Worked as a civilian flying instructor at the U.S. Army Primary Flying School in Helena, Arkansas, during World War II. He later enlisted in the U.S. Army Reserves where he served as a ferry pilot, then later received a commission and service pilot wings.
Assigned to Korea in 1952 where he flew C-47s.
Founded the Experimental Aircraft association (EAA) in 1953 and was the organization’s first president, serving for 36 years.
Instrumental in organizing the EAA’s week-long fly-in and conventions which attract over 12,000 aircraft and 850,000 participants to Oshkosh, Wisconsin each year.
Attained all seven aviation wings offered by the military glider pilot, service pilot, rated pilot, liaison pilot, senior pilot, Army aviator and command pilot.