Home » 1980s, Aviation, Masonic, Military » Gen. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold – Masonic First Day Cover – WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154 FDC

Gen. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold – Masonic First Day Cover – WWI Commemorative Stamp #2154 FDC

Scott #2154 Masonic First Day Cover

General Henry “Hap” Arnold – Pioneer Airman & Freemason

Gen. Hap Arnold was a true pioneer airman, having been taught the fine points of flying by the Wright Brothers. His amazing military career spanned from West Point graduating class of 1907 to commanding the Army  Air Force during World War II as a five-star general and becoming know as the ‘father of modern day U.S. Air Force.’

Instructed by the Wright Brothers

After West Point, Arnold served at Governor’s Island in New York before transferring to the Signal Corps in 1911. It was during this time in Dayton, Ohio, that he took instruction from the Wright Brothers for two months in operating the  Wright Biplane–just eight years after the Wright Brothers’ historic first flight in 1903. With this, Hap Arnold became one of the first earliest military aviators.

Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold seated in biplane 1912

From Student to Instructor to ‘Father’ of Modern Day U.S. Air Force

Following his instruction from the Wright Brothers, Arnold became an instructor in aviation in College  Park, Maryland. He transferred to Georgia in 1912 where he set the altitude record by reaching a height of 6,540 feet. He continued to rise through the ranks. In 1938, Hap Arnold became Major General and Chief of the Air Corps, then in 1941 rose to Chief, Army Air Force and became a three-star general. He later directed all aviation activities in the war against Germany and Japan, with 2.5 million troops and 75,000 aircraft under his command. Gen. Arnold retired in 1946, having received numerous recognitions during his career, including three Distinguished Service Crosses, Distinguished Flyer Cross, and Air Medals. He also wrote an autobiography, Global Mission (Military Classics Series).

General  Henry Hap Arnold and General George Marshall during Potsdam Conference

Gen. George C. Marshall, U. S. Army Chief of Staff, and Gen. Henry “Hap” Arnold, Commanding General, U. S. Army Air Forces, arrive at the residence of Prime Minister Winston Churchill for a dinner given by the British Prime Minister for President Truman and Soviet leader Josef Stalin during the Potsdam Conference.

Freemason Henry “Hap” Arnold

Bro. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold was raised on November 3, 1927, in Union Lodge  No. 7 in Junction City, Kansas. He received 33 degree A.A.S.R. on October 19, 1945.

Masonic Lodges Named After Gen. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold

Several lodges have been named after Gen. Arnold, including:

Gen. Henry H. Arnold Lodge No. 791 at Edwards Air Force Base in Rosamond, California

Hap Arnold Lodge No. 457 in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Please let me know if I’m missing any lodges!

Gen. Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold Postage Stamp #2191

The U.S. Postal Service issued a 65-cent stamp honoring General Henry ‘Hap’ Arnold #2191 on November 5, 1988. This stamp was part of the Great American Series. The first day issue dedication ceremony was held in Gladwyne, Pennsylvania. Why Gladwyne? It happened to be in conjunction with a U.S. Air Force Academy and U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York football game.

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