Skip to main content

Warren H. Gustafson Collection

Identifier: CA030-90

Scope and Content

This collection contains photographs, personal papers, clippings, articles, magazines, notes, and correspondence that were collected and/or created by Warren H. Gustafson during his lifetime and career with Air America. The Warren H. Gustafson Collection is housed in one half-size manuscript box totaling 0.2 linear ft.

The collection arrived in good condition and was initially processed with only a container list as description. Due to a change of the content management system, further description proved to be necessary.

Folder 1 reflects Gustafson's life and Air America through articles, clippings, and magazines.

Folder 2 contains historical photographs depicting the Gustafson family, in particular Emil Gustafson and other family members flying a Curtiss airplane. A highlight are images depicting one of only two DC-5/RD's airplanes ever built.

Folder 3 contains the Air America seniority list.

Folder 4 contains Warren H. Gutstafson's flight log.


  • 1911 - 1997
  • Majority of material found within 1966 - 1981

Language of Materials

Collection is in English.

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection are open for research.

Literary Rights Statement

Permission to publish material from this collection in any form, current or future, must be obtained from the Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Biograhical Sketch

Warren Harry Gustafson was born on June 23, 1921 in Chicago, IL to father Harry Gustafson, a Swedish immigrant. Harry participated in World War I with the United States Army Air Services. Harry's brother and Warren's uncle, Emil Gustafson, was a pilot and member of the Early Birds Club who taught Warren how to fly on a Porterfield aircraft. From 1942 through 1944, Gustafson received his Naval Aviation Flight Training at Corpus Christy, TX and graduated as an Aviation Cadet.

During World War II, Gustafson served with various Marine Aircraft Wings. After the war, from 1947 through 1948, he served as Engineering Chief and Staff Pilot for the Aircraft Engineering Squadron 46 at the MCAS Cherry Point, NC.

In the Korean War, Gustafson was assigned to the Marine Aircraft Group 15 and moved up to the rank of First Lieutenant at the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing in Korea. Within nine month, he flew over 1,000 hours in transport and night flare drop missions. For his actions, he was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with combat “V” and two air medals.

In 1954, Gustafson transferred to the Naval Aviation Training Command in Pensacola, FL, where he trained other pilots on a T-28. In 1957, he was reassigned to the Helicopter Training Program and received his license on Piaseki and Bell Training Helicopters. In 1958, he was promoted to Major and was assigned as the Motor Transport Officer. With the MCAS, his squadron was deployed to Oppama, Japan, by the end of 1958. This squadron also provided air support in the aftermath of Typhoon Vera.

In April of 1960, Gustafson returned back to the United States to work as an Operations Officer at Camp Pendleton, CA. In 1962, Gustafson served as the Aircraft Maintenance Officer. By August 1964, he was deployed overseas again to Southeast Asia; and in September 1964, his squadron flew missions in the Republic of Vietnam. Within one year he flew over 250 combat missions for which he was awarded, among other awards, the Distinguished Flying Cross. Gustafson returned to the United States in 1965.

From November through December 1977, Gustafson was employed by Sudan Air Taxi of Kartoum, Sudan, and from 1980 through 1981, he flew out of McAllen, Texas. Warren Harry Gustafson was married and had four children, two sons and daughters.


"Warren H. Gustafson Collection," Schedule of Events Marine Corps Birthday Ball, Folder 1, Box 1, History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
"Warren H. Gustafson Collection," Helen Chatfield, “Gus Gustafson has Flying in his Blood,” Skagit Valley Herald, Weekend Edition, vol. 99, no. 186, October 8, 1983, Folder 1, Box 1, History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.


0.2 Linear Feet (One half-size manuscript box)


Captain Warren Harry Gustafson was a fixed-wing pilot stationed in Saigon from July 13, 1966 through December 24, 1971, when he resigned from Air America.

Series Description

The archivist kept the original organization intact without any further arrangement.

Provenance Statement

The Warren H. Gustafson Collection was donated to the History of Aviation Archives, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by Warren H. Gustafson in multiple accessions from 1990 through 1997.

Image ID

It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission from copyright holders of materials to which this institution does not own copyright.

Images in this collection are identified by a unique number that provides information about the format, record group, collection, series, box, folder, and image numbers. Please use this number when ordering reproductions of images from this collection.

Record Group Code

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

2 = Doolittle Archives

3 = Lighter than Air Archives

4 = George H. Williams, Jr., World War I Aviation Library

5 = History of Aviation Archives

6 = University Archives

7 = HAC Stacks

8 = WPRL Stacks

9 = Cecil H. and Ida M. Green Collection

10 = Belsterling Collection

11 = Closed Stacks

12 = Unidentified

13 = Chance Vought Archives

14 = Twirly Birds Archives

Image Format Code

P = Photograph/Postcard

S = Slide

N = Negative

T = Positive Transparency

B = Black and White

C = Color

Example: 1WHG-1-1-PB1

1 = CAT/Air American Archives

WHG= Warren H. Gustafson Collection

= Series Number

1 = Box Number

1 = Folder Number

P = Photograph/Postcard

B = Black and White

1 = Image Number

Images archived in plastic image holders may also have a location code in the format: 1/TL. In this example, the number is the sheet number and the letters indicate the top left position on the sheet. Position indicators are T = top, L = left, R = right, M = middle, and B = bottom. Position indicators may be combined to describe the position on the sheet, as shown in this example.
Guide to the Warren H. Gustafson Collection, 1921-
Nava, Patrizia, 1960-
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2018-11-29. Second revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2019-08-26.

Revision Statements

  • 2018-11-29: 1st revision was a migration to ArchivesSpace by Patrizia Nava, CA.
  • 019-08-26: 2nd revision was an update of the collection number by Patrizia Nava, CA.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and Archives Division, History of Aviation Archives. Repository

3020 Waterview Pkwy
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US
972-883-4590 (Fax)