Display Status:

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

Collection Item Summary:

This collection includes photographs of most of the members, and some of their aircraft and crash sites. There are also detailed reports of each of the 700 documented emergency parachute jumps as well as newspaper articles and correspondence about the Caterpillar Club and Lt. Col. Falk Harmel, who maintained this collection.

Collection Item Long Description:


  • Aeronautics
  • Aircraft accidents
  • Parachutes
  • Aircraft survival equipment
  • Periodicals

Data Source

National Air and Space Museum Archives

Restrictions & Rights

No restrictions on access


Caterpillar Club


Caterpillar Club

Physical description

1.35 cubic feet (3 legal document boxes)


  • 1922
  • 1922-1940


The Caterpillar Club originated in October 1922 at Wright Field, Ohio, when a suggestion was made to start a club composed only of persons whose lives were saved by the use of the parachute when forced to leave an aircraft in flight. The name comes from the fact that parachutes were made from silk, produced from the caterpillar cocoon. By 1940 there were some 700 members of the Caterpillar Club, including such noteworthy members as Charles Lindbergh

Repository Loc.

National Air and Space Museum, Archives Division, MRC 322, Washington, DC, 20560


  • Correspondence
  • Collection descriptions
  • Photographs
  • Publications

Local number