All members of the Order of Daedalians are assigned a Founder Member. This is unique to our organization and our way to commemorate the lives, sacrifices, and accomplishments of our nation’s first aviators and connects our members to history in a living way.
Part of our Founders’ original intent was to preserve the memory of those who accepted great personal risk as our nation’s first aviators and first to volunteer to fly in war. Among those who survived the conflict, many would go on to be leaders in the development of American airpower and continued military service. Others often led impactful careers, became leaders in commercial aviation, or continued to serve in other ways. This objective remains an important aspect of the Daedalian mission and culture today.
As subsequent generations of military aviators, Daedalians are charged with honoring their Founder’s memory and legacy by upholding their ideals of character and patriotism in word and action.
Throughout history, generations of American military aviators have embodied devotion and patriotism by sacrificing their safety to protect our country and its freedoms. At its inception, military aviation was so dangerous that in WWI nearly half the pilots died in training. Yet, there was no shortage of young, unmarried men who volunteered to fly. As Daedalians we believe it is our duty to remain mindful of the lives of those who served, rather than the statistics. We take the time to honor the military aviators whose stories we know and the unheard valor of those we don’t. The following are the names of WWI aviators, honored as Founding members of the Daedalians, whose stories we don’t know: Morgan Bellmont, Rollis G. Conant, Levi M. Hall.
The Daedalians and Flight 53 had a devastating blow in 2021 when we were informed Lt. Col. Andrew E. “Trav” Travnicek, USAF (Ret), passed away unexpectedly on Friday, August 20, 2021, doing what he loved. Andy had a tremendous zeal for life and sought to make the most of each moment. His family, friends, and Granite State Flight #53 are all proud of the legacy that Andy left – encouraging young people to become pilots and inspiring everyone through airshows and heritage aircraft demonstrations.
On Memorial Day 2022, Brig. Gen. Dan Woodward, USAF (Ret), a Daedalian member, returned to Lt. Albert S.J. Steele’s wings to France for the first time in 104 years in a beautiful service at the Lafayette Escadrille Memorial Cemetery. Steele was last in France serving as a member of the 90th Aero Squadron
“The Order of Daedalians perpetuates the brave legacy of those who fought first in flight. Join us in honoring those heroes and extending their legacy into the future.”
Col. Timothy Voss, USAF (Ret)