Arnold, Henry

Arnold, (Henry Harley) “Hap”

(1886–1950) soldier, aviator; born in Gladwyne, Pa. A physician's son, he graduated from West Point in 1907 and served in the infantry before transferring to the Signal Corps. Bored with garrison routine, Arnold volunteered for flight training, receiving instruction from no less an authority than Orville Wright, and obtained a pilot's license in 1911. An ally of air visionary William Mitchell, Arnold became a leading advocate of air power during the 1920s and 1930s. As commander of the Army Air Corps (1938) and, from 1941 onward, as chief of the Army Air Forces, he built a mighty air fleet—64,000 aircraft and 2.4 million men—and developed strategic and tactical air doctrine, including the massive long-range bombing of Germany and Japan. Arnold retired in 1946, a year before the air force became an independent service. Given a fifth star as a general of the army in 1944, his commission was changed to general of the air force in 1949. Arnold wrote several books, including This Flying Game (1936) and Global Mission (1949).
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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Officers Connected with the 1934 Alaskan Flight 1934 rank final rank Main Party Arnold, Henry H.