Arnold, Henry Harley, GA

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Last Rank
General of the Army
Last Service Branch
Last Primary MOS
00GC-Commanding General
Last MOS Group
General Officer
Primary Unit
1949-1950, US Air Force
Service Years
1907 - 1946


General of the Army

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

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Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SFC Ken Logue-Deceased to remember Arnold, Henry Harley (Hap), GA.

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Contact Info
Home Town
Gladwyne, Pennsylvania
Last Address
Sonoma, California

Date of Passing
Jan 15, 1950
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Plot: Section 34, Lot 44-A

 Official Badges 

US Army Retired (Pre-2007)

 Unofficial Badges 

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
United States Army/Air Force General. World War II Leader. He was a member of the USMA class of 1907. While at West Point, he had been given the nickname "Hap" because of his cheerful disposition. In 1911 he was assigned to the Aeronautical Division of the Signal Corps. Thereafter, his name would be synonymous with flying. It was during that year that he completed flight training with Orville and Wilbur Wright. He became only the 29th pilot to be licensed in the United States. His career was highlighted by one first after another. In September 1911, he carried the first United States air shipments; on June 1, 1912, he attained the record altitude of 6,540 feet; and in October 1912, he won aviation's first MacKay Trophy for a 30-mile round-trip flight from College Park, Maryland, to Fort Myer, Virginia. He also was part of the group of pilots that pioneered air refueling techniques, as well as airborne patrolling of forest fires. On July 6, 1924, he established a new speed record of 113 miles per hour between Rockwell, California and San Francisco, and in 1934, he received a second coveted MacKay Trophy for outstanding achievement in flying; this time for commanding ten bombers on a round-trip flight from Washington D.C., to Fairbanks, Alaska. During World War I, he was appointed head of the Army's Aviation Training School. By 1938, he had rose to Major General, Chief of the Army Air Corps. By the time the United States entered World War II, the production of the aircraft industry had increased sixfold, due primarily to his influence and leadership. He was promoted to Lieutenant General in 1941, and was commissioned as aviation's first full General in 1943. He was recognized by President Harry S. Truman on December 21, 1945, with a promotion to the rank of five-star General of the Army. It was largely through his efforts that the United States Air Force became a separate branch of military service. In fact, his role in transforming the old Army Air Corps into a modern air force won him the unofficial title of "Father of the United States Air Force." He retired to his farm in Sonoma, California, in March 1946. However, in 1949 in recognition of his unequaled contribution to the United States' flying forces, he was commissioned General of the Air Force, the first such commission ever given, and one which made him the only person in American military history to attain that rank in both the Army and Air Force. He published his autobiography, Global Mission, in 1949, and died on his Sonoma ranch in 1950. As he had always considered himself "just a regular Joe," in his will he requested that his grave be marked by a simple regulation headstone. A visit to his grave is often requested by many visiting dignitaries. They are always surprised and moved to see that the grave of such an aviation pioneer is so simply marked. Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 34, where two of his sons, William Bruce Arnold, Colonel, USAF and David Lee Arnold, Colonel, USAF are also buried.
Other Comments:
Interred in Arlington National Cemetery, Section 34, where two of his sons, William Bruce Arnold, Colonel, USAF and David Lee Arnold, Colonel, USAF are also buried.

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AAF Command Pilot Badge
Military Aviator Badge

 Unit Assignments/ Advancement Schools
1st Battalion (Cadre) 29th InfantryU.S. ArmyDepartment of the Army (DA)1st Battalion, 13th Infantry
Army Garrisons503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne)US Army Air Force (USAAF)US Army Forces Command (FORSCOM)
US Air Force
  1907-1909, 1st Battalion (Cadre) 29th Infantry
  1909-1911, 1st Battalion (Cadre) 29th Infantry
  1911-1911, WOFWAC Warrant Officer Fixed Wing Aviator Course
  1911-1913, (232 AIT) Switchboard Installer-Repairman Course
  1913-1913, Department of the Army (DA)
  1914-1916, 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry
  1916-1918, Department of the Army (DA)
  1926-1927, HHC, Army Garrison, Fort Riley, KS
  1928-1929, HHD, 503rd Military Police Battalion (Airborne)
  1936-1938, Department of the Army (DA)
  1942-1943, US Army Air Force (USAAF)
  1944-1945, HQ Forces Command (FORSCOM)
  1945-1946, US Army Air Force (USAAF)
  1949-1950, US Air Force
 Combat and Non-Combat Operations
  1917-1918 World War I
  1941-1945 World War II
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1903-1907, United States Military Academy
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