Victor H. Strahm had a 36-year career in the U.S. Army, retiring as a brigadier general. He began his career flying in the 91st Aero Observation Squadron during World War I and served in France for 10 months. He was designated an “ace” for shooting down five confirmed German planes.
“He was one of the very few flying aces from Kentucky,” said Dr. Jonathan Jeffrey, department head for the Department of Library Special Collections and the Manuscripts and Folklife Archives coordinator at Western Kentucky University, as well as a contributing author to “That Perfect Feeling in the Air,” a book about Strahm’s life and career.
After WWI, he served as a test pilot, flew in numerous races and even did some flying for movies. He was a daredevil and was always willing to help improve new aircraft, Jeffrey said. When WWII began, Strahm was assigned as a chief planner in the U.S. Ninth Air Force.
In diaries from 1944, Strahm details his role in strategizing the tactical air support for D-Day. He received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Distinguished Service Cross for his reconnaissance work. Following WWII, Strahm stayed in the military and was instrumental in helping form the modern U.S. Air Force.
Strahm died in 1957. The induction ceremony was held Nov. 16 at the Kentucky Aviation Museum.
You can read more information about Bowling Green native Victor Strahm on the Aviation Heritage Park website here.
The information in this article appeared in the Daily News on September 6, 2019. The photo is courtesy of WKU Archives.