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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Elvin L. Lindsay World War II Collection

Identifier: 2007-09-14
The Elvin L. Lindsay World War II Collection is comprised of log books, a scrapbook, and photographs documenting the career of U.S. Navy pilot Elvin L. Lindsay primarily during World War II.

The collection includes four (4) log books that document Lindsay's training flights, beginning in 1939, and his wartime flying experiences, culminating in 1945 at the end of World War II.

There is also a scrapbook that has been disassembled for preservation reasons, but retains the original order. Materials from the scrapbook include military commendation letters for actions in or near the Pacific Theater, including the Philippines; seven (7) clippings about Linday's various military promotions; a 1946 Certificate of Satisfactory Service; a 1978 invitation to the Disestablishment Ceremony for Fighter Squadron VF-191 held at Naval Air Station Miramar (California); and eleven (11) photographs, including a series of seven (7) showing the aerial bombing of a ship in open water and two (2) non-sequential aerial images of a ship being bombed in open water near Manila (Philippines). These nine (9) images have front captions providing contextual information, including location and explanations of the image.

There are also two (2) group portraits. One (1), possibly a graduation shot, circa 1940s, is black-and-white and features a large group of military personnel in front of a Grumman F6F Hellcat. One (1), possibly a reunion shot, circa 1970s, is color and features a group of men standing on tarmac in front of a McDonnell Douglas F-4 Phantom II and a Grumman F6F Hellcat.

Additionally, there are eight (8) loose black-and-white photographs, two (2) of which are from the disassembled Aces shadowbox; these items are marked with this information. Most of the photographs are on matboard. Four (4) of the photographs feature military personnel, two (2) show Lt. Lindsay, both seated in the cockpit of an aircraft and leaning against the plane, and two (2) are group portraits, one (1) of which is a duplicate of the black-and-white group portrait from the scrapbook. The other portrait features a group of ten (10) servicemen wearing lifejackets. Five of the men are seated on the wing of a mostly obscured aircraft [possibly a Hellcat?] and five stand on the ground in front of the others. On the back of the image is a handwritten caption: "VF-19 USS Lexington - Top: O'mara, Seckel, Rossi, Lindsay, Winters? Bottom: Farnsworth, Prater, Williams, Masoner, Paskoski." Four (4) of the names are underlined: "O'Mara," "Winters?," "Prater", and "Masoner."

Additional images include one (1) featuring a Grumman F6F Hellcat (tail number Z 68) in flight and three (3) aerial photographs depicting Iwo Jima and Palau. The aerial images each have a number on the front lower right hand corner followed by a printed caption.

At the end of the collection is a leaflet advertisement for a World War II aviation-themed art series, "Hellcat Fury," by artist Robert Taylor.


  • 1939-1947
  • 1978


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

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

Conditions Governing Use

The Museum of Flight (TMOF) Archives is the owner of the physical materials in the archives and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from TMOF archives before any publication use. TMOF does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.


0.4 Cubic Feet (1 full-width letter size document box)


Elvin L. Lindsay (1920-1999) was born in Potlach, Idaho and served as a pilot in the U.S. Navy during World War II, earning Ace status in 1944. The collection contains four (4) log books, a scrapbook, a small amount of ephemera, and photographs documenting Lindsay's wartime career.

Biographical Note: Elvin L. Lindsay

Elvin Lester Lindsay was born June 25, 1920 in Potlatch, Idaho. He joined the United States Navy on January 2, 1941, after attending the University of Idaho for two years. Lindsay flew with the VF-19 in carrier-based Grumman F6F Hellcats.

Lindsay's squadron flew in the Pacific Theater, and he earned Ace status in 1944. He was promoted to Lieutenant Commander in 1945, and formally separated from the United States Navy on January 17, 1947. During his career, he shot down eight airborne planes and countless planes on the ground. Lieutenant Commander Lindsay was awarded with the Navy Cross, two Silver Stars and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his efforts during the war.

After his military career, Lindsay settled on a wheat farm in Palouse, Washington. He and his wife Mary Jean had three children: Roger, Karol and Dianne. From 1962 to 1974, Lindsay worked for the Department of Agriculture in Moscow, Idaho. He then returned to wheat farming until his final retirement in 1979. Elvin L. Lindsay died in Arizona in 2007.


Biography derived from collection materials.

Custodial History

The Elvin L. Lindsay World War II Collection was donated to The Museum of Flight by Mary Jean Lindsay, Elvin's wife.


No further accruals are expected.

Existence and Location of Copies

Materials from this collection have been digitized and are available at The Museum of Flight Digital Collections.

Related Archival Materials at The Museum of Flight

The Museum of Flight also holds a shadowbox of military medals and photographs (now disassembled) that Elvin L. Lindsay donated to the American Fighter Aces Association (AFAA). Please contact the Archivist for assistance with this item.
Guide to the Elvin L. Lindsay World War II Collection
Completed - Level 4
L. Zaborowski, J.Parent
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
2nd Edition

Revision Statements

  • 2018: This finding aid was revised to reflect updated DACS and Museum of Flight standards.
  • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.

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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