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Hap Arnold was a pioneer airman who was taught to fly by the Wright Brothers, and commander of Army Air Forces in victory over Germany and Japan in World War II: born Gladwyne, Pa., June 25, 1886, died Sonoma, Calif., Jan. "Hap" Arnold, as he was fondly known and called, dating from his early days at West Point, was in the class of 1907 at the U. Three years later, by act of Congress, he received permanent five-star rank as general of the Air Force, the first such commission ever granted.
From then on his life paralleled the growth of America's air power and he personally contributed to most of the major milestones of development during the long period until he retired in 1946.
RANK STRUCTURE AND INSIGNIA OF MILITARY OFFICERS (O-1 thur O-10) AND NCOs (E-1 thru E-9) FOR THE UNITED STATES AIR FORCE The United States Navy equivalent of General of the Air Force is Fleet Admiral. The term is used by nearly every country in the world.
General may be a rank on its own, or can be used as a generic term for "general officers".
The insignia for General of the Air Force was slightly modified in the 1950s for wear on the new blue Air Force dress uniform.
General of the Air Force, however, has never been worn by an officer of the modern Air Force on active duty.
While historically an army rank, General is also used in most air forces, although those based on the British Royal Air Force use Air Marshal instead, with Air Officer being the generic title.
MILITARY OFFICERS (O-1 thur O-10) - UNITED STATES AIR FORCE "General Officer", often referred to less formally and imprecisely as "General", refers to a military officer who holds any rank grade of General. OFFICER RANK INSIGNIA FOR US MILITARY - Air Force, Army, Marines And Navy A General, without prefix or suffix (and sometimes referred to informally as a "full general"), is usually the most senior general officer rank, above Lieutenant General.
Arnold was a General of the Army and retired before the Air Force was made a separate service, but he was awarded the General of the Air Force rank after his retirement and was photographed in an Air Force uniform wearing the insignia of that rank.