Mar. 26, 1949 San Carlos San Mateo County California, USA
Acclaimed aerial photographer, stratosphere balloonist, MacKay Trophy winner (twice) and winner of the Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster. Albert was born the third child of Nathan Whitten and Alice Anderson. Alice died 5 months after Albert was born and he was adopted by Andrew and Nancy Stevens. Albert grew up in Belfast, Maine, and then attended the University of Maine eventually graduating in 1909 with a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineer. During his college days he became an experienced photographer. For the next 8 years he worked as an engineer in the gold fields of Idaho, Alaska, California and Montana. He enlisted in the U. S. Air Service in January 1918 at the age of 31. He was commissioned a 1st Lt. and after attending the aerial photography school at Cornell University, he served with distinction during WWI as the commanding officer of the 6th Photo Section. Stevens became arguably the best aerial photographer of the First World War having perfected the art of oblique photography. He won the Purple Heart during the war. For the next several years, he was one of the leading aerial photographers for the U. S. Army Air Corps. He also took aerial photographs for the National Geographic Society. During 1934 and 1935, he was the driving force behind the Explorer and Explorer II Stratosphere Balloon Flights sponsored by the National Geographic Society with cooperation from the U. S. Army Air Corps. On November 11, 1935, he and Capt. Orvil A. Anderson set a new altitude record of 72, 395 ft. inside the Explorer II Gondola. This record stood for 20 years. Stevens’ last great achievement came on June 8, 1937 when he took the “perfect” photo of the total eclipse of the sun from 25, 000 ft. over Chile while working for the Hayden Planetarium. He was medically discharged from the Army in April 1942 and died at his home in San Carlos, CA. His only marriage was to Ruth Fischer on August 8, 1938. They had no children. (bio by: Charles Gannon)
Photos may be scaled. Click on image for full size.
Dear LtCol Stevens, Thank you for your meritorious service in lighter-than-air aviation and arial photography during and after the Great War. Your record setting flight in Explorer II stood for over 20 years. May you always be lovingly remembered. Rest In...(Read more) -
E49 Added: May. 6, 2015
Happy Birthday.................... -
a sincere fan Added: Mar. 13, 2015