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A. Francis Arcier Collection

Creator:
Arcier, A. Francis, 1890-1969  Search this
Names:
Air Force Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Fokker Aircraft Corp  Search this
GAC (General Airplanes Corp)  Search this
Waco Aircraft Company  Search this
Wittemann Aircraft Corp  Search this
Arcier, A. Francis, 1890-1969  Search this
Extent:
2.97 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Correspondence
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Financial records
Publications
Date:
Circa 1890-1981
Summary:
Alex Francis Arcier, (1890-1969) was an aviator, scientist, designer and engineer whose pioneering work in aviation design spanned six decades and earned him many honors.
Scope and Contents:
The A. Francis Arcier Collection contains approximately 3 cubic feet of material relating to his extraordinary career in aviation. This collection has biographical and professional documents, technical information on aircraft designs, patents, correspondence, newspaper clippings, publications, certificates, photographs, negatives and three scrapbooks.
Arrangement:
Every effort was made to provide dates when possible and each series is arranged in chronological order.

The collection is arranged as follows:

Series 1: Biographical and professional material

Series 2: Technical material

Series 3: Publications

Series 4: Photographs

Series 5: Scrapbooks
Biographical/Historical note:
Alex Francis Arcier, (1890-1969) was an aviator, scientist, designer and engineer whose pioneering work in aviation design spanned six decades and earned him many honors. Born in London, he studied aeronautics in Passey, France under Sir Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower. He served as draftsman for such notable aircraft designers as Gabriel Voisin, Henri Coanda, Frank Barnivell and Gordon England. At the age of 21, he learned to fly and received his international aviator's certificate. He served as a flight instructor at the Hall School of Flying in Hendon, England and during World War I, with Handley Page, Ltd. He designed the first twin engine and the first four engine bombers used by the United States and its Allies. Arcier emigrated to the United States in 1919 and was employed as Chief Engineer at the Witteman Aircraft Corporation, makers of the Barling Bomber designed by Arcier. It was the largest heavier-than-air aircraft of its time. During his years with Witteman, Arcier won the Army Air Service Engineering Divisions' design competition for a bomber aircraft design. That same year, Arcier became Chief Engineer for the Fokker Aircraft Corporation, where among other notable accomplishments, he designed the Fokker Trimotor Transport which was used by Amelia Earhart and by Richard Byrd in his flight over the North Pole and also across the North Atlantic. After Arcier attained his United States citizenship in 1929, he became Vice President of Operations and Director of the General Airplanes Corporation in Buffalo, New York. In 1930 under his leadership, the "Mailplane", one of the first all-metal airplanes, was built. Later in 1930, Arcier became Chief Engineer of the Weaver Aircraft Company, WACO. He worked for WACO for 17 years in various capacities. Arcier and the Waco Aircraft Company made many contributions to the National Defense Program during World War II such as the Model UPF-7. The Waco Company was entrusted with the entire combat and cargo glider Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces. This was initiated in an Army Design Competition which the Company won and resulted in a program involving the design, prototype construction and, in some cases, production construction of some twelve models ranging from Model CG-3A to the CG-15A. These gliders were built by the thousands under Arcier's technical direction by sixteen prime contractors and many hundreds of sub-contractors throughout the nation. In 1948, Arcier became Chief Scientist for U.S. Air Force Intelligence at Wright- Patterson AFB until he retired in 1963. After his retirement, he served as consultant to the Commander, Foreign Technology Division and Special Advisor to the Division's Advisory Group on scientific and technical intelligence matters. Among his honors were the USAF Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1953), and the USAF Distinguished Civilian Service Award (1961.) A. Francis Arcier died on November 21, 1969.
Provenance:
Elizabeth Arcier, gift, 1972, additional material received from Francis Arnoult, 2019, NASM.XXXX.0072.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautical engineers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Correspondence
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Financial records
Publications
Citation:
A. Francis Arcier Collection, NASM.XXXX.0072, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0072
See more items in:
A. Francis Arcier Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0072
Additional Online Media:

Arthur Raymond Brooks Collection

Creator:
Brooks, Arthur Raymond, 1895-1991  Search this
Names:
Bell Telephone Laboratories  Search this
Florida Airways Corp  Search this
United States. Army. Air Service. 22nd Pursuit Group  Search this
United States. Department of Commerce. Aeronautics Branch  Search this
Brooks, Arthur Raymond, 1895-1991  Search this
Extent:
13.72 Cubic feet (31 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Financial records
Diaries
Drawings
Publications
Photographs
Videotapes
Date:
1910-1988
Summary:
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.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Professional material

1.1 Official military documents

1.2 Correspondence

1.3 Reports

1.4 Handbooks, instructions, and manuals

1.5 Photographs

1.6 Brochures

1.7 Programs

1.8 Magazines

1.9 Newsletters

1.10 Newspaper clippings and articles

Series 2: Personal materials

2.1 Personal documents

2.2 Correspondence

2.3 Diaries and day-timers

2.4 Photographs

2.5 Biographical notes

2.6 Transcripts

2.7 Logbooks

2.8 Travel guides, maps, atlases, and train/airline timetables

2.9 Books

2.10 Miscellaneous materials

2.11 Oversized materials

2.12 Posters, prints and maps

2.13 Newspapers and newspaper supplements
Biographical/Historical note:
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.
General note:
Other materials: medals and memorabilia transferred to NASM Aeronautics Division.
Provenance:
A. Raymond Brooks, Gift, 1989, NASM.1989.0104
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Fighter pilots  Search this
Works of art  Search this
SPAD XIII (S.13) "Smith IV"  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Financial records
Diaries
Drawings
Publications
Photographs
Videotapes
Citation:
Arthur Raymond Brooks Collection, NASM.1989.0104, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1989.0104
See more items in:
Arthur Raymond Brooks Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1989-0104
Additional Online Media:

Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Collection

Creator:
Davis, Benjamin O., Jr., 1912-  Search this
Names:
Air University (U.S.). Air War College  Search this
United States Military Academy  Search this
United States. Army Air Forces. 332nd Fighter Group  Search this
United States. Army Air Forces. 477th Bombardment Group  Search this
United States. Army Air Forces. 99th Fighter Squadron  Search this
Davis, Benjamin O., Jr., 1912-  Search this
Nixon, Richard M.  Search this
Extent:
75.03 Cubic feet (168 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Publications
Correspondence
Programs
Place:
Tuskegee Army Air Field (Ala.)
Date:
1928-1990
Summary:
This collection consists of 72 linear feet of the papers of Benjamin O. Davis. Included are the following types of material: programs, invitations, certificates, correspondence, published material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of material gathered by General and Mrs. Davis over the course of their lives to 1993. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence, newsclippings, and photographs relating to or received by the Davises, especially after General Davis retired from the Air Force. The collection is particularly rich in materials from the black press of the 1940s, documenting the response of the black community to the activities of the 99th Fighter Squadron and 332d Fighter Group during and after World War II, and contains a small amount of material related to the controversy surrounding the units' combat performance and the morale issues raised by the segregated society of the 1940s. Most of the remainder of the material from Davis' military career centers on his own activities. Davis' tenure as the Director of Public Safety in Cleveland coincides with the activities of the Black Panther movement and the term of Mayor Carl Stokes, Cleveland's first mayor of African descent; the newclippings and correspondence from this period highlight police activities and public reaction in this racially-polarized atmosphere. Much of the material from Davis' early tenure at the Department of Transportation deals with civil aviation security, initially to counter the hijacking wave of the early 1970s and later to reduce cargo theft. The material from his later years, particularly during his years as a consultant, deals primarily with attempts to reduce gasoline consumption, especially his work promoting the 55mph National Maximum Speed Limit. The largest blocks of material from Davis' private life relate to his tenure on the President's Commission on Campus Unrest (1970) and the President's Commission on Military Compensation (1977-1978); these contain, respectively, materials on student protests, including the shootings at Kent State, and on issues surrounding military pay and retirement. There is also a significant body of material relating to his association with Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. and his speaking tours to increase public knowledge of the role of black servicemen during World War II.

Materials of a personal nature, particularly correspondence between General and Mrs. Davis, were retained by the Davises and therefore do not figure in this collection. Most official documents relating to Davis' activities in the military or civil service are held by the United States National Archives and Records Administration in Record Groups 18 (Records of the Army Air Forces), 341 (Records of Headquarters United States Air Force (Air Staff)), 342 (Records of United States Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations), and 398 (General Records of the Department of Transportation). Official materials remaining in the collection are primarily contemporary copies given to Mrs. Davis relating to General Davis' travel or public appearances.

Some of the early material (through approximately 1948) was organized by Mrs. Davis into a series of scrapbooks, each of which contains photographs, correspondence, and newsclippings. The rest of the items in the collection were organized into envelopes by the Davises before donation, with the material generally arranged by posting (duty station) and chronology. The items in any given envelope were generally not organized and neither were the envelopes themselves grouped in any particular manner. Additionally, some military records gathered by General Davis as reference material while writing his autobiography were identified by the period of his posting, although the material itself was generally created after that period. Items relating primarily to Mrs. Davis were not separated by the Davises in any manner; during processing such material was treated in a like manner, remaining interfiled with material relating primarily to General Davis, except as noted below.

The collection as a whole has been organized into four chronological groups: Civilian and Family Life (predating Davis' admission to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY), Military Service, Private Life (post-dating Davis' retirement from the USAF), and Autobiography. The second of these (Military Service) has been organized chronologically by posting, then alphabetically by subject; the remaining groups have been organized alphabetically by broad subject areas, then chronologically.

A number of broad subject areas recur in both the civilian and military sections of this collection. In cases where such broad areas can be applied individually to Davis, Mrs. Davis, or Davis Sr., they have been grouped in that order. The subject areas are as follows:

Awards and Honors -- materials relating to medals, citations, or other awards or honors given to Davis (or other members of his family)

Newclippings -- clippings from newspapers or magazines, or complete newspapers or magazines, except when such clippings were enclosures which had remained with their associated cover letter

Official Duties -- materials relating to Davis' activities connected to his official duties (used in Series II only)

Social -- materials relating to the Davises' activities which are not obviously connected to his official duties

Travel -- materials relating to trips by the Davises which do not appear to be duty-related trips

Other subject areas are generally self-explanatory.

The collection contained two videotapes, one relating to the 50th Anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen and the other to the 1992 Clinton Campaign, both of which have been transferred to the NASM Film Archives. Cross references to these tapes have been placed in the finding aid in the series or subseries into which they would have fallen had they been documents. A large number of three-dimensional items, particularly plaques, have been transferred to curatorial control. For access to these items, please contact the NASM Aeronautics Department. Oversized items remaining in the collection have been placed in appropriate-sized containers at the end of the document collection; reference to such items occurs in the file lists as "see oversized..." or "see also oversized..." as appropriate.

Researchers should also consult Davis' autobiography, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1991).
Arrangement:
Series 1: Education and Civilian Life, to June 1932

Series 2: Military Career, June 1932 to January 1970

Series 3: Civilian Life, February 1970 to 1993

Series 4: Autobiography
Biographical / Historical:
Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr. was born in Washington, DC on December 18, 1912, the second of three children born to Benjamin Oliver (Sr.) and Elnora Dickerson Davis. At that time Davis Sr.(1) was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, having worked his way up from an enlisted cavalry trooper. Elnora Davis died from complications after giving birth to their third child (Elnora) in 1916 and three years later Davis Sr. married Sadie Overton, an English professor at Wilberforce University. Davis and his sisters lived with relatives in Washington while Davis Sr. completed his tour of duty in the Philippines with his new bride. The family was reunited in Tuskegee, AL when Davis Sr. taught military science and tactics at the Tuskegee Institute between 1920 and 1924. In 1924 Davis Sr. was assigned as an instructor to a federalized Ohio National Guard unit and the family moved to Cleveland, OH.

Davis finished his schooling in Cleveland, graduating from Central High School in 1929. He then attended Western Reserve University (1929-1930) and the University of Chicago (1930-1932) before gaining admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He graduated in the Class of 1936 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry.(2) Upon graduation, he married Ms. Agatha Scott, whom he had met and dated while at the Academy.

After serving in the infantry for several years Davis was posted to the newly-established Tuskegee Army Air Field, AL for pilot training in 1942. He graduated in the first class from the new flying school and was officially transferred to the Army Air Corps. In August 1942 he assumed command of the 99th Fighter Squadron, leading it in combat in North Africa and Sicily. The 99th Fighter Squadron was the first unit of "Tuskegee Airmen," as black(3) units in the segregated Army Air Forces (AAF) have come to be called. Two units of Tuskegee Airmen saw combat during World War II: the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332d Fighter Group (composed of the 100th, 301st, and 302d Fighter Squadrons). Davis, promoted to Colonel in 1944, commanded both of these units in turn, leading the 99th and 332d in combat in Europe and earning the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, and Silver Star for his own actions and a Distinguished Unit Citation for the 332d Fighter Group.

Davis returned to the United States in June 1945 to assume command of the 477th Bombardment Group (composed of the 616th, 617th, 618th, and 619th Bombardment Squadrons; later redesignated the 477th Composite Group), another segregated black unit, at Godman Field, KY. Davis was expected to prepare the unit for deployment to the Pacific Theater, although the unit's training was badly behind schedule due to racial tensions between the white staff and black operating personnel of the unit. Davis quickly brought the unit up to deployment requirements, but the war ended before the 477th left the United States. Returning elements of the 332d and 99th were merged into the 477th, which was redesignated the 332d Fighter Wing in 1947. As the only remaining black unit in the newly-established, but still segregated, United States Air Force (USAF), the 332d suffered from a surplus of qualified personnel while remaining USAF units were often under manned. The performance of the units under Davis' command had laid to rest questions regarding the abilities of the "negro race" and in 1948 the Air Force determined that the efficient use of its manpower required the integration of its units. As a result the Air Force rapidly complied with President Truman's order for the integration of the United States military. Davis acted as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force in relation to the integration of the armed forces. The integration procedure, however, resulted in the deactivation of Davis' command as its personnel were dispersed among the rest of the Air Force; Davis himself was assigned to attend classes at the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, AL.

After completing the course of study at the Air War College (1949-1950), Davis was posted to a variety of command and staff positions both within the United States and abroad. He served in a number of staff positions in Headquarters, USAF, at the Pentagon.(4) He held both command and staff positions abroad in Korea (5), Japan (6), Taiwan (7), Germany (8), and the Philippines.(9) His final assignment was as Deputy Commander in Chief of United States Strike Command at MacDill AFB, FL.

Davis was promoted to Brigadier General in October 1954 (10), after ten years as a Colonel. He was promoted to Major General in June 1959 and to Lieutenant General in April 1965. Despite persistent rumors of his impending promotion to full General (four stars), no such promotion was pending by the time of his retirement on January 31, 1970.

Throughout his military career Davis took great pains to insure good living conditions and fair treatment for the men under his command. He strove to create good relations between the US military forces and local military and civil authorities. In particular, he negotiated several Status of Forces Agreements and defused several antagonistic situations between US forces and local authorities while commanding units in Asia. In addition, he and Agatha established many personal relationships, which they maintained after their return to the United States.

After his retirement from the military, he served briefly as the Director of Public Safety for the City of Cleveland, OH (February-July 1970), leading the Cleveland Police and Fire Departments in the racially-polarized atmosphere in that city after the riots of the late 1960s. Following his resignation from Cleveland, he took a position as the Director of Civil Aviation Security for the United States Department of Transportation (November 1970-June 1971), where he was responsible for implementing measures to counter the first wave of aerial hijackings of the 1970s. In July 1971 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs (July 1971-September 1975), serving both the Nixon and Ford Administrations in that position.

Following his retirement from the civil service, he worked as a consultant to the Department of Transportation in the Ford and Carter Administrations on a number of issues, but was particularly linked to the promotion of the 55mph National Maximum Speed Limit. He served on a number of boards and commissions, including the President's Commission on Campus Unrest, the American Battle Monuments Commission, The President's Commission on Military Compensation, and the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Life Insurance Co. He was also active in a number of clubs and organizations, particularly the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., which awarded him a lifetime membership in 1991.

In the late 1980s he began work on his autobiography, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1991). Following its publication, Davis pursued an active speaking career, crossing the country to talk to schools, clubs, and general audiences about his experiences. His book and

es, his contributions to the Black Wings exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum (opened 1983), and the work of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. did much to lift the veil that had fallen over the activities of black Americans during World War II, both in the air and on the ground. For his contributions, both during and after World War II, he received many awards, including the Order of the Sword (presented by the Non-Commissioned Officers of USAF Tactical Air Command, awarded 1978), designation as an Elder Statesman of Aviation (National Aeronautic Association, awarded 1991), and the Langley Medal (Smithsonian Institution, awarded 1992), as well as numerous lifetime and distinguished achievement awards.

On December 9, 1998, Davis was promoted to General on the Retired List, receiving his fourth star from President William Clinton in a ceremony held in the Presidential Hall of the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. The promotion came only after the Tuskegee Airmen approached Senator John McCain of Airzona, who agreed that the promotion was warranted by Davis' service. McCain added the necessary language to a defense-related bill, which was passed by Congress in September 1998.

