Place                  Pilot      Race No    Aircraft      Time
     1    Frank Fuller          23  P-35      7:54
     2    Earl Ortman           4  Marcoux      9:49
     3    Jacqueline Cochran          13  Beechcraft     10:29
     4    Frank Sinclair          63  P-35     11:02
     5    Milo Burcham          20  Lockheed      11:03 
     6    Eiler Sundorph          17  Sundorph     12:17
  DNF     Bob Perlick          64  Beechcraft        1
  DNF    Joe Mackey          57  Wedell        2

1. Landing gear collapsed on take-off no injuries.
2. Broken oil line, landed St. Lewis no injuries.


Sundorph Special                                                                 Marcoux-Bromberg Ortman

Lockheed Electra  Burcham                                                       Seversky P-35  Sinclair

Seversky  Fuller                                                                                       Beechcraft  Cochran 

Turner's Wedell-Williams   Mackey                                       Bob Perlick Beech "Red Streak"

Alex Papana's  3-engine Bellanca DNS

During the planning sessions for 1937 it was decided to send
Major Al Williams to Germany to again invite Ernst Udet        
  to the air races, but Udet was now a high ranking officer in the
  Luftwaffe and his superiors would not allow him to attend. The
 German Government did send a number of civilians to perform
aerobatics and demonstrations plus their new mail plane that   
flew half way across the Atlantic where it would land next to a
seaplane tender, refuel and fly on to New York. The seaplane
was anchored a little offshore on Lake Erie on the west side    
of Cleveland's lakefront and flew over the air races daily.         

German mail plane NORDMEER
(Bill Meixner collection)

Count Otto Von Hagenburg, of Germany winner of the 1937
International  aerobatic championship at Zurich Switzerland,
  was master of inverted flight. Flying daily only inches from the
 ground, caught his tail in the grass as he pulled up on his last
  pass of the day, the Bucker Jungmeister rolled up into a ball.
   Von Hagenburg was only slightly injured as the center section
   of the plane did not collapse  The next day he flew Romania's
Captain Alex Papana's Bucker doing the same routine.         
    While both Von Hagenburg and Papana were performing great
aerobatics, a third pilot, Commander Jose Cabral of the      
Portuguese Navy did his acrobatic routine in a seaplane.      


Hagenburg and Papana                                                 Bucher Jungmeister crash

Parachute jumping demonstrations were big crowd pleasers. Some of these jumpers
developed their own act and wore a "bat suit" jumping from about 10,000 feet and flying
as a "bat man" to 1,000 feet before opening their parachute.

"Batman" Tommy Boyd
(Bill Meixner collection)


Greve Trophy Race

Greve Trophy Race 10 laps on a 10 mile course Total Purse $15,00

   Place           Pilot   Race No         Aircraft     Speed
      1   Rudy Kling      301  Folkerts SK-3    232.272
      2  Steve Wittman      111  Chief Oshkosh    231.990
      3    Gus Gotch       70     Rider R-4    231.593
      4  Roger Don Rae       15    Folkerts SK-2    224.197
      5  Marion McKeen       33     Brown B-2    223.644
      6   Frank Haines       88  Haines Special    177.715

Rudy Kling Folkerts                                                        Steve Wittmann's Chief Oshkosh

Gus Gotch  Schoenfeld                                                        Roger Don Rae  Folkerts

Marion McKeen Miss Los Angeles                                  Frank Haines Mystery ship

Amelia Earhart Memorial Handicap Race

 Place          Pilot     Aircraft      Speed
     1   G O'Donnell      Ryan     129.653
     2   B Browning    Cessna     144.562
     3   E Gardner    Cessna     136.560
     4   A Gipson    Monocoupe     112.562
     5   D Munro    Rearwin       88.893


Thompson Trophy Race

Thompson_color_small.jpg (4318 bytes)

Unlimited,  free-for-all;  Thompson  Trophy  Race
200 miles,  20 laps over a 10-mile course Total prize $24,000

The 1937 Thompson Trophy Race was full of surprises to say the least.
Early on Steve Wittman flying his Curtiss D-12 powered racer took the
lead and kept Turner, Ortman and Kling at bay, by the end of the eighteenth
lap Wittman was a half of a lap ahead of all the rest and gaining. As the
nineteenth started he pulled up to 2000 feet and slowed down allowing
Roscoe Turner to gain the lead with Ortman and Rudy Kling some distance
behind. On the back side of the course Roscoe blinded by the sun and oil
spray on his windshield thought he had cut inside the pylon. According to 
the rules of the race he re-circled the pylon which allowed Ortman to gain
the lead followed by Kling. Earl Ortman was the only pilot in the Thompson
that was equipped with a radio and Benny Howard who was coaching him
from the ground advised him to slow down to save his engine. As the two
racers approached the finish pylon, Kling, who was higher than Ortman
added his last bit of power and dove toward the finish line leading
Earl Ortman by five feet and winning the race by two tenth's of a second.
Kling did not know he won the race, he believed passing Ortman would
give him second place, newsmen rushed up to him with the news he won.
To add to all the confusion,  most everyone except the timers thought it
was the 19th lap including the motion picture cameramen. As you can      
see from the above photo the camera crew were not filming at the time
Kling passed Ortman, only the still photo records the win. As for Turner,
he did not cut the pylon and he would have won the race had he nor circled
the pylon again. After Steve Wittman landed, Art Chester walked over and
asked what happened to cause him to pull up and slow down? Steve told
Art he didn't know except the engine lost power. Art related the same thing
happened to him and the magneto was at fault. A Bendix factory technician
on the field checked the magneto and found it to be faulty, costing Steve
the race. Another "what if" in racing!

A photo finish
(Bill Meixner collection)


Rudy and Mrs. Kling receive the Thompson Trophy from Fred Crawford

 Place        Pilot  Race No      Aircraft    Speed
     1  Rudy Kling      301   Folkerts   256.910
     2  Earl Ortman        4     Marcoux   256.858
     3  Roscoe Turner       29  Turner-Laird   253.802
     4  Frank Sinclair       63    Seversky   252.360
     5  Steve Wittman        6  Wittman D-12   250.108
     6  Ray Moore       23    Seversky   238.411
     7  Gus Gotch      70            Schoenfeld   217.810
     --  Marion McKeen       33   Brown B-2        1
     --  Joe Mackey       25 Wedell-Williams        2

1 Dropped out in the 13th lap
2 Dropped out in the 17th lap


Rudy Kling's Folkerts SK-3


Ortman's Marcoux-Bromberg                                             Turner-Laird Meteor

Sinclair's Seversky P-35                                                          Steve Wittman's  D-12

Ray Moore P-35                                                             Gus Gotch Firecracker

Photos are from the Hansen collection unless otherwise noted.




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Updated Wednesday, March 06, 2013