Now that we Daedalians have had opportunity to contemplate the significance of the accomplishment of the World War I Pilot Officers, I think it is time for us to consider the manner of extending the glory of those accomplishments throughout the ages to come. In our busy lives, few people have had opportunity to properly evaluate the impact of flying upon humanity. In my collection of mementos, I have a small square of fabric taken from the first heavier than air aircraft that ever flew. Just think how we would value a small piece of the first boat or the first wheel that ever turned. All previous civilization was developed as a result of boats and wheels. The aircraft, as such, is a much greater accomplishment than the boat or the wheel. Aircraft operation is not delimited by shore lines or paved highways. The flying officers of the Aviation Section of the United States Army Signal Corps made flying a commonplace performance. More than any other group of people in the whole world, we developed the vehicle which the Wright Brothers had proven to be possible. Our experience gained during those early days was the foundation of the air industry, air transportation, and air military operation. We have lived so closely with this that few of us realize those profound accomplishments. I think those accomplishments justify an ageless continuation of the names of the many who contributed to this great purpose.

Having attended most of the Daedalian meetings throughout the years, I am cognizant of the thinning ranks of those people who have contributed so much to the progress of the world. If greater steps are not taken in the near future to perpetuate our organization, we will be a last man’s club in the next generation. I think that our accomplishments were too great to let those memories die in such a short space of time. I believe that the world at large, probably more than we ourselves, appreciate those things which we have accomplished.

In order that our organization may have a purpose for ageless existence, I propose that we dedicate our efforts to a ceaseless program of improving the safety of flight. We presently have the Daedalian Trophy which is awarded annually to the Air Force Command having the best safety record throughout the previous Fiscal Year, ending on each 30 June. I think we should go further than this. We should also have an award for that national or international scheduled air line organization which had the best safety record for the previous calendar year. Further, we should foster technical studies on safety of flying and publicize those features of aeronautics and aircraft which do and which do not contribute to the safety of flight.

While our periodic meetings provide great personal interest and satisfaction in visiting with our comrades of past years and meeting new members, I believe our achievements in the development of aviation as a vehicle for the greater promotion of international amity transcends the personal satisfaction of social meetings and warrants our embarking upon a worldwide program for the promotion of safety of flight. As that many of us have not taken time to contemplate the magnitude of our collective achievements and its impact upon both the civilized and uncivilized world and eventually upon the universe.

These thoughts are submitted to you in the hope that you may take time to consider how our organization can go forward with such a creed.

Major General, USAF
Wing Commander

The Wright Brothers Flyer after it completed its first flight in 1903.