Charles F. Blair, Jr., Collection
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NASM.1999.0042
Creators:
Blair, Charles F., Jr., 1909-1978
Dates:
[ca. 1950s]
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1.74 Cubic feet
(1 shoebox) (1 23.5x19x4 flatbox) (1 16x13.5x3 flatbox)
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of two large scrapbooks, 15 glass slides and a print and copy negative film of Blair on his historic polar flight.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Charles F. Blair, Jr. (1909-1978) graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Vermont in 1931. After flight training with the Navy and completing a tour of duty as a naval aviator, Blair went on to be a pilot for United Airlines, American Airlines, and for Pan American Airways. In 1951 he set a record for an Atlantic crossing (7 hours, 48 minutes) in his converted North American P-51 Excalibur III. The next year, Blair became the first individual to fly over the North Pole in a single engine aircraft, an achievement that earned him the Harmon International Trophy, Thurlow Award, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Because of his Arctic solo, the Strategic Air Command invited Blair to help develop techniques for delivering thermonuclear weapons from long-range fighter aircraft. Blair worked as a special consultant to the Air Force during the week, and on weekends he continued to fly for Pan American. In 1956 Blair commanded Operation Sharkbait, a flight of jet fighters nonstop across the North Atlantic, and in 1959 he led Operation Julius Caesar, the first flight of jet fighters to cross the Arctic and the North Pole. After his retirement from the Air Force Reserves (as a Brigadier General) and Pan American, Blair operated Antilles Air Boats, a charter air service in the Caribbean. While piloting a regularly scheduled flight between St. Croix and St. Thomas, the aircraft crashed claiming Blair's life and those of three of his passengers.

Administration
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Maureen O'Hara Blair, gift, 1999, 1999-0042, unknown

General
General
Note: Mr. Blair's converted P-51, Excalibur III, is in the collections of the National Air and Space Museum, and will be on display at the Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles, Virginia, USA.
General
NASMrev

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
No restrictions on access
Conditions Governing Use
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Arctic regions -- Aerial exploration Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Military Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Arctic regions -- Discovery and exploration Place Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rohrbach Ro III Rotri Flying Boat Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Harmon International Trophy Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Periodicals Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blair, Charles F., Jr., 1909-1978 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Operation Sharkbait Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Operation Julius Caesar Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Antilles Air Boats Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pan American World Airways, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
United States. Air Force Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
National Air and Space Museum Archives
14390 Air & Space Museum Parkway
Chantilly, VA 20151
NASMRefDesk@si.edu
http://airandspace.si.edu/research/resources/archives/