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Wilmer and Mildred Stultz papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MSP 209

Scope and Contents

The Wilmer and Mildred Stultz papers document the career, travels, and family life of the Stultzes. The photo albums feature some of the 50 planes flown by Stultz, colleagues in the aviation field, aerial photographs of air fields and cities, automobiles from the 1920s, key flights flown by Stultz and events surrounding those flights, including the 1928 flight of the "Friendship" Fokker with Amelia Earhart and Louis Gordon, and other aspects of his career.

Types of materials include: artifacts, books, photo albums, programs, and shadowbox containing memorabilia.


  • 1917 - 1960
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1928


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Portions of material in this collection are in the public domain. Other material copyrights held by Purdue University or original creator. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Wilmer Lower Stultz was born on a farm near Williamsburg, Pennsylvania on April 11, 1900. In August 1917, he enlisted in the United States Army Air Force and in March of 1919, Stultz was honorably discharged as sergeant in the 634th aero supply squadron.

On August 4, 1919 he married Mildred Botts of Middletown, Pennsylvania.

Stultz enlisted in the Naval Air Service on December 22, 1919 and was honorably discharged on December 1, 1922. In his government training, Stultz was one of a group of men to receive special instruction in aviation. He personally conducted the tests made on the Josephine Ford plane in which Commander Richard Byrd made his famous journey to the North Pole. Stultz was the winner of a national airplane speed race at Dayton, Ohio. He was approached in the Fall of 1927 by Commander Byrd to be the assistant pilot on Byrd’s proposed South Pole flight. Frances Wilson Grayson employed Stultz as the pilot on her flight across the Atlantic. Grayson and Stultz turned around on their flight due to storms and Stultz ended their professional relationship.

Stultz is primarily remembered today for his role as the pilot in the 1928 transatlantic flight aboard the “Friendship” airplane. During this flight, Stultz piloted the Fokker F7 (nicknamed the “Friendship”) that carried Amelia Earhart across the Atlantic Ocean. Although she was only a passenger on the flight, Earhart became instantly famous for being the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

Tragically, Stultz died in 1929 during a test flight. He was thirty years old. At the time of his death, he had over 2000 hours in the air and had flown 50 different types of planes.


1.04 Cubic Feet (One letter-size full-width manuscript box and two flat boxes)

Language of Materials


Physical Access Requirements

Photo alubum #1 is in fragile condition and must be handled with care.

Acquisition Information

Donated by Carol Pulk, as inherited from her mother, Blanche Botts Hecht and aunt, Mildred Botts Stultz, August 11, 2011.

Processing Information

All materials have been housed in acid-free folders and acid-free boxes. The photographs have been placed in polyester sleeves.
Wilmer and Mildred Stultz papers
Under Review
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description first completed 2018-08-01.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States