The Descriptive Finding Guide for the Charles Richard Wilson Personal Papers SDASM.SC.10159

Robert E. Johnston
San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
San Diego 92101

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
Title: Charles Richard Wilson Personal Papers
creator: Wilson, Charles Richard
Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.10159
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 Material: English

Biographical / Historical

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

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

Preferred Citation

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

Conditions Governing Use

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

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Related Materials

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.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

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


Box 01


Folder 01 – Military Service Records (1942-1953) 1/4


Folder 02 – Military Service Records (1942-1953) 2/4


Folder 03 – Military Service Records (1942-1953) 3/4


Folder 04 – Military Service Records (1942-1953) 4/4


Folder 05 – Flight Related Records USAAF (1942-1953)


Folder 06 – Personal Documents (1942-1953)


Folder 07 – Legal & Lawsuit Documents (1942-1953)


Folder 08 – Miscellaneous


Folder 09 – Photographs


Folder 10 – Notebooks and Logs

Physical Description: 1. Address book. 2. Flying notes, guides, instructions. 3. Navigation Notes. 4. Pilot’s Flight Log (1942-1947). 5. Senior Pilot Log (1947-1947).