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The Descriptive Finding Guide for the Bernt Balchen Personal Papers SDASM.SC.10012
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Collection Details
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  • Preferred Citation note
  • Biographical/Historical note
  • Scope and Contents note
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition note
  • Conditions Governing Access note
  • Conditions Governing Use note
  • Related Archival Materials note

  • Title: Colonel Bernt Balchen, 1899-1973 Personal Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.10012
    Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.4 Cubic feet 1 manuscript box
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1903-1973
    Date (inclusive): 1903-2002
    Abstract: This collection contains the papers of Bernt Balchen, a renowned cold-weather aviator.
    Location note: San Diego Air & Space Museum
    creator: Balchen, Bernt, 1899-1973

    Preferred Citation note

    [Item name] Personal Collection of Bernt Balchen, 1899-1973, Archives, San Diego Air & Space Museum.

    Biographical/Historical note

    World renowned aviator Bernt Balchen was born in Tveit, Norway on October 23, 1899. Colonel Balchen, a native Norwegian, started flying in 1921. He became a U.S. citizen in 1930. His career spanned 35 years, serving both governments in cold-weather aviation. His many accomplishments include: pilot of the “America” transoceanic flight, searching for Amundsen, Byrd Antarctica expedition, building a secret air base in Greenland, rescues of downed planes, flying arms to Norwegian Resistance movement, rebuilding SAS Airlines, the DEW Line, and many other notable achievements. He retired from the USAF in 1956. He received many honors for his contributions to aviation. Colonel Balchen passed away in 1973 and was buried on his 74th birthday.

    Scope and Contents note

    This collection covers Bernt Balchen’s admirable career as a cold weather aviator who made many valuable contributions to the aviation world. This collection contains family photos of Colonel Balchen as a child in the early 1900’s and ranges to articles and letters received by his wife and family in the early 2000’s. The materials cover a wide time span and consist of a variety of materials relating to the life and achievements of this great aviator.
    Selected digitized images from this collection on Flickr.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition note

    Most of the collection was donated to the Museum in the early 2000’s.

    Conditions Governing Access note

    The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

    Conditions Governing Use note

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

    Related Archival Materials note

    Secondary Sources: http://www.nationalaviation.org/balchen-bernt/

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Cold-weather aviation
    Scandanavian Airlines System