Russell H. Pearson Collection

Russell H. Pearson circa 1923

Pictured: Russell H. Pearson circa 1923

Russell H. Pearson wearing aviation goggles and cap

Pictured: Russell H. Pearson wearing aviatior's goggles and pilot's helmet, circa 1917-1918

Summary: David E. Pearson and Rose Ann Kornfield created this collection in honor of their father, about whom the collection pertains. Russell Howe Pearson (1894-1976) formed the Fort Worth Air Transportation Company in 1918, later called the National Airplane Corporation, after having served as a pilot during World War I. The company was billed as the first Commercial Air Transportation Line in the United States. Not long after, Pearson's air business failed due to a strong straight line wind or a tornado that destroyed his air fleet. According to the donors, Pearson paid back every penny of the amount he owed even though his debtors offered to forgive the debt. By 1923, Pearson was working as a general agent for Reliance Life Insurance Company with membership in the American Legion Post No. 21.


  • World War I leather pilot's helmet and aviator's goggles worn by Russell H. Pearson


  • Russell H. Pearson military orders and papers, 1917-1923
  • Honors and memorials for Russell H. Pearson
  • United Daughters of the Confederacy papers declaring Russell H. Pearson a lineal descendent of Benjamin E. Pearson
  • Pearson family research folder by Don Pyeatt
  • Photocopy of the Curtiss-Wright JN4-D 1918 Military Tractor Hand Book


  • U.S. Aviation School Carruthers Field Cross, Country Map, 11 by 17 inches, black and white, machine copy, July 1918


  • Portrait of Russell H. Pearson while serving in World War I and wearing the leather pilot's helmet and aviator's goggles (mentioned above)
  • Russell H. Pearson in uniform, 4.25 by 6 inches, sepia, undated
  • 36th Division Parade in Fort Worth, Texas, 8 by 10 inches, sepia, April 11, 1918

National Airplane Corporation

  • 25 articles and advertisements for the National Airplane Corporation (formerly Fort Worth Aerial Transportation Company, 1918-1919
  • Poster: "Join the Air Service - Learn - Earn," color print, 10.5 by 16 inches, undated

World War I Flyer's Club

  • Six photographs of members, 8 by 10 inches, black and white, undated, 1951, 1972
  • Special Orders, Air Service Flying School at Taliaferro Field Headquarters, November 26, 1918
  • Instructions for Pilots, Post Field, Fort Sill, Oklahoma
  • List of members, addresses, and phone numbers, October 28, 1959
  • Photocopy of Aviation Garden Airport, 1924
  • Scrapbook for the World War I Flyer's Club, including Russell H. Pearson, 18.5 by 17.5 inches

Related Collection: Follow the link to view the Dave Pearson Collection.