Agatha died early in 2002 and General Davis, suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, followed shortly after, passing away on July 4, 2002 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Endnotes 1. For the sake of brevity, "Davis" refers to Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. "Davis Sr." refers to his father, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

2. Davis had requested a commission in the Army Air Corps, but was refused due to his race. Davis was the fourth black American to graduate from West Point and the first in the twentieth century. In keeping with his sentiments, his ethnicity will only be mentioned when it has a direct bearing upon his career. See Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991).

3. At the request of General and Mrs. Davis the term "black" or "black American" is used in preference to "African-American". Patricia Williams, Memorandum for the Record, August 21, 1992, NASM Accession File 1992 0023.

4. Staff Planning Officer, Operations and Planning Division/Commands Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCS/O; July 1950-January 1951); Chief, Air Defense Branch/Fighter Branch, DCS/O (January 1951-July 1953); Director of Manpower and Organizations, DCS/Programs and Requirements (August 1961-February 1965); Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Requirements (February-May 1965).

5. Commander, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (November 1953-July 1954); Chief of Staff, United Nations Command/US Forces Korea (May 1965-August 1967)

6. Director of Operations and Training, Headquarters, Far East Air Force, Tokyo (July 1954-April 1957)

7. Commanding Officer, Air Task Force 13 (Provisional) and Vice Commander, Thirteenth Air Force (June 1955-April 1957)

8. Chief of Staff, Twelfth Air Force (May-December 1957); Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, USAF Europe (December 1957-July 1961)

9. Commander, Thirteenth Air Force (August 1967-July 1968)

10. Davis was the first black American to achieve flag rank in the United States Air Force. He was the second in the armed forces, the first being his father, who was promoted to Brigadier General in the United States Army in 1940.

1912 December 18 -- Davis born in Washington, DC to First Lieutenant Benjamin O. Davis (Sr.) and Elnora Dickerson Davis

1914 September 1 -- World War I begins

1915 February -- Davis Sr. begins duties as instructor at Wilberforce University, OH

1916 February 9 -- Elnora Dickerson Davis dies

1917 April 6 -- United States declares war on Germany; direct U.S. involvement in World War I begins

1917 (Summer) -- Davis Sr. assigned to 9th Cavalry Regiment, Camp Stotsenburg, Philippine Islands

1918 November 11 -- World War I armistice signed; end of combat operations in Europe

1919 -- Davis Sr. marries Sadie Overton

1920 July -- Family moves to Tuskegee, AL (Davis Sr. instructs at Tuskegee Institute)

1924 July -- Family moves to Cleveland, OH (Davis Sr. instructs 372d Infantry Regiment, OH National Guard)

1929 -- Davis graduates from Central High School, Cleveland, OH

1929 --1930 -- Davis attends Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

1930 --1932 -- Davis attends University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1931 March -- Davis appointed to United States Military Academy, West Point, NY (fails entrance exam)

1932 March -- Davis passes USMA entrance exam

1932 July 1 -- Davis reports to USMA, West Point, NY (attends July 1, 1932-June 12, 1936)

1936 June 12 -- Davis graduates from USMA, commissioned Second Lieutenant of Infantry

1936 June 20 -- Davis marries Agatha Josephine Scott

1936 September 12 -- Davis reports to Company F, 24th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, GA (Company Officer, September 12, 1936-August 27, 1937)

1937 July 7 -- Japanese forces invades China; World War II begins in Asia

1937 August 27 -- Davis reports to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA (attends normal course, August 27, 1937-June 18, 1938)

1938 June 18 -- Davis reports to Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, AL as Professor of Military Science (instructs June 18, 1938-February 14, 1941)

1939 June 12 -- Davis promoted to First Lieutenant

1939 September 1 -- German forces invade Poland; World War II begins in Europe

1940 October 9 -- Davis promoted to Captain (temporary promotion)

1940 October 25 -- Davis Sr. promoted to Brigadier General and placed in command of the 4th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Riley, KS

1941 February -- Davis assigned as Aide de Camp to Davis Sr. (serves February-May 1941)

1941 May 20 -- Davis reports to Flying School at Tuskegee Army Air Field, AL (student, May 20, 1941-March 7, 1942)

1941 December 7 -- Japanese aircraft attack Pearl Harbor, HI; direct U.S. involvement in World War II begins

1942 March 7 -- Davis is appointed Administrative Officer, Tuskegee AAF, AL (serves March 7-August 27, 1942)

1942 May -- Davis transferred from Infantry to Army Air Corps

1942 May 11 -- Davis promoted to Major (temporary promotion)

1942 May 21 -- Davis promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (temporary promotion)

1942 August 27 -- Davis assumes command of 99th Fighter Squadron, Tuskegee AAF, AL (Squadron Commander, August 27, 1942-October 4, 1943)

1943 April 24 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Casablanca, French Morocco

1943 April 29 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Oued N'ja, French Morocco

1943 June 7 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Fardjouna, Tunisia

1943 July 28 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Licata, Sicily

1943 September 4 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Termini, Sicily

1943 September 17 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Barcellona, Sicily

1943 September -- Davis returns to Continental United States

1943 October 8 -- Davis assumes command of 332d Fighter Group, Selfridge Field, MI (Group Commander, October 8, 1943-June 7, 1945)

1944 February 3 -- 332d Fighter Group transferred to Montecorvino, Italy

1944 April 15 -- 332d Fighter Group transferred to Capodichino, Italy

1944 May 28 -- 332d Fighter Group transferred to Ramitelli Airfield, Italy

1944 May 29 -- Davis promoted to Colonel (temporary promotion)

1945 May 4 -- 332d Fighter Group transferred to Cattolica, Italy

1945 May 7 -- Germany surrenders; World War II ends in Europe

1945 June 10 -- Davis returns to Continental United States

1945 June 21 -- Davis assumes command of 477th Composite Group (Group Commander, June 21-30, 1945)

1945 July 1 -- Davis assumes command of Godman Field, KY, and all tenant units, including 477th Composite Group (Base Commander, July 1, 1945-March 4, 1946)

1945 September 2 -- Japan surrenders; World War II ends in the Pacific

1946 March 4 -- Davis assumes command of Lockbourne AAB and all tenant units, including 477th Composite Group (Base Commander, March 4, 1946-September 15, 1947) All units at Godman Field transferred to Lockbourne Army Air Base, OH

1947 July 1 -- 477th Composite Group redesignated 332d Fighter Wing

1947 July-August -- Davis travels to Liberia with Davis Sr. as a special representative of the United States Government for the establishment of Liberian independence

1947 September 16 -- Davis assumes direct command of 332d Fighter Wing (Wing Commander, September 16, 1947-June 30, 1949)

1947 October 1 -- United States Air Force created as an independent service.

1948 July 2 -- Davis' promotion to Lieutenant Colonel made permanent.

1948 July 26 -- President Truman signs Executive Order 9981 ordering the full integration of the United States armed forces.

1949 May 11 -- USAF issues Air Force Letter 35-3 stating that Air Force policy is equal treatment and opportunity for all persons in the Air Force regardless of race, color, religion, or national origin.

1949 June 30 -- 332d Fighter Wing deactivated

1949 July 1 -- Davis assumes command of Lockbourne AFB, OH (Base Commander, July 1-August 16, 1949)

1949 August 16 -- Lockbourne AFB, OH transferred to Ohio Air National Guard

1949 August 17 -- Davis reports to Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL (attends course, August 17, 1949-July 4, 1950)

1950 June 25 -- North Korean forces invade South Korea; Korean War begins

1950 July 19 -- Davis reports to Pentagon to serve as Staff Planning Officer, Operations and Planning Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCS/O), Headquarters, United States Air Force, Washington, DC (serves July 19, 1950-January 4, 1951)

1950 July 27 -- Davis' promotion to Colonel made permanent

1950 August 8 -- Davis awarded Croix de Guerre by the French government for his actions during World War II

1950 September 12 -- Operations and Planning Division redesignated Commands Division of DCS/O

1951 January 5 -- Davis begins duty as Branch Chief, Air Defense Branch, Commands Division, DCS/O. (serves January 5, 1951-July 15, 1953)

1951 April 16 -- Air Defense Branch redesignated Fighter Branch, Control Division, DCS/O

1953 February 5 -- Davis reports to Craig AFB, AL for Jet Indoctrination Course (February 5-March 2, 1953); returns to Fighter Branch on completion of course

1953 July 16 -- Davis reports to Nellis AFB, NV for Advanced Jet Fighter Gunnery School (July 16-November 16, 1953)

1953 July 27 -- Korean War armistice signed; end of combat operations in Korea

1953 November 25 -- Davis assumes command of 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing at Suwon, Korea (Wing Commander, November 25, 1953-July 6, 1954)

1954 July 7 -- Davis reports to Headquarters, Far East Air Force, Tokyo, Japan to serve a Director of Operations and Training (serves July 7, 1954-April 1957)

1954 October 27 -- Davis is promoted to Brigadier General (temporary promotion)

1955 June -- Davis reports to Taipei, Taiwan to establish Air Task Force 13 (Provisional) (Commander, June 1955-April 1957), with simultaneous duties as Vice Commander, Thirteenth Air Force and Director of Operations and Training, FEAF

1957 March -- Davis awarded Command Pilot Rating

1957 May -- Davis assigned to Twelfth Air Force

1957 June -- Davises travel from Taiwan to Europe via United States

1957 July -- Davis reports to Headquarters, Twelfth Air Force at Ramstein, Germany (Chief of Staff, May-December 1957)

1957 December -- Davis begins duties as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (ADVON) at Headquarters, USAF Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany (serves December 1957-July 1961)

1959 June 30 -- Davis is promoted to Major General (temporary rank)

1960 May 16 -- Davis' promotion to Brigadier General made permanent

1961 -- US military personnel sent to South Vietnam as advisors

1961 August -- Davis reports to Pentagon to serve as Director of Manpower and Organizations, Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Requirements, Headquarters, USAF (serves August 1961-February 1965)

1962 January 30 -- Davis' promotion to Major General is made permanent

1965 February -- Davis begins duty as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Requirements, Headquarters, USAF (serves February-May 1965)

1965 April 30 -- Davis promoted to Lieutenant General

1965 March 2 -- USAF begins "Rolling Thunder" bombing campaign over North Vietnam

1965 May 13 -- Davis reports to Seoul, Korea to begin duties as Chief of Staff to the United Nations Command and United States Forces Korea (serves May 13, 1965-August 1, 1967)

1966 October 25 -- Sadie Overton Davis dies

1967 August -- Davis assumes command of Thirteenth Air Force, Clark Air Base, Philippines (Commanding Officer, August 1967-July 1968)

1968 August 1 -- Davis reports to MacDill AFB, FL to begin duties as Deputy Commander in Chief of United States Strike Command (serves August 1, 1968-January 31, 1970)

1968 January -- Tet Offensive begins in Vietnam

1968 October 31 -- "Rolling Thunder" ends on orders from President Johnson

1969 January 20 -- Richard M. Nixon inaugurated President of the United States

1970 -- USAF begins withdrawing units from South Vietnam

1970 January 31 -- Davis retires from United States Air Force

1970 February 1 -- Davis begins work as Director of Public Safety for the Cleveland, OH (works February 1, 1970-July 27, 1970)

1970 June 13 -- Davis joins President's Commission on Campus Unrest (report issued September 27, 1971)

1970 July 27 -- Davis resigns from Cleveland position, citing lack of support from Mayor Stokes

1970 September 20 -- Davis begins work as a consultant to the United States Secretary of Transportation on air transportation security (works September 20, 1970-November 4, 1970)

1970 November 4 -- Davis begins work a Director of Civil Aviation Security for the United States Department of Transportation (works November 4, 1970-July 1, 1971)

1970 November 26 -- Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. dies

1971 July 1 -- Davis becomes Acting Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs (serves July 1, 1971-August 3, 1971)

1971 July 8 -- Nixon Administration nominates Davis to be Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs

1971 July 29 -- Senate confirms Davis in Assistant Secretary position

1971 August 3 -- Davis sworn in a Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs (serves August 3, 1970-September 20, 1975)

1973 March 28 -- Last US Military personnel leave South Vietnam

1974 August 9 -- Nixon resigns as President of the United States. Vice President Gerald R. Ford becomes President

1975 September 20 -- Davis retires from Civil Service

1976 April -- Davis begins work as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation for the National Maximum Speed Limit

1977 January 20 -- James E. Carter inaugurated President of the United States

1977 June -- Davis joins President's Commission on Military Compensation (report issued March 1978)

1981 January 20 -- Ronald W. Reagan inaugurated President of the United States Davis leaves position as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation

1989 January 20 -- George H. W. Bush inaugurated President of the United States

1991 -- Davis' autobiography – Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography – is published by Smithsonian Press

1991 June 30 -- Davis awarded a Lifetime Membership by Tuskegee Airmen Inc

1993 January 20 -- William J. Clinton inaugurated President of the United States

1998 December 9 -- Davis promoted to General (Retired) in a ceremony at the Old Executive Office Building

2001 January 20 -- George W. Bush inaugurated President of the United States

2002 July 4 -- Davis dies at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC

2002 July 17 -- Davis buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Provenance:
Benjamin O. Davis and Agatha S. Davis, Gift, various, 1992-0023
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Fighter pilots  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Blacks  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Blacks -- United States  Search this
African American air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics and state  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Publications
Correspondence
Programs
Citation:
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1992.0023
See more items in:
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1992-0023
Additional Online Media:

John Matthew Miller III Collection

Creator:
Miller, John Matthew, III, 1896-  Search this
Names:
Kellet Autogiro Corp  Search this
Miller Aviation Corp (John Matthew Miller III) (Aircraft manufacturer) (1927-1929)  Search this
New Brunswick (NJ) Aero Club  Search this
Pitcairn (Pitcairn-Cierva)  Search this
Pitcairn Autogiro Co, Inc  Search this
Pitcairn Aviation  Search this
Johnson, Robert Woods  Search this
Miller, John Matthew, III, 1896-  Search this
Extent:
0.8 Cubic feet (1 legal document box, 1 slim legal document box, 1 map folder (18 x 48 inches))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Financial records
Correspondence
Clippings
Pamphlets
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Logs (records)
Date:
1910-1973
Summary:
John Matthew Miller III (born June 3, 1896) was active in aviation throughout his life, as a naval aviator, air mail pilot, transport pilot, autogiro pilot, flight instructor, aircraft manufacturer, airport operator, agricultural pilot, and helicopter test pilot, working at different times for the United States Navy, the U.S. Aerial Mail Service, Pitcairn Aeronautical Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture; from 1927-1929 Miller operated his own business, the Miller Aviation Corporation of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The collection includes Miller's pilot licenses and log books, scrapbooks, photographs, newspaper clippings and assorted ephemera, predominantly from the 1914 to 1939 period of Miller's life.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains both original materials and photocopies of materials loaned by the donor for copying. Original materials include Miller's United States Navy Naval Aviator Certificate, an aircraft log book for the Curtiss Seagull "Jacques Cartier" (owned by The Chicago Tribune), a photo album entitled "The Miller Corporation, New Brunswick Airport" featuring images of the Miller (Corp) MCA-1 Amphibian Biplane, assorted loose photographs, correspondence from Robert Woods Johnson (of Johnson & Johnson), two panoramic group photographs of the US Navy Flight A Naval Aviation detachment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1917, newspaper clippings (several covering James G. Ray's autogiro flight over Washington, DC in 1934), assorted ephemera relating to Miller's aviation career, and two bound books: Flying Officers of the U.S.N. (US Navy): 1917-1919 and Saga of the US Air Mail Service: 1918-1927, (Air Mail Pioneers, Inc., 1962). Photocopied materials include two of Miller's pilot log books, two of Miller's pilot licenses, a scrapbook, and selected pages from additional scrapbooks from which individual photographs were copied by the National Air and Space Museum in 2001. The collection also includes Smithsonian Institution numbered copy prints of these selected photographs.
Arrangement:
Materials in this collection are grouped into Series by type; materials within a series are generally arranged chronologically, grouped by subject.
Biographical / Historical:
John Matthew Miller III was born June 3, 1896, at Tacoma, Washington. As a teenager, Miller came east to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and found summer employment with the Burgess Company aircraft manufacturers at Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1917, following the entry of the United States into World War I, Miller was accepted into the Massachusetts School for Naval Air Service (Flight A Naval Aviation detachment at MIT), and, after two months, moved on to elementary flying instruction at Hampton Roads, Virginia, and then advanced instruction at Pensacola, Florida. He was commissioned into the United States Naval Air Service as an Ensign on March 16, 1918, and stationed at Naval Air Station Rockaway Beach, New York, where he performed patrol and convoy work off New York harbor, until ordered to inactive duty on December 15, 1918. Miller promptly joined the US Aerial Mail Service; after training in Dayton Wright DH-4 air mailplanes at Belmont Park, Long Island, Miller was posted to Bustleton, Pennsylvania, as station manager. Following his two years of air mail service, Miller worked at a number of aviation jobs, including time with the America Trans Oceanic Company (Miami, Florida, 1920), survey flights in Quebec (Canada, 1922), and managing operations for Pitcairn Aeronautical Corporation at their base adjacent to Hadley Field in South Plainfield, New Jersey (the New York terminal for the New York to Chicago and New York to Atlanta air mail routes). Miller was an active member of the New Brunswick (NJ) Aero Club, owners of a Pitcairn PA-3 Orowing based at Pitcairn's field. On August 1, 1927, Miller organized the Miller Aviation Corporation, operating out of New Brunswick Airport (a.k.a. "Miller Field"), a short-lived airfield located southwest of the city of New Brunswick. Miller Aviation offered flying instruction, local sightseeing flights, and charter passenger flights in the mid-Atlantic seaboard region. In 1928-1929, the Miller Aviation Corporation designed, constructed, and tested the Miller (Corp) MCA-1 Amphibian Biplane; sadly, the aircraft crashed during its first ground landing. After his company failed, Miller returned to Pitcairn Aeronautical as an autogiro pilot, making a number of flights through the 1930s for Pitcairn, the US Department of Agriculture, and others. During World War II, Miller temporarily rejoined the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander, serving as a helicopter test pilot at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Miller later worked for the Department of Agriculture until his retirement in 1956.

