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[[image No. 46 - black & white photograph of Alexander Procofieff de Seversky & President Roosevelt receiving the Harmon Trophy]] [[image No. 47 - black & white photograph of photograph of de Seversky in the Russian air service]] [[caption]] A beaming de Seversky, and President Roosevelt at White House ceremony awarding him his first Harmon Trophy, 1939. Behind the outstanding airman, C.W. Kerwood, Harry Bruno, and Herbert A. Dargue (46). Second Harmon (48) was given in 1947 for his contributions in long-range escort fight plane development. During Imperial Russian air service (47). [[image No. 48 - black & white photograph of a plaque for the Harmon Trophy]] [[text on plaque]] Ligue Internationale Des Aviateurs [[image - wings]] Citation For outstanding leadership, patriotism, unselfish devotion to the security and aeronautical progress of the United States. Alexander P. de Seversky is awarded the International Harmon Trophy 1940-1946 [[/text on plaque]] Alexander Procofieff de Seversky One of the grandest hellions and genuine Titans of aeronautical engineering and air age education, de Seversky began his tumultuous career as a combat pilot for Imperial Russia. During World War I, on his first combat mission, he lost his right leg, but later returned to action. By completing 57 missions, and downing 13 German planes, he won every decoration a grateful Czar could bestow. The Revolution brought him to America, where his early associations with "Billy" Mitchell helped fix his vital philosophy concerning air supremacy. In 1942, he authored Victory Through Air Power. In 1921 he organized the Seversky Aero Corporation, forerunner of the famed Republic Aviation Corporation; designed the prototype of the Thunderbolt fighter; designed the first fully automatic synchronous bombsight; and designed the first in-flight refueling system. Working with Dr. Elmer Sperry, Sr., "The Major," as he is affectionately called, laid the foundation for all gyroscopically stabilized flight instruments which made instrument flying possible. The Major has always been in love with speed. In September, 1936, the Army Air Corps demanded that he withdraw his pursuit plane entered in the Bendix Trophy Race, "due to features considered a military secret." In 1937, he set a speed record, New York City-Havana, of 5 hours, two minutes, and the following year he zoomed to a new east-west USA record of 10 hours, three minutes. [[image - small drawing of a propeller]] Alexander P. de Seversky: born Tiflis, Russia, June 7, 1894. 20
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