand Forks man brought back here in his plane Tuesday message of response and greeting from Mayor McLean to Mayor J. L. Hulteng of this city. On his trip to Winnipeg Monday he carried greetings from Mayor Hulteng to Mayor McLean. The Message. The formal message brought back from Canada reads as follows: Winnipeg, Man. May 29th, 1928. His Honor Mayor J. L. Hulteng, Grand Forks, North Dakota U. S. A. Your Honor: It was a great delight and pleasure to me to receive greetings from the citizens of Grand Forks conveyed to me by Mr. H. B. Rueschenberg, Grand Forks aviator, participating in the first international good will tour to Manitoba on the occasion of the opening of the Winnipeg Flying Club air port in this city. We appreciate your feelings and sincerely trust that this will be one more link in the bond of friendship in existence between our two countries. Heartily appreciating your kind greetings, on behalf of the citizens of Winnipeg, I am, Yours very truly, Dan McLean, Mayor.

Planes Return. Winnipeg, Man., May 29. – (AP) – The eleven airplanes from Crookston, Minn., which arrived here yesterday to participate in the opening of Stevenson flying field, left for home today. The first machine, piloted by “Speed” Holman, world’s loop-the-loop champion took off this morning and was followed 35 minutes later by “Dusty” Rhodes. The remaining nine planes took the air one by one. The 20 automobiles from Crookston which journeyed here also for the opening of the field, left this afternoon for home. (Grand Forks Herald, Wednesday, May 30, 1928, Volume XLVII, Number 177, Page 1)

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