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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Wade, Leigh, 1896-1991


Biographical Note

Leigh Wade was born in Cassopolis, Michigan in 1896. He graduated from high school in 1915. Shortly after graduation, in June 1916, Wade enlisted in the National Guard, becoming an aviation cadet a year later.

After graduation from flying school in December 1917, he was a pilot and First Lieutenant in the Aviation Secion of the Officers' Reserve Corps until going to inactive status in March 1926. In 1925 he was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for his services as pilot and supply officer of the U.S. Army Air Service 1924 around-the-world flight, during which he piloted the Douglas World Cruiser "Boston."

Wade joined Consolidated Aircraft as a test pilot, from 1928-1920 and as an aircraft salesperson until 1941. In March of 1941, he returned to active duty with the Air Corps and was assigned to the Air Intelligence Section. In June of that same year, he was transferred to the First Bomber Command at Mitchel Field, New York. In August of 1942, Wade went to Cuba to command Batista Field. In May 1946, he was assigned to the 14th Air Force at Orlando, Florida as operations officer and public information officer.

From 1949 through 1952, he served as air attache in first Athens, Greece and then Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In December 1952, Wade was made chief of the Air Section of the Joint Brazil-U.S. Military Commission in Rio de Janeiro. In 1955, Major General Wade retired from military service.

Leigh Wade died August 31, 1991.


"Major General Leigh Wade." U.S. Air Force Biographies. Accessed July 20, 2020.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Biographical Information Files - W

Scope and Contents Individuals whose names begin with W: Wackett, Lawrence, Sir [Director, Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation] "Some Experiences of a Pioneer in the Aircraft Industry in Australia." Journal of the Royal Aeronautical Society, May 1959. Waddell, Jack [Boeing engineering test pilot] "Getting Ready for the Big One," Boeing magazine, December 1968 Wade,...

John Cook Collection

Identifier: 2013-07-31
Abstract Born in Scotland, John Cook (1899-) was a mechanic who worked on the engines that powered the Douglas World Cruisers that completed the first circumnavigation of the globe by air. Cook also served in the military for thirty-six years and later was a Quality Control Inspector for the Air Force Aircraft program at Boeing. The collection contains photographs, slides, and textual materials primarily related to his time at Boeing as well as some photographs and documents related to his contribution...

Florence Ragen Douglas World Cruisers Photograph Collection

 Collection — Folder: 1
Identifier: 2007-03-29-C
Contents of the Collection The Florence Ragen Douglas World Cruisers Photograph Collection contains a single black-and-white photograph taken in March 1924. The image depicts six of the eight fliers from the first round-the-world flight standing in front of a car: (from left to right) Leigh Wade, Erik H. Nelson, Leslie P. Arnold, Lowell H. Smith, John Harding, Jr., and Henry H. Ogden. Two Douglas World Cruisers are partially visible behind the men. A note on the back of the print identifies the right hand plane as the...

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