Photo of Henry H. Arnold

Henry H. (Hap) Arnold

Henry H. (Hap) Arnold (1886-1950) was commander of the Army Air Forces in World War II and the only air commander ever to attain the five-star rank of general of the armies. He was especially interested in the development of sophisticated aerospace technology to give the United States an edge in achieving air superiority. He fostered the development of such innovations as jet aircraft, rocketry, rocket-assisted takeoff, and supersonic flight. After a lengthy career as an Army aviator and commander that spanned the two World Wars, he retired from active service in 1945. See Henry H. Arnold, Global Mission (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949); Flint O. DuPre, Hap Arnold: Architect of American Air Power (New York: Macmillan, 1972); Thomas M. Coffey, Hap: The Story of the U.S. Air Force and the Man Who Built It (New York: Viking, 1982).


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Updated September 18, 1997

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