Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Remembering a Veteran: David Sinton Ingalls, the U.S. Navy's First Ace

Lieutenant (JG), David S. Ingalls on 24 September 1918 scored his fifth victory in six weeks flying a Sopwith Camel with 213 Squadron of the British Royal Air Force. In so doing he became the U.S. Navy's first fighter ace.  He had learned to fly as a member of the "First Yale Unit."

Lt Ingalls During the War

His postwar accomplishments were even more impressive than his combat accomplishments during the Great War:

Between 1926 and 1928 he was a representative in the Ohio Legislature and co-sponsored the Ohio Aviation Code.

In 1929, while serving as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, he guided the Naval Aviation Test and Development program.

He helped develop the Naval Air Transportation Service in 1942, supplying naval ships in the Pacific.

He was the Air Center Commander at Guadalcanal.

As a rear admiral he served as plans officer of the South Pacific and then commander of the Pearl Harbor Naval Air Station.

After World War II he served as vice president of Pan American World Airways and was a newspaper publisher and broadcasting executive,  actively promoting military, commercial, and private aviation as well as air safety.

Sources: National Naval Air Museum and the National Aviation Hall of Fame


  1. Another member of the "First Yale Unit" was Kenneth McLeish, brother of Archibald McLeish (2 Pulitzer Prices). He is buried at Flanders Field cemetery in Belgium. Received the Navy Cross.

    1. I was interested in your comment on Kenneth McLeish, so I searched the American Battle Monuments Commission site for his grave information. That site lists two people with the last name McLeish, but no Kenneth. One Charles and one Harley, both from WWII. Are you sure of your info?