Benjamin Delahauf Foulois
(1879-1967) was an early aviation pioneer who rose to become a chief of the U.S. Army Air Corps
. The son of a French immigrant, he was born and raised in Connecticut
. He enlisted in the Army at age 18 to serve in the Spanish–American War
. After just a few month he was separated because of disease he had picked up in Puerto Rico
. He re-enlisted in 1899 and was sent to the Philippines
where he received a commission as a Second Lieutenant. Foulois believed that the new airplane would replace the cavalry for reconnaissance
and in 1908 transferred into the Signal Corps
Foulois conducted the acceptance test for the Army's first aircraft, a Wright Model A, in 1909. He participated in the Mexican Expedition from 1916–17 and was part of the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I where he was responsible for the logistics and maintenance of the U.S. air fleet. During World War I he and Billy Mitchell began a long and hostile relationship over the direction of military aviation and the best method to get there. After the war he served as a military attaché to Germany where he gathered a great deal of intelligence on German aviation. He later went on to command the 1st Aero Squadron and ultimately commanded the Air Corps.
He retired in 1935 as part of the fallout from the Air Mail scandal. Foulois continued to advocate for a strong air service in retirement. In 1959, at the invitation of the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Foulois began touring Air Force bases advocating national security. He died of a heart attack on 25 April 1967 and is buried in his home town of Washington, Connecticut.