Dwight D. Eisenhower: 1st American President Pilot, Licensed by the Commonwealth of the Philippines

General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower 1947

Eisenhower was the first american president who was a licensed pilot. He was issued a private pilot’s license (license No. 95) by the Commonwealth of the Philippines way back on July 5, 1939 and it expired on June 30, 1940.

Eisenhower was one of the American army officers who served the Philippines and was given a chance to have flight instructions under Eustacio Orobia. Eisenhower was then the assistant of Gen. Douglas MacArthur as the military advisor to the Philippine Commonwealth, and he helped organized and developed the country’s national defences.

Eisenhower was able to complete his first solo flight on May 19, 1937 in a Stearman PT-1 which was the main aircraft of the Philippine Air Corps. However, he was not be able to get his private pilot’s license until two years later at Fort Lewis in the State of Washington.

During his application for a pilot’s license, he listed some of his instructors like Captain Mark K. Lewis, Lt. William Lecel Lee, Lt. Charles H. Anderson and Lt. Hugh Parker. The lessons were given at the Philippine Army Flying School, Zaplan Field, Camp Murphy, Quezon City Philippines. Eisenhower also received a certificate of competency from the U.S. Civil Aeronautics (No. 93258) and expired on July 15, 1940. There were 350 hours flying time recorded from July 1936 to November 1939 under his name.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight Eisenhower and the Philippine Army Air Corps (PAAC) trainees