Arthur Welsh: The First American Jewish Aviator

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Arthur Welsh at the controls of a Wright C Flyer

Arthur Welsh at the controls of a Wright C Flyer at College Park, MD, 1912.
Photo courtesy of College Park Aviation Museum, Jesse Ayer Collection

The extraordinary life of the first American Jewish aviator began as a typical Jewish immigrant story. Laibel Wellcher was born on August 14, 1881, in Russia, one of six children of Abraham and Dvora Wellcher. In 1890 the family immigrated to Philadelphia, where Laibel attended public school and cheder (Hebrew school) until the death of his father.