Skip to main content

Karl Baur Papers

 Collection
Identifier: H060-01
This collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, military records, identification cards, photographs, maps, and three dimensional materials that were either created and/or collected by Karl Baur during his life, and career at Messerschmitt. The Karl Baur Papers are housed in sixteen boxes of various sizes, totalling 15.5 linear ft.

The collection arrived in good condition and was well organized. The collection was reprocessed to conform with the new content management system. The archivist identified six series, with the first series being the Personal Life Series which is further organized into four subseries: 1. Personal Documentation, 2. United States Intelligence Background, 3. Identification Documents, 4. Arrival in the United States.

Subseries 1. consists of Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Stuttgart, certificates from German glider schools, blueprints and engineering calculations for creation of D-Fledermaus, medical certification for a pilot's license, and university notebooks from classes in aerodynamics, thermodynamics, mathematics, and jet engines.

Subseries 2. contains letter requesting Karl Baur's background check information, copies of the background checks done by U.S. Army Intelligence during 1953-55, and the Chief of Naval Intelligence 1946-1948, correspondence between Baur and various military personnel regarding per diem payment 1945-1946, per diem expense filings, travel orders as per Operation Paperclip, physical, and personnel records.

Subseries 3. includes of certificates from glider school, pilot licenses from German flying clubs, letter, telegram, and certificate related to awarding of German Crosses 1st and 2nd class, identification documents from Germany, including Deutsches Reich, the United States, and school-related grade reports.

Subseries 4. comprises a D-Fledermaus barogram, calendar with notes, papers related to immigration and early stay in the United States.

The second series is the Pre-World War II Employment Series, which is organized in three subseries: 1. Log Books, 2. Notebook, and 3. Japan Trip.

Subseries 1. consists of five pilot log books, some of which cover Baur’s test flights for the Messerschmitt Company during World War II.

Subseries 2. includes a hand-written notebook on test flights.

Subseries 3. is made up of newspaper clippings, schedule, and diary of his Japan trip.

The third series is the Messerschmitt Series organized in four subseries: 1. Newspaper Clippings, 2. Maps, 3. World War II Plane Photographs, and 4. Directories.

Subseries 1. consists of clippings describing glider developments, competitions, air shows participated in or seen by Baur.

Subseries 2. contains flight maps of Germany, West Europe, Le Havre, and Ostasien/East Asia.

Subseries 3. consists of cigarette card photo prints of Messerschmitt aircraft, and personnel in North Africa operating and maintaining aircraft.

Subseries 4. contains directories Jahrbuch der Luftfahrt 1952-1953 and receipt for bill of sale, Taschenbuch für die Luftfahrt-Press 1961 with business card of Peter Raabe, as well as Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Code General Sportif Ausgabe 1950.

The fourth series is the Publications Series organized in four subseries: 1. Personal Photographs, 2. Japan Photos, 3. Messerschmitt Flight Reports, and 4. Watson's Whizzers.

Subseries 1. consists of personal photographs from flying club events, air shows, Fledermaus, Klemm 25, Hanna Reitsch, group photo, and engineering classroom photo.

Subseries 2. consists of photos from the 1935 trip, Mt. Asama, students in Japan, Japanese Embassy in Berlin.

Subseries 3. contains photos from his time with Messerschmitt picturing planes (ME 109, ME 109D, ME 163A, ME 163B, ME 210 V1, ME 261,ME 261 V, ME 261 V3, ME 262, ME 262 B2A, ME 262 V, ME 264 VI, ME 309, and ME 321), people (Karl Baur, Willy Messerschmitt, Hermann Graf, Fritz Wendel, Adolf Galland, Lukas Schmid, Hanna Reistch, Alexander Lippisch, Heini Dittmar, Hermann Göring, Hans-Joachim Marseille, and Tesch), photocopies of blue print drawings for Bf 109, ME 163, ME 264, ME 309. Flight reports are included for sheet metals testing, alterations in configuration of aircraft, and testflights.

Subseries 4. photos of Watson's Whizzers who were brought to the U.S. by Air Technical Intelligence Colonel Harold E. Watson to be debriefed on the Luftwaffe's capabilities and plans. Includes: Karl Baur, other World War II Pilots, Harold E. Watson. Drawing of Baur while a POW at Chateau du Grand Chemay (and of the Chateau), and aerial photo of Wright Field in Ohio, circa 1945 from a magazine.

The fifth series is the Music series consisting of 78 RPM shellac records made by popular recording artists of the 1930s through the 1950s, including Lucien Boyer, Mirita Casamiro, Jean Vaissade, Lys Gauty, Michay Jary, Eva Busch, W. Kleine, Rosita Serrano, Willy Berking, Xavier Cugat, Emile Carrara, King Cole Trio, Bill Gale, Morton Downey, Georges Boulanger, Mitch Miller, Deprince, Zuidzee Trio, and Mandarin and Japanese artists.

