Arthur H. Mix
Arthur H. Mix
Arthur H. Mix
50th Anniversary
Wright Flyer, 1959
Wings Club

Air Force Gives Scroll To Its First Enlistee

Double honors came last December to Early Bird Arthur Mix of Center Moriches, N. Y.
     1. He was commended by the United states Air Force for his part in the developement of the Air Force.
     2. He was presented with an EB bronze plaque in recognition of his first solo flight.
     Mix's honors came at the December meeting of the Long Island, N. Y., Early Fliers club. The plaque presentation was made by Elmo Pickerill, representing the Early Birds, and Col. Frank Hill, Suffolk county Air Force base commander, made the Air Force award.
     EB Mix was the first man to enlist for aviation duty in the newly-formed Air Force in 1911. Previous to that time he had been a stage coach driver in Arizona for Wells Fargo and had served for six years in the U. S. Fifth Cavalry at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.
     One of Mix's first jobs after leaving the service was as maintenance man for Stunt Flier Lincoln Beachey. The two toured the country with Barney Oldfield, matching the airplane against the automobile in exhibition races.
     Previous to his retirement in 1953, Mix worked as an archaelogist, newspaperman and railroad construction worker.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, March 1961, Number 65

You will find an entry for Arthur
on the AEROFILES website.
You can visit that reference by clicking on:
Arthur Mix
and using the "Find" function on "Mix"
Plan to spend some time on this wonderful site.

       Arthur Mix was born in Byron, Illinois, March 19, 1885 where he attended local schools, the Illinois State Teachers College.
     After college, Mix worked as a reporter, as a stagecoach driver and then enlisted in the U.S. Cavalry. In 1910, while on duty with the Cavalry in hawaii, he was sent to watch Bud Mars and Tod Schriver make flights under the management of Capt. Thomas S. Baldwin. He became so interested he decided to make aviation his career.
     In 1911 the Signal Corps established the first military flying school at College Park, Maryland, and Mix succeeded in getting transferred there. Flying started in December and Mix had many opportunities to fly with the officers in dual control machines, and had at times been allowed to take over the controls in the air. Gradually he learned to fly and finally on January 9, 1912, he made his first solo flight in an Army Curtiss biplane. In the spring of 1912, Mix met Lincoln Beachy, who went to College Park to demonstrate and make acceptance flights in a new Curtiss military plane before Government officials. This led to a long association of the two.
     In 1913 Arthur joined Beachey at North Island, San Diego, California and became his chief mechanic. He stayed with Beachey until the fatal accident resulting in Beachey's death in San Francisco bay in 1915.
     Beachey's aviation equipment was offered for sale and Katherine Stinson bought it. Knowing that Mix was thoroughly familiar with it, she induced him to help her get it out of storage and shipped to Chicago, and install the Gnome engine in Miss Stinson's plane. He was her mechanic for six months, then for fifteen months was General Foreman for Sloane Aeroplane Corporation. In 1916 he became aircraft and engine inspector for the Signal Corps.
     In 1937 he was Navy Inspector at Grumman Aircraft Engineering Corporation, Bethpage, N.Y., until he retired in 1953. He built a retirement home in Center Moriches, N.Y. and proceeded to live with the memories of his travels and adventures.
     After gradually failing health, Mix passed away January 21, 1971 at age 86. He is survived by his wife. Burial was in Mt. Pleasant Cemetary, East Moriches, N.Y.
From The Early Birds of Aviation CHIRP, January, 1972, Number 78
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