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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Norman "Jim" S. Archibald Collection

Identifier: 1986-10-10A
The Norman "Jim" S. Archibald Collection relates to the life and military service of Archibald during World War I and II. The collection contains extensive correspondence, military documents from both world wars, photographs, and materials related to Archibald's book, Heaven High, Hell Deep. The correspondence is primarily with Archibald's sister Hazel and with close friend Katharine Lane Weems, covering the periods of Archibald's military service and personal success as an author. Archibald's book, published in 1935, details his World War I experiences and the associated materials include correspondence regarding its publication, promotion, and success, as well as manuscript drafts, reviews, and other items. A few pieces of personal ephemera relate to Archibald's world travels in the 1930s.


  • 1917-1946


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.


1.75 Cubic Feet (3 full width legal size document boxes, 1 half width legal size document box, and 1 oversize folder)


Norman "Jim" Silas Archibald (1894-1975) of Seattle, Washington served in the U.S. Army Air Service, 95th Aero Squadron during World War I, and later published a bestselling book on his experience. He served again in the Air Force during World War II at home in Seattle. The collection contains correspondence, military documents, photographs, and other materials relating to Archibald's life and military service.

Biographical Note: Norman "Jim" Silas Archibald

Norman "Jim" Silas Archibald was a member of the 95th Aero Squadron during World War I and author of the book Heaven High, Hell Deep. Norman (April 7, 1894 - September 21, 1975) and Hazel M. Archibald Draper (March 28, 1891 - February 1973) were the only children of Silas Archibald and Elizabeth J. Langille Archibald, naturalized American citizens originally from Canada. A prominent Seattle family, the Archibalds built the St. Regis Hotel and lived at 1206 Minor Avenue in Seattle.

Norman Archibald (also known as "Jim") graduated from Broadway High School in Seattle, attended the University of Washington for two years, and graduated from Cornell University. When the United States declared war on Germany in 1917, Archibald left home determined to become an aviator and fly on the front against the enemy. In July 1917 he enlisted in the Aviation Section Signal Corps and was ordered to Ground School at the University of Texas, Austin. In September he graduated as cadet and was ordered to Bedloe’s Island, New York. The following month he shipped out to Europe, traveling by train through Canada then by boat as part of a convoy with twelve other ships and naval escort to Liverpool, England. He then travelled through Southampton and Portsmouth to go by boat to Le Havre, France and through Orleans to reach the American Aviation Center at Issoudun. Major Carl Spaatz was the commandant.

Archibald was one of seventeen cadets chosen to train on the Nieuport, a French airplane with rotary motor. In December, Archibald had his first ride with his French instructor. The group was called “Suicide Club” by French instructors, and training included acrobatics, formation, and combat flying on Nieuports. In April 1918 he was sent to aerial gunnery school at Lake Cazaux, located ten miles from Arcachon, France, where he finished gunnery work and became a full-fledged fighter pilot (though still cadet, not yet having received his commission to 1st Lieutenant). On June 7, 1918 he reported to Issoudun for orders and was sent to American Aviation Acceptance Park No. 1 in Orly, France, where he ferried planes and flew various types of aircraft.

In July 1918, Archibald was commissioned as 1st Lieutenant and was ordered to the 1st Pursuit Group, 95th Air Squadron, on the Chateau-Thierry front. The Group consisted of four squadrons: the 94th, 95th, 147th and 27th. The 27th and the 147th flew in Nieuports while the 94th and 95th flew French SPADs with 220 H.P. Hispano-Suiza motors. They flew daily over enemy lines. In early September he relocated to a new field at Rembercourt in St. Mihiel sector and flew missions until he was shot down and taken prisoner at Etain by the Germans on September 8.

From his capture through November 27, 1918, Archibald was held as a prisoner of war in German camps. He was at Conflans, France for three days where he was examined and questioned. He was then taken to a prison camp at Montmedy, France. About ten days later he moved to Karlsruhe, Germany where he was held for another ten days before being moved to Landshut, Germany. Ten days later he was moved to Villingen, Germany where he remained for the rest of the war.

On October 3, 1918 a note written by Archibald was dropped by a German aviator and sent by Capt. Peterson, Commanding Officer of the 95th, through the office of the Chief of Air Service, First Army, and finally on to his father. On October 6 a letter was sent to his father notifying him of Norman Archibald’s status as prisoner of war.