The sixth series the Memorabilia series consisting of: three Messerschmitt models meant to be part of a desktop display, Deutschlandflug plaques from Breslau in 1935 and Reisa in 1937, city of Gmünd air show plaque. A collection of pins and medallions commemorating various Deutschlandflug events, the 1936 XI. Berlin Olympiade, "Aero-Club Von Deutschland," Wettbewerb-Rhon-Segelflug-1934; two Nazi Maltese Crosses; a slide rule, wristwatches, pocket knife, parachute knife, German military uniform decorations, winter flying jacket, pants, boots, and dress boots.

Dates

  • 1921 - 1982
  • Majority of material found within 1931 - 1946

Language of Materials

Collection is in English, French, Mandarin, Japanese, Spanish, and German.

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.

Extent

15.5 Linear Feet (One record center box (12 x 15 x 10), three document boxes (15 1/4 x 10 1/4 x 5), one non-standard box (18 x 12 x 3), one non-standard box (25 x 19 x 1.5), two phonograph boxes (13.25 x 6 x 13.25), one negative storage box (5.5 x 12 x 4.5), two non-standard boxes (9 x 11.5 x 3), two non-standard boxes (31.5 x 23.5 x 5.5), three memorabilia boxes (12.5 x 19 x 2).)

Abstract

Karl Baur is most known for having been the chief test pilot for the Messerschmitt Company, in Germany in the late 1930s until the end of the Second World War. He test piloted such famous aircraft as the Me-109, the Me-262 jet fighter, and the Me-163 rocket plane. After a brief stay in United States in the later part of 1945, Baur returned to Germany. In 1954 Baur accepted a position as an engineer at the Chance Vought Aircraft Corporation in Dallas, Texas, where he worked until his death in 1963.

Biographical Sketch

Narrative and list all sources in a multi-part note.
Karl Baur was born November 13, 1911 in Württemberg, Germany. In 1927 he attended a summer camp for young boys interested in aviation, and it was here that Baur developed his desire to fly. He became involved in the world of glider flying during the 1930s. With the F1 Fledermaus glider he completed the necessary distance, height, and acrobatic flying requirements to earn an International Silver C Badge in 1934. (Only 19 of these were awarded that year. Baur was one of 15 Germans who received the badge.) Baur also worked with powered aircraft and earned a private pilot license in 1931.

In 1935 Baur accepted an opportunity to go to Japan and served as instructor at a Japanese glider school. He also did some acrobatic flying at various points around Japan. Upon his return to Germany in 1936, Baur completed his degree in engineering from Technische Hochschule Stuttgart. He was employed by the German Aviation Research Institute testing aircraft designs and instructing German pilots.

Baur was called to military duty and attempted to join the Luftwaffe in 1938, but because of problems with his eyesight he could not pass the physical to be certified as a military pilot. He stayed with the German Aviation Research Institute until 1939, when he received an offer to become the chief test pilot for the Messerschmitt Company. At Messerschmitt he test piloted such famous aircraft as the Me-109, the Me-262 jet fighter, and the Me-163 rocket plane. On April 29, 1945 the allies captured the German city of Augsburg, where Baur was working on Messerschmitt aircraft.

Baur and his crew were required by the American Forces to repair the Me-262’s that had been damaged and instruct some American pilots in their operation. Along with other German experts in the field of aeronautics and rocketry, Baur was sent to the United States in fall of 1945. He spent several months in the United States demonstrating the Me-262, providing technical help to American test pilots, and explaining the aeronautic work he had done in Germany. In December 1945 Baur was able to return to Germany and reunite with his family.

Baur worked several odd jobs after the war including serving an interpreter to the commander of an American Army Air Force Base in Germany, and as a sales representative for a company that manufactured car batteries. Baur accepted a job as an engineer at the Chance Vought Aircraft Corporation in Dallas, Texas in August 1954. Baur worked for Chance Vought until his death on October 12, 1963. His widow, Isolde Baur lived in the Dallas-Fort Worth area until her death on June 5, 2006.

Missing Title

Source
Baur, Isolde. A Pilot’s Pilot: Karl Baur, Chief Test Pilot for Messerschmitt. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing Inc., Canada, 2000.
Source
Karl Baur Papers, Deutschlandflug Certificate, Box 1, Folder 2, Series I., Subseries 1, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Source
Karl Baur Papers, U.S. Army Intelligence Background Check, Box 1, Folder 10, Series I., Subseries 1, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Source
Karl Baur Papers, Sport-Lizenz Licence Sportive, Box 1, Folder 13, Series I., Subseries 1, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Source
Karl Baur Papers, Diary of Japan Trip, Box 2, Folder 7, Series II., Subseries 3, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.
Source
Karl Baur Papers, Diploma, Box 1, Folder 1, Series I., Subseries 1, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.