NOTE: John Matthew Miller III (born 1896, died circa 1980s), the subject of this collection, should not be confused with fellow air mail and autogiro pilot John McDonald "Johnny" Miller (1905-2008), occasionally referenced in this collection. Johnny Miller was more closely associated with the Kellett Autogiro Corp (Philadelphia, PA), and was famous for being the first to land an aircraft on the roof of a building.
Provenance:
Lee M. Gunther-Mohr, Gift, 2001, NASM.2001.0036.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Burgess Aircraft Family  Search this
Autogiros  Search this
Aircraft industry -- United States  Search this
Aircraft industry  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- Societies, etc.  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro  Search this
Miller Corp MCA-1 Amphibian Biplane  Search this
Kellett Autogiro Family  Search this
Pitcairn PA-3 Orowing  Search this
Waco 10 Family (Aircraft)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Financial records
Correspondence
Clippings
Pamphlets
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Logs (records)
Scrapbooks
Citation:
John Matthew Miller III Collection, Acc. NASM.2001.0036, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2001.0036
See more items in:
John Matthew Miller III Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2001-0036
Additional Online Media:

Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection

Creator:
Bellanca, Giuseppe M., 1886-1960  Search this
Names:
Bellanca  Search this
Wright Aeronautical Corporation  Search this
Chamberlin, Clarence  Search this
Extent:
248.5 Cubic feet (245 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Financial records
Newspaper clippings
Drawings
Photographic prints
Date:
1919-1959
Summary:
This collection consists of the archives of Giuseppe M. Bellanca and his company, including the following types of mediums: drawings, stress analysis tests, reports, photographs/negatives, documents, correspondence, patent information, newspaper clippings, business records, and financial statements.
Scope and Contents:
Series I: Mr. Bellanca's professional life

Here, the researcher will find documents regarding the day-to-day operations of the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation. The material is generally divided into core documents of the corporation, correspondence, financial documents, subcontracting pursuits, patents, employee relations, and company history.

Series II: Technical Material

This material is separated into the following subseries: Miscellaneous Handwritten Notes and Sketches, Bellanca Aircraft Technical Data, Bellanca Aircraft Corporation Reports, Technical Research Files, Bellanca Aircraft Drawing Lists, Bellanca Aircraft Drawings, and Bellanca Aircraft Drawing Indexes. The Bellanca Collection is not a complete history of the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation. Over the years, it appears that many items were loaned out by the Bellanca Family to researchers and not returned. Therefore, there are significant gaps in correspondence, formal, numbered reports, and other areas of the collection. For example, the earliest report in the Bellanca Collection is Report #28, the next report which appears is report #45.

The Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection contains over 10,000 drawings. (At the time of processing, not all drawings were entered into the Bellanca Drawings Database. These drawings will be entered as time allows.) The drawings vary in size from 8 x 11 inches to 36 x 185 inches. There are original pencil drawings, blueprints, and blueline drawings. Over 130 models of Bellanca aircraft are represented in the Collection. There are General Arrangement, or Three-View drawings for over 80 of these models. Bellanca drawings are not easy to decipher. Most of the drawings have data blocks which contain only a finite amount of information. Often the aircraft has been identified only by serial number. In some cases the model number of the aircraft is also the drawing number. Other times, the aircraft name would be given, but no model number, i.e. Skyrocket. Also, words were abbreviated and it was left up to the processing archivist to determine their probable meaning. Despite the explanation in the scope and content notes, the Bellanca Corporation was not consistent when assigning model numbers. Letters were sometimes assigned that reflected a United States War Department designation, i.e. the VSO and the VF. By using the Bellanca Drawing indexes, the processing archivist was able to supply model numbers for some of the drawings.

7136 Bellanca Aircraft Company Drawings have been added to the National Air and Space Museum Miscellaneous Drawings Database. As time allows, the remaining Bellanca Drawings will be added to this database. An Archives Staff member will assist researchers in retrieving these materials from the database finding aid.

The Bellanca drawings were stored for over thirty years in less-than-ideal conditions. Many of the drawings were drawn on poor-quality tracing paper, and have become extremely brittle and fragile. Therefore, many of the drawings in the Bellanca Collection may not be available to researchers.

During processing of the collection, the project archivist has gained some insight about how Mr. Bellanca chose the model designations for his aircraft. The earliest system of model designations was based upon letters of the alphabet. No model designations appear for any Bellanca design until his work for Maryland Pressed Steel in 1916. The CD, which he designed for that company, was his fourth aircraft design that was built, and the letter D is the fourth letter of the alphabet. This pattern continues through the Bellanca CF. During 1926, when Mr. Bellanca worked for the Wright Corporation, he already had in mind an improved version of the CF, which was designated the CG. This aircraft received the designation WB-1 from the Wright Corporation.

When Mr. Bellanca formed his own company in 1927, the letter pattern described above reasserted itself for a time with the introduction of the Bellanca CH. It was a common practice of manufacturers of the time to also include the engine horsepower as part of the model number, so the Bellanca CH actually received its Approved Type Certificate (ATC) as the CH-200. When the next model came out, it was the CH-300 with a 300 horsepower Wright Whirlwind engine. This system remained in place through the CH-400. Names were given to some Bellanca aircraft. It appears that the names were a marketing tool meant to appeal to the buying public. With this idea in mind, the CH-300 became the "Pacemaker", the CH-400 became the "Skyrocket", and the P 100 was christened the "Airbus". In the early 1930's, the Bellanca Corporation moved away from the alphabetical designations and moved to numerical designations. Later Bellanca aircraft model designations consist of a series of numbers, such as 31-50. The first number was the wing area, in this case, 310 square feet, divided by 10. The second number was the horsepower of the engine, 500, divided by 10. This resulted in a distinctive system of model designations, which lasted until Mr. Bellanca sold the company.

Series III: Mr. Bellanca's personal material.

In this series, the researcher will find personal correspondence among family members, from both Giuseppe and Dorothy Bellanca's families and personal, legal and financial records for Bellanca family. As the lines between Mr. Bellanca's personal and professional lives were sometimes blurred, a fine line of separation between the two was not always possible. For example, at one time or another, two of Mr. Bellanca's brothers, John and Frank, worked for the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation and Andrew Bellanca, Mr. Bellanca's nephew, was his lawyer throughout his life. Therefore, the processing archivist suggests that the researcher look in the professional series of documents as well as Mr. Bellanca's personal papers for a more complete representation of Mr. Bellanca's correspondence.

After processing was completed, publications which previously had been offered to the NASM Branch Library were returned to the collection. They are listed in an addendum at the end of this finding aid.

Series IV: Photographs.

The researcher will find photographs of Bellanca aircraft, including the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation's Master Photograph Files, photographs of the Bellanca factory and factory workers, and photographs of Giuseppe M. Bellanca, business associates, and family members.

Series V: Miscellaneous and Oversize Materials.

This series contains ephemera of the Bellanca Collection: Scrapbooks, Loose Newspaper Clippings, Artwork, Ephemera and Magazine Clippings.

The Bellanca Collection included 27 motion picture films. In May of 2000, this film was transferred to the NASM Film Archives. Researchers wishing to access this part of the collection should contact the NASM Film Archivist.
Arrangement:
Series I: Mr. Bellanca's Professional Life

Series II: Technical Data

Series III: Personal Papers

Series IV: Photographs

Series V: Miscellaneous and Oversize Materials
Biographical / Historical:
Giuseppe Mario Bellanca was born in 1886 in Sciacca, Sicily. As a young man, he attended the Technical Institute in Milan, graduating with a teaching degree in mathematics in 1908. During his quest for a second mathematics and engineering degree, he became enamoured of aviation, and set out to design and build his own airplane. Bellanca's first aircraft design was a "pusher" aircraft, somewhat similar to the Wright Flyer. Lacking funds for such an endeavor, he joined with two partners, Enea Bossi, and Paolo Invernizzi. The union of the three produced the first flight of a totally Italian-designed and Italian-built aircraft in early December of 1909. The flight was short, but it was a start. Bellanca's second design was a tractor-type aircraft. Although the aircraft was successfully constructed, it was never flown due to insufficient funds for an engine.

At the urging of his brother Carlo, who was already established in Brooklyn, New York, Giuseppe Bellanca immigrated to America in 1911. Before the end of the year, he began construction of his third airplane design, a parasol monoplane. After construction was completed, he took the small craft to Mineola Field on Long Island, NY, and proceeded to teach himself to fly. He began by taxiing. He then, taxied faster, which gave way to short hops. The hops got longer, until, on May 19, 1912, there was not enough room to land straight ahead, and Bellanca had to complete a turn in order land safely. Having successfully taught himself to fly, Bellanca then set about teaching others to fly, and from 1912 to 1916, he operated the Bellanca Flying School. One of his students was a young Fiorello La Guardia, the future mayor of New York City. In return for flying lessons, La Guardia taught Bellanca how to drive a car.

In 1917 the Maryland Pressed Steel Company of Hagerstown, MD hired Bellanca as a consulting engineer. While there, he designed two trainer biplanes, the CD, and an improved version, the CE. With the conclusion of WWI, Maryland Pressed Steel's contracts were cancelled and the company entered into receivership. Thus, the CE never went into production.

In 1921, a group of investors lured Bellanca westward to Omaha, NE, in hopes of establishing that town as a center for aircraft manufacture. Before the aircraft could be built, the company went bankrupt, but construction of the aircraft continued under the financial backing of a local motorcycle dealer named Victor Roos. The resultant aircraft, the Bellanca CF, was called by Janes's All the World's Aircraft "the first up-to-date transport aeroplane that was designed, built, and flown with success in the United States." Among the local people helping to build the aircraft was the daughter of Bellanca's landlord, Dorothy Brown. Giuseppe and she were married on November 18, 1922.

Despite its advanced design, the Bellanca CF could not compete with the economics of the time. In the days just after World War I, a surplus Curtiss Jenny could be purchased for as little as $250.00. A Bellanca CF, with a price tag of $5000.00, was just too expensive and the aircraft never went into production. After the disappointment of the CF, Bellanca designed wings for the Post Office Department's DH-4's. His new wings were a tremendous improvement over the original design, but only a few aircraft were so modified.

In 1925, Bellanca went to work for the Wright Aeronautical Corporation of Paterson, NJ. His assignment there was to develop an aircraft around the new Wright Whirlwind engine. He already had a design in mind, which was an improved version of the CF, called the CG. This design evolved into the Wright-Bellanca WB-1.

The WB-1 enjoyed a short, but successful flying career. The aircraft had already won one race and efficiency contest before an untimely accident destroyed the craft during preparation for an attempt to break the world's non-refueled endurance record. Fortunately, at the time of the crash, Bellanca was already working on an improved version, of the WB-1 designated the WB-2.

During 1926, the WB-2 won two efficiency trophies at the National Air Races in Philadelphia. Wright considered putting the aircraft into production, but decided against it to avoid alienating other aircraft companies that were potential customers for their engines. Disappointed by Wright's decision, Bellanca left the company and joined with a young businessman named Charles Levine to form the Columbia Aircraft Company. Wright sold the WB-2 and all drawings and production rights to the new company. The WB-2 went on to a long and fruitful flying career starting with establishing a new world's non-refueled endurance record of 51 hours, 11 minutes, and 59 seconds in April of 1927.

In the latter half of 1926, Charles Lindbergh wanted to buy the WB-2, now named the 'Columbia', for his proposed flight from New York to Paris. He was rebuffed by Levine who also had designs on the flight and the $25,000 prize money. Lindbergh then went to Ryan for his specially designed NYP. Meanwhile Levine, in choosing the crew, managed to promise two seats to three people. So while the Columbia was grounded by a court order brought by the third party, Lindbergh took off on his successful flight to Paris.

Eventually, the 'Columbia' was cleared of litigation and took off on its successful transatlantic flight on June 4, 1927. In the cockpit were Clarence Chamberlin, one of the pilots of the endurance record and Charles Levine, who became the first transatlantic passenger. The plan was to fly all the way to Berlin, and Chamberlin had vowed to fly until they ran out of fuel. Forty-three hours later, they landed in Eisleben, Germany, the first of two successful Atlantic crossings for Bellanca's most famous aircraft.

Disappointed because the 'Columbia' was not the first aircraft to accomplish the New York to Paris flight, Bellanca severed all relations with Levine, and started his own company, the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of America, and rented facilities on Staten Island, NY. The new Bellanca model was designated the CH, and was basically a commercial version of the WB-2. The new company also had two other models that were built for special orders, the Bellanca Model J and the Model K.

It was not long before Bellanca caught the attention of the Du Pont family of Delaware. They wanted to start aircraft manufacturing in Delaware, and in late 1927, an agreement was made with Bellanca to locate his factory outside of Wilmington. The site was large enough for a first-class airfield, with a seaplane ramp on the nearby Delaware River.

This was a busy time in Bellanca's life. Along with all that was happening in his professional life, he and Dorothy celebrated the birth of their son August T. Bellanca in March of 1927.

With the exception of a few years immediately before and during the early stages of WWII, Bellanca was President and Chairman of the Board from the corporation's inception on the last day of 1927 until he sold the company to L. Albert and Sons in 1954. After his departure from the company, Giuseppe and his son, August, formed the Bellanca Development Company with the purpose of building a new aircraft. It would have increased performance due to the use of lighter materials for its structure. Work on this aircraft was progressing when Giuseppe Bellanca succumbed to leukemia and died on December 26, 1960. After his father's death, August continued the project, and under his guidance, the aircraft first flew in 1973.

In 1993, August Bellanca donated his father's personal and professional papers to the National Air and Space Museum Archives. Prior to that time, they were kept in the Bellanca home near Galena, MD, and administered by Dorothy and August Bellanca.

1886 -- Born in Sciacca, Sicily

1909 -- Built first airplane. It completed the first flight of an Italian-designed, Italian-built, aircraft on December 8, 1909.

1911 -- Immigrated to America, settled in Brooklyn, NY.

1912 -- Completed construction of parasol monoplane. Successfully learned to fly this aircraft at Mineola, Long Island, NY.

1912 - 1916 -- Taught others to fly the parasol monoplane, including Fiorello LaGuardia.

1917 - 1920 -- Employed as a consulting engineer for Maryland Pressed Steel Company of Hagerstown, MD. While there, Bellanca designed and built the Bellanca CD and CE tractor biplanes.

1921 - 1922 -- Moved to Omaha, NE, and with Victor Roos, formed the Roos-Bellanca Aircraft Company. Bellanca designed and built the Bellanca CF. Married Dorothy Brown on November 18, 1922, in Omaha, NE.

1923 -- Moved back to New York, and designed and built new sets of wings for the Post Office Department's DH-4 mailplanes

1925 -- Employed by the Wright Aeronautical Corporation of Paterson, NJ, designing an aircraft around their new "Whirlwind" engine. The Wright-Bellanca 1, or WB-1, was the result, and was first flown in the latter part of that year.

1926 -- First flight of the WB-2.

1927 -- Bellanca started the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of America, on Staten Island, NY. Bellanca established the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of New Castle, DE. Wright decided not to enter into quantity production of the WB-2. Bellanca entered into a partnership with Charles A. Levine, and together, they formed the Columbia Aircraft Corporation. From Tuesday, April 12 to Thursday, April 14, Clarence Chamberlin and Bert Acosta set a new world's non-refueled endurance record in the WB-2, which was shortly thereafter, renamed the "Columbia". On June 4th, the Columbia set off across the Atlantic, and landed in Eisleben, Germany.

1941 - 1943 -- Head of the aviation department at Higgins Industries, Inc., in New Orleans, designing large cargo aircraft for troop movement during the war.

1954 -- Formed the Bellanca Development Company, to conduct research in lightweight aircraft construction materials.

