Display Status This object is not on display at the National Air and Space Museum. It is either on loan or in storage.

John B. Walker (1898-1986) was, at different points in his career, the founding Vice-President of TWA, the Assistant to the President for United Airlines, and the President of Walker & Crenshaw, Inc. Published works included two books, War in the Air and How to: Get Into Aviation. In addition to his professional positions, he was also a member of many associations and clubs, particularly aviation-related, including being an OX 5 Certified member of Aviation Pioneers and a founding member of the Wings Club. Significant to this collection was his extensive involvement with the creation and activities of the "Conquistadores del Cielo" (Conquerors of the Sky), of which he was a founding member, president, and chairman. The Conquistadores del Cielo were first thought up by Walker and TWA President Jack Frye while on a weekend trip to the Forked Lightning Ranch in New Mexico. After inviting fellow aviation executives and enthusiasts to share in a later weekend retreat, Walker and Frye developed the idea to begin a "club" with the spirit of aviation as its centerpiece. The original retreat was held in 1937. Conquistadores del Cielo was organized by the following year's (1938) retreat at the Brush... Valley and Forked Lightning Ranches.




Walker, John B. (John Byrnes), 1898-1986


[ca. 1930s-1980s]


Constance M. Walker, Gift, 2001, 2001-0015, unknown


0.1 Cubic feet ((2 folders))


No restrictions on access


Collection descriptions

Archival materials




Scope and Contents

This collection consists of materials from both John B. Walker's personal life and his association with the "Conquistadores del Cielo." Included are a photograph of Walker's office at United Airlines (featuring a large wall map of air routes), an eight page biographical sketch of John Byrnes Walker, a paperback booklet of the "Conquistadores del Cielo Initiation Scenario," a hardcover history of the "Conquistadores del Cielo," printed in 1982, based in part on the original account of John B. Walker, and a commemorative photo souvenir of the 1938 gathering of the "Conquistadores del Cielo" at the Brush... Valley and Forked Valley Ranches in New Mexico.






Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests


Conquistadores del Cielo

United Air Lines, Inc.

Walker, John B. (John Byrnes), 1898-1986

Topics Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States
Aeronautics, Commercial
Aeronautics -- Societies, etc.

Archival Repository

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Finding Aid Online Finding Aid