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June 11: Flight Instructor for the Wright Brothers

June 10, 2016

welshwrightRussian-born Arthur L. Welsh (Laibel Welcher), the world’s first Jewish aviator, died in a flight-test crash in Maryland on this date in 1912, at age 30. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Welsh learned to be a pilot from Orville Wright and then established the Wright Brothers’ first flight school at Huffman Prairie in Dayton, Ohio — the site of many of their early flight exhibitions. Orville attended Welsh’s funeral, which took place less than two weeks after Wilbur Wright’s death from typhoid fever. Welsh’s best-known student was Hap Arnold, who became the five-star general leading the United States Army Air Corps during World War II.

Welsh “taught me all he knew, or rather, he had taught me all he could teach. He knew much more.” --Hap Arnold