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Memorandum to the President1
August 29, 1941 [Washington, D.C.]
Colonel Frank P. Lahm retires from active service on November 30th at 64 years of age. He is our oldest Army pilot and he was the first military aviator in the world. He gained air prominence by winning the first Gordon Bennett International Balloon Race in a flight from Paris to Dale, England. He designed the admirably arranged Air Corps Pilot School at Randolph Field and, I understand, has never seen the place since he laid out the plot.
I submit his name to you for appointment as a temporary Major General, as a temporary recognition of his past services. It would only be effective until November 30th. I have in mind ordering him to Randolph Field for the day of his retirement in order that appropriate ceremonies may mark this occasion.
May I have your approval for his nomination?2
Document Copy Text Source: George C. Marshall Papers, Pentagon Office Collection, General Materials, George C. Marshall Research Library, Lexington, Virginia.
Document Format: Typed memorandum.
1. This document was written by Marshall for the secretary of war’s signature.
2. On September 9, 1908, Lahm (U.S.M.A., 1901) became the first army officer to fly as a passenger in a Wright Brothers aircraft. On October 26, 1909, he and Fredric F. Humphreys (U.S.M.A., 1906) became the first certified military pilots. Lahm received temporary promotion to major general from September 15 to November 29, 1941, and he commanded the Gulf Coast Air Corps Training Center with headquarters at Randolph Field, Texas, from October 1941 until he retired with the rank of brigadier general on November 30, 1941.
Recommended Citation: The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, ed. Larry I. Bland, Sharon Ritenour Stevens, and Clarence E. Wunderlin, Jr. (Lexington, Va.: The George C. Marshall Foundation, 1981- ). Electronic version based on The Papers of George Catlett Marshall, vol. 2, “We Cannot Delay,” July 1, 1939-December 6, 1941 (Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1986), pp. 596-597.