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Our Founders are the World War I aviators who were commissioned officers in any component of the United States Armed Forces that held a rating as a military pilot of heavier-than-air aircraft no later than Armistice Day, Nov. 16, 1918. More than 14,000 military pilots have been identified, and each is considered a Founder with an Order of Daedalians’ Founder membership.

In 1934, a group of 35 of these aviators stationed at Maxwell Field, Alabama, decided to establish a formal organization of military pilots. The organization, composed of those who were first to fly their country’s aircraft in a time of war, was named after the first person to accomplish heavier-than-air flight: Daedalus.

These WWI military pilots, in the preamble to the constitution of the Order, stated their purpose: “…to perpetuate the spirit of patriotism and love of country….and the high ideals of self-sacrifice which placed service to the nation above personal safety and position, and to further cement the ties of comradeship which bound us together at that critical hour of our nation’s need…”

John D. Barker photo
Founder #2 John D. Barker
Founder #8 Harold L. George
Founder #248 Odas Moon

Charter Members

Capt Banfill, Charles Y.
Capt Barker, John D.
Capt Beau, Lucus V.
1st Lt. Birnn, Roland
1st Lt Blackburn, Lloyd C.
Capt Carter, Warren R.
Capt Curry, James T., Jr.
1st Lt Dawson, Leo H.
Capt Eaton, Samuel C., Jr.
Capt Eglin, Frederick I.
Capt Gardner, John H.
1st Lt Gates, Byron E.
Capt George, Harold Lee
Capt Gothlin, Oliver P.
Capt Hamilton, Arthur G.
1st Lt Horton, Clarence F.
1st Lt Howard, Charles H.
Capt Kenny, Cornelius J.
Capt Kiel, Emil C.
1st Lt Landers, Sigmund F.
Capt Ligget, Arthur G.
Capt Martenstein, Austin W.
1st Lt McGregor, Kenneth C.
Capt McMullen, Clements
1st Lt McReynolds, Edwin R.
Capt Meloy, Vincent J.
Capt Moon, Odas
Capt Moore, John I.
Capt Palmer, George M.
Capt Patrick, John B.
Capt Ramey, Howard K.
Capt Skow, Charles T.
Capt Sweeley, William R.
Capt Thompson, Bernard S.
1st Lt Whitten, Lyman P.

Daedalians honor our first military pilots to fly in time of war. Our Preservationist is happy to help give instruction on research and share Daedalian information with our members. Please email her at or call 210-945-2111 ext 109.

Founder Spotlight

Frank Purdy Lahm

November 17, 1877 – July 7, 1963

Frank Purdy Lahm was an American aviation pioneer. Though he started in the cavalry, he developed an interest in flying from his father, a balloonist. Lahm earned one of the first civil qualification certificates for balloonists. He later met the Wright brothers and learned to fly and became known as the, “nation’s first military aviator.” In 1916 he became a career aviator serving in the United States Army Air Service Air Force. He served until the age of 64, rising to the rank of brigadier general.