Ernest Harmon Airforce Day

Harmon Air Force Base is named for an honored pioneer in United States Military aviation history, Capt. Ernest Emery Harmon was born in Dallas, Tex., Feb. 8, 1893.

He graduated from Bethany College in West Virginia and attended George Washington University for an additional year.  In September 1917 he enlisted in the aviation section of the signal corps reserve and was sent to Austin, Tex.

After receiving flight training, he was commissioned a second lieutenant on April 5, 1918 and received an appointment as 2nd Lt. in the regular army on July 1, 1920.

After tours of duty at several installations he was assigned as officer-in-charge of the proving squadron in Washington D.C.

Acting as test pilot for the United States patent office, Capt. Harmon was selected to pilot the Martin Bomber in the “Round the rim” flight of 1919, which circled for the first time by air the boundaries of the United States.

Captain Harmon participated in many aerial contests during the infancy of military aviation and in 1925 won the Detroit News Trophy at the International Air Races, when he piloted the Huff Daland light bomber at an average speed of 119.19 miles per hour.

While making a test flight from Maryland to Mitchel Field N.Y., on Aug. 27, 1993, Captain Harmon lost his life when the Aircraft ran out of fuel near Stramford, Conn.  He attempted to parachute to safety, but was too low to allow the chute to open.