Selfridge, Thomas Etholen, 1st Lt

 Service Photo   Service Details
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Last Rank
First Lieutenant
Primary Unit
1907-1908, Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps
Service Years
1899 - 1908
First Lieutenant

 Last Photo   Personal Details 

41 kb

Home State
Year of Birth
This Military Service Page was created/owned by SSgt Robert Bruce McClelland, Jr. to remember Selfridge, Thomas Etholen, 1st Lt.

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Contact Info
Home Town
San Francisco, California
Last Address
Fort Myer, Virginia

Date of Passing
Sep 17, 1908
Location of Interment
Arlington National Cemetery - Arlington, Virginia
Wall/Plot Coordinates
Section 3, Lot 2158

 Official Badges 

 Unofficial Badges 

 Military Association Memberships
National Aviation Hall of FameIn the Line of Duty
  1965, National Aviation Hall of Fame
  2014, In the Line of Duty

 Additional Information
Last Known Activity
He was a pioneer of early aviation in the US. He was 1 of 3 pilots trained to fly Army Dirigible Nr. 1; and he was the 1st military officer to fly solo in any aircraft, among other accomplishments. He was killed at Fort Myer, VA while a passenger in a Wright Flyer piloted by Orville Wright. It crashed after a propellor broke; Selfridge's skull was fractured and Wright sustained severe injuries. Selfridge probably would have lived if wearing a helmet and this led to most pilots wearing them.
Selfridge Field, later AFB, now ANGB, in Harrison Township, MI was named for him. He is also memorialized on a cenotaph at the USMA Post Cemetery at West Point.
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 Unit Assignments
US Army (USA)/US Military Academy West PointUS Army (USA)Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps
  1899-1903, US Army (USA)/US Military Academy West Point
  1903-1907, US Army (USA)
  1907-1908, Aeronautical Division, Signal Corps
 Colleges Attended 
United States Military Academy
  1899-1903, United States Military Academy
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