Eddie Ward

To read the Air Force publication on Ward,  Click Here.

Edward Ward was born in November of 1881, to a father that worked for the railroad company. Eddy often went to work with his father and at age 16 began working as a water boy and switch box operator. In 1901 Ward enlisted in the U.S. Army and worked as a mechanic and built and installed defense weapons across America.

In 1907 the Signal Corps purchased two hydrogen balloons, the first since the Spanish American War and in July of that year the Army sent Ward to learn the basics of balloon maintenance from the pre-eminent balloon manufacturer in America. Ward learned how to stich the fabric, manufacture gas and the control aircraft.

In the early years of Signal Corps aviation, Ward could be found at nearly every turn. He became a licensed balloon pilot, learned how to fly and maintain the Aeronautical Division's first and only dirigible, maintained aircraft at the flying school in the Philippines, and served in the Signal Corps' First Balloon School Squadron.

During his time with the Army Ward as a master electrician, he supervised the laying of cables across Tampa Bay, and as a master photographer, he oversaw the aerial mapping of the Smoky Mountains and the Shenandoah National Parks. Ward ended his Army career assisting in the installation of the NACA's (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) first wind tunnel at Langley Field, Va.

In his more than 28 years in the military, Eddie Ward was a Master Signal Electrician, Master Photographer, Balloon Pilot and Mechanic. His many assignments came as a result of his own adaptability in an era in which there was no formal training for many of his duty specializations or assignments

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