Myrtle Goforth, & Bill Goforth, Covelo, CA,
Contributed by Marc Ruegamer, 6-19-10

Contributed by Marc Ruegamer, 6-19-10
I am sending you a photo in the hopes you may be able to help, or can pass it on to someone who can.

The photo is a picture of my grandmother and her brother beside an aircraft I have identified as a Laird Super Swallow. The name can just be read on the tail with a magnifying glass. My grandmother was born in 1910 and is about 15 in this photo, so my estimate is the photo was taken around 1925.

The location of the photo was in Covelo CA, Mendocino County, in northern California. The only information my family has is that my grandmother and her brother took a ride with an aviator that visited the community unbeknown to her parents that were shocked at the time. In doing some basic research on the plane and finding out how few were built, it is a mystery to us as to why and by whom it was flown and why it was in such a remote part of the country without an airfield.

If any information exists as to who was flying Laird Swallows at this time, and where they were going, it would be interesting to know.

Reply to Marc Reugamer from Walt House, 6-28-10
Marc Reugamer,

Thanks for checking with the Kansas Aviation Museum on your photo. It is a Laird Swallow. Are you sure that it says "Laird Super Swallow" on the tail! I never saw "Super" used on the Laird. In 1926, the Swallow Mfg. Co. did produce about 50 "Super Swallow". but they looked a lot different than the 1920 - 1923 Laird Swallow. The Department of Commerece did not start to issue registration numbers until 1927, so only about ten of the Laird Swallows built lived long enough to receive numbers. The only one that I have found listed in California was Serial No. 126, the 26th of the 43 produced. It was registered to William Shonts in Long Beach. The tail skid location on the one in your photo tells me that it was Serial No. 111 (number 11 built) or later. Mos likely built in 1922 or 1923. Hope this helps.


Walt House,

Historian, Kansas Aviation Museum

Ukiah Republican Press
Contributed by Marc Ruegamer, 6-30-10
     Thanks for all the great info. It seems like all the guesses on the date are around the same time. I had a volunteer researcher in Ukiah find a news clipping about 2 planes coming in on the 4th of July that were giving rides. It was dated July 8, 1925.
     The possible owner, William Shonts, lived from 1896-1981 and died in Michigan. His age would've been about right for a WW 1 pilot or barnstormer.

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