Laurence C. Craigie

Laurence C. Craigie (1902-1994) was a career Air Force officer, and the first U.S. military jet pilot in 1942, when he flew the Bell XP-59. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, in 1923 he went into the Army Air Corps and became a pilot. In World War II he served in a variety of weapons development programs, as well as in a combat role in North Africa and Corsica. After the war, he directed the Air Force's research and development programs, serving as chief of the engineering division at Wright Field during the X-1 testing, USAF deputy chief of staff for development, 1951-1954, and commander of Allied Air Force in Southern Europe before his retirement following a heart attack in 1955. See "Lieut. Gen. Laurence Craigie, 92: First Military Jet Pilot for the U.S.," New York Times, March 1, 1994.


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