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Maurice M. Kay, Sr. Collection

Identifier: H158-88

Scope and Content

This collection contains documents, photographs, reports, operations manuals, and memorabilia related to Maurice M. Kay, Sr.’s career as a cargo and passenger airline pilot. The Maurice M. Kay, Sr. Collection is housed in seven manuscript boxes and three nonstandard boxes totaling 10.5 linear ft.

The collection arrived in good condition and was arranged by the archivist. Sometime after the collection’s initial processing and description a leak occurred in one of the non-standard boxes that damaged some materials. The affected materials that could be salvaged were cleaned and dried, but some material was disposed (for detailed information see the Materials Removed section of this finding aid). The archivist identified seven series, with the first series being the Biographical Information Series, which contains biographical information related to Maurice M. Kay, Sr. including personal and business correspondence, employment documents, information about Bowen and Long and Harmon Airlines, photographs, and news clippings.

The second series is the Pilot's License and Logbooks Series, which includes Maurice M. Kay, Sr.’s pilot’s license, his pilot logbooks covering the years 1929 until his retirement from American Airlines in 1966, and a pilot’s logbook for his wife Jackie Kay.

The third series is the American Airlines Series, which houses operations memos, service bulletins, reports, briefing documents, passenger comment cards, flight records, articles on the Grey Eagles (retired American Airlines pilots), and other documents generated during Maurice M. Kay, Sr.’s career with American Airlines.

The fourth series is the Aircraft Engines and Maintenance Series, which consists of maintenance manuals and instruction books for the Curtiss OX-5 and Lycoming R-680 engines, and the Douglas DC-2 aircraft.

The fifth series is the Government Documents, which contains government documents including Civil Aeronautics Board Directives, reports on flying in weather and at night, and military flight manuals.

The sixth series is the Aerial Navigation, Maps, and Charts Series, which includes manuals and reports on radio navigation, aeronautical charts for the United States, Canada, and Mexico, maps of the various regions of the world, and a Jeppesen Briefing Bulletin covering approaches and procedures at the major airports of the world.

The seventh series is the Artifacts and Memorabilia Series, which consist of patches and blood chits carried by Maurice M. Kay, Sr. while flying for Project 7 in the China Burma India theater during World War II; badges, insignia, and pilot wings from American Airlines; various navigational aids, computers, and manuals, Amelia Earhart’s autograph, a star-finder, and artifacts from the Air Transport Command and The Airline Pilots Association.


  • 1910 - 1968
  • Majority of material found within 1933 - 1965


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.

Biographical Sketch

Maurice M, Kay Sr. was born on February 9, 1906 in Pearson, Kansas. He later moved to Texas and began flight training at the Dallas Aviation School at Love Field in the mid-1920s. He flew independently as a barnstormer, instructor, and contract pilot until he joined Texas based Bowen Airlines. In 1934, he left Bowen and joined Long and Harmon (another local Texas airline), however the airline tried to change previously negotiated pilot pay rates. Kay, along with several other Long and Harmon pilots took their issues with the new rates to the Airline Pilots Association (ALPA, the pilot’s union) and threatened to strike. Long and Harmon retaliated by firing the pilots. The pilot's and ALPA filed and won several court judgments against Long and Harmon and were reinstated to their jobs.

Kay decided not to return to Long and Harmon instead choosing to join American Airlines. Kay flew as a regular commercial pilot with American until 1942 when he was assigned to fly cargo aircraft in support of World War II military operations as part of the Air Transport Command (ATC). In 1943, Kay, and other American Airlines personnel were assigned to Project 7-Alpha and sent to India where they provided combat airlift over “The Hump.” They spent ninety days flying C-87 cargo aircraft over the Himalayas and into Burma and Southern China in support of operations against the Japanese. After the end of this mission, Kay returned to the Air Transport Command, and then went back to regular duties in 1945.

Upon his return to regular flying, Kay became an Instructor pilot who oversaw the transition training of newly hired American service members from the military to civilian versions of the DC-3 and DC-4. He then spent three years as Assistant Chief Pilot and Check Pilot before returning to regular line flying. In 1960, Kay made the transition to turboprop Aircraft and the Lockheed L-188, and then to jets with the Boeing 707 and 720. He retired from American Airlines in 1966.


Burwell, Lewis C., Jr. “Project 7 on the Hump.” CBI Order of Battle, accessed February 2, 2016,
Hopkins, George B. 1992. "Flying the Line: The First Half Century of The Air Line Pilots Association." Washington, D.C.: ALPA Press.
"Maurice M. Kay, Sr. Collection," Personal Correspondence, Folder 1, Box 1, Series I, History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas.


10.5 Linear Feet (Seven manuscript boxes, one non-standard box (10x13.5x3), two non-standard boxes (18.5x13x1.5), one non-standard box (25x13.5x1.5).)


Maurice M. Kay, Sr. learned to fly at the Dallas Aviation School at Love Field in Dallas, Texas in the 1920s. After brief careers with Bowen and Long and Harmon Airlines, he joined American Airways (the predecessor to American Airlines) in 1934. While with American Airlines he flew aerial resupply missions to Burma and China over "The Hump" during World War II, served in capacities as a Pilot Instructor and Check Pilot, and as a Line Pilot of the Lockheed L-188, Boeing 707, and 720. He retired from American Airlines in 1966.

Series Description

The Maurice M. Kay, Sr. Collection is arranged into seven series:

Series I. Biographical Information 0.2 linear ft. (half a manuscript box), 1910-1954.

Series II. Pilot's License and Logbooks 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1928-1965.

Series III. American Airlines 0.4 linear ft. (one manuscript box), 1934-1968.

Series IV. Aircraft Engines and Maintenance 0.25 linear ft. (half a manuscript box), 1917-1936.

Series V. Government Documents 0.25 linear ft. (half a manuscript box), 1948-1970.

Series VI. Aerial Navigation, Maps, and Charts 1.0 linear ft. (two and a half manuscript boxes), 1921-1966.

Series VII. Artifacts and Memorabilia 6.25 linear ft. (four oversize boxes), 1935-1966.

Provenance Statement

The Maurice M. Kay, Sr. Collection was donated to the History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections and Archives Division, Eugene McDermott Library, The University of Texas at Dallas, by Maurice M. Kay, Jr. on 1988-12-1.

Additional Sources

Additional material on Long and Harmon and Bowen airlines can be found in Temple Bowen Collection, H001-68. More information on American Airlines is located in Raymond Willard Hayes Collection, H051-84.

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 America 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: 5MMK-1-8-PB1

5 = History of Aviation Archives (HAC)

MMK = Maurice M. Kay, Sr. Collection

1 = Box Number

8 = 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

Some of the materials in this collection were damaged by a leak in one of the boxes. The wet documents were dried and then returned to the collection. Several of the artifacts needed to be cleaned and treated and were placed back into the collection Some items still have damage and care must be used in the handling of them.

Material Removed List

Due to water damage one plastic altitude/positioning computer which had completely disintegrated was removed from the collection and discarded.

Maurice M. Kay, Sr. Collection, 1906-
Thomas J. Allen, PhD
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
English (eng)
Edition statement
First revision by Thomas J. Allen, PhD. 2016-02-11. Second revision by Patrizia Nava, CA. 2020-11-03.

Revision Statements

  • 2016-02-11: 1st revision by was a reprocessing of the collection and an update of the finding aid by Thomas J. Allen, PhD.
  • 2020-11-03: 2nd revision was an update of various style elements in the finding aid 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