The Hunsaker Papers are rich in aeronautical information relating to the 1920s and 1930s. The material furnishes a generous account of his contributions in the aeronautics field as an engineer. Interested researchers should pursue materials pertaining to Hunsaker in such repositories as MIT's Institute Archives and Special Collections Department, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Corporation, the U.S. Navy History and Archives at the Washington Navy Yard, and the NASA History Office, Headquarters Building, Washington, DC. This archivist views the Hunsaker Papers, NASM.XXXX.0001, most relevant to research dealing with Hunsaker's professional career.
Scope and Contents:
These papers include material beginning with Hunsaker's work during his naval career. The largest quantity of material consists of correspondence, memos, and reports covering Hunsaker's tenure at Bell Telephone Laboratories and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company; his association with the Chrysler and Sperry Corporations; and his tenure as Chairman of NACA while teaching at MIT.
Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
The papers can be grouped into three categories. The first is documentation pertaining to his work while Chief of the Aircraft Division, Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department. In this capacity, Hunsaker was in a position to influence US Naval planning for all aspects of aviation during the post-World War I period. The second category of documentation concerns Hunsaker's entrance into the civilian work force. By this time, Hunsaker had begun to create an identity for himself as a determined leader. He was actively publishing and delivering papers on all facets of aeronautical engineering. When Hunsaker joined the staff of MIT as Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1933, the world aviation community recognized and began to call upon his expertise regarding all aspects of aviation. The final category of documentation reflects Hunsaker's involvement with many professional societies including the American Philosophical Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He served as member and chairman of many corporate boards including the Chrysler Corporation, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Corporation as well as the Guggenheim Medal Board.
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker (b. August 26, 1886; d. September 10, 1984) was an aeronautical engineer and designer. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1908 at the head of his class and received his Masters of Science (1912) and Doctor of Science (1916) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before being posted as Chief, Aircraft Division, Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department (1916-1921). He advanced to Chief of the Design Division (1921-1923) where he designed the airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1, commissioned in 1923). He served as Assistant Naval AttachŽ, Europe beginning in 1923 until resigning his commission in November of 1926. Between 1927 and 1928, he worked as Assistant Vice President and Research Engineer for Bell Telephone Laboratories. In this position, he helped standardize wire, radio and weather service for America's developing airways. He moved to Goodyear-Zeppelin Company as Vice President in 1928 where he supervised the design and construction of the airships USS Akron (ZRS-4) and USS Macon (ZRS-5). In 1933, he returned to MIT as Chairman of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering. Dr. Hunsaker served on numerous committees, including the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) between 1923 and 1956. He was NACA's Chairman from 1941 to 1956. Hunsaker also served NACA as a Main Committee member during 1922, 1923 and 1938 to 1958.
This collection consists of the personal papers and memorabilia of Arthur Raymond Brooks. It includes photographs, correspondence, documents, and certificates relating to Brooks' aviation career, as well as personal correspondence, photographs, and diaries (1907-87).
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the personal papers of Arthur Raymond Brooks. These papers relate to his military career with the U.S. Army Air Service (1917-22), his years in both civilian government service and the private sector (1923-60), as well as a lifetime's involvement in numerous military, academic, aeronautical, and professional associations and organizations. Additionally, there are examples of correspondence and autographed photographs from such aerospace notables as Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Billy Mitchell, Clayton Bissell, Reed Chambers, and Michael Collins.
The collection is arranged into two broad series. First, is the material relating to his professional life. This includes Brooks' official military documents (U.S. Army commission, discharge papers, etc.), correspondence, reports, photographs (mostly from his time spent as an Air Service officer in France and the U.S.), handbooks, manuals, brochures, programs, speeches, magazines, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and articles. The second series contains items pertaining mainly to his personal life. Included here are personal documents such as income tax receipts, last will and testament, correspondence, photographs (both largely from and of family and friends), diaries, biographical notes, transcripts from audio tape cassettes, logbooks, travel guides, and books. Miscellaneous materials retained by Brooks such as a commemorative medallion, prints, posters, publications, a stamp album, photograph albums, newspapers, and address books are also found in this series.
Brooks' papers are arranged both chronologically and alphabetically. Official military and personal documents, correspondence, reports, photographs, brochures, programs, newspaper clippings and articles, diaries and day timers, biographical notes, transcriptions, logbooks, travel guides, maps, atlases, timetables, and newspapers are organized by the former method. Handbooks, instructions, manuals, magazines, and newsletters are grouped alphabetically by title. The books are arranged alphabetically by author.
