Howard’s Hughes’ epic World War One film, "Hell’s Angels" needed some clouds, so the Caddo Film Company headed to Oakland from Southern California. In November 1928, the Modesto News Herald reported that their home based twin pilots, John and Tom Penfield, were part of 34 planes battling each other over the Oakland airport.

Specifically, they reported the sides pilots were fighting for:

Enemy Pilots

  • Tom Penfield
  • Captain Roscoe Turner
  • Captain Nelson D. Jenkins
  • Milo Campbell
  • D. C. Warren

photo courtesy San Diego Air and Space Museum

Allied Pilots

  • John Penfield
  • Ernie Smith
  • Captain George Ream
  • Al Wilson
  • Roy Wilson
  • Roy Patterson
  • Garland Lincoln
  • G. H. Willingham
  • J. G. Walsh
  • Ed Greer
  • H. J. Kelsey
  • George Parker

Many of these pilots, and pilots credited in the official movie program, signed the Oakland Register between July to December 1928. In July 1928 it was anticipated that the pilots would be in Oakland for a few weeks; however several months later, the director still sought clouds that flicked across a blue sky with the sun shining.   

Photo by Clyde Sunderland

photo by Clyde Sunderland