David Ingalls, Navy Flier and Businessman, 86, Dies

United Press International

David Sinton Ingalls, the Navy’s only World War I flying ace, lawyer, business executive and politician, has died at the age of 86.

Ingalls died Friday at his home here, a week after suffering a stroke.

His father, Albert, was a vice president of the New York Central Railroad and his mother, Jane, was a niece of President William Howard Taft.

At the start of World War I, Ingalls enlisted in the First Yale Naval Aviation Unit organized to train aviators for the Navy. He was assigned to England, where he won both British and American distinguished service medals.


He studied law at Harvard and was practicing in Cleveland when he was elected to the Ohio Legislature.

He was assistant secretary of the Navy for aeronautics under President Herbert Hoover. In 1941 he became vice president and general manager of Pan American Air Ferries.

He returned to active duty in the Navy in World War II and served at Guadalcanal.

After the war, he became vice president of Pan American World Airways, a position he held until 1949.

Ingalls assisted his cousin, Robert A. Taft, in his unsuccessful 1952 Republican presidential bid and was later president and publisher of the Cincinnati Times-Star, a newspaper owned by the Taft family, and was vice chairman of Taft Broadcasting Co.

In 1958, he resumed his private law practice and was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1983.

Survivors include his second wife, Frances, a son and four daughters.

Private services will be Tuesday in Hot Springs, Va.