Query: *
Frank Purdy Lahm Collection
Lahm, Frank Purdy, 1877-1963
bulk 1912-1930
1.04 Linear feet
1.09 Cubic feet (1 records center box; 1 flatbox)
Collection ID:
National Air and Space Museum Archives

Major General Frank Purdy Lahm (1877-1963) was the first balloon pilot, the first airship pilot, and the first airplane pilot in the US Army. Like his father, Frank Samuel Lahm, his early interest was in ballooning, and in 1906 he won the James Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race. In 1909 Lahm and Lt. Frederick E. Humphreys were trained by Orville and Wilbur Wright to fly the first plane the US Army purchased from the Wrights. In 1912 he was made commanding officer of the US Army Flying School in the Philippines, and during World War I he was commander of the Second Army Air Service. Following the war Lahm founded the Air Corps Training Center at Randolph Field, a source of great pride to him, but was reassigned in 1931 as air attaché and later military attaché to France and Belgium. When Lahm retired from the military in 1941 he had distinguished himself as recipient of the Distinguished Service Medal and the French Legion of Honor. This collection consists of photographs and news clippings detailing Lahm's military career and his personal life.