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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Fred Woods World War II Collection

Identifier: 2012-08-22
The Fred Woods World War II Collection is comprised of photographic prints, negatives, a photograph album, and a small number of documents that relate to the World War II experience of United States Navy pilot Fred Woods. The collection has been arranged into two series, visual materials and textual materials.

Visual materials, which are the bulk of the collection, include 26 loose black-and-white photographic prints and 27 negatives. Sizes vary from 3x5" to 8x10" and very few have any identifying information. Images are primarily candid snapshots, although there are two formal group portraits, and depict military personnel, ships, aircraft such as the Boeing B-29 and the Curtiss SB2C-1 Helldiver in flight, and civilians. There is also a small photograph album with approximately 50 prints. Captions are common, although quite brief and often only identify people by first and/or last name. Most of the images are military-related, but personal images, including "Pop" and "Mom," are also included. There are at least two images captioned as "Fred," one of which is a young man in the cockpit of a plane and is likely Fred Woods. Some locations are identified also, including Sasebo, Japan and Saipan.

Textual materials include two pilot log books for Woods; a small amount of ephemera, including a handwritten cockpit procedure checklist; an American Red Cross card; a booklet, John Britain, which provides a high-level character drawing of the "average" British civilian and how the war affects them; and a typed 11-page letter, "A Letter Home from the Ticonderoga by Hellcat pilot Lieutenant Fred Woods." The document, which is not addressed to anyone and is possibly a draft as it includes minor edits, describes the anticipation of pilots before a strike and describes a particular mission in July 1945 to strike a "Tone Class C.A.S. cruiser near Shikaka, Japan."


  • 1942-circa 1945


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The nitrate negatives are kept in a freezer and require at least a two day advance appointment. The rest of the 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.


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

Biographical Note: Fred Woods

Fred Woods was born in Leigh, England on June 5, 1921. It is unknown when he relocated to the United States, but he was residing in Renton, Washington when he enlisted in the United States Navy in Feburary 1942. During World War II, Fred served as a pilot for the Navy, flying a Grumman F6F Hellcat from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Ticonderoga.

Post-war, he married Betty J. Woods in 1982. Fred Woods died May 14, 1986.

Biography derived from collection materials and

Custodial History

The collection was donated in 2012 by Paul Doherty. Doherty purchased the collection at a yard sale (date of purchase unknown) and previous provenance is unknown.


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 materials have been separated from the archival component and are kept in Objects storage:

  • Protractor
  • Lock of hair
  • Name badge and patch
  • Shoulder boards

Processing Information

Collection arrived in minimal order. Materials were organized by format. Photographs were further organized by subject as they were sleeved. Original titles were used when available and are denoted by quotation marks, all other titles were derived by the processing archivist.
Guide to the Fred Woods World War II 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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