Marvin J. "Jerry" Gordon Papers

Collection Summary

Title: Marvin J. "Jerry" Gordon Papers
Call Number: MS 2017-11
Size: 3.5 linear feet (5 boxes)
Acquisition: Donated by Mrs. Marvin J. Gordon, 8-2001
Processed by: JZ, 10-2016
Restrictions: Box 5 is restricted

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher, to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

This collection contains the papers of aeronautical engineer Marvin J. "Jerry" Gordon, who worked primarily at Beech and Boeing from 1940 through 1982. Record types include correspondence, technical reports, notes, press clippings, promotional material, corporate publications, and images.


Marvin Jerome "Jerry" Gordon was born on March 16, 1916, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. As a youth he enjoyed making and flying gliders. Gordon attended the University of Oklahoma and then New York University, graduating in 1938 with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He then worked for DuBois Aircraft and Equipment Corporation and Grumman Aircraft Corporation before joining Beech in August 1940. Gordon contributed significantly to the design and postwar production of the Beech Bonanza, the company's most enduring airplane, while rising through the engineering ranks to become chief of aerodynamics and preliminary design in 1954, and then manager of commercial engineering in 1960. He also taught aeronautical engineering as a part-time instructor at the University of Wichita during the 1940s and 1950s.

After splitting with Beech in 1965, Gordon worked for Boeing on its Supersonic Transport program before becoming director of product planning at Aero Commander in 1966. Following this stint, he returned to Boeing, where he was the engineering manager for the company's modification center until retiring in 1982. Gordon was inducted into the Oklahoma Aviation and Space Hall of Fame in 1999. He died in Wichita on February 27, 2000, survived by his widow Vee Shawver Gordon.

Detailed Description: Series Listing

Series 1 Box 1 FF 1-15, Box 5 Personal. This series contains personal and educational material relating to Jerry Gordon, 1936-1972. Items include academic transcripts, coursework, correspondence, records on aircraft owned by Gordon, and professional certificates. Material is arranged by subject.
Series 2 Box 1 FF 16-Box 3 FF 9 Engineering. This series contains correspondence, technical reports, press clippings, promotional material, corporate publications, speeches, and images documenting Jerry Gordon's career in aeronautical engineering, 1939-1966. Material is arranged chronologically by company name and then by subject.
Series 3 Box 3 FF 10-Box 4 Images and Press Material. This series contains clippings and images of Jerry Gordon, associates (including Danny Kaye visiting Beech), and various aircraft, 1947-1966. Some collected press material is included in this series.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Series 1 ‒ Personal

Box 1FF 1Academic papers and transcripts, 1936, n.d.
Box 1FF 2Airplane calculators, charts, computers, and tables, 1938-1960, n.d.
Box 1FF 3Airplane Design (textbook), 1937
Box 1FF 4Clippings on Gordon and associates, 1939-1972
Box 1FF 5Correspondence, 1936-1963
Box 1FF 6Correspondence with Gordon family, 1951-1952, n.d.
Box 1FF 7Flight test course at the University of Wichita, 1947-1951, n.d.
Box 1FF 8Flying history of Jerry Gordon, 1946-1963, n.d.
Box 1FF 9Gliders, 1941-1945, n.d.
Box 5FF 1Medical records, 1962-1964
Box 1FF 10Other courses taught by Gordon, 1940s
Box 1FF 11Other personal records of Gordon, 1939-1940, n.d.
Box 1FF 12Piper PA-12, 1947-1949, n.d.
Box 1FF 13Pilot and professional certificates, 1939-1963
Box 1FF 14Taylorcraft BL-12, 1940-1946, n.d.
Box 1FF 15U.S. Army Officers' Reserve Corps, 1936-1942