1960 -- Died of leukemia in New York, December 26.
Provenance:
Mr. and Mrs. August Bellanca, Gift, 1993, NASM.1993.0055
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Bellanca WB-2 "Miss Columbia"  Search this
Transatlantic flights  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Financial records
Newspaper clippings
Drawings
Photographic prints
Citation:
Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection, Acc. NASM.1993.0055, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1993.0055
See more items in:
Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1993-0055
Additional Online Media:

Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook

Creator:
National Air Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Names:
National Air Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Science Museum of London  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Extent:
0.66 Cubic feet (1 flatbox)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Programs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1948-1949
Summary:
This scrapbook chronicles the return of the Wright 1903 Flyer to the United States, beginning with the early negotiations with England to the reception at the Smithsonian following receipt of the aircraft.
Scope and Contents:
This scrapbook chronicles the return of the Wright 1903 Flyer from the early negotiations with England to the reception following receipt of the aircraft. The scrapbook includes the following types of material: reception invitation and program; remarks from the reception; a letter sent by Harry Truman which was read during the reception; newspaper articles; and photographs, including shots of the curators setting up the display and hanging the aircraft in the National Air Museum in the North Hall of Arts and Industry Building.
Arrangement:
This collection is in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
After disagreements with the Smithsonian Institution, Orville Wright elected to loan his Wright 1903 Flyer to the Science Museum in England. Upon his death, an agreement was reached to return to aircraft to the United States where it would be housed by the National Air Museum.
Provenance:
Prepared by the National Air Museum, Transfer, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0393
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Wright (Brothers) 1903 Flyer  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Programs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook, NASM.XXXX.0393, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0393
See more items in:
Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0393
Additional Online Media:

E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection

Creator:
Weeks, E. D. "Hud" (Evert D.)  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
Allison, Lawrence M.  Search this
Arens, Charles A., 1895-1967  Search this
Brock, Walter L.  Search this
Hildesheim, Erik  Search this
Jones, Ernest La Rue, 1883-1955  Search this
Morehouse, Harold E., 1894-1973  Search this
Parker, Will D.  Search this
Tibbs, Burrell  Search this
Waterman, Walter D.  Search this
Weeks, E. D. "Hud" (Evert D.)  Search this
Extent:
1.51 Cubic feet (4 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Publications
Diaries
Correspondence
Manuscripts
Photographs
Date:
1907-1981
Summary:
Hud Weeks, pilot and restorer of early aircraft, exchanged correspondence with many early aviators and possessed a strong interest in the career of the exhibition pilot Lincoln Beachey.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists primarily of correspondence between E. D. "Hud" Weeks, a cosmetics manufacturer and aviation enthusiast from Des Moines, Iowa, and various aviation personalities and members of the Early Birds, a not-for-profit organization established in 1928 and composed of persons who had piloted an aircraft or airship prior to 17 December 1916. The collection also includes material gathered by Weeks on early aeronautical events, both in the US and abroad. Included within this collection are newspaper articles on Lincoln Beachey's life and tragic death, a great deal of photographs of the daring aeronaut and correspondence between Hud Weeks and former colleagues of Beachey's such as Art Mix and Warren Eaton.
Arrangement note:
The E.D. "Hud" Weeks Collection contains approximately one and a half cubic fee of material, including photographs, printed, typewritten, and handwritten material. It was donated to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in two installments in 1985 (accessions NASM.1985.0004 and NASM.1985.0006).

Original order of the materials, where identified, has been maintained.

Series in the collection are as follows:

I. I. Personal

II. II. Correspondence

III. III. Lincoln Beachey

IV. IV. Oversized Materials
Biographical/Historical note:
Evert D. "Hud" Weeks of Des Moines, Iowa, first learned to fly in 1930. It was an experience that would guide his future life. A cosmetics manufacturer by trade, Weeks devoted his spare time to the collection and restoration of antique aircraft and the recreation of pioneer aircraft. To further this avocation, Weeks entered into correspondence with many early aviators and fellow collectors. Several of these were Early Birds, members of an organization having the distinction of soloing before December 17, 1916. Weeks possessed a strong interest in the career of the exhibition pilot, Lincoln Beachey.
Provenance:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks, gift, 1985, NASM.1985.0004
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Wright (Co) Model G Aeroboat  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Diaries
Correspondence
Manuscripts
Photographs
Citation:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection, Acc. NASM.1985.0004, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1985.0004
See more items in:
E. D. "Hud" Weeks Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1985-0004
Additional Online Media:

Bowman Family Papers

Creator:
Bowman, Les (Leslie)  Search this
Bowman, Martie (Marguerite)  Search this
Bowman, Larnie  Search this
Names:
Kinner Airplane and Motor Co  Search this
National Air Race Association  Search this
Ninety-Nines (Organization)  Search this
Bowman, Larnie  Search this
Bowman, Les (Leslie)  Search this
Bowman, Martie (Marguerite)  Search this
Extent:
1.28 Cubic feet (1 records center box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Scrapbooks
Date:
1923-1987
bulk 1923-1950
Summary:
The Bowman Family Papers contain 1.28 cubic feet of material related to the aviation careers of Leslie (Les), Marguerite (Martie), and Larnie Bowman.
Scope and Contents:
The Bowman Family Papers contain: log books, licenses, and membership cards for Marguerite, Larnie, and Leslie Bowman; loose materials including maps, newspaper clippings from the 1930s, 1972 and 1985; and miscellaneous photographs, including two of Charles Lindbergh. Three scrapbooks at the end of the collection (1923-1931, 1932-1935, 1936-1987) include photographs (some autographed), personal and business correspondence, and newspaper clippings.
Arrangement:
The Bowman Family Papers are arranged by content type.
Biographical / Historical:
Leslie (Les) and Marguerite (Martie) Bowman were married in October 1919 and had both learned to fly by 1925. Les, a mechanic, worked as an engineer and salesman for the Kinner Engine and Aircraft Company and was involved in both the production and testing of airplanes. Martie was a charter member of both the Ninety-Nines, a women pilots' association, and the National Air Race Association. She set women's speed records and swept three women's racing events on one day in 1938. Les and Martie both tried wing walking, as did their daughter, Larnie, at the age of eight. Larnie learned to fly by the time she was twelve. During World War II, the Bowmans ran one of five civilian schools for the training of Navy fighter pilots. Les and Martie retired from aviation after the conclusion of the war.
Provenance:
Mrs. M. Lorraine Allen, gift, 1991, NASM.1991.0042
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Flight training  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Bowman Family Papers, Acc. NASM.1991.0042, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0042
See more items in:
Bowman Family Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1991-0042
Additional Online Media:

Francis Gary Powers Collection

Creator:
Powers, Francis Gary, 1929-1977  Search this
Names:
Lockheed Aircraft Corp  Search this
Khrushchev, Nikita Sergeevich, 1894-1971  Search this
Powers, Francis Gary, 1929-1977  Search this
Extent:
1.53 Cubic feet (2 legal document boxes, 1 flat box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Clippings
Diaries
Correspondence
Telegrams
Photographs
Logs (records)
Date:
1929-1986
bulk 1952-1977
Summary:
This collection consists of material relating to Francis Gary Powers's flying career in the Air Force, Central Intelligence Agency, and later pursuits. The majority of the documents deal with the May 1960 U-2 incident, in which Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union during a reconnaisance mission and imprisoned. Materials include: logbooks; flight records from his military and civilian careers; a pocket diary and journal he kept during his Soviet imprisonment; letters to his parents; materials collected by his parents as his father attempted to visit him including a telegram from Nikita Khrushchev and a New Testament given to Powers by his mother during his Soviet trial; Congressional hearing material; newspaper articles; Life magazine; and several photographs of Powers.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of documents relating to Francis Gary Powers and his aviation career, particularly the 1960 U-2 incident with the Soviet Union. Materials include: logbooks; flight records from his military and civilian careers; a pocket diary and journal he kept during his Soviet imprisonment; letters to his parents; materials collected by his parents as his father attempted to visit him including a telegram from Nikita Khrushchev and a New Testament given to Powers by his mother during his Soviet trial; Congressional hearing material; newspaper articles; Life magazine; and several photographs of Powers.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into three series: Early Career, the U-2 Incident, and Post U-2 Incident Life and Career.

Series 1 contains materials relating to Francis Gary Power's early career with the United States Air Force before resigning to join the CIA, including his birth certificate, military orders and forms, and his individual flight records.

Series 2 contains materials relating to the U-2 incident, in which Francis Gary Powers was shot down over the Soviet Union and imprisoned. The first set of materials relates to Powers' imprisonment, including his prison journal, pocket diary, New Testament, correspondence, and the subsequent congressional hearing. The second set of materials relates to the Powers family during the incident, including correspondence and telegrams with Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and the United States government and Oliver Powers' passport. The third set of materials relates to the media reactions to the incident, including complete newspapers, article clippings, a television script, and artwork.

The Soviet Prison Journal and Soviet Prison Pocket Diary were on display in the Looking at Earth Gallery when the collection was digitized. The photocopies were scanned for digital access.

Series 3 contains materials from Powers' life and career after his return to the United States, including logbooks, public relations documents, flight training and insurance records, an employment application, and memorial items.

Documents with personally identifiable information (PII) have been redacted or not digitized.
Biographical/Historical note:
Francis Gary Powers (1929 -1977) learned to fly during high school. He enlisted in the United States Air Force after graduating from Milligan College in 1950. In 1956, he resigned from the Air Force to become a "civilian employee" of Lockheed on loan to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, authorized to fly Air Force aircraft. In reality, he was a covert employee of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), training for Operation Overflight—U-2 reconnaissance missions.

Powers was captured and imprisoned after his U-2 was shot down over the Soviet Union during an aerial reconnaissance mission on May 1, 1960. Powers was placed on trial and exchanged nearly two years later for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet agent. After his return to the United States, Powers continued to work for the CIA, but then left to work at Lockheed. Powers was working for NBC's Los Angeles affiliate KGIL in 1977, when his helicopter ran out of fuel and crashed, causing his death.
Provenance:
Claudia Sue Powers, Gift, 1994, NASM.1994.0010.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
United States -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Lockheed U-2 Family  Search this
Cold War  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Aerial reconnaissance  Search this
Photographic reconnaissance systems  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics and state  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Diaries
Correspondence
Telegrams
Photographs
Logs (records)
Citation:
Francis Gary Powers Collection, Acc. 1994.0010, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1994.0010
See more items in:
Francis Gary Powers Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1994-0010
Additional Online Media:

Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.) Weems Papers

Creator:
Weems, Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.)  Search this
Extent:
?? Cubic feet (?? boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Charts
Business records
Articles
Date:
circa 1905-circa 2005
Summary:
The Philip Van Horn (P. V. H. ) Weems Papers contain 79 cu. ft. of materials related to his life and career.
Scope and Contents:
The Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.) Weems Papers reflect Weems' broad, restless curiosity regarding undersea, marine, aerial and space navigation. Weems' significant contributions as a great innovator and proponent of navigational techniques, practices and devices are quite evident in this collection.

Overall, this collection encompasses the years Weems spent as an officer in the U.S. Navy, with his firm, the Weems System of Navigation (WSN), as well as other navigation and non-navigation activities, roughly, from the 1910s through the 1960s. There is some material however, that dates back prior to and beyond this time span. The bulk of the collection is composed of correspondence; most of it related to Weems' involvement in the field of navigation. That said, there is a large amount of other types of archival materials contained which range from photographs, brochures, newsletters, articles and newspaper clippings to press releases, notes, handbooks and manuals. Additionally, there are drafts of papers and articles authored by Weems and other navigational notables. Undoubtedly due to Weems' long life span of ninety years and in combination with his quite varied interests, there are even more kinds of materials threaded throughout this collection.

Very little of the Weems Papers was in any discernable order upon its acquisition by the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Archives Division. Accordingly, the processing archivist had to organize this large amount of archival material; some of it placed in decades-old file folders while much of it was found loose and unsorted in boxes. As a result, much time was required to simply rebox, refolder and arrange such a great deal of unorganized materials.

This collection is arranged into three series. The first series is composed of personal materials that include correspondence, memoranda, journals, diaries, newsletters on the Weems family, photographs and miscellaneous materials. Each type of archival material is organized chronologically and then alphabetically. The second series consists of professional materials and is by far and away the largest segment of the Weems Papers. Within this series, correspondence is the preponderant material. This series is arranged as follows: Weems' military correspondence (including his return to service during World War II and the early 1960s), WSN correspondence from the late 1920s to the 1950s, general correspondence, memoranda, notes, drafts and worksheets, WSN-related receipts and records, logbooks, notebooks and lesson books, tables, graphs and diagrams, press/news releases, reports, handouts and briefings, manuals, handbooks, procedures and instructions, photographs, speeches and presentations, papers, brochures, pamphlets and catalogs, newsletters, notices and advertisements, books, booklets, registers and guidebooks, maps and charts, magazines and journals, articles, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous materials. All of the above material is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically. The third series is composed of oversize materials. This material consists of photo albums, scrapbooks, oversized magazines, newspapers, drawings, blueprints, and miscellaneous materials.
Biographical / Historical:
Philip Van Horn (P.V.H.) Weems was born on March 29, 1889, on a farm in Tennessee. By age 13, both of Weems' parents died, leaving him and his six siblings to run the family farm with a minimum of help from adult neighbors. In spite of a poor primary education. Weems was able to secure admission into the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1908. Academically, he performed at a slightly above average grade level but excelled in athletics, being on the varsity crew, football and wrestling teams. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1912, Weems started his sea duty aboard the USS North Dakota. Following that assignment, he served aboard the survey vessel Leonidas, Nevada and Georgia. During World War I, Weems acted as chief engineer for the troop transport Orizaba (for which he received the Navy Commendation Medal for his excellent service aboard this ship).After the war, he served aboard the destroyers Murray and O'Brien. Weems' sea duty aboard the latter vessel proved significant as the O'Brien was employed by the Navy as a picket ship for the first trans-Atlantic flight by the Curtiss NC-4 flying boat in 1919. During this major achievement in aviation, he served as ship's executive officer and thus, began his long association with aerial navigation.

As Weems' naval career advanced, so too did other aspects of his life. In 1915, he married Margaret Thackray. This marriage would prove durable as it would last until his death over 60 years later. Additionally, three children resulted from this union: Philip, Jr. (born in 1916), Margaret (born in 1919), and George (born in 1921). Eventually, both sons followed their father into military careers with the older of the two serving with the U.S. Marine Corps while the younger one made his career with the Navy. Another aspect of Weems' personal life was his great athletic prowess. During his days at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, he was an All-American center for the football team, as well as an outstanding wrestler, being awarded the Athletic Association's Sword for excellence in athletics upon graduation. After graduation, and for years thereafter, Weems continued on as a competitive athlete. In 1920, he was a member of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team that traveled to Antwerp, Belgium. Five years later, at age 36, he won the U.S. Navy's South Atlantic light-heavyweight wrestling championship. Even 30 years later, Weems would still challenge varsity wrestlers at the Naval Academy gymnasium.

By the end of World War I, Weems had been promoted to Lieutenant Commander. From 1922-24, he served as navigator aboard the USS Rochester. It was during this tour of duty that he started in earnest to study the field of navigation. Such efforts included not only marine but also aerial navigation techniques and practices. He further honed his knowledge and skills on this subject by acting as an instructor of navigation at the Naval Academy from 1925-26.

During this time as an instructor at Annapolis, Weems came across a set of Japanese navigational tables. With assistance from a fellow naval officer, Weems greatly improved upon this innovative yet incomplete method of navigation. Upon receiving permission from the original author in Japan, he eventually published this new version of these navigational tables in conjunction with the Naval Institute. This work, called the Line of Position Book, proved very popular and promptly sold out within a matter of months. Thus, by 1927, Weems was developing into one of the world's leading experts in modern navigation techniques. He would go on to exploit his navigational knowledge for the benefit of the burgeoning aviation field. This process began in earnest in late 1927 to early 1928 when he was ordered to the U.S. west coast to serve with the Pacific Fleet's Aircraft Squadron. Once there, Weems started extensive research into air navigation, later publishing a textbook with that actual title. During this time, he – along with his wife, founded the Weems System of Navigation (WSN). This business enterprise not only incorporated his thoughts, techniques and practices; it also operated as a clearing house for new theories and technologies pertaining to marine and aerial navigation. Further, WSN functioned as a navigational school (including a correspondence school format) for thousands of pilots throughout the U.S. and around the world. Such aviation luminaries as Charles Lindbergh, Douglas 'Wrong-Way' Corrigan, Amy Johnson, Dick Merrill, Admiral Richard Byrd, Harold Gatty, Fred Noonan, Wiley Post and Lincoln Ellsworth availed themselves of Weems' navigational instruction. In the years leading up to her disappearance during an around-the-world flight attempt in 1937, he had repeatedly offered such assistance to Amelia Earhart who – for the reason of scheduling conflicts, could never take advantage of such opportunities. Additionally, WSN churned out numerous articles, instructional handbooks and books on all matters revolving around aerial navigation.

With extensive assistance from his wife, Weems operated WSN while still on active duty with the U.S. Navy, during the period 1928-33. As he continued to perfect his navigational techniques, he served as executive officer aboard the fuel ship, USS Cuyama, from early 1928 through the summer of 1930. A year later, he was assigned to the Naval Academy on shore duty at the Postgraduate School. Subsequently, he was ordered to the Navy Department as Research Officer in Air Navigation – the first such officer tasked with this position. In late 1932, Weems took command of the destroyer, USS Hopkins and then was retired from the service in May, 1933.