The Armistice was signed on November 11, but Archibald wasn’t released until November 28. He was taken by train under guard to Constanz, Switzerland and was held for two days before being moved by train to Bellegarde, France (on the French/Swiss border). From there he was moved by Red Cross Hospital train to Base Hospital at Allerex, France and then on to Paris.

Archibald's sister Hazel had meanwhile joined the Red Cross as a nurse and was able to meet her brother at Tours, France after his release from the prison camp. Archibald was sent to New York and discharged as 1st Lieutenant, Air Service Aeronautics, at the Air Service Depot in Garden City, Long Island, New York. In Fall 1919 a letter was sent from Chief, Effects Bureau, Port of Embarkation, Hoboken, New Jersey to Mr. Silas Archibald informing him that they had “received at this office the personal effects of the late 1st Lt. Norman S. Archibald, and enclose herewith a Certificate of Family, which when filled out, will enable us to determine the soldier’s legal heirs.” On September 24 Norman Archibald replied and informed them that he was alive and living with his father, whereupon 1st Lt. Archibald received a subsequent letter from the Chief Clerk, Mr. Edw. L. Johnson of the Effects Bureau starting, “We are in receipt of your letter of recent date, and are glad to hear that you are alive.”

Archibald recounts his experience, from his decision to become an aviator in 1917 through his reunion with his sister Hazel in France after his release, in his 1935 book Heaven High, Hell Deep. The book was published by Albert and Charles Boni, Inc., New York and was on the bestseller list for two weeks.

Archibald returned to military service in September 1942, receiving a commission as captain in the United States Air Force. He was briefly stationed at the Officer Training School in Miami Beach, Florida and the Army Aviation Flying School in Orlando, Florida where he did a Survey Course. He then served in the Seattle Fighter Wing, 4th Air Force as Commanding Officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron. He was sent back to Orlando for special courses and discharged with rank of Major, A.C. on September 26, 1945.

Norman Archibald died in 1975 in Seattle, Washington. The Norman Archibald Charitable Foundation was established in 1977 to support youth and child development programs, higher education and libraries, museums and the performing arts, and family and social services in the Puget Sound region of Washington State.

Sources and Further Information:

Norman Archibald, Heaven High, Hell Deep, 1917-1918. New York : A.C. Boni, 1935.

Norman Archibald Military Service based on article by Jack Eder, written for Cross & Cockade Journal Vol. 18, No. 3, Autumn 1977.

Harold Buckley, Squadron 95. Paris : The Obelisk Press, 1933.

US 95th Aero Squadron (
Biographical Notes: Significant People Associated with Archibald The following family and friends feature significantly in the materials of the Norman S. Archibald Collection:

Hazel Marjory (Archibald) Draper

Hazel Marjory (Archibald) Draper was the sister of Norman S. Archibald and served with the Red Cross during World War I.

Draper was born to Silas Archibald and Elizabeth J. Langille Archibald on March 28, 1891. During World War I, she served with the American Red Cross in Paris, France. She was accepted for service in October 1918, a month after her brother, who was serving in the military, was captured in France. Draper performed as an entertainer in the Red Cross Hospital Hut Service and later worked in the vocational department. She was reunited with her brother in Tours, France in early December 1918, and served until May 1919.

After the war, Draper regularly wrote for the Seattle Times under the pseudonym "Dora Dean." She moved to New York around 1921, where she was successful as a songwriter, pianist, and performer. On November 12, 1926, she married Congressman Eben Sumner Draper, Jr., son of former Massachusetts governor Eben S. Draper (Sr.).

Draper was highly active in promoting her brother's book before and after its 1935 publication. She continued to compose music with great success, with one of her songs being used in a Broadway musical and writing an operetta to be performed for a United Nations Relief benefit.

Draper died in February 1973.

Sources: Museum of History and Industry, Norman Archibald and Hazel Archibald Draper Papers, (finding aid). Eben Sumner Draper, Jr.

Eben Sumner Draper, Jr. was the husband of Hazel Archibald and brother-in-law of Norman S. Archibald.

Draper was born August 30, 1893 to Massachusetts Governor Eben Sumner and Nannie (Bristow) Draper. He received his bachelor's degree from Harvard in 1915 and shortly thereafter became briefly associated with the Draper Company. Draper was commissioned Provisional Army 2nd Lieutenant in 1917. He was sent to France and served in various capacities, seeing active service in battles at Soissons, the Marne, Aisne River, and Argonne. In October 1918 he received his captain's commission and on May 24, 1919 was honorably discharged. After World War I, he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard, and served as a colonel during World War II.

