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AVIATION: History Mystery

Updated on December 11, 2011
Early aviation history, my guess is in the 1920's. The man in the flight suit is Ross Arnold.
Early aviation history, my guess is in the 1920's. The man in the flight suit is Ross Arnold.

FOUND PICTURES

I found these pictures in my friends Grandmothers things while going through her stuff after she passed in 1989. During my research of the photos I have learned alot about the early flight history of America. Some of the pictures I have identified as far as the places and airports and planes, they have proved to be easier than figuring out who the people are. I have a few ideas about some of the people but some still remain a mystery to me. I never much thought about the airports or how the aviation industry has helped create the major cities by determining their growth rate before I studied how the airports came about. I need help in determining who these people are in these next pictures.

I think the first man is Paul Braniff and the third man is his brother Tom
I think the first man is Paul Braniff and the third man is his brother Tom
The first woman is Bernie Arnold, sand I think the third woman is Ponch Barnes
The first woman is Bernie Arnold, sand I think the third woman is Ponch Barnes
Unknown passengers
Unknown passengers
unknown
unknown
The man on the left is Ross Arnold, the third is Sam H Coffman, and I think the last man on the right is Hugh Watson
The man on the left is Ross Arnold, the third is Sam H Coffman, and I think the last man on the right is Hugh Watson
Ross Arnold, maybe Hugh Watson and unknown
Ross Arnold, maybe Hugh Watson and unknown
Ross Arnold and unknown
Ross Arnold and unknown
I think this might be Charles Lindbergh at an early age of 18 - 20
I think this might be Charles Lindbergh at an early age of 18 - 20
unknown
unknown
I think this looks like Casey Jones
I think this looks like Casey Jones
unknown
unknown
unknown
unknown
First man knealing is Ross Arnold, and next to him is Sam Coffman
First man knealing is Ross Arnold, and next to him is Sam Coffman

Mrs. BERNIE ARNOLD

Bernie Arnold is my friends grandmother, these are her pictures. She knew Charles Lindbergh, Wiley Post, Will Rogers, Amon Carter and other famous people from her involvement with the aviation industry from 1918 until 1950.

Bernie Harlen (standing) and an unknown friend
Bernie Harlen (standing) and an unknown friend
Bernie Arnold in white
Bernie Arnold in white
Bernie Arnold was the first woman to fly solo out of and land at Meacham Air field
Bernie Arnold was the first woman to fly solo out of and land at Meacham Air field
This is her in the plane she flew
This is her in the plane she flew

Starting with the known family facts gives a good starting point for the story that unveiled the historical nature of the aviation history involved in these pictures.

My friends grandmother, Mrs. Bernie Arnold, was born in 1920 and grew up in Wichita Falls Texas.

Her first husband, Sam H Coffman, owned a garage in Bowie TX. He started the municiple airport there.

The Coffman Garage in Bowie TX
The Coffman Garage in Bowie TX
Sam H Coffman and unknown men
Sam H Coffman and unknown men
Sam H Coffman
Sam H Coffman

Sam H Coffman

Later he went on to design five airplanes at his own manufacturing plant in Oklahama City, "The Coffman Monoplane Factory". One of his first designs was the coupe monoplane which he tailored towards the ladies by providing a cover over the seats so their hair would not get so messed up. He had to sell the plant and supporting air field at the start of the depression in 1930. He sold it and all his rights to the Ranger Corporation.


The Coupe Monoplane
The Coupe Monoplane

FORT WORTHS MEACHAM AIR FIELD

Before he started his factory he worked at the Fort Worth Meacham air field as a pilot, a trainer and a mechanic.

This photo of the airport is a rare photo because it was not taken of the front of the airport as much of them were, but was taken from the air field. This picture was before the tower was built.

View from air field
View from air field
Before tower was added.
Before tower was added.

ROSS ARNOLD

Bernie Coffman divorced and later remarried her second husband, Ross Arnold. He was the flight instructor that gave her the pilots license.

Ross Arnold was a well known stunt pilot in Fort Worth and was a barnstormer who performed in a flying circus.

Ross Arnold (left) with unidentified man in flight gear. Unidentified location
Ross Arnold (left) with unidentified man in flight gear. Unidentified location
Ross Arnold (left) with Unknown man
Ross Arnold (left) with Unknown man
Ross Arnold in plane
Ross Arnold in plane
Ross Arnold (left)
Ross Arnold (left)
Ross Arnold (right) I think the man on the left is Hugh Watson.
Ross Arnold (right) I think the man on the left is Hugh Watson.
unknown pilot
unknown pilot
I think the man on the left is Paul R Branaff, and the man in the light colored suit is his brother, Tom Braniff. Please help in the identifacation.
I think the man on the left is Paul R Branaff, and the man in the light colored suit is his brother, Tom Braniff. Please help in the identifacation.
I think, I am not claiming, but I think this is a picture of Charles Lindbergh when he was around 18.
I think, I am not claiming, but I think this is a picture of Charles Lindbergh when he was around 18.
A closer view of the picture
A closer view of the picture

Unknown Photos

Can you help to identify the people in these pictures or the location and year. I have a few ideas about some of them, but nothing has been confirmed other that the family members.

Unknown at this time

Unknown at this time
Unknown at this time
This is one of the first passenger flights from  Fort Worth Meacham Airport. Unknown passengers
This is one of the first passenger flights from Fort Worth Meacham Airport. Unknown passengers
Unknown
Unknown
Unknown (cropped picture)
Unknown (cropped picture)
Unknown (cropped picture) I think I saw that guy in a war movie
Unknown (cropped picture) I think I saw that guy in a war movie
Unknown (cropped picture) I think he looks like that guy from Dragnat. There is a nice suit under those coveralls.
Unknown (cropped picture) I think he looks like that guy from Dragnat. There is a nice suit under those coveralls.
small pictures in roll
small pictures in roll

Please HELP

Please help to identify the names of the people, locations, events or other information about these pictures. Any information offered in descriptions of the pictures will be appreciated and I will update the picture descriptions as such.

Have any clues to these pictures or an idea of who these people are?

So far we are the only people who have looked at these pictures in 60 years or so and the pictures themselves start in 1918. I have a lot more pictures to upload for comment, but I wanted to see if there would be a response first. So, if you want to see more pictures, just ask.

Comments

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      Charlie Pyles 5 years ago

      Judy,

      I just found this web site after your e-mail today that sent me looking for more, so I'm in full search mode. I'll let you know.