Curtiss Marine Trophy Winner 1929Waring Hills May 25, 2011
On 25 May 1929, Lieutenant William G. Tomlinson, United States Navy, took first place in the Curtiss Marine Trophy race held at Naval Air Station Anacostia. He flew the XF7C-1 with an average speed of 162.52 MPH. He completed the 100-mile race course before his nearest competitor had entered the final twenty miles.
Naval aviation pioneer Glenn H. Curtiss established the trophy in 1911 to encourage the development of seaplanes and flying boats. The race took place from 1911 to 1918 and then died of indifference after the world war. No contest took place from 1919 to 1921, but in 1922 the newly created Bureau of Naval Aeronautics and its chief, Rear Admiral William Moffett, helped to reestablish the Curtiss Marine Trophy Race. Races would be held until 1930 when the economic difficulties of the Great Depression ended air racing for the Navy. Moffett wrote in an article for Aviation magazine:
We learned more from this contest of value in construction of material and in the training of personnel for duty under conditions approximating those of war than we could have learned in a year of ordinary operations. It shows the need for concentration of our effort in the Navy on the complete and thorough development of its Air Arm…the importance of seaplane racing in the Navy can not be overestimated.