Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Alfred Austell Cunningham

  • Became the Marine Corps’ first Aviator on August 20, 1912.
  • Participated in the first Naval Aviation exercises in Cuba in 1913, demonstrating the first use of air-planes in scouting missions.
  • Served on a Board to plan and organize the Naval Aeronautical Service and recommended establishment of a Navy Air Department, a Naval Air Station at Pensacola, and placing an airplane aboard every battleship.
  • Became the first Marine or Navy officer to take instructions and learn to fly landplanes.
  • On July 16, 1916 he made the first airplane catapult from a warship.
  • Placed in command of the First Marine Aviation Force as the Day Wing of the Northern Bombing Group during World War I.

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