Roger Q. Williams, American Aviation Pioneer

Roger Williams with his plane. Roger Williams papers, Box 14, "Roger Q. Williams, ca 1917-1964 and undated."

A finding aid for the previously unprocessed Roger Q. Williams papers has been created. Williams (1894-1976) was an early aviator and barnstormer of the 20thcentury. He is perhaps best known for his flight with Lewis Yancey from Old Orchard Beach, Maine to Rome, Italy (the flight included a short stop in Santander, Spain for parts).

Williams and Lewis Yancey after their flight to Rome in 1929. Roger Q. Williams papers, Box 14. "Roger Q. Williams, ca. 1917-1964, undated." American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

It broke the previously held over-water nonstop flight record. He served as a pilot in the U.S. Army Air Force during World War II and later established his own flight school, the Roger Q. Williams School of Aeronautics. Williams took time to write of his experiences as an aviator in a weekly syndicated column, “Up Currents,” and a book, To the Moon and Halfway Back.

Thea Rasche (triangle sweater) with Francis Harrell (at right), female stunt pilots, 1927. Roger Q. Williams papers, Box 14, "Thea Rasche" folder. American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.

The Roger Q. Williams papers document the career of Williams but also contain a wide selection of photographs that are much like a who’s who in aviation from the 1920s to the 1940s. Additionally, historical aviation and geographic photographs collected throughout his career are present in the collection.

–Kathryn Brooks, Processing Archivist

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4 Responses to Roger Q. Williams, American Aviation Pioneer

  1. Thank you for putting these pictures on-line. I knew Roger Q. Sr. personally, because he was my father-in-law. He used to tell stories of his exciting career, which I’m sorry to say, I didn’t listen very closely too. But I do remember him talking about Amelia Erhart, and “Lucky” Lindberg. You may email me if you wish. Sincerely, Ms. Rowene M. (Williams) Conn

  2. Audrey Benner says:

    Col. Roger Q. Williams, aka my stepdad, was a great man and I loved him dearly! Audrey (Williams) Benner

  3. Lynette Calhoun says:

    A cigarette case was inscribed with the following:
    24 votes for Honey Kleugh.
    Roger Q Williams The Pathfinder
    July27, 1929
    Lewis A Yancy
    September 14, 1930 “Heaven”?

    What is the meaning of 24 votes for Honey?

    • mmarcusse says:

      Thank you for the question Lynette, one of our reference archivists will look through the Roger Q. Williams and see if they can find an answer for you. Questions can take up to 60 days to be answered.

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