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Archives at The Museum of Flight

David O. Hill Seaboard World Airlines Collection

Identifier: 2014-12-20
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.


  • 1946-2003
  • Majority of material found within 1946-1980


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.

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.


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)


David O. Hill (1939-) was a pilot for Seaboard World Airlines (SWA). Hill was also SWA's archivist and historian. 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 and 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.

Biographical Note: David O. Hill

David O. Hill was born in New York on November 20, 1939. Hill was a pilot for Seaboard World Airlines (SWA). He was also SWA's archivist and historian. No further information is known.


Biography derived from collection materials and donor information.
Historical Note: Seaboard World Airlines Seaboard & Western Airlines was founded by Arthur and Raymond Norden. The brothers were both World War II veterans of the Army's Air Transport Command. Over a 33-year period the airline these men helped create established itself as the preeminent carrier of cargo on the world's richest trade routes. The airline was the first to fly an all-cargo flight across the Atlantic, the first to land and takeoff at Idlewild (now John F. Kennedy) Airport, the first to fly support for the Berlin Airlift, the first to fly a Military Air Transport Service (MATS) charter, the first to support Pacific Airlift for the Korean Conflict (with a planeload of Air Force fighter pilots), the first to order and operate the Lockheed 1049D Super Constellation, the first to order and operate the Douglas DC-8-55, the first to order and operate the DC-8-63 CF, the first to order and operate the Boeing 747F (first 747 built as a freighter from the beginning of its production), the first all-cargo airline to join the International Air Transport Association (IATA), and the first airline in the world to equip its entire fleet with Inertial Navigation Systems.

On April 4th, 1961 the company's name changed to Seaboard World Airlines after Richard M. Jackson was brought in as the new Chairman and President. On October 1, 1980 Seaboard World Airlines was absorbed by The Flying Tiger Line, Inc., and on December 16, 1988 The Flying Tiger Line, Inc., was absorbed by the Federal Express Corporation.


Seaboard & Western Airlines Collection [Hill], Accession 2002-0041, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Online finding aid is available:

Note on Arrangement

Arranged in two series: I: Textual materials, 1946-2003 and II: Photographic and audiovisual materials, 1946-1999.

The records are arranged in two series, with Series I further arranged into three subseries and Series II further arranged into two subseries. Subseries were determined by topic for Series I and by format for Series II. Most subseries are organized by loose chronological order. For preservation reasons, all materials have been removed from their original housing (see Processing Information for more detail) though original order has been maintained. Original file titles have been utilized whenever provided and are denoted by quotation marks. Some files have titles derived by the processing archivist. The series and subseries arrangement is as follows:

Series I, Textual materials, 1946-2003
  • Subseries 1: Assorted company documents, 1946-2003
  • Subseries 2: Exhibit documents, 1948-1980
  • Subseries 3: "The Saigon-Phnom Penh Rice Airlift," 1975

Series II, Photographic and audiovisual materials, 1946-1999
  • Subseries 1: Photographic material, 1946-1980
  • Subseries 2: Audiovisual material, 1999

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by David O. Hill, who was a pilot for Seaboard World Airlines, in addition to being the company historian and archivist.


No further accruals are expected.

Related Materials at Other Institutions

There is a small amount of Seaboard World Airlines materials in the Seaboard & Western Airlines Collection [Hill], Accession 2002-0041, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.

Online finding aid is available:

Additional information can be found at

Separated Materials

The following material has been separated from the archival component and is kept in the Library:

  • CL-44D4 Operating Manual
  • Multiple issues of Inside News, the Seaboard World Airlines employee newsletter, May 1961-September 1980

A full run of Seaboard World Airlines Annual Reports, from 1947-1979, have been separated from the archival component and are kept in Trade Literature. Please note that for years 1947-1955 and the year 1958 only photocopied versions are available. All other years (1956-1957, 1959-1979) are represented in original format. Years 1957 and 1959 have both a photocopy and the original format.

Additionally, a significant amount of materials have been separated from the archival component and are kept in Objects storage, including cocktail napkins and stirrers, Seaboard World Airlines pilot uniforms and uniform accessories, playing cards, and more. For a complete list, please contact us.

Processing Information

The collection was originally housed primarily in several large plastic 3-ring binders with the remainder of materials loose in the collection. There was no apparent numbering or order system to the collection therefore the processing archivist arranged by series and subseries using topic and format (see Note on Arrangement).

Binders have been disassembled for preservation reasons, but original order of the content within the scrapbooks has been retained. One binder has been retained due to its unique markings and personalization (see Box 8). Additionally, original binder titles and folder titles were utilized, if provided, and are denoted by quotations.


Guide to the David O. Hill Seaboard World Airlines Collection
Completed - Level 3
J. Parent
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

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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