Captain Jimmy Douglass Approach Plates

(Written by Jim Douglass, son of Captain Jimmy Douglass)


In 1944 and ’45, Jimmy Douglass flew C-54s for the Army Air Forces from Presque Isle, Maine across the North Atlantic.  Either as part of his duties or as an intellectual exercise, he hand drew instrument approach plates for many of the airfields he visited during those 20 months.  The example we have included (below) is for Stevenville Air Base, in Newfoundland, and it appears to have been drawn in the early summer of 1945.  Like this one, all these approach plates show the approach and missed approach procedures for the fields.  He regularly used these plates until he was transferred to California to fly the Pacific routes in August, 1945.


After joining Southwest Airways in December of 1946 he saw a need for similar approach plates to assist pilots flying into airports throughout the SWA system.  Either on his own initiative or at the request of the Company, Jimmy drew approach plates for many of the airports on the system and shared them with his fellow pilots.  At some point, the SWA GO decided to pay Jimmy for his work and asked him to complete making plates for the entire system.  Jimmy’s hand drawn approach plates were then professionally reproduced by Southwest for use by all Southwest pilots.  Attached are several of the approach plates which were reproduced by SWA, plus one example of a “work in progress.”  We also have Jimmy’s bill to Southwest Airways for one submittal of plates.  Depending on the complexity of the information depicted, he charged either $5 or $8 per airport.


WWII, Stevenville Air Base, Newfoundland

Stevenville, Newfoundland


SWA Bill – August 6, 1946

1 JMDouglass Bill to SWA


Crescent City, Ca. (CEC)

Crescent City Plate


Chico, Ca. (CIC)

Chico Plate


Fort Bragg, Ca. (LLR)                     Airport code was originally MCO

Fort Bragg Little River Plate


Los Angeles, Ca.-1 (LAX)

Los Angeles Plate Raw 1


Los Angeles, Ca.-2 (LAX)       Obviously Jimmy’s notes used for input for his LAX plate creation.

Los Angeles Plate Raw 2


Los Angeles, Ca.-3 (LAX)

Los Angeles Plate


Medford, Or. (MFR)

Medford Plate


Monterey, Ca. (MRY)

Monterey Plate


Marysville, Ca. (MYV)

Marysville Plate


Oakland, Ca.-1 (OAK)

Oakland Plate No.1


Oakland, Ca.-2 (OAK)

Oakland Plate No.2


Red Bluff, Ca. (RBL)

Red Bluff Plate


Sacramento, Ca. (SAC)

Sacramento Plate


Santa Barbara, Ca.  (SBA)

Santa Barbara Plate


Santa Maria, Ca.  (SMX)

 Santa Maria Plate


Santa Rosa, Ca. (STS)

Santa Rosa Plate


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