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George William Christopher Papers

 Collection
Identifier: Ms-1991-031

Scope and Content

This collection contains the papers of George William Christopher, a pilot who worked as a flight instructor and barnstormer in the Texas panhandle region in the 1930s, then served with the U. S. Air Force during World War II and the post-war period. The collection includes a copy of Christopher's autobiographical memoir Pioneer Pilot from the Texas Panhandle: Stories from a Flier's Life. The collection also contains an outline for an article proposed by Christopher for American Aviation Historical Society Journal, to be titled "Flying in the Thirties in Texas," and a newspaper clipping about Christopher receiving the Air Force Commendation Medal.

Dates

  • 1961 - 1991

Creator

Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

George William Christopher (1908-2002) was born to Van B. and Laura Gilliland Christopher in Texhoma, Oklahoma, on September 17, 1908. The younger Christopher later moved with his family to southern Kansas and the Texas panhandle, where he worked variously as a fireman, mechanic, and electrician.

In 1933, Christopher purchased a Waco 10 biplane, and the following year, he became a professional flight instructor. Through the 1930s, Christopher continued work as a flight instructor and also barnstormed throughout the area. During World War II, he instructed air cadets at Love Field (Dallas, Texas) before joining the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) in Santa Monica, California, as an engineering test pilot, then went on active duty as a reserve officer with the Army Air Forces. From 1947 until his retirement, Christopher served as a regular officer in the U.S. Air Force. He was awarded numerous medals and honors, including the Distinguished Flying Cross during the Korean War, the Air Medal, and the Air Force Commendation Medal while serving with Allied Air Forces, Southern Europe, a NATO command in Naples, Italy.

In 1941, Christopher married Geneva Weatherspoon (1907-1994), and the couple had one child. Following Christopher's retirement from the U. S. Air Force as a lieutenant colonel, the Christophers lived in El Paso, Texas. George William Christopher died on April 22, 2002 and was buried at Fort Bliss National Cemetery, Texas.

Extent

0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Abstract

This collection includes an autobiographical memoir titled Pioneer Pilot from the Texas Panhandle: Stories from a Flier's Life by George William Christopher, a flight instructor and barnstormer in the Texas panhandle area in 1930s and a pilot in the United States Air Force during World War II and post-war period. Also includes an outline for an article drawn from the book and a newspaper clipping about Christopher being awarded the Air Force Commendation Medal in Italy.

Source of Acquisition

The George William Christopher Papers were donated to Special Collections and University Archives in 1991.

Separated Materials

A second copy of Christopher's memoir was separated to the Rare Book Collection.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the George William Christopher Papers by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement, and description of the George William Christopher Papers was completed in September 2013.

Title
George William Christopher Papers, 1961-1991
Status
Completed
Author
John M. Jackson, Archivist
Date
2013 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2020-09-14: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags
  • 2021-08-23: Tyler Williams and LM Rozema updated titles, dates, and typos, and LM Rozema made minor updates to notes.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Contact:
Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US
540-231-6308