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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Robert L. Baseler Fighter Ace Collection

Identifier: 2009-08-26
The Robert L. Baseler Collection documents the fighter pilot career of Fighter Ace Robert L. Baseler. This collection, which dates from 1939 to 1982, consists of official military certificates and photographs, flight logs, digital photographs regarding plane restoration, and booklets all relating to Baseler’s time as a fighter pilot during World War II. The items are organized chronologically by creation date.

The 20 photographic prints in the collection feature formal group portraits of Baseler’s squadron, images of planes in flight, portraits of Baseler, and photographs of Baseler's planes, The Wee Stud and The Big Stud, both in flight and on the ground. The photographs are primarily professionally taken, black-and-white images but there are a few snapshots and one color photo of an older Baseler posing with the restored Big Stud. Most of the photographs are annotated with where the picture was taken and who is featured, though many are not dated. The photographs range in size from 4x6" to 14x23". Additionally, there are four CDs containing digital photographs. Two disks contain scans of photos from the 1982 restoration of Big Stud, and two disks contain scans of photos of the 325th Fighter Group's time in Africa and Italy during World War II.

The military records in the collection include Baseler's flight records, training records, flight logs, certifications, citations and decorations, and Baseler’s combat record.

An issue of Air Progress magazine from June 1982 features an ad for a “Big Stud” model kit on page 37.


  • 1939-1996
  • Majority of material found within 1939-1944

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, except for the digital photographs as the CDs are inaccessible pending preservation of the digital files. 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.


.51 Cubic Feet (1 full-width legal size box, 1 oversize folder)


This collection relates to Rober L. Baseler's career as a Fighter Ace, with a focus on his service during World War II.

Biographical Note: Robert L. Baseler

Robert Lee Baseler was a member of the American Fighter Aces Association. He earned the status of Fighter Ace during World War II.

Baseler was born on September 21, 1911 in Pennsylvania and graduated from the Army Air Corps Advanced Flying School at Kelly Field (Texas) in 1939. He flew primarily with the 325th Fighter Group during World War II (in the European Theatre) and was group commander from July 1943 to April 1944. By the end of the war, Lt. Col. Baseler had earned a Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 13 Oak Leaf Clusters and a Purple Heart. He was also a Flying Ace with six confirmed kills.

Baseler was married to Joyce Rance, and the two had two children; Robert Lee, Jr. and Stephanie. Baseler died in California on July 22, 1983.

Biography derived from collection materials and records on
Historical Note: 325th Fighter Group The 325th Fighter Group flew combat missions in North Africa and Italy during World War II. They were known as the "Checkertail Clan."

The 325th Fighter Group was activated on July 30, 1942 and originally based out of Theodore F. Greene Field in Providence, Rhode Island. In 1943 the group was moved to Algeria and began flying missions in April of that year. In November 1943 the group would become part of the 306th Fighter Wing and in December 1943 the group moved from North Africa to Italy. During World War II the 325th fighter group produced 27 Fighter Aces and destroyed a total of 202 enemy aircraft in aerial combat.

The group was re-activated in 1947, based at Hamitlon Air Force Base in California, providing defense of the Pacific coast. In 1951 it was dispatched to Korea and inactivated in 1952. It was reactivated again and based out of McChord Air Force Base in Washington, being deactivated again in 1960.

Source: 325th Fighter Group Checkertail Clan Association Web Page. Accessed December 5, 2019.

Physical Location

One of Robert Baseler's logbooks is on display in the World War II gallery as of September 2020. A facsimile is with the rest of the collection for researcher use.

Custodial History

The collection was donated by a friend of Baseler's, David Mocabee.


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.

Separated Materials

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

  • Cloth pilot helmet with attached headphones
  • Olive Drab pouch
  • 1/48th scale model of P-47D "Big Stud", Baseler's plane with handwritten paper label
  • Plaque with P-47D model presented by the American Aviation Historical Society Painting of Curtiss P-40 "Little Stud - Mortimer Snerd" Acrylic on Masonite
Guide to the Robert L. Baseler Fighter Ace Collection
Completed - Level 3
H. Kolesar
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Revision Statements

  • April 2020: Added Related Materials at The Museum of Flight note.
  • June 2020: Updated related agents and related materials.

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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