Draper married Ruth Lawrence Carroll in 1919, and together had one daughter, Nancy Carroll Draper. They divorced in the early 1920s. On November 12, 1926, Draper married Hazel Marjory Archibald of Seattle, Washington.

In 1921 and 1922 Draper was elected as representative in the General Court of Massachusetts, and served in the State Senate from 1923 to 1926. In 1928 he ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senator. He was responsible for the development and maintenance of his father's estate, The Ledges, after it became his property in 1914. Draper pursued various philanthropic enterprises, served as director and president of the Milford National Bank, as a trustee of the Suffolk Savings Bank of Boston, and as a director of the Draper Corporation. He died on April 17, 1959.


"Eben Sumner Draper, Jr." Sheltered from the Wicked World: Stories and Pictures from Hopedale's Past.

Katharine Lane Weems

Katharine Lane Weems was a family friend of Norman Archibald and Hazel and Eben Draper, and corresponded frequently with Archibald.

Katharine Lane was born in Boston on February 22, 1899, the only child of Gardiner Martin and Emma Louise (Gildersleeve) Lane. In 1915 she began to study drawing and sculpting at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. She began to show her work in 1920 and gained a national reputation when her sculpture of a whippet dog Narcisse Noir won the George D. Widener Memorial Gold Medal at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1927. A number of her sculptural works can be found in Boston, Massachusetts, including several pieces at the Harvard Biological Labs.

Lane led an active social life and corresponded extensively with a number of artists, friends, and admirers, including Archibald and Fontaine Carrington Weems. During World War II, she became a speaker and fund raiser for the Red Cross. The title of Weems' autobiography, Odds Were Against Me: A Memoir (as told to Edward Weeks) referred to her resistance to social expectations, which threatened her artistic aspirations. Lane refused several proposals of marriage over the years; however, after a twenty year correspondence, she married Fontaine Weems in 1947. They moved to New York City, where she turned to drawing until her husband's death in 1966. In the 1970s Katharine Lane Weems resumed sculpting, took part in animal rights campaigns, and occasionally gave lectures about her work. She died in Boston in 1989.


Ambler, Louise Todd. Katharine Lane Weems: Sculpture and Drawings (Boston Athenaeum, 1987)

Weems, Katharine Lane. Odds Were Against Me: A Memoir (New York, Vantage Press, 1985)

Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, Harvard University. Papers of Katharine Lane Weems, 1860?-1991: A Finding Aid.

For an extensive collection of diaries, correspondence, lectures, slides, photographs, films, and exhibition lists documenting Katharine Weem's work, contact the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, New England Regional Center in Boston.


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 following collections at The Museum of Flight also relate to the 95th Aero Squadron, in which Archibald served during World War I:

Nancy Harkness Collection of World War I Photograph Albums. Three albums of World War I photographs depicting various U.S. Air Service squadrons stationed along the French-German border during and after the war, including the 95th.

Ray M. and Leonard H. Grimshaw Collection. Collection contains correspondence, military documents, photographs, postcards, diary, booklets, and ephemera related to Ray's time with the 95th Aero Squadron, where he served as a mechanic.
Related Archival Materials at Other Repositories There is material related to Jim Archibald and his sister Hazel at the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in Seattle, dating from their service in World War I and later career successes:

Norman Archibald and Hazel Draper Archibald Papers, Museum of History and Industry, Seattle (Wash.). Online finding aid:

A number of Archibald's letters to Katherine Weems are included in her papers at Harvard. Katherine Lane Weems papers, Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute, Harvard University. Online finding aid:

Separated Materials

The following items have been separated from the archival component of this collection and are kept in Objects storage:

  • Leather identification case with metal disc
  • Letter opener labeled "Paine Field, Seattle, Wa."
Guide to the Norman "Jim" S. Archibald Collection
Completed - Level 3
L. Czechowski and A. Demeter
Description rules
Language of description
Processing, cataloging and digitization of this collection was made possible by a Council on Libraries and Information Resources (CLIR) "Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives" grant.
Edition statement
3rd Edition

Revision Statements

  • 2016: Revised to reflect further processing.
  • 2018: Finding aid migrated to ArchivesSpace.
  • May 2020: Updated related agents.

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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