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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Margery Watson World War II Photographs

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: 2017-01-05
The Margery Watson World War II Photographs is a small collection comprised of 31 photographs either taken or gathered by Margery Watson while she was employed at North American Aviation in Inglewood, California as a draftsperson between 1943-1945. The photographs are primarily small black-and-white snapshots that document NAA personnel adding a Merlin engine and performing engine tests on the prototype P-51 nicknamed "Baby" for United States Army Air Force ground crews. Some of the photographs feature group portraits of the design team with a few names indicated. There are a couple of photographs of uniformed airmen as well. One portrait of Watson standing in front of a plane, which was removed from a shadowbox including some of her tools, is also present in the collection.

Also included in the collection are several small collectible photographs of military aircraft developed by various manufacturers in the 1940s. Some photographs are affixed to album pages which have a few pieces of small ephemera glued to them as well.


  • Circa 1940s


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.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 legal-size folder)

Biographical Note: Margery Watson

Margery Watson worked as a draftperson on the design team for the P-51 Mustang during World War II.

Watson was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1926 and grew up in Pasadena, California. While attending high school at the Pasadena Polytechnical Institute in 1943, she was hired to be a draftsperson at North American Aviation (NAA) in Inglewood, California. She worked with the design team headed by Edgar Schmued, test pilots and ground crew involved in the development of the P-51 Mustang during World War II. Her specialty was the numerous modifications to the P-51 radiator scoop, her favorite drafting tool being the french curve. She and the design team added their new designs and performed tests on a prototype P-51 nicknamed "Baby," her favorite aircraft of her time at NAA.

Watson left NAA in 1945 when she married United States Marine Edward Fuchs. She passed away in San Francisco, California in 1992.

Biographical information derived from collection materials and from "Margery Watson, 1926-1992." Ancestry. Accessed October 10, 2019.

Existence and Location of Copies

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

Separated Materials

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

  • Two framed collections of drafting tools
  • T square
  • Picket rule
  • Three U.S. Army Air Force patches, circa World War II
Guide to the Margery Watson World War II Photographs
Completed - Level 2
L. Rola
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
Contact us with a research request