The son of a Pennsylvania country doctor, Arnold Family patriarch Henry “Hap” Arnold became one of best known figures in the US and around the world. He had been on the cover of Time, Look, Colliers and many other magazines. Before becoming a Sonoma Valley rancher in 1946, Hap was a Five Star General and commander of the largest and most powerful Air Force the world will ever see. That story starts in April 1911, when he became one of the first two Army pilots trained by the Wright Brothers at their school in Dayton, Ohio By the late 1930s, Hap Arnold knew on a close personal level almost all the designers, manufacturers, researchers, and pioneer pilots in the flying game.
One of these was Donald Douglas Sr., a friend since 1917 and the top aeronautical designer of his generation. Doug’s design, the Douglas World Cruiser, in 1924 completed the first around the world flight for the US Army establishing his company’s reputation for reliable aircraft. By World War II, Douglas Aircraft became the world’s leading aircraft company, best known today for their game changing DC-3. Douglas would build for the US Military as well, including thousands of C-47s, C-54s, attack planes and others into the jet age.