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Ira Clarence Eaker


Born in Field Creek, Llano County, Texas. Married Ruth Apperson November 23, 1931. Graduate of Southeastern State Teacher's College in 1917. Later graduate of University of the Philippines, Columbia Law School and George Washington University.

He served in the infantry and later aviation section during WW I. Stationed in the Philippines 1919 to 1922; in the office of the chief of the Air Service 1924 to 1926; on a Pan-American goodwill tour 1926 to 1927.

In January 1929 he established an endurance record keeping the Question Mark flying over Los Angeles for 150 hours. In 1936 he made the first transcontinental flight on instruments.

Eaker was the chief advocate of strategic bombing of Germany during WW II. In 1941 he took command of the 20th Pursuit Group at Mitchel Field. He was promoted to temporary brigadier general in January 1942. Given command of the 8th Bomber Command in England. In January 1944 he became commander of Mediterranean Allied Air Forces.

After the war he was vice president of Hughes Tool Company 1947 to 1957 and vice president of Douglas Aircraft 1957 to 1961. He died at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. Eaker is honored with a mint medal (USM 664) as part of the National Historic series.

bio: ConAut 123; CBY 42 obit: NYT 8/8/1987

Source credit: Pete Smith, American Numismatic Biographies


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