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Archives at The Museum of Flight

E.L. Leak Collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 1999-04-25
The E.L. Leak Collection is a small collection comprised of photographs and certificates collected during E.L. Leak’s service in the United States Navy in World War II and as a career pilot. Ten black-and-white photographs feature a group photo of VF Squadron 1B; a carrier landing accident; the USS Lexington (CV-2) under way; squadrons of Curtiss F6C-2 and Boeing F3B aircraft on deck of unidentified carrier; a Boeing F2B squadron on deck of unidentified ship with other destroyers in background; a Curtiss F6C-3 on deck of unidentified ship; a Beech F-2 over Mt. McKinley; a Boeing YB-17 over Mt. Rainier; a Boeing YB-17 near Tacoma; and a Pan American-Grace Airways Sikorsky S-43. Documentation in the collection includes Leak’s certificate from Boeing School of Aeronautics in 1936, as well as Naval Air Transport Service orders and specifications for operations around Alaskan islands such as Amchitka Island, Umnak, Kodiak, and Adak, circa 1943. Also included in collection is one color print from a painting of Curtiss P-40 by Harry Jaffee.


  • Majority of material found within 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. Access to the collection may be limited or may require additional processing time. 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.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 letter-size file folder, 1 oversize folder)

Biographical Note: E. L. Leak

E.L. Leak served in the United States Navy during World War II. According to collection materials, Leak was stationed at Sand Point Naval Air Station in Seattle, Washington when it opened in the 1930s. Leak ferried passengers and servicemen between the United States and Europe during the war. After the war, Leak served as a United Airlines pilot until he retired.

His parents were Mr. and Mrs. Earnest J. Leak, who operated Leak's Family Style Chicken Dinner and other restaurants in the Puget Sound area in the 1950s.

Biographical information derived from collection materials and No further information is known.
Historical Note: Pan American Grace Airways NC-15065 One of the photographs in the collection features the Pan American-Grace Airways Sikorsky S-43 aircraft NC-15065. Pan American-Grace Airways was a joint venture operated by Pan American World Airways and Grace Shipping Company, transporting passengers and goods between Central America and South America, starting in 1928. Pan American-Grace Airways NC-15065 was en route from Cali Airport, Colombia to Cristobal Seaplane Base, Panama when it crashed into the Pacific Ocean due to engine failure. None of the three crew and 11 passengers survived. At the time, it was the worst aviation accident in Panama's history.

Historical note derived from the following sources:
  • Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Archives. “Crash of a Sikorsky-S43 off Cristobal: 14 Killed.” Accessed February 6, 2020.
  • Aviation Safety Network. Accessed February 6, 2020.
  • Wikipedia. “Pan American-Grace Airways.” Accessed February 6, 2020.

Separated Materials

The following items have been separated from the archival component of this collection and are kept in Objects storage:
  • United States Navy Hat
  • United States Navy uniform buttons and pins


Guide to the E. L. Leak Collection
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
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