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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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Andrews, George Leonard (31 August 1828–04 April 1899), soldier, engineer, and educator, was born in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, the son of Manasseh Andrews and Harriet Leonard. After attending the state normal school at Bridgewater, he was accepted as a candidate at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated at the head of the class of 1851 and was appointed second lieutenant of engineers. His first duty after graduation was in his home state, participating in the construction of Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. He then returned to the academy as an assistant professor....

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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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Charles Bendire. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-94579).

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Bendire, Charles Emil (27 April 1836–04 February 1897), naturalist and soldier, was born Karl Emil Bender at König im Odenwald in Hesse-Darmstadt (now in Germany). The identities of his parents are not known. At age twelve he began his studies at a theological seminary in Passy, France. Misconduct led to his departure five years later. In 1853 he immigrated to the United States and anglicized his name to Charles Bendire. The following year he joined the First Dragoons in the U.S. Army. During his second enlistment, which began in 1860, he became a sergeant and later hospital steward in the Fourth Cavalry....

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Samuel R. Curtis. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-2075).

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Curtis, Samuel Ryan (03 February 1805–26 December 1866), soldier and engineer, was born near Champlain, New York, the son of Zarah Curtis and Phalley Yale, farmers. In 1809 the family moved to Licking County, Ohio. Curtis obtained an appointment to the U.S. Military Academy and graduated in 1831. Later that year he married Belinda Buckingham; the couple had six children. Curtis served briefly with the Seventh Infantry at Fort Gibson, Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma), but resigned his commission in 1832 and returned to Ohio. During the next decade he worked as an engineer on the National Road and was the chief engineer of the Muskingum River improvement project. He also studied law and was admitted to the Ohio bar in 1841. Curtis was active in the Ohio militia and was named adjutant general of the state when the Mexican War began, but he resigned in order to command the Third Ohio Infantry in the field. Much to his disappointment, he saw no action in Mexico but served as military governor of Matamoras, Camargo, Monterrey, and Saltillo....

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Grenville M. Dodge. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-B8172-1672).

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Dodge, Grenville Mellen (12 April 1831–03 January 1916), civil engineer and army officer, was born in Danvers, Massachusetts, the son of Sylvanus Dodge, a peddler, and Julia Theresa Phillips. Despite a nearly impoverished childhood and the need to find employment at an early age, Dodge demonstrated a strong desire for a formal education. Following one semester of preparatory study at New Hampshire’s Durham Academy, he entered in 1848 Norwich University in Vermont, where he learned the scientific and engineering skills that would serve him well in life. After his graduation in 1851, he lived briefly at nearby Captain ...

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Clarence Edward Dutton. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-USZ62-37906).

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Dutton, Clarence Edward (15 May 1841–04 January 1912), geologist and soldier, was born in Wallingford, Connecticut, the son of Samuel Dutton (occupation unknown) and Emily Curtis. Little is known of Dutton’s youth. He graduated from Yale in 1860 without distinction, although he rowed crew, won the senior writing prize, and established credentials as a mathematician and a raconteur. He later spent two weeks at Yale’s theology school until, in his words, he left before he was thrown out. In September 1862 he joined the Twenty-first Connecticut Volunteers as adjutant. A year later he earned a captaincy and, after passing exams, transferred to the regular army in 1864. Soon afterward he married Emeline C. Babcock of New Haven; they had one child, a son. The Ordnance Corps remained his career despite “pretty rough service,” including serious wounds received at Fredericksburg. His postwar assignment to the Watervliet Arsenal near Troy, New York, however, launched his second, better-known career as a geologist....

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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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George Washington Goethals Photograph by Arnold Genthe, 1913. Courtesy of the Library of Congress (LC-G432-0358-A).

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Goethals, George Washington (29 June 1858–21 January 1928), engineer and military officer, was born in Brooklyn, New York, the son of John Louis Goethals, a carpenter, and Marie Le Barron. At the age of fourteen he entered the College of the City of New York. In April 1876, after three years of college, Goethals won a cadetship to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He graduated second in his class in 1880, a distinction that won for him a commission as second lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers....

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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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Greene, George Sears (06 May 1801–28 January 1899), civil engineer and soldier, was born in Apponaug, Rhode Island, the son of Caleb Greene, a shipowner, and Sarah Robinson. Greene attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from 1819 to 1823 and upon graduation became assistant professor of mathematics and engineering there. After four years of teaching, he served nine years in the artillery at posts in Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island. In 1828 he married Elizabeth Vinton, who died four years later....

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Hanger, James Edward (25 February 1843–09 June 1919), soldier and businessman, was born at his father's plantation, “Mt. Hope,” near Churchville, Augusta County, Virginia, the son of William Alexander Hanger, planter, and Eliza Hogshead Hanger. After receiving his early education in local schools, in 1859 he enrolled at Washington College (now Washington & Lee University) in Lexington, Virginia, where he studied engineering....

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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....