Series Description

The Karl Baur Papers are arranged in six series:

Series I. Personal Documentation 0.5 linear ft. (one manuscript box and one folder), 1931-1982.

Arranged in four subseries: 1. Personal Documentation, 2. United States Intelligence Background, 3. Identification Documents, and 4. Arrival in The United States.

Subseries 1. Personal Documentation 0.2 linear ft. (nine folders), 1931-1938.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 2. United States Intelligence Background 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1982.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 3. Identification Documents 0.1 linear ft. (four folders), 1921-1960.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 4. Arrival in The United States 0.1 linear ft. (three folders), 1931-1945.

Arranged by topic.

Series II. Pre-World War II Employment 0.45 linear ft. (eight folders), 1931-1945.

Arranged in three subseries: 1. Log Books, 2. Notebook, and 3. Japan Trip.

Subseries 1. Log Books 0.25 linear ft. (five folders), 1931-1945.

Arranged numerically.

Subseries 2. Notebook 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1940-1941.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 3. Japan Trip 0.1 linear ft. (two folders), 1935.

Arranged by topic.

Series III. Messerschmitt 9.6 linear ft. (one standard box, seven manuscript folders and two flat-file folders), 1933-1962.

Arranged in four subseries: 1. Newspaper Clippings, 2. Maps, 3. World War II Plane Photos, and 4. Directories.

Subseries 1. Newspaper Clippings 0.1 linear ft. (two folders), 1933-1969.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 2. Maps 11.2 linear ft. (one non-standard box, one manuscript folder, and two flat-file folders), 1951.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 3. World War II Plane Photos 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1962.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 4. Directories 0.1 linear ft. (three folders), 1950-1961.

Arranged numerically.

Series IV. Publications 2.05 linear ft. (one non-standard box, one manuscript box, and sixteen folders), 1929-1952.

Arranged in four subseries: 1. Personal Photographs, 2. Japan Photos, 3. Messerschmitt Flight Reports, and 4. Watson's Whizzers.

Subseries 1. Personal Photographs 1.6 linear ft. (one non-standard box and one manuscript folder), 1929-1945.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 2. Japan Photos 0.1 linear ft. (one folder), 1935.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 3. Messerschmitt Flight Reports 0.25 linear ft. (thirteen folders), 1939-1946.

Arranged by topic.

Subseries 4. Watson's Whizzers 0.1 linear ft. (two folders), 1945-1952.

Arranged by topic.

Series V. Music 0.5 linear ft. (one phonograph box and twenty-seven record sleeves), 1930-1955.

Arranged by topic.

Series VI. Memorabilia 13.8 linear ft. (one record center box, one phonograph box, seven non-standard boxes, and three memorabilia boxes), 1934-1945.

Arranged by topic.

Provenance Statement

The Karl Baur Papers were purchased by the History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, from Isolde Baur, widow of Karl Baur on July 14, 2001.

Additional Sources

Further information regarding the Chance Vought Aircraft Corporation can be found in the Vought Aircraft Company Collection (VACC).

Isolde Baur, A pilot's pilot: Karl Baur: chief test pilot for Messerschmitt Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada: J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing c2000. HAC TL540.B387 B38 2000

Books and Magazines

Books and magazines were pulled and catalogued to be included into the HAC monograph and magazine stacks.

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, 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: 5KB-1-1-PB1

5 = History of Aviation Archives (HAC)

KB = Karl Baur Papers

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.

Note to the Researcher

Images were placed in polypropylene sleeves. Oversized photos were separated by acid-free paper and placed in non-standard size boxes. Maps were placed in acid-free folders in flat files. Phonograph records were placed in acid-free envelopes. Clothing was placed in appropriately sized boxes with tissue. Three dimensional objects were tagged and placed in archival boxes.
Title
Guide to the Karl Baur Collection, 1911-1963
Status
completed
Author
Thomas J. Allen, PhD, 11 March 2004. First revision by Martha Diehl, MSLIS, 11 October 2016.
Date
11 March 2004
Description rules
dacs
Language of description
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Martha Diehl, MSLIS, 11 October 2016.

Repository Details

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

Contact:
3020 Waterview Pkwy
SP2
Suite 11.206
Richardson Texas 75080 US
972-883-2570
972-883-4590 (Fax)