Once retired from naval service, Weems expanded his business enterprises. His base of operations was in Annapolis, where he, Margaret and their children lived. He established a chain of schools under the banner of WSN. In tandem with his educational program, he developed and patented a number of methods and devices that greatly facilitated marine and aerial navigation. Even before leaving the service, Weems had already invented the highly prized Second-Setting Navigation Watch. Throughout the 1930s, his inventions/patents ran the gamut from Star Altitude Curves (which were published navigation tables), Mark II Plotter, Line of Position and Wind Drift Plotters to Drift and Ground Speed Meters. Weems also authored or co-authored numerous books, handbooks, manuals and articles on a variety of navigation themes. Besides his previously published Line of Position Book, he authored Air Navigation in 1931, updated editions of his Star Altitude Curves (1938, 1940 and 1950), Instrument Flying in 1940 (with co-author, Charles Zweng), Marine Navigation in 1940 and Learning to Navigate in 1943.

America's entry into World War II resulted in WSN becoming even busier with its educational programs and sales of its various navigational devices and publications. In addition, the outbreak of war meant a major change in Weems' life. Due to a shortage of naval officers, he was recalled to active duty (as a Lieutenant Commander) in July, 1942. Two months later, Weems was made a convoy commodore for the Atlantic Ocean theater of operations. For the next three years, he served with distinction in this position, having safely shepherded every merchant convoy on the trans-Atlantic run, guaranteeing that necessary supplies, arms and troops arrived safely at European and African ports. As a result of this outstanding performance, Weems was quickly promoted to Commander and then Captain. By the time he retired from active duty again in early 1946, Weems was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his actions in World War II. Before the war ended, he was also awarded his wings as a Naval Air Navigator. During his wartime service, his wife once again took the lead in managing WSN. Also, during this period, the Weemses lost their son, Philip, Jr. He was killed while serving as a Major with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Southwest Pacific in June, 1943.

After World War II and upon his second retirement from naval service, Weems continued with WSN and other business ventures. This included helping to establish Aeronautical Services, Inc., as well as Weems and Plath, Inc. The former enterprise focused on aviation-related matters while the latter stressed marine navigation. In addition, he continued with his writing about various navigational topics and inventing new techniques and devices pertaining to marine and aerial navigation. This included the Weems Position Finder in 1959 and a revising of his earlier publication, Air Navigation, in 1958. Beyond this, he co-founded and became president of the U.S. Institute of Navigation in 1952, made a flight over the North Pole in 1948 and an around-the-world flight two years later – both times actively participating in the aerial navigation of these risky (at the time) ventures. Shortly before his son's death during a test flight of a U.S. Navy aircraft in 1951, he and George made a long aerial journey in a light plane from London, England to Alice Springs, Australia, with the elder Weems performing the navigation and the younger Weems acting as pilot. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Weems even found time to participate in various underwater archeological expeditions with Ed Link (of flight simulator and submersible design fame). In 1959, he joined with Link, the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institution to conduct an undersea exploration of the sunken city of Port Royal, Jamaica, lost during an earthquake in 1692. The following year, Weems participated in another adventure with Link in Israel by exploring another sunken city, Caesaria. The 'inner space' navigation techniques he developed were employed during all such underwater archeological expeditions.

In 1960, Weems received a grant from the American Philosophical Society to develop practical methods of space navigation, to be described in a handbook for use in space operations as the U.S. initiated its attempt to place humans in Earth orbit. Most of the work on this book was completed when the Navy Department ordered the Captain to active duty for a third, and last, time in 1961. He was assigned the task of conducting a pilot class in space navigation (held at the Naval Academy), as well as to produce a Space Navigation Handbook. With the assistance from several of his young students (all U.S. Navy ensigns), Weems published this handbook in early 1962. His research proved invaluable as he developed a quick way for astronauts to determine their position relative to Earth by utilizing a few visual sightings. He continued his contributions to space navigation by serving as a consultant for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Thus, by his seventies, Weems was an established expert in undersea, marine, aerial and space navigation. He had few peers anywhere on Earth in such fields of study.

Besides medals earned for his years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War I and World War II, Weems garnered many other awards and honors for his work in navigation. Among them are the following: The Thomas Gray Award from the Royal Society of Arts, England; the Gold Medal from the Aero Club of France; Fellow, Institute of Aeronautical Sciences; Fellow, American Geographical Society; the Magellanic Premium (Gold Medal) of the American Philosophical Society; the LaGorce Medal from the National Geographic Society; the Thurlow Award from the Institute of Navigation; and the Gold Medal of the British Institute of Navigation.

Beyond his career, Weems possessed a keen interest in many other subjects. Throughout most of his life, he stayed active and engaged in city of Annapolis politics, the U.S. Naval Academy, boating, yachting, retired Olympian affairs, history of all sorts, and genealogy. Furthermore, he was a regular donor of navigation-related artifacts and documents to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air Museum (and, later on, the National Air and Space Museum), as well as various historical associations and libraries from his home state of Tennessee. After a brief illness, Weems died at Annapolis' Anne Arundel Hospital on June 2, 1979, at the age of 90.
Provenance:
Thackray Seznec, Gift, 2012
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Navigation  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Navigation equipment and supplies  Search this
Weems School of Navigation  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Charts
Business records
Articles
Citation:
Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.) Weems Papers, Accession 2012.0052, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2012.0052
See more items in:
Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.) Weems Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2012-0052

Ruth Law Collection

Creator:
Law, Ruth  Search this
Names:
Ruth Law Flying Circus  Search this
Law, Frederich Rodman, 1885-1919  Search this
Law, Ruth  Search this
Extent:
1.67 Cubic feet (1 flatbox; 1 slim legal document case)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Publications
Date:
1916-1919
Summary:
The Ruth Law Collection measures 1.67 cubic feet and dates from 1916 to 1919. The collection, a bound scrapbook with additional loose materials, contains the following types of items: photographs; newspaper clippings; correspondence; magazine articles; programs; and ribbons.
Scope and Contents:
This collection chronicles Ruth Law's life in 1916-1918, covering mostly her aviation career but also touching upon other aspects of her life. The scrapbook contains the following types of material: photographs; newspaper clippings; correspondence; magazine articles; programs; and ribbons, including a first-place ribbon won by her dog at a dog show. Additional groups of loose photographs were integrated with the collection in 1998. The photographs contain images of Ruth Law in all stages of her life, both in aerial and studio views, as well as images of her contemporaries in aviation, various World War I era aircraft, and circa-1919 photographs of her brother, Frederich Rodman Law.
Arrangement:
The Ruth Law Collection is arranged as follows:

Series 1

Ruth Law Scrapbook

Series 2

Auxiliary Photographs
Biographical / Historical:
Ruth Law (1891-1970) was the first woman to loop the loop, the first person to fly a plane at night, and a one-time holder of the Chicago -- New York aerial speed record. After World War I, Law was active in the Ruth Law Flying Circus, a three-plane troupe that traveled to state and county fairs. Her husband, Charles Oliver, persuaded her to retire from flying to "home and hearth" in 1922.
Provenance:
Ruth Law Estate?, gift?, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0387, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- Records  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Publications
Citation:
Ruth Law Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0387, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0387
See more items in:
Ruth Law Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0387

Gerard Post Herrick Papers

Creator:
Herrick, Gerard Post, 1873-1955  Search this
Names:
Convertoplane Corp  Search this
Herrick, Gerard Post, 1873-1955  Search this
Extent:
17.68 Cubic feet (2 records center boxes; 5 drawers)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Clippings
Black-and-white negatives
Publications
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence
Drawings
Date:
1909-1963
bulk 1909-1921
Summary:
This collection consists of correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, handwritten technical notes, drawings, photographs, reports, and affidavits in support of historical statements. Also included are several hundred black-and-white negatives and three reels of motion-picture film of the Herrick Vertoplane.
Scope and Contents:
The material in this collection was donated to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in December 1958 and relates to Herrick, the Herrick Balanced Rotary Engine, and the Herrick Vertoplane/Convertoplane series. The material consists primarily of correspondence, news clippings, and engineering drawings or sketches. Portions of the collection were discovered in the Paul E. Garber Papers (NASM Archives Accession 1991-0063) during the preliminary processing of that collection and were returned to the Herrick Collection at that time. Only the materials that now make up the bulk of Series I (Patent Related Material) and Series II (Technical Material) were found in their original enclosures (mostly envelopes) and were organized based on those enclosures. Series III (Miscellaneous Material) was created during processing primarily from loose, unorganized materials. Series IV (Engineering Drawings) consists of oversized materials and engineering drawings which had been stored rolled or folded.

A collection of negatives donated with the accession are currently housed in the curatorial files of the NASM Aeronautics Department. Some photographs from the collection were included in the NASM Archives Videodisc project; such photographs and others from the collection are housed in the NASM Archives Technical Reference Files. Three motion picture films from the collection were transferred to the NASM Film Archives in January 1995.

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.
Arrangement:
The collection has been divided into four series. The first series contains patent-related material. The second pertains to technical materials. The third series, created during processing primarily from loose, unorganized materials, consists of miscellaneous material. The fourth series contains engineering drawings and oversized material which had been stored rolled or folded.

A collection of negatives are currently housed in the curatorial files of the NASM Aeronautics Department. Some photographs from the collection were included in the NASM Archives Videodisc project; such photographs and others from the collection are housed in the NASM Archives Technical Reference Files. Three motion picture films from the collection were transferred to the NASM Film Archives in January 1995.

SERIES I: Patent-Related Material

SERIES II: Technical Material

SERIES III: Miscellaneous Material

SERIES IV: Engineering Drawings and Oversized Material
Biographical / Historical:
Gerard Post Herrick (1873-1955) was a lawyer and engineer who is known as the inventor of the convertible aircraft. In 1911 Herrick, a graduate of Princeton (A.B.1895) and the New York Law School (L.L.B.1897), founded the Herrick Engine Co. to market his "balanced rotary engine" concept. During World War I, he served as a captain in the Army Air Service (1918-19). After the war, Herrick developed the concept of the convertible aircraft, which could operate both as a fixed-wing airplane and as a giroplane. In late 1930, Herrick engaged F. E. Seiler, ex-chief engineer of Kellett Aircraft Corp, to assist in the design of a full-scale Vertoplane, as Herrick called his invention. After delivering a number of drawings and reports to Herrick, Seiler began work at Heath Aircraft Co. and, before his death in mid-1931, pedaled the convertible aircraft concept and the data from his work with Herrick to C. L. Stauffer, a promoter and Heath dealer. In the meantime, Ralph H. McClarren, who had met Herrick in the late 1920s at the Guggenheim School of Aeronautics and had been Seiler's assistant at Kellett, left Kellett to join Heath, where he uncovered Seiler's and Stauffer's activities.

By this time Herrick had established the Vertoplane Development Corp. of New York to finance his aircraft. Herrick contracted with Heath for the actual construction of the craft, the design of which fell to McClarren. The first aircraft, the HV-1, was ready on November 6, 1931. The test pilot, Merrill Lambert, made several successful test flights in both fixed- and rotating-wing mode, but when he attempted an in-flight transition between the two, the aircraft fell out of control and crashed. Lambert bailed out of the aircraft, but was killed when his parachute failed to open.

Post-crash analysis found no fault with the basic convertible aircraft concept and Herrick continued development work with McClarren remaining as consulting engineer. The new aircraft, the HV-2, was flight tested beginning October 31, 1936 with George Townson as test pilot. Although the aircraft flew in both fixed- and rotating-wing mode, vibrations in the rotating wing delayed the first in-flight conversion until July 30, 1937.

Herrick continued to develop the convertible airplane concept with McClarren and others, including designs with both powered and unpowered rotors, as well as a variety of configurations and power plants. In the immediate post-World War II years, he changed the company name to Convertoplane Corp. and unsuccessfully lobbied financial interests and the government for support. He remained the president of Covertoplane and stayed active in the development process until his death in 1955.
Provenance:
Gerard P. Herrick, gift, 1958, NASM.XXXX.0097, unknown.
Restrictions:
Please see NASM Archives for restrictions.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Autogiros  Search this
Herrick Vertaplane Family  Search this
Herrick rotary engine  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Black-and-white negatives
Publications
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence
Drawings
Citation:
Gerard Post Herrick Papers, NASM.XXXX.0097, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0097
See more items in:
Gerard Post Herrick Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0097
Additional Online Media:

Edwin C. Parsons Scrapbooks

Creator:
Parsons, Edwin C, 1892-1968  Search this
Names:
France. Armée. Escadrille Lafayette  Search this
Extent:
0.66 Cubic feet (1 flatbox)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Memoirs
Photographs
Certificates
Scrapbooks
Date:
1914-1924
bulk 1915-1820
Summary:
This collection contains three scrapbooks and four certificates relating to Edwin C. Parsons' aviation career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains three scrapbooks and four certificates relating to Edwin C. Parsons' aviation career. The three scrapbooks include photos, news clippings, and mementos from Edwin C. Parsons' expatriate years, 1914-1924. Included in the albums are photos of Parsons' service in France with the Lafayette Escadrille and Les Cigognes squadron, his repatriation certificate, French military citations, and his memoir Fighting Men of the Sky, published in 40 installments weekly beginning 24 March 1918. Also included are news clippings of Parsons' exploits during his varied career.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged by type of material; the scrapbooks are in original order and the loose items are housed at the end of the collection.
Biographical / Historical:
Rear Admiral Edwin C. Parsons (1892-1968) had a varied aviation career, serving in two World Wars. Parsons graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1910 and after attending the University of Pennsylvania, he moved to California where he learned to fly at Dominguez Field. Parsons was commissioned with the Mexican Aviation Corps in 1914 where he trained Pancho Villa's pilots. In 1915, he worked his way to Europe where he joined the Lafayette Escadrille, and was credited with eight kills, making him an ace. From 1920 until 1923, Parsons was a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). He then went to Hollywood where he became a script writer and technical advisor, working on such films as Wings, Dawn Patrol, and The Great Adventure. In 1934 he joined the Naval Reserve where he advanced to the rank of Rear Admiral. During World War II Parsons served on an aircraft carrier and took part in amphibious landings in the South Pacific. He retired from the service in 1954.
Provenance:
Adm. Edwin C. Parsons, Gift, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0308
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
World War, 1914-1918 -- Aerial operations  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Memoirs
Photographs
Certificates
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Edwin C. Parsons Scrapbooks, NASM.XXXX.0308, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0308
See more items in:
Edwin C. Parsons Scrapbooks
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0308
Additional Online Media:

Virgil Kauffman/Aero Service Corporation Collection

Creator:
Kauffman, Virgil  Search this
Names:
Aero Service Corp  Search this
Kauffman, Virgil  Search this
Extent:
0.43 Linear feet
0.49 Cubic feet (1 legal document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Maps
Photographs
Publications
Correspondence
Clippings
Date:
1910-1986
bulk 1920-1940
Summary:
This collection consists of files on Aero Service Corp and Virgil Kauffman.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of correspondence, published materials, press clippings, photographs, and maps documenting Aero Service and its photogrammetrist work, as well as material on Virgil Kauffman in particular.
Arrangement:
Arranged by the archivist in chronological order.
Biographical/Historical note:
Virgil Kauffman (1898-1925) was a photographer and photogrammetrist. Kauffman was a unit photographer in the U.S. Army during World War I and was assigned to the Air Service for aerial reconnaissance. After the war Kauffman joined the Aero Service Corporation and eventually became President of the company. Aero Service was founded in 1919 to carry out a wide variety of projects, including aerial photography, photo mapping, and remote sensing. The company participated in several important projects, including work with the Tennessee Valley Authority, U.S. Geological Survey, and mapping work for the European and Pacific theaters during World War II.
Provenance:
Virgil Kauffman Estate and C. Eric Storms, gift, 1986, 1987-0146, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aerial photography  Search this
Aerial reconnaissance  Search this
Photogrammetry  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Photogrammetrists  Search this
Remote sensing  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Genre/Form:
Maps
Photographs
Publications
Correspondence
Clippings
Citation:
Virgil Kauffman/Aero Service Corporation Collection, Acc. 1987-0146, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1987.0146
See more items in:
Virgil Kauffman/Aero Service Corporation Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1987-0146
Additional Online Media:

Garland Fulton Collection

Creator:
Fulton, Garland, 1890-1974  Search this
Names:
United States. Navy -- General subdivision--Aviation  Search this
Extent:
20.8 Cubic feet (45 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Memorandums
Photographs
Technical reports
Date:
1914-1964
bulk 1918-1945
Summary:
The Garland Fulton Collection consists of material gathered by Captain Garland Fulton.
Scope and Contents:
The Garland Fulton Collection consists of material gathered by Captain Garland Fulton, USN (1890-1975), naval officer and proponent of lighter than air (LTA) flight. The collection was originally donated by Fulton's estate to the U.S. Naval Historical Foundation of Washington D.C. in 1979, and was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum as a permanent deposit in 1982. The collection was formally donated to NASM in May of 2000. Comprising 16 cubic feet, the Fulton Papers includes correspondence and memoranda regarding the US Navy's LTA program from the 1920s to the beginnings of the expansion of the Navy's LTA program prior to World War II. There is also extensive material on Naval airship policy, and on defense policy between the world wars. As head of the Lighter-Than-Air Design Section of the Bureau of Aeronautics, Fulton was an insider in the art of defense procurement and spending --his memoranda and letters provide an illuminating look into defense policy and congressional affairs between the World Wars. Of particular interest is Fulton's correspondence from his service as Inspector of Naval Aircraft during the construction of the USS Los Angeles in Friedrichshafen, Germany, 1922-1924. His correspondence with other leading figures in LTA and naval affairs --William A. Moffett, Ernest J. King, Jerome Hunsaker, Karl Arnstein, Hugo Eckener, F.W. von Meister, and Charles E. Rosendahl are an invaluable resource of the heroic period of airship development.