Series 1: Professional material
1.1 Official military documents
1.4 Handbooks, instructions, and manuals
1.10 Newspaper clippings and articles
Series 2: Personal materials
2.1 Personal documents
2.3 Diaries and day-timers
2.5 Biographical notes
2.8 Travel guides, maps, atlases, and train/airline timetables
2.10 Miscellaneous materials
2.11 Oversized materials
2.12 Posters, prints and maps
2.13 Newspapers and newspaper supplements
Arthur Raymond Brooks (1895-1991) was a fighter pilot for the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I and later, a civil aviation pioneer. Born in Framingham, Massachusetts on November 1, 1895, Brooks graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1917 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrochemical engineering. In July of that year, he enlisted in the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His flight training was provided by the Royal Flying Corps' School of Military Aeronautics in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was then sent for further flight training to Fort Worth, Texas where he flew with the 139th Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group. In March 1918, Brooks left for France and completed pursuit training at the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center, American Expeditionary Force (AEF), at Issoudun. The 139th was placed at the Vaucouleurs Aerodrome, Toul sector, where the squadron was equipped with SPAD VII aircraft. Brooks was eventually made its flight commander. By early August, he was assigned as flight commander of the 22nd Aero Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group. His new squadron was supplied with SPAD XIII pursuit craft. Altogether, he flew 120 missions in four different aircraft. He named each of the aircraft Smith in honor of his fiancée (Ruth Connery) who was attending Smith College in Massachusetts. The final plane he flew in combat, the Smith IV, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.
On July 29, 1918, Brooks achieved his first confirmed aerial victory by downing a German Fokker aircraft. Later, he destroyed two more Fokkers while flying over enemy lines on September 14. On that day, Brooks single-handedly engaged eight enemy aircraft in combat thus, earning him the Distinguished Service Cross. By the war's end, he had six confirmed kills to his credit.
Following the armistice of November 11, 1918, Brooks remained in France as the 22nd Squadron's commanding officer. His squadron was kept in reserve for possible German occupation duty. Upon his return to the United States in July 1919, Brooks was promoted to Captain. He decided to stay in the Air Service and was subsequently assigned as commanding officer for the 95th Pursuit Squadron, stationed at Kelly Field, Texas. From May 1920 to August 1921, he was put in charge of the 1st Pursuit Group at Ellington Field, Texas. Following that assignment, Brooks attended Air Service Field Officer's School, Langley Field, Virginia. After graduation, he stayed on duty at Langley Field until his resignation from the U.S. Army Air Service in December 1922. This action was spurred both by Brooks' frustration with being on the Army's stagnant promotion list and an interest in entering the private sector. During 1920-21, while in the service, he was involved in a failed Framingham-based commercial aviation business called the Brooks, Banks and Smith Corporation. Also in 1920, Brooks married Ruth. Their only child, Peter, was born in 1929.
Brooks' first job after his honorable discharge from the Air Service was as secretary for the National Automobile Association during 1923-24. During 1924-25, he worked in advertising sales for the financial magazine, United States Investor. Once again, his desire to be engaged in commercial aviation compelled him to become involved in establishing and organizing the Florida Airways Corporation from late 1925 into 1926. In time, Florida Airways became Eastern Airways. Brooks left this financially struggling enterprise and joined the Department of Commerce's Aeronautics Branch in August 1926. For the next seventeen months, he worked as an airway extension superintendent and associate airways engineer. His main task with the Aeronautics Branch was to survey air routes and supervise the installation of beacons to assist air mail pilots navigate the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to Pennsylvania. He left government service in early 1928 and was hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories. He spent the next few decades working as a scientist, engineer and chief pilot for the company at Hadley Field, New Jersey. There, Brooks and his staff conducted pioneering research on ground-to-air radiotelephone communications and electronic aviation navigation equipment. During much of this period, he piloted a Fairchild FC2-W Wasp and a Ford Tri-Motor that operated as flying laboratories for the team's communications research. He was Bell's publications manager for New Jersey operations at the time of his retirement in 1960.
Brooks stayed active in aviation for the remainder of his life. Even in his nineties, he enjoyed flying all sorts of aircraft, including ultralights, gliders and hot-air balloons. He belonged to many aviation-related and professional associations and organizations such as the American Legion, Military Order of the World Wars, Combat Pilots Association, Order of Daedalians, OX-5 Aviation Pioneers Association, Telephone Pioneers of America, Cross and Cockade, Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, Quiet Birdmen, WWI Overseas Flyers and the American Fighter Aces Association. Brooks also remained involved with the alumni affairs of his alma mater – MIT. He attended numerous air shows and reunions, including the sixty-fifth, and final reunion, held for the Lafayette Flying Corps in Paris, France in 1983. In 1980, he was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. Brooks lived long enough to see his Smith IV restored by the National Air and Space Museum during the 1980s. Brooks, the last surviving American World War I ace, died in Summit, New Jersey, on July 17, 1991.
Other materials: medals and memorabilia transferred to NASM Aeronautics Division.
A. Raymond Brooks, Gift, 1989, NASM.1989.0104
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