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Finding aid of the Howard T. Douglas Records
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Appointments and awards, letters of condolence, writings, and published and newspaper accounts, 1917-1921, relating to the life and career of Howard T. Douglas and to the Alaska Flying Expedition of 1920.
Howard T. Douglas was born in Covina, California, in about 1883, the second son of Summerfield Douglas, of the Covina Realty Company. He graduated from Covina Union High School and the University of California at Berkeley. He enlisted as a private in the United States Army in January 1917, joining a coast artillery unit in Covina. Upon the United States declaration of war in April 1917, he was sent to officer training school at the Presidio in San Francisco. Upon receiving his commission as a first lieutenant of infantry, he proceeded via Camp Lewis to the school of fire at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. In January 1918, he proceeded to France where he served as an aerial observation officer, where he served with distinction, being twice recommended from promotion to Major, and receiving the Distinguished Service Medal. Following the armistice he was placed in command of an aviation unit in Germany; he returned to the United States in the summer of 1919. He then entered the Regular Army with the rank of Captain, and was attached to General Mitchell, Chief of Air Service. He served as Mitchell's aid and flying companion, directing a cross-country flight and playing a vital role in the Alaska flying expedition of 1920. He helped write the War Department's first aviation manual. He was drowned in the Chesapeake Bay, off Tangier Island, on June 22, 1921, during a practice bombing raid on the hulk of the battleship San Marcos, after his plane collided with another flown by Lieutenant Marll J. Plumb. His body was not recovered until July 1, 1921. He was buried in Oakdale Cemetery, Covina, on July 12, 1921.
1 archives half-carton + 1 oversize box (0.2 linear foot).
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Collection open for research.