The collection also includes technical data on airships, airship design, and naval architecture. There are many photographs, including photos documenting the construction of the Los Angeles.

The collection includes books on lighter-than-air history naval history, and engineering. A number of the books have been transferred to the NASM branch of the Smithsonian Institution Libraries; others were transferred with the permission of the Fulton family to other institutions. Several books with personal inscriptions were retained with the collection.

The collection also includes a series of photographs of airships, including many detailing the construction and first flight of the Los Angeles.
Arrangement:
The Garland Fulton Collection is arranged in the following series:

Series I: Personal Files, Correspondence, Fulton's Writings

Subseries 1 --Biography, personal papers

Subseries 2 --Correspondence

Subseries 3 --Papers, articles, and notes by Garland Fulton

Series II: Lighter Than Air (LTA)

Subseries 1 --Navy airships; Navy LTA policy and doctrine

Subseries 2 --Civilian and foreign airships

Subseries 3 --LTA, general

Subseries 4 --LTA articles, papers and data

Subseries 5 --LTA general publications

Subseries 6 --LTA gases

Series III: Aeronautics, general

Series IV: Publications, Papers, Reports, Journals

Subseries 1 --Arranged by organization and/or individuals

Subseries 2 --Technical papers, reports, journals

Subseries 3 --Magazines, journals, papers, reports

Subseries 4 --Newspapers, clippings

Series V: US Navy, general

Series VI: Miscellaneous documents

Series VII: Photographs

Series VIII: Books

Series IX: Oversized Material
Biographical / Historical:
Captain Garland Fulton, USN, one of the U.S. Navy's leading proponents of lighter-than-air (LTA) flight, was born in University, Mississippi on May 6, 1890. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy in 1908. His roommate at the Academy was Richard E. Byrd (1888-1957), and another classmate was Donald W. Douglas, later founder of the Douglas Aircraft Company. Serving at the Academy during Fulton's career as a midshipman was Lieutenant Ernest J. King, later head of the Bureau of Aeronautics (BuAer), 1933-1937, and Commander in Chief, U.S. Fleet (COMINCH) during World War II. An early advocate of naval aviation, King sparked Fulton's interest in aeronautics. Fulton graduated from the Naval Academy in 1912. Following duty with the fleet, Fulton attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), studying naval architecture and, under Commander (and Dr.) Jerome C. Hunsaker, aeronautical engineering. Fulton received his master's degree in 1916. Fulton entered the Naval Construction Corps in 1915, serving in the Industrial Department at the New York Navy Yard, where, during World War I, he was in charge of mounting guns on armed merchant ships. In May 1918, Fulton asked to be assigned to aeronautical engineering duties in the Aviation Section of the Navy's Bureau of Construction and Repair. Fulton transferred to the Bureau of Aeronautics when that organization was founded in 1921. In 1922, now a lieutenant commander, Fulton was sent to Europe to assist in the negotiations for the purchase of the "Reparations Airship" to replace the German rigid airships that had been awarded to the United States by the Versailles Treaty but were destroyed by their crews before transfer to the US. As Inspector of Naval Aircraft (INA), Fulton served at the Zeppelin works (Luftschiffbau-Zeppelin) at Friedrichshafen, Germany during the construction and flight trials of the rigid airship LZ 126. Assigned the service designation ZR-3, the airship was christened the USS Los Angeles upon its delivery to the US Navy at the Lakehurst Naval Air Station, NJ in 1924. Fulton resumed his service at the Bureau of Aeronautics in Washington DC after the completion of Los Angeles. As head of the Bureau's Lighter-Than-Air Design Section until his retirement, Fulton oversaw the design and construction of the USS Akron (ZRS-4) and the USS Macon (ZRS-5), and worked actively to help further the acceptance of large airships in both the Navy and in commerce. Under Fulton's guidance, expansion of the Navy's non-rigid airship (blimp) program was initiated in the years prior to the United States' entry into World War II.

Garland Fulton retired from the Navy with the rank of captain in 1940 and joined the Cramp Shipbuilding Company of Philadelphia as a director. After retirement from Cramps as vice president in charge of engineering in 1947, Fulton served on several corporate boards of directors. In later years, Fulton was a frequent unofficial consultant to the Navy and industry on LTA issues. He continued to correspond with other participants of the airship age, including Admiral Thomas G.W. "Tex" Settle, Admiral C.E. Rosendahl, Commodore George H. Mills (NASM Collection 1994-0022), Jerome C. Hunsaker (NASM Collection XXXX-0001), Karl Arnstein, and F.W. "Willy" von Meister. As the dean of American airshipmen, Fulton frequently served as a source of information to airship historians like Douglas Robinson, Richard Smith, Robin Hingham, and William Althoff. Fulton wrote extensively on LTA and aeronautical history, and planned to write a history of U.S. Naval Aviation until prevented by failing health. Garland Fulton died on October 24, 1974 --the same day as his friend George Mills. They were buried on the same day in Arlington National Cemetery.
Provenance:
Naval Aviation History Foundation, Gift, 1981
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at http://airandspace.si.edu/permissions
Topic:
USS Los Angeles ( ZR-3)  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
USS Akron (ZRS-4)  Search this
Airships  Search this
USS Macon (ZRS-5)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Memorandums
Photographs
Technical reports
Citation:
Garland Fulton Collection, Accession XXXX-0101, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0101
See more items in:
Garland Fulton Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0101
Additional Online Media:

Samuel P. Langley Collection

Creator:
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Names:
Chanute, Octave, 1832-1910  Search this
Herring, Augustus Moore, 1867-1926  Search this
Huffaker, Edward C., 1856-1937  Search this
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Manly, Charles Matthews, 1876-1927  Search this
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903  Search this
Extent:
24.28 Cubic feet (64 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Correspondence
Drawings
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Date:
1891-1914
bulk 1891-1900
Summary:
This collection includes information about Samuel P. Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence, manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for the Aerodromes, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, the Langley Memoirs on Mechanical Flight and the Langley "Waste Books."
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes information about Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes the Aerodrome project waste books, biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence), manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for staff labor on the project, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, and manuscript material from the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight.

The National Air and Space Museum's Samuel P. Langley Collection was drawn from several sources in the Smithsonian Institution. Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003) for several purposes:

Design papers and notes from Langley's aerodrome project were used for restoring the Langley Aerodromes for exhibits beginning in 1917.

Correspondence from the papers was consulted when controversies arose between the Wright brothers and the Smithsonian, and over credit for the design of the motor built by Stephen M. Balzer and extensively modified by Charles Manly, which was used on Aerodrome A.

Technical drawings of the Aerodromes were drawn from the SIA in the 1970s for conservation purposes.

Other material was added to the collection over the years:

Correspondence, memoranda, notes and label scripts from Langley exhibits from 1913 through the 1960s.

Design notes and work records from Langley's workshop were stored with the Aerodromes in the Museum's collections, and were later transferred to the Archives Division.

Biographical material on Langley, and correspondence to the Museum on Langley and the Aerodromes.

Material from the foundation of the Langley Aerodynamic Laboratory (now NASA's Langley Research Center) in 1913.

In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:

Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.

Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907

Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.

The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.

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.
Arrangement:
The Samuel P. Langley Collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1 - Waste Books: Langley and his staff used waste books - bound ledgers - to keep records of their work on the aeronautical projects, which Langley inspected frequently.

Series 2 - Scrapbooks: A collection of 18 scrapbooks containing newspaper and magazine clippings on "Aerial Navigation". Projects by Langley, Maxim, Lilienthal and many obscure aeronautical experimenters are included. Other clippings are included in Series VIII and XI.

Series 3 - Aeronautical Research and the Aerodromes: This series consists of notes, data, drawings and memoranda from Langley's aeronautical research at both the Smithsonian and the Allegheny Observatory. Subseries 2 contains material used in various Smithsonian exhibitions of the Langley Aerodromes. Some additional material is included in Series 11.

Subseries 3.1 - Design and Construction

Subseries 3.2 - Langley Aerodrome Exhibits

Series 4 - Correspondence: Letters and memoranda written by and sent to S. P. Langley and his assistants, C. M. Manly and J. E. Watkins. Additional correspondence is included in Series 11.

Subseries 4.1 - S. P. Langley Correspondence

Subseries 4.2 - S. P. Langley's Assistants' Correspondence

Subseries 3 - Miscellaneous Correspondence

Series 5 - Manuscripts, Papers, Articles: Manuscripts, published articles and papers by Langley and others. See also Series 11.

Subseries 5.1 - Works by S. P. Langley

Subseries 5.2 - Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Articles, and Notes

Series 6 - Photographs: Photographs, mainly of Langley's Aerodromes. Additional photographs are included with Series 11.

Series 7 - Trade Catalogues and Ephemera: Trade catalogues and price lists from various suppliers and dealers found stored with the "Aerodrome A" at the Museum's Paul E. Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

Series 8 - Miscellaneous Files

Series 9 - Flat Boxes and Oversized Material: Ledgers, drawings, test data, publications

Series 10 - Shorthand Diaries: A collection of 37 notebooks containing notes in an unidentified shorthand system, dating from 1898 to 1902, with 8 notebooks bearing partial dates or undated.

Series 11 - Additional Material: After the publication of the Langley Collection finding aid, two additional boxes of correspondence, manuscript material, drawings and photographs were found in the Museum's rare book room, the Ramsey Room. This material has been included as a separate series.
Biographical / Historical:
Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) was an astronomer, a pioneer of aeronautical research, and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1887-1906). As a young man, Langley studied civil engineering and pursued this as a career until 1864, when his interest in astronomy led him to positions at the Harvard Observatory, the Naval Academy, the Western University of Pennsylvania and the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh. In 1887, Langley was named Secretary of the Smithsonian, and spent the following years in the research, construction and tests of flying machines. On May 6, 1896, his unpiloted Aerodrome No. 5, powered by a 1hp steam engine, flew nearly three quarters of a mile. This flight surpassed by more than ten times the best efforts of any predecessor. In 1898, at the request of the Army's Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, Langley started work on another design - the Great Aerodrome, also known as Aerodrome A. However, two attempts at launching the aircraft in 1903 failed. In addition to his scientific experiments, Langley's writings include Experiments in Aerodynamics and The Internal Work of the Wind, and the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight, published posthumously. Samuel P. Langley died in Aiken, South Carolina, on February 27, 1906.

A Timeline of Early Aeronautical Milestones and Samuel P. Langley's Life and Career

August 22, 1834 -- Samuel Pierpont Langley born to Samuel Langley and Mary Sumner Williams Langley in Roxbury Massachusetts.

1843 -- William Henson and John Stringfellow publish their design for the "Aeriel", a steam-powered "Aerial Steam Carriage".

1845 -- Langley begins to attend the Boston Latin School.

1847 -- Henson tests a model of his aircraft.

1848 -- Stringfellow and Henson build and test a steam powered model aircraft. It has a wingspan of 10 feet (3.5 meters), and it flies 131 feet (40 meters) before crashing into a wall.

1849 -- Sir George Cayley tests a towed triplane glider. In one test, it flies several yards with a local boy as a passenger.

1851 -- Langley graduates from the Boston High School; begins work as an apprentice with a Boston architect.

circa 1852-1864 -- Langley works for architectural and engineering firms in St. Louis and Chicago.

1853 -- Cayley's coachman flies a glider across Brompton Dale, Yorkshire. The coachman resigns his position after the flight. Cayley conceives the rubber band–powered model airplane. Michel Loup designs a powered twin propeller monoplane with a wheeled undercarriage.

1853-1854 -- L C. Letur tests his parachute-glider design. Letur is killed in a test flight in 1854.

1855 -- Joseph Pline coins the word "aeroplane" to describe a propeller-driven dirigible.

1857 -- Jean-Marie Le Bris, a sea captain inspired by the flight of the albatross, builds a glider he names the "Albatros Artificiel" and makes two short hops, breaking his leg in the second. Félix du Temple, a French naval officer, flies a clockwork model aircraft - the first sustained powered flights by a heavier-than-air machine.

1862 -- Gabriel de la Landelle coins the word "aviation", and later, "aviateur" - aviator.

1864 -- Langley returns to Roxbury. He begins work, with his younger brother John, on a five foot focal length telescope, which they complete over three years.

1864-1865 -- Samuel and John Langley tour Europe.

circa 1865 -- Langley is hired as observatory assistant at the Harvard University Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

January 1866 -- The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain (later named the Royal Aeronautical Society) is founded.

circa 1866 -- Langley is hired as assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Duties include restoring the Academy's astronomical observatory to operation.

1867 -- Langley is named professor of Astronomy and Physics at the Western University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. Duties include directorship of the Allegheny Observatory. His tenure at Allegheny will begin his work at the popularization of science through lectures and writing newspaper and journal articles.

1868 -- Stringfellow builds a model triplane.

1869 -- Langley proposes a system of standard time distribution via the telegraph to railroads and cities. The Pennsylvania Railroad signs on for the service. Langley joins a U.S. Coast Survey expedition to Oakland, Kentucky, to observe the August 7th solar eclipse. He observes later eclipses in 1870, 1878, and 1900.

1870 -- The Allegheny Observatory begins twice-daily time signals to the Pennsylvania Railroad's offices. Other railroads, businesses, and government offices later subscribe to the service. The income from the system aids the operation of the Allegheny Observatory and Langley's research work. Langley travels to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, to observe a solar eclipse.

1870 -- Alphonse Pénaud designs his rubber-powered "Hélicoptère".

August 18, 1871 -- Pénaud demonstrates his "Planophore", a rubber-powered model, at the Tuileries, Paris. It flies 40 meters (approximately 131 feet) in 11 seconds.

1871 -- Francis Wenham designs the first wind tunnel; it is built by John Browning.

1873 -- Langley makes a detailed drawing of a sun spot. Famous for its accuracy of detail, the drawing is widely reproduced for many years.

1876 -- Pénaud and Paul Gauchot patent a design for an inherently stable steam-powered full-sized airplane.

1878 -- Bishop Milton Wright presents a toy based on the Pénaud "Hélicoptère" to two of his sons – eleven year old Wilbur and seven year old Orville.

1879-1880 -- Langley designs and builds his bolometer for the measurement of the energy of incident electromagnetic radiation.

1879 -- Victor Tatin designs and flies a compressed air-powered seven foot long model.

1881 -- Langley organizes an expedition to Mount Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada Range for solar observations and other scientific studies.

1883 -- Alexandre Goupil builds a bird-shaped unpowered airplane that briefly lifts off in a tethered test while carrying two men.

1884 -- The U.S. Signal Service publishes Langley's report on the Mount Whitney expedition.

1886 -- Langley's interest in aeronautics is kindled by a paper on bird flight by a Mr. Lancaster at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Buffalo, New York. Lancaster also describes making small flying models which he describes as "floating planes" and "effigies".

1887 -- Langley designs and builds his large whirling table at the Allegheny Observatory for the study of aerodynamics; begins aeronautical experimental work. He coins the term Aerodromics for the art of building flying machines from the Greek aerodromoi.

January 12, 1887 -- Langley is appointed Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

April 1887 -- Langley begins to build small Pénaud type rubber-powered flying models.

November 18, 1887 -- Langley is named Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on the death of Secretary Spencer F. Baird. He retains the directorship of the Allegheny Observatory, dividing his time between Washington and Allegheny until 1891 when James E. Keeler becomes director of the observatory.

1887 -- Hiram Maxim, an American living in Great Britain and inventor of the Maxim machine gun, begins work on a large powered biplane test rig.

1888 -- Langley publishes The New Astronomy.

1889 -- The National Zoological Park is founded, due to Langley's support. A site in Washington's Rock Creek Park is selected by Langley and Frederick Law Olmstead. The Zoo becomes part of the Smithsonian in 1890, and is opened in 1891.

1890 -- Langley founds the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; its first home is in a wooden building behind the Smithsonian Castle. In 1955, SAO moves to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1890 -- Clément Ader completes his "Éole', a full-sized airplane. It has a fifty foot wing span, and is equipped with a lightweight 20-horsepower steam engine of Ader's design and a four-bladed propeller. At Armainvilliers on October 9, the Éole lifts off the ground to an altitude of approximately one foot and skims the ground for about 50 meters (165 feet). Ader later claims a second flight of 100 meters in September, 1891; there is no evidence for the second flight.

March 28, 1891 -- First successful flight of one of Langley's rubber-powered models.

1891 -- Work begins on Langley's "Aerodrome No. 0", powered by two small steam engines. Construction is halted before the aircraft is completed.

