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Born Wheeling, West Virginia
May 8,1895July 27. 1962
During World War I, James Howard Kindelberger became a U.S. Air Service Pilot. His aeronautical career was launched when he became Chief Draftsman for the Martin Company in 1918. In 1925 he joined the Douglas Aircraft Company and developed the designs that would lead to the renowned DC-3. When offered the Presidency of General Aviation Manufacturing Corporation in 1934, he accepted the stewardship and founded the aerospace industrial giant, North American Aviation.
As the clouds of World War II loomed over Europe, he realized what must be done and this foresight was to provide a major element of the air power for victory. The North American T-6 trainers schooled the crews, the P-51 Mustang fighters assured air supremacy, and the rugged B-25 Mitchell light bombers were in the forefront of the air campaign. It is said "Dutch" Kindelberger built more planes in his 46-year career in aviation then any other man in history. In addition, the foundation he laid in North American produced the Apollo spacecraft and rocket engines that carried man to the Moon. His leadership took North American Aviation from the postwar era on to jet aircraft, nuclear energy, rocket engines, missiles, the triple-sonic Valkyrie bomber, and the X-15 research aircraft.
Invested 1977 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame
From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984
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Updated: March 12, 2004