George Henry Mills Collection, Acc. 1994-0022, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
United States. Navy -- General subdivision--Aviation Search this
20.8 Cubic feet (45 boxes)
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.
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
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.
Naval Aviation History Foundation, Gift, 1981
No restrictions on access.
The Hunsaker Papers are rich in aeronautical information relating to the 1920s and 1930s. The material furnishes a generous account of his contributions in the aeronautics field as an engineer. Interested researchers should pursue materials pertaining to Hunsaker in such repositories as MIT's Institute Archives and Special Collections Department, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Corporation, the U.S. Navy History and Archives at the Washington Navy Yard, and the NASA History Office, Headquarters Building, Washington, DC. This archivist views the Hunsaker Papers, NASM.XXXX.0001, most relevant to research dealing with Hunsaker's professional career.
Scope and Contents:
These papers include material beginning with Hunsaker's work during his naval career. The largest quantity of material consists of correspondence, memos, and reports covering Hunsaker's tenure at Bell Telephone Laboratories and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company; his association with the Chrysler and Sperry Corporations; and his tenure as Chairman of NACA while teaching at MIT.
Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
The papers can be grouped into three categories. The first is documentation pertaining to his work while Chief of the Aircraft Division, Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department. In this capacity, Hunsaker was in a position to influence US Naval planning for all aspects of aviation during the post-World War I period. The second category of documentation concerns Hunsaker's entrance into the civilian work force. By this time, Hunsaker had begun to create an identity for himself as a determined leader. He was actively publishing and delivering papers on all facets of aeronautical engineering. When Hunsaker joined the staff of MIT as Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1933, the world aviation community recognized and began to call upon his expertise regarding all aspects of aviation. The final category of documentation reflects Hunsaker's involvement with many professional societies including the American Philosophical Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He served as member and chairman of many corporate boards including the Chrysler Corporation, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Corporation as well as the Guggenheim Medal Board.
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker (b. August 26, 1886; d. September 10, 1984) was an aeronautical engineer and designer. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1908 at the head of his class and received his Masters of Science (1912) and Doctor of Science (1916) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before being posted as Chief, Aircraft Division, Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department (1916-1921). He advanced to Chief of the Design Division (1921-1923) where he designed the airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1, commissioned in 1923). He served as Assistant Naval AttachŽ, Europe beginning in 1923 until resigning his commission in November of 1926. Between 1927 and 1928, he worked as Assistant Vice President and Research Engineer for Bell Telephone Laboratories. In this position, he helped standardize wire, radio and weather service for America's developing airways. He moved to Goodyear-Zeppelin Company as Vice President in 1928 where he supervised the design and construction of the airships USS Akron (ZRS-4) and USS Macon (ZRS-5). In 1933, he returned to MIT as Chairman of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering. Dr. Hunsaker served on numerous committees, including the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) between 1923 and 1956. He was NACA's Chairman from 1941 to 1956. Hunsaker also served NACA as a Main Committee member during 1922, 1923 and 1938 to 1958.