1891 -- Otto Lilienthal, a German mechanical engineer, begins a program of flight research using piloted hang gliders of his own design. He and his brother Gustav will go on to design and build 18 gliders over the next five years, making approximately 2,000 flights. Langley's Experiments in Aerodynamics is published by the Smithsonian.

1892 -- Langley's "Aerodrome No. 1" designed and built. Not flown.

1892-1893 -- "Aerodrome No. 2" and "Aerodrome No. 3" are designed and built. "No. 3" is powered by compressed air. Neither is flown.

1893 -- A 38 foot scow is converted into a houseboat with a workshop and launch platform for Aerodrome testing. In May, it is towed down the Potomac to a point near Quantico, Virginia, off Chopawamsic Island. In November, "Aerodrome No. 4" is taken to the houseboat for testing.

November 20, 1893 -- Test flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" - it falls in the water.

December 7, 1893 -- Second flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" – it falls in the water.

July 31, 1894 -- Maxim's large test rig rises briefly from its support rails during a test run.

August 1-4, 1894 -- Octave Chanute and Albert Zahm sponsor the Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, bringing together an international assembly of aeronautical researchers.

October 1894 -- Test flight of modified "Aerodrome No. 4", using improved catapult. Aircraft falls in the water. "Aerodrome No. 5", with a one horsepower gasoline burning steam engine, is also tested. It flies 35 feet for three seconds before stalling and falling into the river.

November 12, 1894 -- Lawrence Hargrave, an Australian researcher, links together four of his box kites, adds a simple seat, and flies to an altitude of 16 feet in the device.

1894 -- Chanute publishes his book Progress in Flying Machines.

1895 -- James Means publishes the first of his three >Aeronautical Annuals.

May 6, 1896 -- "Aerodrome No. 6" is launched from the houseboat's catapult; the left wing collapses and the aircraft lands in the water. Aerodrome No. 5 is launched at 3:05 PM and flies about half a mile in a minute and a half at an altitude reaching 100 feet – the first sustained flight of a heavier than air apparatus. In a second flight at 5:10, Aerodrome No. 5 makes three circles, climbs to about 60 feet, and is airborne for one minute and thirty-one seconds. The flight is witnessed and photographed by Alexander Graham Bell (box 45, folder 9).

June 1896 -- Chanute and Augustus Herring establish a camp at the Lake Michigan dunes near Miller, Indiana to conduct flight tests on a number of gliders – several of Chanute's designs, including his multiwing "Katydid", Herring's copy of a Lilienthal design, and a Chanute-Herring triplane collaboration.

August 9, 1896 -- Lilienthal's glider stalls and crashes from an altitude of about 50 feet. Lilienthal dies of his injuries the next morning. His last words are "Opfer müssen gebracht warden" - "Sacrifices must be made".

November 28, 1896 -- "Aerodrome No. 6" is flown from the houseboat – it flies 4800 feet in one minute and forty-five seconds.

July 1897 -- Ader completes his "Avion III", also known as the "Aquilon". It features two 20-horsepower steam engines and twin tractor propellers, and a wingspan of nearly 56 feet. The aircraft weighs approximately 880 pounds. Ader attempts a flight on October 14; "Avion III" is unable to rise off the ground.

March 25, 1898 -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt suggests the military use of the Langley "Aerodrome" to Navy Secretary John D. Long (box 40, folder 10).

April 6, 1898 -- Langley proposes a scaled-up version of the "Aerodrome" for military use to a joint Army-Navy board meeting at the Smithsonian. He requests $50,000 to build a large, piloted version of his earlier designs. The proposed aircraft is called the "Great Aerodrome", or "Aerodrome A".

June 1898 -- Charles M. Manly, a Cornell University engineering student, is hired as Langley's "assistant in charge of experiments".

October 1898 -- Major work begins on the "Great Aerodrome", also known as "Aerodrome A".

December 12, 1898 -- A contract is signed between Langley and Stephen M. Balzer of New York. Balzer is to design and build a 12 horsepower motor to power the "Aerodrome". On the same date, Langley writes to the U.S. Army Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, agreeing to design and build a flying machine. He estimates a cost of $50,000 to build his machine.

May 1899 -- A new, larger houseboat equipped with a turntable and catapult is delivered in Washington.

May 30, 1899 -- Wilbur Wright sends a letter to Langley at the Smithsonian, requesting material pertaining to aeronautical research. He says in his letter that he wishes "… to begin a systematic study of the subject in preparation for practical work." Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Richard Rathbun directs his staff to assemble a package of papers, including Langley's Story of Experiments in Mechanical Flight and Experiments in Aerodynamics. The Wright brothers receive the package three weeks later. They later credit the material they received from the Smithsonian with giving them a "good understanding of the nature of the problem of flying."

June 7 - August 3, 1899 -- Additional flights of "Aerodrome No. 5" and "No. 6" are made from the houseboat at Chopawamsic Island.

July 1899 -- Langley visits Ader's workshop in Paris.

July 1899 -- The Wright Brothers build a five foot biplane kite.

October 2, 1899 -- Percy Pilcher dies of his injury after his Lilienthal-type glider breaks up in flight.

May 1900 -- Langley and the staff of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory observe the May 28 solar eclipse in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

August 1900 -- The Wrights begin to build their first glider, a biplane design with a 17 foot wingspan.

September 1900 -- The Wrights arrive at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to test their glider on the dunes. They begin test flights in early October.

July 1901 -- The Wrights return to Kitty Hawk with a new biplane glider.

August 1901 -- Langley creates the Children's Room, with exhibits designed to inspire interest in science, technology and natural history, in the Smithsonian Castle.

Autumn 1901 -- The Wright brothers return to Dayton and begin a program to develop their own fundamental aeronautical data, building a wind tunnel and a test rig mounted on a bicycle.

September 19, 1902 -- The Wrights complete assembly of their new glider and begin flights the same afternoon. They continue the flights through the autumn. After an early crash, continual modifications improve the design. Wilbur writes to his father, "We now believe the flying problem is really nearing its solution." On their return to Dayton, the brothers file a patent on their design.

July 14, 1903 -- The houseboat is towed down the Potomac to a spot opposite Widewater, Virginia, about 40 miles from Washington.

August 8, 1903 -- Langley's "Quarter-Size Aerodrome" makes a successful flight from the houseboat.

September 3, 1903 -- Work is begun on erecting the "Great Aerodrome" on the houseboat catapult.

October 7, 1903 -- The "Great Aerodrome", piloted by Manly, is launched by the houseboat catapult at 12:20 PM. The aircraft is snagged by the catapult launch car, and drops into the river. Langley was in Washington, and does not witness the attempt. The wreckage of the "Aerodrome" is salvaged.

December 8, 1903 -- The refurbished "Great Aerodrome" is readied for flight on the houseboat, now moored below Washington at Arsenal Point at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. At 4:45 PM, the aircraft, with Manly at the controls, is launched. The tail assembly drags along the launch track, and the "Aerodrome's" tail begins to collapse. The "Aerodrome" drops into the river. Manly is briefly trapped by the wreckage, but cuts himself free and is rescued. In the aftermath of the crash, Langley is ridiculed in the press. Though the Army withdraws its support, Langley receives offers of financial support from businessmen to continue his aeronautical work. He politely refuses these offers and ends his aeronautical activities.

December 17, 1903 -- The Wright brothers make four flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The first flight covered a distance of 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds; in the fourth flight, the "Flyer" traveled 852 feet in 59 seconds.

June 1905 -- The Smithsonian's accountant, W. W. Karr, is accused of embezzling Institutional funds. He is later convicted and imprisoned. Langley holds himself responsible for the loss, and thereafter refuses to accept his salary.

November 1905 -- Langley suffers a stroke.

February 1906 -- Langley moves to Aiken, South Carolina to convalesce.

February 27, 1906 -- After suffering another stroke, Langley dies.

March 3, 1906 -- Samuel Pierpont Langley is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Boston.

May-October 1914 -- The "Great Aerodrome" is refurbished and is tested on Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, New York; the tests are conducted by Glenn Curtiss. Using the Manly-Balzer motor and mounted on pontoons instead of using a catapult launch, the "Aerodrome" makes several short flights, the longest lasting about five seconds. Later a Curtiss 80-hp engine is substituted for the Manly-Balzer motor and a flight of about 3,000 feet is made on September 17. The Smithsonian Institution later displays the "Aerodrome" with an exhibit label that reads "The first man-carrying aeroplane in the history of the world capable of sustained free flight." This claim causes a rift between the Institution and Orville Wright (Wilber Wright had died in 1912) that is not fully mended until 1942. The Wright 1903 "Flyer" is presented to the Smithsonian Institution on December 17, 1948. Today, the "Flyer" is on exhibit in the Milestones of Flight Gallery of the National Air and Space Museum's Mall Building; Samuel Langley's "Great Aerodrome" is displayed at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff:
Langley's staff engaged in his aeronautical work as listed in waste books, drawings and correspondence:

The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff

F. C. Bache -- Laborer with the U.S. Fish Commission, then located at the Smithsonian.

Carl Barus -- Formerly of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Weather Bureau. Hired in 1893 as a physicist; acted as the liaison between Langley and the Aerodrome project staff. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

Louville Eugene Emerson -- Laborer.

George L. Fowler -- An engineer, Fowler was hired by Langley to help design an engine for the Aerodromes.

William Gaertner -- Instrument maker.

Heed, Jr. -- Name found in a shorthand diary dated 1899 - presumably, a Smithsonian secretary or assistant.

Augustus Moore Herring -- An independent aeronautical experimenter and skilled designer and pilot of gliders; hired by Octave Chanute in 1894 and by Langley as chief assistant in 1895. Herring resigned (or was dismissed) in November 1895 and resumed work with Chanute. In 1908, he competed with the Wrights for the Army Flyer contract, but did not complete a finished aircraft.

Edward Chalmers Huffaker -- An engineer and aeronautical experimenter; built gliders based on the observation of bird flight; had delivered a paper at the International Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, 1893. Recommended by Chanute, Huffaker was hired by Langley in December, 1894. He resigned from the Smithsonian in 1898 and went to work for Chanute.

L. C. Maltby -- Machinist, 1891-1899; assisted in motor design and oversaw the fabrications of the metalwork for the Aerodromes. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

Charles Matthews Manly -- Graduate of Cornell University (1896). Hired by Langley and placed in charge of construction of the Great Aerodrome in 1898. Piloted the Great Aerodrome on its two launch attempts, 1903. Manly resigned from the Smithsonian in 1905. He served as a consulting aviation engineer for different government agencies and corporations, including the British War Office, 1915; the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation 1915-1919 (from 1919-1920 as the assistant general manger); and as a member of the US Commission to the International Aircraft Conference, London, 1918. Manly also completed and edited Langley's Memoir on Mechanical Flight which was published by the Smithsonian in 1911.

Charles B. Nichols -- Smithsonian cabinet maker (1890-1893), in charge of construction of the small rubber powered models.

R. Luther Reed -- Smithsonian carpenter foreman (1880-1904). In charge of construction of Aerodromes No. 5 and 6 following between Herring's departure and Manly's arrival. Worked on design of the Great Aerodrome and the second houseboat. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

B.L. Rhinehart -- Smithsonian mechanic. Built a small steam motor for Aerodrome No. 0 in 1891. Performed design work on an experimental gasoline motor, c.1896.

William L. Speiden -- Draftsman or designer (1893-1899).

John Elfrith Watkins -- Assistant engineer of construction with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Joined the Smithsonian as an honorary curator in the Steam Transportation section in 1885. Named curator of Transportation in 1887. He rejoined the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1892, and later worked at the Field Columbian Museum as director of Industrial Arts. Watkins returned to the Smithsonian in 1895 as the National Museum's curator of Technological Collections. In 1898, he was named curator of the Division of Technology. Watkins also served the Smithsonian as Engineer of Property, 1888-1889, and Chief of Buildings and Superintendence, 1896-1903. Watkins carried on much of the Aerodrome project's correspondence, and was the project's expert in steam engine design.

George B. Wells -- Smithsonian messenger (1894-1903). Most of the collection's shorthand notebooks (Series X) bear his name; possibly, he acted as Langley's stenographer.

William Crawford Winlock -- Curator, Bureau of International Exchange (1889-1899).
Related Materials:
Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Samuel Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003).

In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:

Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.

Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907

Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.

The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.

Langley Technical Files: The Archives Division's technical files are housed in the Archives-Library reading room of the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Material on Langley and his Aerodromes are housed in folders in the technical files Aircraft Series and in the Biographies Series. Because material from the Samuel P. Langley Collection is thought to have been transferred into the Technical Files, these file headings are included here. In the listings, "Images Available" refers to digital image files available through the Archives Division's image database; these images may be viewed in the Museum's reading rooms.

Langley Technical Files: Aircraft Series Technical Files

Langley (Samuel P.), General -- Photos, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198600-80

Langley (Samuel P.), General, NASM -- Photos, Photo Dupes. Folder(s): AL-198601-80, AL-198601-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A (Great Aerodrome, Man-Carrying Aerodrome) -- Documents, Photos, Negatives, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198603-01, AL-198603-80, AL-198603-85, AL-198603-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A, Curtiss 1914 Rebuild -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198605-01, AL-198605-80, AL-198605-96, AL-198605-97, AL-198605-98, AL-198605-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A, NASM -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198607-01, AL-198607-80, AL-198607-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodromes, Numbered, General -- Photos, Photo Dupes. Folder(s): AL-198610-80, AL-198610-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 0 (1891) -- Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198612-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 1 (1891) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 2 (1892) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 3 (1892) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 4 (1895) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 5 (1895-96) -- Documents, Photos, Transparencies, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198622-01, AL-198622-80, AL-198622-90, AL-198622-98, AL-198622-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 6 (1895-96) -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198624-01, AL-198624-80, AL-198624-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Clockwork Model -- Photos. Folder(s): AL-198628-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Gliding Model Aerodromes (1895) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Ladder Kite (1896) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198635-80, AL-198635-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodromes, General -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198640-01, AL-198640-80, AL-198640-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 4 (1895) -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198648-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 11 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 13 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 14 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 15 -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198670-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 19 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198678-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 20 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 21 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 22 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198684-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 23 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198686-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 24 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 25 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 26 -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198692-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 27 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 28 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198696-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 30 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 31 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Proposed Man-Carrying Aerodrome (1898-99) -- Documents, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198710-01, AL-198710-99

Langley (Samuel P.) "Quarter-Size" Aerodrome (1900-01 -- Documents, Photos, Negatives, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198720-01, AL-198720-80, AL-198720-85, AL-198720-99

Langley (Samuel P.) "Rubber-Pull" Model Aerodrome (1895-96) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198730-80, AL-198730-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Whirling Arm (1888-90) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198740-80, AL-198740-99

Langley Technical Files: Biographies Series Technical Files

Langley, Samuel Pierpont, general -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-01

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-02

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-03

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-04

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-05

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-06

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Rocket) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-08

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/French) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-09

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-10

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-11

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-12

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-13

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-14

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Awards and Honors) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-15

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Wright Controversy) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-16

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Obituaries) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-17

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Photo Dupes. Folder(s): CL-094000-40

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Photos. Folder(s): CL-094000-80

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Negatives. Folder(s): CL-094000-85

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Images available.
Provenance:
Smithsonian generated, transfer, unknown.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permission Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- pre-1903  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics -- Records  Search this
Langley Aerodrome Family  Search this
Langley Aerodrome No 5 (1895-96)  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Drawings
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0494
See more items in:
Samuel P. Langley Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0494
Additional Online Media:

Jerome Clarke Hunsaker Papers

Creator:
Hunsaker, Jerome Clarke, 1886-1984  Search this
Names:
Bell Telephone Laboratories  Search this
Goodyear-Zeppelin  Search this
Hunsaker, Jerome Clarke, 1886-1984  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet (28 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Drawings
Diaries
Photographs
Correspondence
Publications
Date:
1916-1969
Summary:
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.
Arrangement:
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.
Biographical/Historical note:
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.
Provenance:
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker, gift, 1964, NASM.XXXX.0001, unknown
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Electricity in aeronautics  Search this
Airships  Search this
Aeronautical engineers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Diaries
Photographs
Correspondence
Publications
Citation:
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker Papers, NASM.XXXX.0001, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0001
See more items in:
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0001
Additional Online Media:

Women Flyers of America (WFA) Scrapbook

Creator:
McFadden, Mattie F.  Search this
Names:
Charles A. Lindbergh Fund, Inc.  Search this
Vought (Aircraft manufacturer)  Search this
Women Flyers of America (WFA)  Search this
McFadden, Mattie F.  Search this
Extent:
0.55 Cubic feet ((1 flatbox) (1 folder))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Newsletters
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Programs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1946-1988
bulk 1946-1951
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of a scrapbook, compiled by McFadden, relating to the founding and history of the WFA, as well as with McFadden's role with the WFA. The scrapbook includes WFA convention programs, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, patches, and 'The Women Flyer - Official Bulletin of the Women Flyers of America, Inc.' This donation also included a small cosmetic case with the WFA logo and McFadden's aviation pins. There is also material relating to the Charles A. Lindbergh Fund, Inc., in which McFadden participated as part of the Grants Review Panel during the 1980s.
Biographical / Historical:
The Women Flyers of America (WFA), established in July 1940, invited any women over the age of 18 to join their organization if they were interested in flying 'for sport, profession, or national emergency.' This organization helped to guide and prepare women in the various phases of aviation, and local chapters could be found in major cities across the United States. Mattie F. McFadden, an aeronautical engineer who worked for Chance Vought Aircraft Company, served as the Bridgeport, Connecticut, chapter president of the WFA and later became the national president of this organization. The organization folded in 1954.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Mattie F. McFadden Estate, gift, 1998, 1998-0041, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Women air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- Societies, etc.  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Newsletters
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Programs
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
NASM.1998.0041
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1998-0041

Frank Purdy Lahm Collection

Creator:
Lahm, Frank Purdy, 1877-1963  Search this
Names:
International Balloon Race  Search this
United States. Army  Search this
United States. Army. Air Corps. Training Center. Randolph Field. Texas  Search this
United States. Army. Army Air School -- Phillippines  Search this
United States. Army. Second Army Air Service  Search this
Lahm, Frank Purdy, 1877-1963  Search this
Extent:
1.04 Linear feet
1.09 Cubic feet (1 records center box; 1 flatbox)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Posters
Correspondence
Diaries
Date:
1906-1965
bulk 1912-1930
Summary:
Major General Frank Purdy Lahm (1877-1963) was the first balloon pilot, the first airship pilot, and the first airplane pilot in the US Army. Like his father, Frank Samuel Lahm, his early interest was in ballooning, and in 1906 he won the James Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race. In 1909 Lahm and Lt. Frederick E. Humphreys were trained by Orville and Wilbur Wright to fly the first plane the US Army purchased from the Wrights. In 1912 he was made commanding officer of the US Army Flying School in the Philippines, and during World War I he was commander of the Second Army Air Service. Following the war Lahm founded the Air Corps Training Center at Randolph Field, a source of great pride to him, but was reassigned in 1931 as air attaché and later military attaché to France and Belgium. When Lahm retired from the military in 1941 he had distinguished himself as recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal and the French Legion of Honor.

