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54
U.S. AIR SERVICES
August, 1931

National Air Tour Effectively Proves Aircraft Efficiency
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down a never-ceasing torrent. The keen interest displayd in the tour ships by the thousands of visitors throughout the south and southwest indicated that the value of the tour as a medium for the dissemination of actual flight stability information has not lessened. It is important to note, however, that William B. Mayo, at the dinner closing the tour, predicted that next year would see a different arrangement, in that separate classifications would be established to attract a more widely diversified list of entries.
Servicing of the ships' oil needs was again ably handled by Kendall, with Doc Kincaid on the job daily.
Over-seeing all of the field work at each point, as well as handling other details incidental to proper working of the variegated needs of the tour and personnel was Frank McKay, well known for his activities at National Air Races and other aeronautical events of outstanding importance.
In addition to the Edsel B. Ford Reliability Trophy and the Great Lakes Trophy, cash prizes were awarded as follows:

[table]
Pilot and Position . . . . . . . Award
Harry  Russel, No. 1 . .. . . . $2,500.00
James Smart, No. 2 . . . . . . . 2,000.00
Eddie  Schneider, No. 3 . . . . . 1,750.00
Lowell Bayles, No. 4 . . . . . . 1,500.00
Jack Story, No. 5 . . . . . . . . 1,250.00
W. Lancaster, No. 6 . . . . . . . 1,000.00
Lee  Gehlback, No. 7 . . . . . . . 750.00
E. Stinson, No. 8 . . . . . . . . . 550.00
Joe Meehan, No. 9 . . . . . . . . . 400.00
G. Dickson, No. 10 . . . . . . . . . 300.00

The tour came to an official close on  Monday, July  27, at which time the  contestants and others  took off from Ford  Airport for their home stations.

High and Low Spots of the Tour

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tions taxed to the limit-- Our hop to Binghamton in Smart's big Ford-- Bill Stout's dialect stories and his piano  playing at the banquet that evening-- The  finding of an oasis near our hotel and breaking the news to Haldeman-- Who declared that we had repaid him in full for the ride--And then making the next hop  into Bradford with him-- And learning there that Flo had  been forced down and would withdraw from the tour--The welcome given us by our hosts, the Bradford District Pennsylvania Oil Producers' Association--Dock Kincaid's happiness at being in his own town-- Where he is recognized as one of its leading  lights-- Herb Shearer's energy in making everybody comfortable--The hospitality of the Bradford Club and the Kendall outfit--The gift of a helmet from Kendall--Remaining over  two days there with Jimmie Doolittle while the tail of his Lockheed was being renovated-- Getting a flash that Charlie Sugg had cracked up in taking off from Wheeling in his Buhl Bull Pup and that Harvey Mummert had been forced down before reaching  Wheeling--Flying into Columbus chasing the tour with Jimmie--Remaining there other night and meeting the gang at  Huntington, W. Va.--Transferring back to Smart's plane--That search for Middlesboro, Ky.--Finding it and arriving in glory at Knoxville, Tenn.-- After cruising around some of the wickedest flying country in the world--

THE arrival of Harry Russell in the other Ford--His announcement that he had not found Middlesboro--The birth of the 'Allah Allah' greeting--Harry's return to the hills to find the town and meet the requirements--The news that our old side-kick Eddie Schneider had been forced down in those same hills--The welcome news from Eddie Stinson that he had witnessed the landing and that Eddie and his mechanic Ollie Walker were O.K.--The appearance of planes from all directions--The hearty welcome given us by Knoxville--The banquet and hangar dance--Where we learned the technique of "cutting in" on dancers--Announcement that Harvey Mummert had again been forced down and would withdraw--Reports from Wheeling that Sugg's condition was unchanged-- Leaving Knoxville, now in the Sun God piloted by Jack Story with  Walter Carr as navigator--And sticking with them--Becoming official timekeeper and whatnot of the Sun God--Watching the close cooperation of pilot and navigator and the expert handling of the ship under some trying circumstances--Landing at Murfreesboro, Tenn.--Its beautiful administration building--Next stop Memphis, where thousands were awaiting us at the airport--Lon Yancey's piloting of the 'windmill'--The excitement of the crowds throughout the tour at its appearance--Receiving news that Eddie would rejoin the tour--The pilot's room at the Hotel Gayoso--The flying of Lieut. Lee Gehlback and Capt. William Lancaster in the remaining Bird entries--Lee, former member of the famous First Pursuit Group, won last year's All-American Fying Derby--The complete enjoyment of Ralph Cram, 62-year-old member of the tour, who has not missed one since their inception--The news that he himself had mad his first solo flight a week before we left Detroit--Jack Story's persistence in adding five years to Ralph's age when introducing him--

OUR next stop at Birmingham--Our immediate visit to Bud Peagler's lunchroom--Meeting  Florian Slappey and all his cohorts of the famous Octavus Roy Cohen series--Our trip down Beale Street--Origin of the 'Blues'--Walking along the banks of "Ole Man River"--Jack Neville's tireless activity throughout the tour as its publicity director--And the excellent detail work of Findley Carter, Ray COllin's assistant--The keen interest shown everywhere in the two Gee Bee's--And the return of "G. B." Grandville himself, after a stop-over in Wheeling, due to interior trouble--(His own, not his ship)--The smart work of Lowell Bayles in the Warner-Gee Bee--His exhibition work at our stops--Walter E. Lees, chief timer, and the interest shown in his Diesel engine--He is chief test pilot for Packard-Diesel and recently established a new non-refueling endurance record in Florida--Ray Brown's joviality and efficiency in waving the flags as assistant to "Pop" Cleveland, chief starter--Pop's ever-present ten-gallon Stetson--His thereby acquired title of the flying cowboy--Our hop into Montgomery--Amazement at the beauty and appointments of the airport administration buildings throughout the south--The presence of three 'chaperones' on the tour--Mrs. Doolittle, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Granville--Chaperoning their own hubbies, and not the boys--Receiving the sad news that Charlie Sugg had passed on--Visiting the state capitol with "fin" Carter but finding the Governor not at home--Which was just as well--For the Governor--The amazing home of J. Swann--Where we walked down three flights from the cellar and found ourselves out on a terraced lawn--HEL-lo--Our adoption of HEL-lo as the official welcome and battle cry of the tour--The return of Eddie Schneider--Learning that about a foot of his prop had dropped off in flight, forcing him down--The admiration of the gang for his ability in getting out of the small field he had dropped in--Eddie Stingson demonstrating his Junior at every opportunity--Jimmie Doolittle as a toastmaster--Walter Henderson making a forced landing out of fuel in other Buhl Bull Pup and acquiring a bump of knowledge  on his forehead--Teaching him to keep his safety belt fastened--Withdrawal of his Pup from  the tour--Making the fourth plane out--

RAY Collins's preoccupied air as he wondered what else could happen--And having it  happen at New Orleans, where eight planes shot through to Shreveport, and the 
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