Dargue, Herbert Arthur “Bert”, born 17-11-1886 in Brooklyn, New York, entered the United States Military Academy on 15-06-1907, age 20. He graduated on 13-06-1911 and was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps . In March 1913, while stationed in the Philippines, he was trained to fly by 1st Lieutenant Frank Purdy Lahm , who died age 85, on 07-07-1963 in Sandusky, Ohio and was detailed to the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps on 23-07-1914, as the sole rated pilot in the Philippines. On 16-12-1914, he flew a Burgess Model I seaplane with 1st Lieutenant Joseph O. Mauborgne
of the Signal Corps as his radio operator, making the first two-way communication by radio telegraphy between a ground station and an airplane in flight. Mauborgne died old age 90, on 07-06-1971 in Atlanta, Georgia. The next month he crashed his airplane into San Jose Bay off Corregidor, temporarily ending aviation in the Philippines, and was sent back to the Signal Corps Aviation School at North Field, San Diego, California. From March to July 1916, he was a member of the 1st Aero Squadron when it supported the Pancho Villa Expedition in Mexico. In 1926 he aided in drafting the legislation that became the Air Corps Act, which led to the establishment of the United States Army Air Corps. From 21-12-1926 to May 2, 1927, Dargue led the U.S. Army Pan American Flight, a public relations goodwill mission to promote U.S. aviation in South America. Flying five Loening OA-1A seaplanes, each named for an American city, Dargue, Captain Ira Clarence Eaker, and eight other Army aviators traveled 22.000 miles (35.200 km) in 59 flight days, stopping at 72 cities along the route. The ten airmen, two of whom died in an accident on 26-02-1927, during the mission, were awarded certificates for first awards of the newly created Distinguished Flying Cross. From 1938 to 1940, he commanded the 19th Composite Wing in the Panama Canal Zone. He returned to the United States in 1940 to become Assistant Chief of the Army Air Corps. The following year, he took command of the First Air Force .
Death and burial ground of Dargue, Herbert Arthur “Bert”.
In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Henry Stimson chose Dargue to lead the investigation of why the United States had been unprepared for the attack, and placed him in command of the US Army units there. However, while flying to Hawaii to take his new post, Dargue’s B-18 crashed in the Sierra Nevada mountains, outside Bishop, California, and he was killed, age 55, on 12-12-1941. Dargue was the first Army General to die on duty during World War II. Other Generals were Brigadier General, Assistant Commanding General 25th Division, “Tropic Lightning” , James Leo Dalton II, General Leslie James McNair who was killed 25-07-1944 near St Lo, France by friendly fire during a pre-attack bombardment. Admiral Isaac Cambell Kidd
who was killed aboard the U.S.S. Arizona during the bombing of Pearl Harbor , 07-12-1941, General Simon Simon Bolivar Buckner Jr. was killed during the closing days of the Battle of Okinowa by enemy artillery fire and Major General Maurice Rose
was killed in an ambush by a sniper, near Heidelberg, Germany. He was the highest ranked Jewish officer in U.S. history, and his 3rd Armored Division “Spearhead” was the first U.S. Division to cross the Siegfried line into Germany. The United States Army suffered 318.274 killed and missing in all theaters of the war.
Herbert Dargue is buried with his wife Marie Virginia Salmon, who died two years later, age 59, in 1943, in Section 7 of Arlington National Cemetery.