Skip to main content
COLLECTION Identifier: A/W722; M-129

Papers of Clarence Strong Williams, 1907-1971


Scrapbook, photographs, course plots, etc., of Clarence Strong Williams, navigational consultant to aviator Amelia Earhart.


  • 1907-1971

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Access. Originals are closed; use microfilm M-129.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Clarence Strong Williams as well as copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures.


13 folders (5 folders, 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 2 oversize folders, 4 photograph folders)
The original scrapbook containing Clarence Strong Williams's correspondence, course plots and flight analyses, poems, photographs, clippings, and miscellaneous papers has been dismantled, to the extent possible, for preservation and filming purposes; some items could not be removed. The contents have been sorted by type of material, when possible, and arranged chronologically within each folder. Although most of the papers relate to Amelia Earhart, there is additional material on Williams's navigational work for other pilots, schools, and corporations. There is little personal material.


Clarence Strong Williams was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1890, and graduated from Northfield (Minnesota) High School in 1908. He edited the Minneapolis Chronicle (1910?-1914), attended the Northwestern College of Law (graduating in 1914), assisted his brother and sister in publishing the Chicago County News (1914-1917), and practiced law (1914-1917). In 1915 he joined the Minnesota Naval Militia, and later served in the United States Naval Reserve (June 1917 - September 1919). In August 1918 he married Zita Stafford; their daughter, Enid Roberta Williams, was born in March 1923. The marriage ended in divorce.

Settling in southern California, Williams worked in the real estate, insurance, and building fields (1921-1928), and taught aviation subjects in various schools. A navigational consultant, he established a reputation as a navigational "wizard," plotting courses and preparing flight analyses for Amelia Earhart and other outstanding pilots for their record-breaking flights. He remarried in 1934, to Gladys Vivienne Culver.

During World War II, Williams headed the navigation department of the Navy's midshipmen's school at Northwestern University (September 1940 - November 1941); served as a convoy commander in the Pacific (March-June 1942); and then commanded the submarine repair dock at Pearl Harbor. In 1945 he was promoted to captain, and served until released to inactive duty in November 1946. He retired from the United States Naval Reserves in 1948. Williams died in December 10, 1971, in California.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession number: 79-M112, 80-M247

The papers of Clarence Strong Williams were given to the Schlesinger Library in May 1979 and November 1980 by his daughter, Enid R. Williams. They have been processed and microfilmed with funds provided by Joan R. Challinor.

Processing Information

Processed: April 1990

By: Katherine Kraft
Link to catalog
Williams, Clarence Strong, 1890-1971. Papers of Clarence Strong Williams, 1907-1971: A Finding Aid
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future.

3 James St.
Cambridge MA 02138 USA
(617) 495-8647