Arthur Welsh: The First American Jewish Aviator

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Arthur Welsh and Lieutenant Henry H. Arnold

Arthur Welsh (left) and Lieutenant Henry H. (Hap) Arnold, in Dayton, 1911
Photo courtesy of National Air and Space Museum (NASM 00150999), Smithsonian Institution

In early 1911, Welsh resumed teaching at the Wright Flying School in Dayton. Later that summer the Wrights put him in charge of their new flying school in Long Island, NY. Among the people Welsh trained in Dayton was Henry H. (Hap) Arnold, who later became a five-star General and the U.S. Army Air Chief of Staff during World War II. In a letter written in 1930 to Welsh’s stepsister, Clara Wiseman, Arnold wrote, "The pioneers in the aviation game were the ones who took all the risks and received little in exchange for their daring. Al was one of these pioneers. I admired him very much for the work he was doing, the manner in which he did it, and his personal characteristics."