1934 National Air Races
By Bill Meixner
The 1934 National Air Races were back at Cleveland's Municipal Airport
condensing a ten day program into four days, which proved to be very
successful at the1933 NAR held in Los Angeles. The event celebrated the 25th
anniversary of the first Air Race, held in Reims France. The major race of that
seven day program was the Gordon Bennett Trophy Race, which was a race
against the clock as opposed to a pylon race. The winner against all odds, was
American, Glenn Curtiss whose name in aviation would become well known
Glenn Curtiss built racer
Record crowds some estimated about 100,000 on Labor day for the "big" race,
The Thompson Trophy Race. Doug Davis who won the Transcontinental
Bendix Race (LA to Cleveland) told race officials the Thompson Trophy course
was too short and needed to be lengthened to ten miles "before someone was
killed". Unfortunately this prediction would come true on lap number eight when Davis
crashed to his death while rounding a pylon for the second time after "cutting" the
pylon out of view of the grandstands placed on Gessner Rd. in Fairview Park Village.
Cliff Henderson, Managing Director
Phil Henderson, Business Manager
with a "Official Car"
The participation of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps was greatly
expanded. The Army sent the 1st Pursuit Group from Selfridge Field
and the "Three Musketeers" from Maxwell Field which included
Captain Claire Chennault who went on to lead the "Flying Tigers".
The Navy sent the "Sea Hawks" from San Diego and the Marine Corps
sent two complete Squadrons from Quantico.
Bendix Trophy Race
in the year Jimmy Wedell lost his life in a training accident in Louisiana.
Doug Davis was chosen to fly Jimmy's #44 in the Bendix , winning the race.
Worthen would have won the race flying the new Wedell-Williams that Jimmy
designed before his untimely death, however he flew past Cleveland and had to
return costing him the race. Lee Gehlbach flying the QED had to make several
stops to tighten the engine cowl and he landed in Cleveland after the 6 p.m. limit.
1934 Bendix Trophy Winner #44 Wedell-Williams
2nd place Bendix Trophy Winner #45 W-W Model R6H QED Did not finish in time
|1||Doug Davis||44||Wedell Williams||9:26|
|2||John Worthon||45||Wedell Williams||10:03|
|3||Lee Gehlbach||77||Granville QED||1.|
|--||Jackie Cochran||--||Northrop Gamma||2.|
|--||Wiley Post||--||Winnie Mae||3.|
|--||Roscoe Turner||--||Wedell Williams||4.|
1. Finished after 6:00 Engine cowl problems.
2. Encountered violent weather returned to Burbank.
3. Engine problems, down at Purdue University.
4. Did not start due to fuel leaks. Set cross country
record next day.
Greve Trophy Race
The 1934 Cleveland National Air Races added a new class of restricted
cubic inch displacement engines into the line up. The Greve Trophy Race,
sponsored by The Cleveland Pneumatic Tool Co. Manufacturers of aircraft
landing gear components, honored it's President Louis Greve. The race flown
in three heats decided by total number of points.
Lee Miles winner of the first Greve Trophy
|Place on Points||Pilot||Race No||Aircraft|
|First||Lee Miles||6||Miles & Atwood|
|Tied for second||Roger Don Rae||131||Keith-Rider R-1|
|Tied for second||Art Chester||15||Chester Special|
|Third||H. Neumann||39||Howard "Ike"|
|Forth||Roy Minor||33||Brown B-2|
Thompson Trophy Race
The seven starters of the Thompson included the new Brown-built "Miss Los
flown by Roy Minor and winner of the Greve Trophy Race. Art Chester who was
absent from last years National Air Races entered his new Chester Special known
as "Jeep". Doug Davis winner of the Bendix was flying the Wedell-Williams #44
was leading by a good margin, however on the eight lap David cut a pylon Southwest
and out of view of the grandstands, while he attempted to re-cirCle the pylon, the Wedell
went down killing Davis. Turner who trailed Davis went on to win his first Thompson
Roscoe Turner wins the Thompson Trophy
Roscoe's winning Hornet powered Wedell-Williams
Roy Minor's Brown B-2 "Miss Los Angeles" J.A. Worthen Flying Wedell-Williams #92
Harold Neumann & Howard's "Ike" Roger Don Rae and Keith Rider 131
Art Chester's "Chester Special" Lee Miles' "Miles & Atwood Special
|3||J A Worthen||92||Wedell-Williams||208.376|
|4||H. Neumann||39||Howard "Mike"||209.103|
|5||Roger Don Rae||131||Keith Rider R-1||205.358|
|6||Art Chester||15||Chester Special||191.597|
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|Updated Monday, February 18, 2013|