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Frank M. Andrews. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-94369).

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Andrews, Frank Maxwell (03 February 1884–03 May 1943), army officer and airman, was born in Nashville, Tennessee, the son of James David Andrews, a newspaper reporter, and Louise Adeline Maxwell. He graduated from the Montgomery Bell Academy in 1901 and the following year gained admittance to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Graduating in 1906, Andrews was commissioned a second lieutenant in the cavalry. He spent the next eleven years drawing routine assignments in the American West, Hawaii, and the Philippines. In 1914 he married Jeanette Allen, the daughter of Major General ...

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Henry Harley "Hap" Arnold. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-92806).

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Arnold, Henry Harley (25 June 1886–15 January 1950), airman, was born in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania, the son of Herbert Alonzo Arnold, a physician, and Anna Louise Harley. Arnold received a public education and in 1903 entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. A mediocre student, he graduated in the middle of his class in 1907 and was commissioned a second lieutenant of infantry. He served four years with the Twenty-ninth Regiment in the Philippines and New York before volunteering for flight training with the Aviation Section of the Signal Corps. In April 1911 Arnold reported to Dayton, Ohio, and received instruction from the Wright brothers. Two months later he joined the army’s first cadre of military aviators. Arnold subsequently transferred to College Park, Maryland, as a flight instructor and on 1 June 1912 established a world altitude record of 6,540 feet. This act garnered him the first-ever Mackay trophy....

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Foulois, Benjamin Delahauf (09 December 1879–25 April 1967), U.S. Army officer and aviation pioneer, was born in Washington, Connecticut, the son of Henry Foulois, a plumber, and Sara Augusta Williams. After only eleven years of schooling he entered an apprenticeship with his father. Learning of the sinking of the ...

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Gantt, W. Horsley (24 October 1892–26 February 1980), psychophysiologist, was born William Andrew Horsley Gantt in Wingina, Virginia, the son of Thomas Perkins Gantt, a farmer, and Ann Maria Horsley, a schoolteacher. Although his father died in 1895, leaving the family impoverished, Horsley (as he was known) grew up as a member of the gentry: both of his grandfathers were physicians, and he lived on a farm that had been deeded to his father’s family in the mid-eighteenth century....

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Gorrell, Edgar Staley (03 February 1891–05 March 1945), aviator and industrialist, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, the son of Charles Edgar Gorrell, a carpenter, and Pamelia Smith. He entered the U.S. Military Academy in 1908, graduating in 1912 with a commission as a second lieutenant of infantry. In 1915 he attended the army’s Signal Corps Aviation School in Coronado, California, where he became a pilot. While serving with the First Aero Squadron during the Mexican Punitive Operation in 1916, he came to the attention of Brigadier General ...

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Kenney, George Churchill (06 August 1889–09 August 1977), air commander, was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, the son of Joseph Atwood Kenney and Louise Churchill. His parents were visiting Yarmouth at the time of his birth; the family lived in Brookline, Massachusetts, where he was reared. He attended the civil engineering program at Massachusetts Institute of Technology for three years but left without graduating in 1910 to take an engineering position with the Quebec Saguenay Railroad. He later worked as an engineer and construction manager with several companies, becoming president of Beaver Contracting and Engineering Corporation in 1916....

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Nissen, Henry Wieghorst (05 February 1901–27 April 1958), psychobiologist, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of parents who had immigrated from Germany; their names are unknown. His father was a bookkeeper for the Pabst Chemical Company. Nissen studied at the University of Illinois, where he read widely in German and English literature and received a B.A. in English in 1923. For the next three years Nissen worked in Chicago and New York as a correspondent and statistician for the Pupman Thurlow Company. In 1924 Nissen enrolled in night courses at Columbia University to begin study for an M.A. he also started working as an assistant in the psychology department of Barnard College. His interest and aptitude for psychology was noted by Dr. C. J. Warden, a professor of comparative psychology at Columbia, who encouraged Nissen to pursue a Ph.D. and enroll in graduate school full time. In 1927 Nissen married Jane Marion Stowby. They had two children, but later separated. Many years later Nissen married Kathy Hayes, coauthor of ...

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Richter, Curt Paul (20 February 1894–21 December 1988), psychobiologist and educator, was born in Denver, Colorado, the son of Paul Ernst Richter, an engineer and iron and steel firm owner, and Martha Dressler. After completing his high school education in Denver, Richter studied engineering at the Technische Hochschule in Dresden, Germany, from 1912 to 1915. When his stay in Germany was interrupted by World War I, he attended Harvard University and graduated with a B.S. in 1917. There, he was introduced to behavioral psychology by ...

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Schroeder, Rudolph William (14 August 1886–29 December 1952), aviation and flight safety pioneer, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of John August Schroeder and Nora Ann Reidy. Little is known of his early life beyond the facts that he attended Crane Technical High School in Chicago and that his father died before Schroeder completed school. He then went to work in a garage as an automobile mechanic. One of the other mechanics, Otto Brodie, learned to fly an airplane, and Schroeder became his mechanic about 1910. For several years, Schroeder toured the country, working with a number of early aviators....