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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Frank L. Houston Collection

 Collection — Box: One
Identifier: 2016-12-01
The collection is comprised of primarily textual materials with a small amount of photographs relating to the World War II and post-war flight career of pilot Frank "Sam" Houston, 1940-1980. The textual materials include a 1940 high school graduation diploma for Houston, eight (8) war ration booklets, circa 1942-1943; five (5) pilot log books, which span from Houston's learning to fly in 1942 through 1966, including some of his time as a pilot with Northwest Airlines. The log books include details such as date, type of aircraft flown, destination and departure locations, flight time, and additional notes, such as "missed approach." There is also one (1) Northwest Airlines booklet, "Pilots System Seniority and Permament Assignment List," dated July 1, 1980.

There are also eight (8) photographs, all but one of which are black-and-white. The black-and-white photographs are 3x4.5" and depict Houston, circa 1942, in his military uniform next to a building. The last photograph is undated and is a color Polaroid shot of what is possibly Japanese armor. There are no captions on any of the photographs and the photographer is unknown.


  • 1940-1980

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.


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

Biographical Note: Frank "Sam" L. Houston

Frank "Sam" L. Houston served as a pilot during World War II. He flew many B-17 bombing missions in the European theater, including seven missions into Berlin, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (730th Squadron, 45th Bomb Group) for his service. Post-war, Houston met his bride-to-be, Betty, in Spokane, Washington. They moved to Seattle and Houston became a pilot for Northwest Airlines and flew mostly 747s for more than 30 years. He retired in 1982 and became a Museum of Flight Trustee, serving until 1986. Frank Houston passed away in 2002, survived by his wife Betty.


Biography derived from collection materials, donor information, and article found online at

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated by Jean Moughtin on behalf of the estate of Betty Ann Marnette Houston.

Separated Materials

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

  • Silver bowl, 25 years of service with Northwest Orient Airlines
  • Silver dish, 25th IFLAPA Conference in London, England, 1970
  • Epaulets, two pairs
  • Silver serving set, three pieces, etched "Thanks Sam,NWA Retired Pilots, 1970"
  • Pin, PilotoJet Infantil, Mexicana Airlines junior wings
Guide to the Frank L. Houston Collection
Completed - Level 2
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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