Air Force in OH honors 1st enlisted Army airman

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Air Force officials say the first enlisted soldier assigned to the Aeronautical Division of the U.S. Army’s Signal Corps will be honored in southwest Ohio.

The 88th Air Base Wing commander at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will attend the ceremony Monday at Corporal Edward Ward’s gravesite in Dayton Memorial Park Cemetery.

The Pine Knott, Ky., native was sent with Private First Class Joseph Barrett to a balloon factory in July 1907 to learn about balloon maintenance. They were ordered the next month to create the Aeronautical Division, but Barrett soon returned to the Navy.

Ward became a licensed balloon pilot and learned how to fly and maintain the Aeronautical Division’s first and only dirigible. He also served in the Signal Corps’ First Balloon School Squadron.

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