Series 2 ‒ Engineering

Box 1FF 16Dubois Aviation, 1939-1940, n.d.
Box 1FF 17Beech ‒ Aerodynamics binder (1 of 2), 1945-1960
Box 1FF 18Beech ‒ Aerodynamics binder (2 of 2), 1945-1960
Box 1FF 19Beech ‒ Aerodynamics reports for Models A11 and C35, 1946, 1951
Box 1FF 20Beech ‒ Beech Bonanza 35 Shop Manual, 1965
Box 1FF 21Beech ‒ Beech Bonanza material, 1946-1951, n.d.
Box 1FF 22Beech ‒ Brochures and sales sheets, 1946-1962
Box 1FF 23Beech ‒ Correspondence, 1940-1964
Box 1FF 24Beech ‒ Engineering department reorganization, 1960-1963
Box 1FF 25Beech ‒ France trip, 1960
Box 1FF 26Beech ‒ King Air Pilot's Operating Manual, 1964
Box 1FF 27Beech ‒ King Air Shop Manual, 1964
Box 2FF 1Beech ‒ Model 50 Twin Bonanza flight manual, 1951
Box 2FF 2Beech ‒ Model PD66-5-9 Multi-Engine Utility Transport, 1954
Box 2FF 3Beech ‒ NAA altitude record, 1947-1960
Box 2FF 4Beech ‒ Notebook, 1948-1950
Box 2FF 5Beech ‒ Other, 1941-1964
Box 2FF 6Beech ‒ Pat Boling's flight across the Pacific, 1958
Box 2FF 7Beech ‒ Rhein-Flugzeubau, 1956-1958
Box 2FF 8Beech ‒ Sales Development Program binder (1 of 2), 1950s
Box 2FF 9Beech ‒ Sales Development Program binder (2 of 2), 1950s
Box 2FF 10Beech ‒ "Weight and Balance: Why Bother?" (article for AOPA Pilot), 1961-1962, n.d.
Box 2FF 11Boeing ‒ Boeing Management Association album, 1965
Box 2FF 12Boeing ‒ Memos by Gordon, 1965-1966
Box 2FF 13Boeing ‒ Notebook for meetings, 1965-1966
Box 2FF 14Boeing ‒ Related articles and reports, 1964-1966
Box 2FF 15Boeing ‒ Reliability documents, 1965
Box 2FF 16Boeing ‒ Reliability reports and correspondence (1 of 2), 1959-1966
Box 2FF 17Boeing ‒ Reliability reports and correspondence (2 of 2), 1959-1966
Box 2FF 18Boeing ‒ Travel expense reports, 1965
Box 2FF 19Boeing ‒ Value engineering, 1962-1966
Box 2FF 20Aero Commander ‒ Brochures and comparative data for competitors (1 of 2), 1965-1966
Box 2FF 21Aero Commander ‒ Brochures and comparative data for competitors (2 of 2), 1965-1966
Box 2FF 22Aero Commander ‒ Correspondence, 1966
Box 2FF 23Aero Commander ‒ Expense reports, 1966
Box 2FF 24Aero Commander ‒ Forms, 1966
Box 2FF 25Aero Commander ‒ Progress reports, 1966
Box 3FF 1American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 1963, 1965
Box 3FF 2Articles, 1947-1966, n.d.
Box 3FF 3FAA list of designated engineering representatives, 1965
Box 3FF 4Other, 1948-1964, n.d.
Box 3FF 5Press clippings on aviation, 1948-1964
Box 3FF 6Promotional material for aviation companies, 1946-1964
Box 3FF 7Reports and drawings, 1939-1942, n.d.
Box 3FF 8Society of Automotive Engineers, 1947, 1965-1966
Box 3FF 9Speeches, 1947-1948, 1958, 1960-1963, n.d.

Series 3 ‒ Images and Press Material

Box 3FF 10Negatives, 1951, 1959, n.d.
Box 3FF 11Photographs (1 of 2), 1950s-1960s
Box 4FF 1Photographs (2 of 2), 1950s-1960s
Box 4FF 2Photographs ‒ Beech aircraft, 1951, n.d.
Box 4FF 3Photographs ‒ Wright Air Force Base, 1961