This collection consists of photographs and news clippings detailing Lahm's military career and his personal life.
Scope and Contents:
The Frank Purdy Lahm Collection (Acc. 1986-0044), located in the National Air and Space Museum Archives Division, is made up of approximately 1 cubic foot of newsclippings and other materials relating to his personal life and aviation-oriented career. The collection was donated by Lahm's children, Colonel Lawrence Lahm and Mrs. R.E. McMahon on September 12, 1985. The collection was formally received by NASM Archives Division in January of 1986.

The collection consists primarily of newsclippings relating Lahm's aviation-oriented military career. Also included are personal items such as correspondence, photographs, and published materials. Materials in this collection date between 1906 and 1963, with the bulk dates being between circa 1912 and 1930, when Lahm's military career appears busiest. The materials were divided into 3 Series:

1) The personal life of Frank Purdy Lahm: this includes newsclippings, personal correspondence, speeches and presentations, awards and honors both won by and established in the name of Lahm, and newsclippings in which Lahm speaks about other aviation happenings.

2) Materials relating to Lahm's Military Career: this series includes Lahm's ballooning experiences and reports to his superiors, his establishing of the U.S. Army Flying School at Fort McKinley in the Philippine Islands and his establishing of the U.S. Army Air Training Corps, Randolph Field, TX. Also included in this series is a copy of a pamphlet entitled Training the Airplane Pilot, which Lahm wrote for Great Britain while he was Military and Air Attaché to France and Belgium.

3) Clippings relating to aviation figures: this series contains newsclippings collected by Lahm for other aviation figures he apparently knew. While the bulk of these relate to Henry Arnold and the Wright Brothers, there is also a folder entitled "Clippings on other Aviation Figures."

As the bulk of this collection is made up of newsclippings, arrangement was made difficult by the fact that items relating to the same incident were spread out over a period of years. As such, a chronological arrangement of materials on the folder level was impossible. Arrangement on the folder level has been done by subject, with either chronological or alphabetical arrangement for items within the folder.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 3 Series:

1) The personal life of Frank Purdy Lahm: this includes newsclippings, personal correspondence, speeches and presentations, awards and honors both won by and established in the name of Lahm, and newsclippings in which Lahm speaks about other aviation happenings.

2) Materials relating to Lahm's Military Career: this series includes Lahm's ballooning experiences and reports to his superiors, his establishing of the U.S. Army Flying School at Fort McKinley in the Philippine Islands and his establishing of the U.S. Army Air Training Corps, Randolph Field, TX. Also included in this series is a copy of a pamphlet entitled Training the Airplane Pilot, which Lahm wrote for Great Britain while he was Military and Air Attaché to France and Belgium.

3) Clippings relating to aviation figures: this series contains newsclippings collected by Lahm for other aviation figures he apparently knew. While the bulk of these relate to Henry Arnold and the Wright Brothers, there is also a folder entitled "Clippings on other Aviation Figures."

As the bulk of this collection is made up of newsclippings, arrangement was made difficult by the fact that items relating to the same incident were spread out over a period of years. As such, a chronological arrangement of materials on the folder level was impossible. Arrangement on the folder level has been done by subject, with either chronological or alphabetical arrangement for items within the folder.

Series 1: Personal Life

Series 2: Military Career

Series 3: Other Aviation Figures
Biographical/Historical note:
Frank Purdy Lahm was born on 17 November 1877 in Mansfield, Ohio, the son of balloonist Frank S. Lahm and Adelaide Purdy Lahm. Following his mother's death in 1880, Frank's father moved to Paris to pursue his ballooning interests, leaving his son in the care of a widowed aunt. Between 1880 and 1901, Lahm attended a number of schools and military institutes, finally graduating in 1901 with a Bachelor of Military Science degree from the United States Military Academy, West Point. After graduation, Lahm was assigned to the cavalry branch and immediately departed to the Philippines for duty with the Sixth Cavalry. He served there until 1903, when, much to his dismay, he was reassigned to West Point to teach French. In the summer of 1904, Lahm went to visit his father in Paris on leave. While there, Lahm made his first ascent in a balloon. One year later Lahm was awarded Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (F.A.I.) Balloon Certificate #4. In 1906 Lahm represented the United States in the first Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race, which Lahm and his aide, Major Henry Hersey, won after out distancing their nearest opponents by fifty miles. Lahm was then transferred to the Aeronautical Section of the Army Signal Corps. Lahm was ordered to investigate aeronautical activities in Britain and Germany, where he spent much of 1907. In February of 1908, Lahm drafted a report on military aviation and presented it to Theodore Roosevelt, who then approved a sum of $25,000 for military aeronautics. Having received F.A.I. Airship Pilot Certificate #2, Lahm was deemed the best candidate to direct trial flights leading to the possible purchase of military aircraft.

With his prior aviation experience, Lahm was put in charge of organizing the 1908 trials of the Wright brothers' aircraft at Fort Myer, Virginia. While at Fort Myer, Lahm was the first passenger in a heavier-than-air craft, flying eight days prior to the accident in which Lt. Thomas Selfridge became the first Army flight casualty. After the accident, Lahm and the other directors were re-assigned to their original branches, with Lahm returning to the cavalry. Trial flights of the Wright Military Flyer resumed in 1909. On 9 September, Lahm and Orville Wright set the world endurance flying record with a flight of six minutes. During October, Wilbur Wright taught Lahm and Lt. Frederick Humphries to fly at College Park, Maryland, and Lahm received F.A.I. Airplane Pilot Certificate #2 on 26 October, soloing three minutes after Humphries.

Following the successful trial flights, Lahm returned to the cavalry branch and remained in relative anonymity until July 1911, when he won the National Balloon Race in St. Louis, Missouri, and placed second in the International Balloon Race, held at the same time. On 18 October, 1911, Lahm married Gertrude Jenner. In 1912, Lahm was transferred to the Philippine Islands, where he established and commanded the U.S. Army Flying School at Fort McKinley. Lahm remained in the Pacific until 1914, when he was again reassigned to the cavalry and served on the Mexican border. After his tour with the cavalry, Lahm was promoted to the rank of captain in April of 1916 and served as the secretary of the U.S. Army Flying School, Rockwell Field, San Diego, California. He remained here until 1917, when he was put in command of the U.S. Army Balloon School, Omaha, Nebraska, and promoted to the temporary rank of colonel. Later in that same year, Lahm was ordered overseas to observe British and French use of balloons in combat. Originally intending to return home, Lahm was then put in command of the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.) lighter-than-air service. He also acted as Commander of the Second Army Air Service, A.E.F. In 1918, due to the wartime necessity for officers, Lahm was promoted to the permanent rank of colonel and continued his service with the Second Army Air Service.

In 1919 and 1920 Lahm attended the Army War College, followed by assignment to the War Department General Staff in Washington, D.C. until 1924. From 1924 to 1926 Lahm acted as Air Officer for the Ninth Corps Area, and in 1926, Lahm was instrumental in planning and organizing the Air Corps Training Center, which was to soon become Randolph Field, San Antonio, Texas. His duties at Randolph Field kept him in Texas until 1930, when Lahm was temporarily promoted to the rank of brigadier general and assigned as the Assistant Chief of the Air Corps. In 1930, Lahm returned to the position of Air Officer, Ninth Corps Area. In 1931, Lahm's wife died. Following his duty as Air Officer, Lahm reverted to his permanent rank and was assigned as the Air Attaché to France, Belgium, and Spain. In 1933, Lahm picked up the additional responsibility of being Military Attaché to France and Belgium, remaining in both of these posts until 1935. He then served as Air Officer for the Second Corps Area until 1940, when he became the Chief of Aviation, First Army, at Governors Island, New York. In 1941, Lahm was promoted to the permanent rank of brigadier general and assigned as the Commanding General at the Gulf Coast Training Center, Randolph Field, Texas. While here he received an honorary promotion to the rank of major general from President Franklin Roosevelt. Having reached mandatory retirement age, Lahm retired on 30 November, 1941 with the rank of brigadier general.

Following retirement, Lahm moved back to his hometown of Mansfield, Ohio. His interest in aviation continued, and within two years he and Charles de Forest Chandler co-authored How Our Army Grew Wings, on aeronautical activities in the U.S. Army prior to 1914. Lahm also became interested in civic activities during this time, becoming involved with the Boy Scouts, various local historical societies, and with stimulating local interest in international events. He helped establish International Affairs Committees in Cleveland and Mansfield, Ohio. Lahm also spoke on the lecture circuit, relating his personal experiences and providing support for the advancement of military aviation. On 4 April, 1948, Lahm married Grace Wolfe Kenson.

On 3 July, 1963 Lahm suffered a stroke and was hospitalized in Sandusky, Ohio. On 7 July 1963 he passed away at the age of eighty-five. His body was cremated and the ashes were spread into the air from a plane flying over Randolph Field, Texas.

In addition to being a member and past President of the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc., Lahm was also a member of the Washington, D.C. Army and Navy Club, the National Aeronautical Association, the American Legion, the Aéro-Club de France, and an Honorary Member of the Aero Club of America. Besides his many balloon competition victories, his awards include the Distinguished Service Medal (U.S.A.), the Commander of Legion of Honor (France), and the Ordre d'Avis (Portugal).
General:
Frank Purdy Lahm Timeline

1877 -- Frank Purdy Lahm born on 17 November, Mansfield, Ohio, the son of Frank S. Lahm and Adelaide Purdy Lahm.

1880 -- Adelaide Purdy Lahm died and Frank S. Lahm moves to France, leaving their son in the care of a widowed aunt.

1901 -- Graduated with a B.S., U.S. Military Academy, West Point. Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the U.S.Army.

1901-1905 -- Served with the Sixth Cavalry in the Philippine Islands and then reassigned as instructor in French at the U.S. Military Academy.

1904 -- Lahm makes his first ascent as passenger in a balloon.

1905 -- Awarded Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (F.A.I) Balloon Pilot Certificate #4 after soloing 15 July while visiting his father in France.

1906 -- Winner (with Henry Hersey) of the first Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race, 30 September to 1 October.

1907 -- Investigator of military aeronautics production facilities and bases in London, England, and Berlin, Germany.

1908 -- Awarded F.A.I. Airship Pilot Certificate #2, August, after flying the Signal Corps Dirigible #1.

1908-1909 -- In charge of the Wright Brothers test flights at Fort Myer, Virginia. First passenger in a heavier-than-air craft, flying eight days prior to the Wright-Selfridge accident.

1909 -- Learned to fly at College Park, Maryland, with Wilbur Wright. Later awarded F.A.I. Airplane Pilot Certificate #2, 26 October. Established endurance flying record with Orville Wright, 9 September.

1911 -- Married Gertrude Jenner, 18 October. Winner of National Balloon Race, St. Louis, Missouri, July.

1912-1913 -- Organized and acted as commanding officer, U.S. Army Flying School, Fort William McKinley, Philippine Islands.

1913 -- Appointed "Military Aviator" by the War Department, and "Expert Aviator #15" by the Aero Club of America, July.

1914-1916 -- Service on the Mexican border with the U.S. Cavalry.

1916 -- Promoted to the rank of captain and designated a "Jr. Military Aviator," April.

1916-1917 -- Assigned as secretary of the U.S. Army Flying School, Rockwell Field, North Island, San Diego, California.

1917 -- Temporarily promoted to rank of lt. colonel and assigned as commanding officer of the U.S. Army Balloon School, Omaha, Nebraska. Later served as an observer with British and French air units on the Western Front.

1917-1918 -- Organized and commanded the American Expeditionary Force (A.E.F.) lighter-than-air service. Also served as commander, Second Army Air Service, A.E.F.

1918 -- Temporarily promoted to rank of colonel, U.S. Army.

1919-1920 -- Attended the Army War College.

1920-1924 -- Assigned to the War Department General Staff, Washington, D.C.

1924-1926 -- Served as Air Officer for the Ninth Corps Area.

1926 -- Established the Air Corps Training Center, San Antonio, Texas, 1 September.

1926-1930 -- Promoted to the temporary rank of brigadier general, 17 July, and assigned as the Assistant Chief of the Air Corps.

1930 -- Returned to duty as Air Officer, Ninth Corps Area.

1931 -- Death of Gertrude Jenner Lahm, October.

1931-1935 -- Reverted to rank of colonel and assigned as Air Attaché to France, Belgium, and Spain.

1932-1935 -- Assigned as Military Attaché to France and Belgium.

1935-1940 -- Acted as Air Officer for the Second Corps Area.

1940-1941 -- Served as Chief of Aviation First Army, Governors Island, NY.

1941 -- Promoted to brigadier general and assigned as Commanding General, Gulf Coast Training Center, Randolph Field, TX. Honorary promotion to rank of major general by Franklin Roosevelt, September. Frank Purdy Lahm retires with the permanent rank of Brigadier General, 30 November.

1943 -- Co-authored How Our Army Grew Wings with Charles De Forrest Chandler. Published by Ronald Press.

1948 -- Married Grace Wolfe Kenson, 4 April.

1949-1950 -- Served as President of the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. organization.

1956 -- Lahm and his wife are seriously injured in car accident, Mansfield, Ohio.

1963 -- Frank Purdy Lahm died following a cerebral hemorrhage, Sandusky, Ohio, 7 July. Lahm was cremated and his remains were scattered over Randolph Air Force Base, Texas.
Provenance:
Lawrence Lahm, gift, 1986, 1986-0044, Not NASM.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Airships  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Posters
Correspondence
Diaries
Citation:
Frank Purdy Lahm Collection, Acc. 1986-0044, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1986.0044
See more items in:
Frank Purdy Lahm Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1986-0044
Additional Online Media:

Major John Stanley Henderson Collection

Creator:
Henderson, John Stanley.  Search this
Names:
United States. Marine Corps  Search this
Extent:
0.95 Cubic feet ((2 boxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographic prints
Newspaper clippings
Telegrams
Technical manuals
Awards
Correspondence
Publications
Date:
bulk 1941-1952
Scope and Contents:
Included in this collection are photographs of John Stanley Henderson, fellow servicemen, and airfields; diary and notebooks; flight logs; award citations and military orders; newspaper clippings; a map of the Solomon Islands; phrase books in French and Japanese as well as the CBI Pointie Talkie; pocket guides to Egypt and Australia; The Marines Handbook, seventh edition; telegram relating the death of Major Henderson; Certificate of Death in Service; condolence letters; and Power of Attorney and Last Will and Testament.
Biographical / Historical:
Major John Stanley Henderson (?-1952) joined the US Marine Corps in 1941 and served two tours in the World War II Pacific Theater, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) and four Air Medals. He served as a dive bomber pilot at Guadalcanal and a transport pilot on Guam. He was on active duty with the Marine Reserves as Executive Officer of the Marine Air Detachment at NAS Olathe, Kansas, at the time of his death at 33, killed while preparing for his departure to Korea.
Provenance:
Bryn Henderson, Gift, 2005
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations  Search this
Medals -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographic prints
Newspaper clippings
Telegrams
Technical manuals -- 20th century
Awards
Correspondence
Publications
Citation:
Major John Stanley Henderson Collection, Accession number 2005-0015, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2005.0015
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2005-0015

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