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Archives at The Museum of Flight

William Dummer Powell World War II Collection

Identifier: 2008-05-30
The William Dummer Powell World War II Collection consists of a small amount of textual materials and photographs primarily related to Powell's World War II service in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

The collection contains a small amount of military documents, including a booklet about the 449th Bomb Group, a 1944 Christmas dinner menu for the 449th Bomb Group, and a circa 1981-1989 certificate signed by President Ronald Reagan that honors the memory of Powell's service to the United States during World War II. There are also a selection of personal documents, including Powell's 1935 Certificate of Citizenship, a 1939 Certificate of Appreciation from the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, a short essay written by Powell, Trail City, Cattle Town, circa 1940s-1950s, and a 1981 membership certificate for the Rocky Mountain Outdoor Writers and Photographers group.

Additionally, there are 25 black-and-white photographs. Many of the photographs have identifying captions on the front or back, although most people are identified by last name only. The images were taken in Taranto, Italy in 1944 and depict the men, including Powell, of the 449th Bomb Group, primarily involved in military activities, including three snapshots during the presentation of a Presidential Citation award. Aircraft are also featured, including a picture of the Consolidated B-24 Liberator "My Achin' Back" on the ground and four shots that show fire, flak, and turret damage to aircraft. Additionally, there is one shot of an Italian submarine with a handwritten caption on back "Taranto [Italy] 1944 - Italian sub entering inner harbor."


  • circa 1939-1980s


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.


0.2 Cubic Feet (1 expandable file folder)


William Dummer Powell was born in about 1906 in Canada, became a United States citizen in 1935 and served in the Army Air Force 449th Bomb Group as a Staff Sergeant during World War II. The collection consists of a small amount of military documents, personal documents, and twenty-five (25) photographs primarily related to Powell's World War II service in the Army Air Force.

Biographical Note: William Dummer Powell

William "Bill" Dummer Powell was born in about 1906 in Canada. Powell moved to Colorado with his family at an early age, and became a United States citizen in 1935. Powell served in the U.S. Army Air Forces during World War II and was assigned to the 449th Bomb Group under the 15th Air Force as a Staff Sergeant. The group entered active combat in 1944 and was stationed at Grottaglie Airfield near Taranto, Italy. They flew missions all over the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations. Powell returned to Colorado after the war, and lived on Elk Falls Ranch, an upscale residential community near Shaffers Crossing, Colorado.

No further information is known.


Biography derived from collection materials.

Custodial History

The collection was originally offered to Library and Archives Canada (LAC), along with items belonging to Powell's cousin, Robert M. Powell (1914-2004). Robert M. Powell served with the Canadian Navy in the 1930s and 1940s. William Powell's items had been given to Robert M. Powell by William's widow, and the Powell family subsequently donated both groups of items to LAC. LAC kept Robert's personal papers but gave his military records to the Canadian War Museum. William's items were given to The Museum of Flight upon the recommendation of an archivist at LAC.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Archival Materials at Other Institutions

The Library and Archives Canada has additional material related to William Dummer Powell's cousin, Robert M. Powell:

Robert M. Powell and family fonds. Fonds consists of the personal papers and photographs of Robert M. Powell and his wife, Louise Powell, and manuscripts, photographs, works of art, seals, and medals created by their ancestors, particularly the Powell, Torrance, Proudfoot, and Hurd families of the nineteenth century. Online finding aid at

Separated Materials

The following items have been separated from this archival component and are kept in Objects Storage:
  • 449th Bomb Group flight scarf
  • Garrison cap, Veterans of Foreign Wars (449th Bomb Group)
  • Insignia patch, 449th Bomb Group
  • Ash tray with 449th Bomb Group insignia
  • Four (4) military pins
  • Five (5) military ribbons
  • Leather name patch


Guide to the William Dummer Powell World War II Collection
Completed - Level 4
L. Zaborowski, J. Parent
2014; 2024
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
3rd Edition

Revision Statements

  • 2018: This finding aid has been revised to reflect updated DACS and Museum of Flight standards.
  • November 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2024 May: Changed title and top container

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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