1932 National Air Race

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This website is dedicated to the memory of Dorothy W. Grove, Chet's daughter and my aunt, and Kennon G. Freese, her daughter and my dear cousin, both of whom went to be with the Lord in 2003.

By the time Chet arrived at the 1932 National Air Race in Cleveland, the event was getting under way. Below is a video taken from Chet's own home movies of the air race.

After the many still photos one sees of this event, a movie--even a jerky one like Chet took--gives a much greater appreciation for an event like this. We'd like to note three items:

  • One of the strangest craft flown in the 1930's was the autogyro, a cross between an airplane and a helicopter. It's hard to explain this in words, but seeing one move makes a lot more sense.
  • The white car is a Cord; the Cord Cup was one of the awards given, and Chet of course was Washington's Cord dealer.
  • Although this is a black-and-white film, one can make out the black-red-gold flag of Germany, which is what the Germans use currently. It was the flag of the Weimar Republic. When Adolf Hitler came to power the year after this air race, he reverted to the black-red-white colour scheme used by the Kaiser and added of course the swastika.

Some additional information about the 1932 National Air Race--which gives additional information about the people and planes you see in the video--can be found by clicking here.

Left: Mrs. C.H. Thompson, whose husband initiated the Thompson Trophy, sits in a car with her home in Painesville, OH, in the background. She also appears in the movie.