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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Assorted clippings -- scrapbooks, 1942

 File — Multiple Containers
The Robert H. Neale Flying Tigers Collection primarily relates to Robert H. Neale's 1941-1942 service as an ace fighter pilot with the American Volunteer Group (AVG), also known as the Flying Tigers, in Burma during World War II. The collection is comprised of visual and textual materials, including approximately 470 photographic prints and 61 negatives, military orders and documents, personal documents, and assorted clippings and ephemera. It also includes a significant amount of post-war material related to both Neale and the AVG, dated 1958-2004.

Most of the material was likely collected by Neale until his death in 1994. The remainder of the material was likely collected by his son, Robert H. Neale, Jr. The collection has been arranged into two series, Robert H. Neale and American Volunteer Group, which have been further divided into subseries. Materials are arranged chronologically within these sections. See the Note on Arrangement for more details.

The first series, Robert H. Neale, 1937-2002 includes two subseries: Military-related materials, 1938-1942, 1996 and Personal materials, 1937-2002. Military-related materials are a mix of textual and visual materials. They include military orders and documents; war-time correspondence, such as letters home to his wife, Frances; receipts and permits; certificates and awards; a laminated photocopy of his military biography page from American Fighter Aces Album; and a scrapbook of assorted military documents from his 1941-1942 service, that also includes some post-war documents.

There are also 16 black-and-white portraits and snapshots of Neale. They are a mix of vintage prints and modern reprints. Sizes vary from 3x5" to 8x10". Some duplication occurs. Only two images in this section include a caption on the reverse, written by Neale. Both captions are personal in tone and likely were for Frances, Neale's wife. In most of the snapshots, Neale is in military uniform or in flight apparel. Sometimes he is next to an obscured aircraft, likely a Curtiss P-40 Warhawk.

The personal materials contain Neale's 1937 University of Washington transcript and 1940 income tax form; assorted ephemera, including two blank postcards and a satirical pilot's license that allows him to drink and carouse; post-war correspondence to friends and fellow Flying Tigers; and several items related to Neale's death, including his obituary, funeral program, and a copy of the eulogy delivered by his son, Robert H. Neale, Jr. At the end is a copy of what is likely a speech, "A Tribute to My Father," given in 2002 by Robert Jr.

There are also approximately 77 photographs in the personal subseries. Most are vintage prints, though some are moden reprints, and a few are photocopies. The bulk of the photographs are black-and-white but some are in color. Sizes vary from 1x1" to 8x10" and some duplication occurs. Most of the photographs lack identifying information. Images depict people, most of whom are unidentified, although Frances, Neale's wife, appears in some photographs related to a 1941 California road trip taken by both prior to Neale's departure to Burma. Images from the road trip include one word captions on the reverse that provide locations, including Carmel, Fresno, and Monterey Bay, California. Also included are scenic shots from the road trip, restaurant souvenir photographs, and assorted post-war era photos, including a portrait of Neale as an American Overseas Airlines pilot and several snapshots that appear to be from AVG Flying Tigers reunions or events.

The second series, American Volunteer Group/The Flying Tigers, 1941-2002 includes two subseries: World War II-era materials, 1941-1945 and Post-war materials, 1958-2004. Within the World War II-era materials are military orders and documents, a single-page A.V.G. News newsletter from December 1941, assorted clippings about the Flying Tigers and the war, both loose and in a scrapbook; a transcript from an unidentified military radio program, and a 1943 program "Welcome Madame Chiang Kai-Shek."

The bulk of this subseries is photographic materials, including approximately 375 black-and-white prints and 60 negatives. Most are vintage prints, although some are modern reprints, and a couple are photocopies. It is likely that Robert H. Neale took most of these photographs during his 1941-1942 service. Sizes range from 1x1" to 8x10" and duplication occurs. Some images include captions, which provide contextual information such as date, location, or names. Note that a few images depict graphic scenes. Images depict military personnel and pilots, including Neale, engaged in military and recreational activities. Additional identified people include Chiang Kai-Shek, Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, and Claire L. Chennault. Also depicted are war-time activities, including a funeral; military aircraft, in flight, on the ground, and in accident scenes; assorted military buildings and ships, and aerial photographs, likely of Burma. Also included are scenic shots of Burma, featuring landscapes, buildings, and local people. The negatives are a mix of nitrate and acetate. They largely overlap with the prints but some may be prints from the personal series.

Post-war materials include a 1958 eulogy and tribute to Chennault; commemorative Flying Tigers lithographs, some of which are signed by members of the Flying Tigers; retrospective and commemorative articles; Flying Tigers reunion program booklets; a 1998 AVG roster; two brief booklets about the history of the AVG, and two commemorative letters from Madame Chiang Kai-shek in honor of the 50th and 55th anniversary, one of which is accompanied by a black-and-white group portrait featuring Chiang Kai-Shek, Madame Chiang Kai-shek, and Chennault.


  • 1942

Language of Materials

Some materials are in Chinese. One item is in Chinese and English. All other materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The floppy disk is not accessible pending preservation of the digital media. The negatives which are stored in the freezer have been digitized and the digital images should be used in place of the originals. The rest of the collection is open for research and is accessible in the Dahlberg Research Center by appointment. For more information contact us.


From the Collection: 1.65 Cubic Feet (2 full-width legal size document boxes, 1 full-width letter size document box, 2 oversize folders, 1 flat box, 1 floppy disk, and 1 compact disc )


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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