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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Lee M. Shelton and George W. French World War II Collection

 Collection — Box: One
Identifier: 2003-07-25
The collection contains materials related to Lee M. Shelton and George W. French. Both men served during World War II, though in different military branches. Shelton was part of the Army Air Forces and his materials include photographs of military personnel and activities, such as inspections and navigational procedures; correspondence and a graduation announcement for Blythville Army Air Field. French served with the Navy and his materials include photographs of naval ships, including the U.S.S. President Jackson, personnel, and activities; and textual materials, such as newsletters.


  • 1939-1945


Language of Materials

All materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research but has not been fully processed. 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.


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

Biographical Note: Lee M. Shelton

Lee Mereden Shelton served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II and made a career in the U.S. Air Force, eventually earning rank of Colonel.

Shelton was born on August 16, 1916 in Watova, Oklahoma. He attended Nowata High School in Nowata, Oklahoma where he was a 4H club champion. After high school, he was a minor league baseball player and owned a Texaco service station.

In 1939 Shelton went through Army Air Corps Aviation Cadet Testing and Qualification. On April 21, 1942, Shelton enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and served as a pilot during World War II. He served in the Pacific Theater of Operations with the Red Raiders Squadron. His nickname was "Pappy" because at 27 years old he was older than most of his squadron mates. He commanded a B-24 Liberator named "Daddy's Girl."

After the war he was stationed on Guam. Later he had a series of posts: a pilot instructor at Biggs Army Air Field in El Paso, Texas; an Air Training Command staff officer at Randolph Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas; an instructor pilot for French Air Force exchange officers at Craig Air Force Base in Selma, Alabama; an Exchange Officer for the Canadian Defense Forces at Trenton Air Station, in Trenton, Ontario, Canada; serving with Strategic Air Command (SAC) at Barksdale Air Force Base in Shreveport, Louisiana; serving with SAC as an aircraft maintenance staff officer at Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska; a Maintenance Squadron Commander with the Minuteman program at Vandenburg Air Force Base in Lompoc, California; Director of Aircraft Maintenance for SAC at Offutt Air Force Base. He retired as a colonel from the U.S. Air Force in August, 1969. Over his career he worked with Stearman, North American T-6 Texan, North American T-28 Trojan, Lockheed T-33 Shooting Star, Beechcraft T-34 Mentor, Cessna T-37 Tweet, North American T-39 Sabreliner, C-45 Expiditor, Douglas C-47 Skytrain, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, North American B-25 Mitchell, Boeing B-52 Stratofortress, Boeing KC-97 Stratofreighter, and Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker.

Shelton was married to Yolande Williams and they had two sons, William R. Shelton and Lee M Shleton II. He died on April 12, 1986 in Washington state and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

Biographical information derived from collection materials and
Biographical Note: George W. French George Wyer French was born on August 30, 1915 in Portland, Maine. He moved around quite a bit, living in various places including the Panama Canal Zone. On February 6, 1941 French enlisted in the United States Navy and served on board the U.S.S. President Jackson during World War II. French retired from military services on July 1, 1962 at the rank of Commander.

On July 25, 1987 French married Yolande Williams (1919-2003) in Kitsap, Washington state. George W. French died on December 3, 2003.


Collection materials and

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donatied by William R. Shelton, the son of Lee M. Shelton and step-son of George W. French.


No further accruals are expected.

Separated Materials

Multiple items, including military uniforms and accessories, first aid kits, a sextant, and military weapons have been separated from the archival component. For a complete list or more information contact us.
Guide to the Lee M. Shelton and George W. French World War II Collection
Completed - Level 1
Description rules
Language of description
Edition statement
1st edition

Revision Statements

  • 2021 June: Added more biographical info for Lee M. Shelton.

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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