Frank P. Lahm - Retirement and Legacy

Retirement and Legacy

Lahm assisted with war bond drives and was active in a number of civic organizations. He was wedded in Hollywood, California, on April 3, 1948, to Grace Wolfe Kenson, a lifelong friend, the daughter of a Mansfield judge and widow of a dentist.

On June 15, 1960, Lahm was recognized by the Air Force and the Early Birds of Aviation as "the father of Air Force flight training" in ceremonies at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, with 600 Air Force Academy cadets in attendance. In May 1962, the Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, Gen. Curtis E. LeMay, honored Lahm with a special citation recognizing him as the nation's first military aviator.

Lahm died July 7, 1963, of a stroke at Good Samaritan Hospital in Sandusky, Ohio. He was cremated and his ashes spread over Randolph Air Force Base.

In 1943 Lahm completed and published How Our Army Grew Wings, begun in the 1930s in collaboration with Col. Chandler, who died in 1939. His war diary in World War I has been preserved since 1970 by the Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA) as USAF Historical Study No. 141. The United States Air Force Academy's first hot air balloon was named in his honor in 1973. Both Mansfield Lahm Regional Airport and the Administration Building of Mansfield Lahm Air National Guard Base are named for Lahm. In 2009, he was inducted in the First Flight Society along with Humphreys as the first military aviation trainees.

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