Dale L. White, Sr., (1899-1977) was a prominent African-American pilot, who, along with Chauncey Spencer, flew a 1939 "Goodwill Flight" from Chicago, Illinois, to Washington, DC, to lobby for African-Americans to be able to join the US Army Air Corps.
Born in Minden, Louisiana, White moved to Chicago, Illinois, in 1930. In 1932, he started to attend the Curtiss-Wright Aeronautical University. On August 18, 1933, White began his flight training and he received his license in June 1936. For the next decade, White was very active in Chicago African-American flying circles and was a member of the Challenger Air Pilots Association (CAPA), a group organized by Chicago-area African-American aviation enthusiasts.
In the spring of 1939, the CAPA decided to organize a "Goodwill Flight" to Washington, DC, to lobby for a change in legislation so the African-Americans could join the US Army Air Corps. Dale White was chosen to be the pilot and Chauncey Spencer was selected as the navigator for this flight. With a CAPA-secured rental of a Lincoln (Aircraft) Page LP-3 (New Swallow) biplane, White and Spencer left Chicago on May 8, 1939, for their 3000 mile round-trip. During their time in Washington, DC, White and Spencer had a scheduled meeting with Senators Slatttery and Everett Dirksen and chance meeting with then Senator Harry S. Truman, who in 1948 integrated the armed services by presidential order. After returning from their successful trip, White was chosen to drop a wreath on the grave of aviator Bessie Coleman, located in Lincoln Cemetery, Chicago, on a May day designated, "The Spirit of the late Bessie Coleman."
In August of 1939, the CAPA broadened its scope and was incorporated as the National Negro Airman's Association of America (NAAA), and White was elected to be vice president. During the rest of 1939, White made numerous flights in and around Chicago.
In 1940, White became an aircraft mechanic at Wright Patterson Field in Dayton, Ohio. White did not join the Tuskegee Airman as he was too old to apply, but he did continue to fly until June 1941, when he quit flying at the request of his wife. He retired from Wright Patterson in 1971 and died in 1977.