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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Army Air Corps Photographs

Identifier: 1993-12-02
The Army Air Corps Photographs is comprised of fifty-nine (59) black-and-white photographs, forty-nine (49) of which relate to the 1923 Pulitzer Air Race and ten (10) of which depict the Sacramento Air Depot and an aerial view in 1940.

The bulk of the collection focuses on the 1923 Pulitzer Air Race held in St. Louis, Missouri and features forty-seven (47) images of the aircraft, both in flight and on the ground, race entrants in their aircraft or posing next to it, and race markers, such as pylons. Additionally, there is one (1) image of two men parachuting to the ground and one (1) image of a group of young men holding was appears to be model airplanes.

Most of the photographs have an identifying number on the front right corner of the image, such as "11147 A.S." that denotes the images were taken by United States Army Air Service. Most of the images also have a stamp on verso "Official Photograph Property of U. S. Army Air Service Reproduction of this Photograph is Prohibited Except when and as Authorized in Writing by The Chief of Air Service, Washington, D. C." Additionally, many of the images have a brief handwritten notation on the reverse identifying specific aircraft and people.

Identified aircraft include the U.S.S. Shenandoah, a ZR-1 dirigible, a Goodyear TC-3 non-rigid airship, Vought UO-1 (UF-1), Wright (Aero) F2W, Engineering Division NBL-1 Barling Bomber, Curtiss R2C-1 Racer and Curtiss R3C-1 Racer, Hartzell FC-1, and Fokker A-2 (F.IV). Identified people include John D. Corkville, Alexander Pearson, Lawson 'Sandy' Sanderson, Alford J. Williams, and Mason M. Patrick.

Some particularly notable photographs include an image of 1st lieutenant John D. Corkill taking off (he finished 2nd in the 1st heat of the trophy race); Marine Lieutenant Lawson "Sandy" Sanderson with his Navy Wright F2W, the aircraft he crash landed after winning the first heat; Lt. Alex Pearson and his Verville-Sperry R-3; and parachutists on their way to landing.

At the end of the collection are nine (9) photographs taken inside the Sacramento Air Depot (SAD) [present-day Sacramento Air Logistics Center] in 1940. Most of the photographs have a printed caption on the lower front right corner that identify the division within SAD, such as "Engine tear down & parts inspection, Eng. Dept S.A.D., 3-20-40." Other departments include "Ignition - Starters & Generators" and "Machine Shop." The images feature employees working on either scrapping or reworking the Martin B-10 for training. There is also one (1) aerial photograph of an unidentified body of water and surrounding landscape.


  • 1923
  • 1940


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.


0.2 Cubic Feet ( 1 half-width letter size document box)


The Army Air Corps Photographs of the 1923 Pulitzer Air Race is comprised of fifty-nine (59) black-and-white photographs primarily depicting the 1923 Pulitzer Air Race with nine (9) snapshots featuring the Sacramento Air Depot in 1940.

Historical Note: The Pulitzer Air Races 1920-1925

The Pulitzer Air Races, established by newspaper publisher Ralph Pulitzer, were held six times between 1920 and 1925. Though the races were open to civilian pilots, most entrants were United States Army or Navy pilots. The first race was held at Mitchell Field, Garden City, Long Island, New York, in 1920. Other locations included Omaha, Nebraska (1921), Selfridge Field, Mt. Clemens, Mississippi (1922), St. Louis, Missouri (1923), Dayton, Ohio (1924) and the final race in 1925 returned to Mitchell Field.

Source and Further Reading:

Gough, Michael. The Pulitzer Air Races: American aviation and speed supremacy, 1920-1925. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers, 2013.


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.


Guide to the Army Air Corps Photographs
Completed - Level 3
K. Williams, J. Parent
2010, 2018
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
2nd Edition

Revision Statements

  • 2015: This finding aid was revised to reflect updated standards in DACS and The Museum of Flight
  • November 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
Contact us with a research request