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The Caterpillar Club

Aviation Trail Parachute Museum Report:

Dayton McCook Field was the flight test center for the Army Air Service and did research and development of the parachute. Lt. Harold R. Harris was the first person to save himself by freefalling from a disabled airplane. He was also the first person inducted into the Caterpillar Club, for those aviators who save themselves from a disabled airplane by parachuting out of it. The Caterpillar Club is named for the insects that spun the silk fiber used in parachutes at the time. Members now include Charles Lindbergh, General Jimmy Doolittle, President George H.W. Bush, Col. John Glenn and many other pilots – over 100,000 to date. The Caterpillar Club was thought to have been started by Leslie Irvin the very first person to freefall from an aircraft by intent in 1919.

Photos: above - visitors at the Parachute Museum display

below - the Caterpillar Club pin displayed at the museum

The Aviation Trail Parachute Museum is Site #1b on the Aviation Trail


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