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The Descriptive Finding Guide for the Charles Richard Wilson Personal Papers SDASM.SC.0009
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Collection Details
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  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Preferred Citation note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Related Archival Materials note

  • Title: Charles Richard Wilson Personal Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.0009
    Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.8 Cubic feet 2 manuscript boxes
    Date (inclusive): 1942-1953
    Abstract: This collection contains materials from the personal collection of Charles Richard Wilson. Wilson was a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II. He was shot down over the North Sea and captured and held as a prisoner of war until his camp was liberated at the end of the war. He was killed in an air accident off the Galapagos Islands in 1953.
    Language of Materials note: English
    creator: Wilson, Charles Richard, 1921-1953

    Biographical/Historical note

    Charles Richard “Chuck” Wilson was born in Missouri, 16 December 1921. He attended Citrus Junior College in the Los Angeles area, majoring in mathematics. He worked at North American Aviation for a brief period before enlisting in the Army Air Corps on 11 April 1942.
    Wilson received a reserve commission on 29 April 1943. He flew a wide variety of aircraft during flight training, including the BT-9B, BT-13A, BT-15, PT-17, AT-6A/C/D, AT-11, AT-23B. Later, he transitioned to the L-5, BC-1A, C-45F, P-39, P-40, P-51 and B-26. He received advanced training in the B-17F/G. The crew photograph shown above was taken during training in Tennessee. Wilson is in the front row, second from the left.
    His B-17G was hit by flak on his first bombing mission over Germany, on 16 February 1945, near Gelsenkirchen, located in the northern part of the Ruhr Valley. Gelsenkirchen was a center for oil refining and coal production. They were able to drop their bomb load on target, but, eventually, had to ditch over the North Sea. He was the co-pilot.
    The crew survived, but was captured. Chuck Wilson was a POW in Stalag XIIID in Nuremburg, and Stalag VIIA in Moosburg. He was liberated on 29 April 1945. He continued in active military service for a short period after World War II, serving as a flight instructor, flight inspector and check pilot.
    After separation from active service he flew a variety of small civilian aircraft, working as a corporate pilot, flight instructor and technical advisor. He was killed in a crash at sea on 10 October 1953, off the coast of the Galapagos Islands, only 32 years of age. At the time he was flying a spotter plane for a fishing fleet. Chuck Wilson was a resident of San Diego, California.

    Scope and Contents note

    The collection contains correspondence, official records and other notes from the personal collection of Charles Richard Wilson.

    Preferred Citation note

    [Item], Charles Richard Wilson Special Collection, Archives, San Diego Air & Space Museum

    Conditions Governing Use note

    Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

    Related Archival Materials note

    Secondary Sources: Moyes, Philip J. R., “Boeing B-17G Flying fortress,” Oxford, England : Vintage Aviation Publications Ltd., 1979 - Call# UG 1242 ADI v.8
    Selected digitized images from this collection on Flickr.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    United States. Army Air Forces.
    Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress Family
    Stalag VII A