First Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge
First Lt. Thomas E. Selfridge, a 1903 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., was assigned to the Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Signal Corps, where he was one of three people trained to fly the Army Dirigible No. 1. He also was a member of the Aerial Experiment Association and designed their first powered aircraft, the Red Wing. When the Wright brothers came to demonstrate the Wright Flyer to the Army, Selfridge rode as a passenger with Orville Wright. Unfortunately, mid-flight, the propeller broke and the craft crashed, killing Selfridge, who fractured his skull. Helmets became mandatory for all Army pilots thereafter, and now Selfridge Air National Guard Base in Mt. Clemens, Mich., is named in his memory.