General of the Air Force Henry “Hap” Arnold was born on June 25, 1886, in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. He was an early supporter of military air power, and later became the Air Force’s first five-star general.
On June 22, 1946, US Airmail was carried by jet for the first time. The flight was part of an event to showcase how GE’s aviation products could positively impact people’s lives and the future.
Jacqueline Cochran was born Bessie Lee Pittman on May 11, 1906, in Pensacola, Florida. The first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound, she held more speed, altitude, and distance records than any other pilot, male or female, in the world.
On April 1, 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower created the Air Force Academy to train officers. During its more than 60 year history, the academy has had over 52,000 graduates move on to become US Air Force officers.
On December 17, 1925, the seven-week court-martial of World War I aviation pioneer Billy Mitchell came to an end. He was charged for his public criticism of the military in its rejection of the importance of air power.
On December 15, 1944, big band leader and composer Glenn Miller was aboard a plane that disappeared over the English Channel. Miller had put his successful civilian music career on hold to serve in the US Army during World War II.
On September 28, 1933, an investigation was launched into the awarding of contracts for airmail flights. The Airmail Fiasco, as it was also known, eventually led to wide-scale improvements to the airline industry and modernization of the Army Air Corps.
On August 12, 1918, the US Post Office Department took over control of airmail service from the US Army Air Service. Under the Post Office Department, the service flourished, leading to transcontinental airmail service, which was eventually taken over by private companies.