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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Photographic and audiovisual materials, 1946-1980

The David O. Hill Seaboard World Airlines Collection is comprised primarily of textual materials, the bulk of which are scrapbooks; but also includes photographic materials, including prints, slides, and negatives; and a single DVD. The collection relates to the company history, personnel, and operations of Seaboard World Airlines (SWA), from its establishment in 1946 to 1980 when it merged with Flying Tigers Line. A small amount of material is post-merger, circa 1990s-2003. The materials were primarily collected by Hill, with the help of then-current and former employees.

Series I, Textual materials, 1946-2003, consists of three subseries:assorted company documents,exhibit documents, and "The Saigon-Phnom Penh Rice Airlift" scrapbook. The assorted company documents subseries contains three scrapbooks in addition to loose materials. Materials in the "Seaboard Archives Documents" and "Important documents and memorabilia" scrapbooks overlap somewhat. Some materials may be in only one of the scrapbooks while some types of materials are well-represented in both. Additionally, some materials, such as labor agreements, were found in scrapbooks and as loose materials. Materials consist of marketing and promotional brochures, including price information for shipping; clippings and articles (both original and photocopy versions) about SWA and its personnel and/or operations, including retrospective pieces written post-1980 merger; ephemera, such as decals, luggage tags, blank stationary, postcards, and a children's booklet, the August Martin activity book; company correspondence and memos, stock certificates, labor agreements, employee identity cards, and business records and presentations. The third scrapbook, "Original Crew Seniority Lists," includes names and what appear to be dates of hire for SWA pilots, engineers, navigators, and stewardesses. Though the lists focus on SWA's years of operation (1946-1980), several of them are dated September 28, 1999, while being used in active research by the donor, David O. Hill.

This subseries also includes several smaller folders of materials which were not kept in scrapbooks, including labor agreements for pilots, two presentations by SWA President and CEO Richard M. Jackson, several employee memos and news releases, and a small amount of assorted ephemera, including a circa 1960s stewardess ID for Tina Mortensen, receipt for uniform materials, SWA parking decal, a Federal Express business card for Hill, and a "Fantastic Flying Fun Kit" for children, which includes colored pencils and an activity booklet.

The exhibit documents subseries consists of four exhibit packets which are a mix of proposals for operating and/or expansion plans and fare exemptions. These plans typically include schedules, rates, personnel information, and financial information and were presented before the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB).

The "Saigon-Phnom Penh Rice Airlift" subseries consists of a scrapbook. The scrapbook cover is black leather embossed with a gold decorative border and "The Saigon-Phnom Penh Rice Airlift, April 1975, Seaboard World Airlines [SW logo], Presented to Flight Engineer A. Willard Volkman." At some point the scrapbook suffered severe water damage. Roughly half of the pages have ripples and stains and the binding has broken. For preservation reasons, the scrapbook was disassembled. The cover has been retained in the collection, within a separate enclosure, to preserve context. A photocopy of the cover prefaces the materials which have been removed from the scrapbook. Original order has been maintained.

The item was presented to Volkman on June 10, 1975 by Charles H. Bell, SWA Senior Vice President-Operations, as a commemorative item. The airlift was performed by SWA in April 1975 via a contract with United States Air Force Military Airlift Command. The bulk of the materials includes photocopies of articles and clippings about the airlift. Additional materials include several thank you letters and two units of paper currency; one from Cambodia and one from Vietnam. There are also twenty color candid photographs. Most are affixed to scrapbook pages and include a typed caption below or next to the image. Sizes range from 3x5" to 8x10". Images depict SWA aircraft, city street scenes and local people in Saigon, Vietnam, aerial shots taken from the aircraft, and rice cargo being offloaded.

Series II, Photographic and audiovisual materials, 1946-1980, 1999 consists of two subseries: photographic material and audiovisual material. The photographic materials subseries consists of three photograph albums. The first album, "309 Color transparencies," consists of three hundred and nine color slides. Some include handwritten notes on the edge to provide identifying information such as names, locations, or aircraft models. A few examples of the notes include "Connie panel," "Will Volkman," and "CL-44." The second album, "227 Original prints," includes two hundred and twenty-seven 8x10" photographic prints in both black-and-white and color. They are a mix of publicity and casual shots, many of which include captions and/or stamps. The images depict SWA personnel, including Raymond Norden, Arthur Norden, Captain August Martin, and Carl D. Brell; aircraft both in flight and on the ground; and operations, such as loading and off-loading assorted types of cargo, including animals, engines, and automobiles. The third album consists of forty-three photographs and two negatives. A mix of black-and-white and color, most of the photographs are 8x10" although some are smaller. The bulk of the images are publicity shots, although some are more candid and depict SWA personnel, aircraft, and operations. Printed and handwritten captions and stamps are found on many of the images to provide additional context. Duplication occurs.

The last subseries, audiovisual material, contains a single movie on DVD, "A Crew Member's Album: Seaboard World Airlines, 1947-1980." The 57-minute documentary was created by retired SWA captains David O. Hill and Kenneth J. Kahn in 1999 and covers the history of Seaboard World Airlines from 1946-1980.


  • 1946-1980
  • 1999

Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Some documents include personal information that require redaction prior to use.

This collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.


From the Collection: 2.67 Cubic Feet (3 large album boxes, 2 half-width album boxes, 1 full-width legal size document box, 1 full-width letter size document box, 1 flat box, and 1 DVD)


Repository Details

Part of the The Museum of Flight Archives Repository

9404 East Marginal Way South
Seattle Washington 98108-4097

The Museum of Flight | 9404 E. Marginal Way South | Seattle WA 98108-4097 | 206-764-5874
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