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About Jarvis Jennes Offutt
First Lieutenant Jarvis Jennes Offutt (October 26, 1894 – August 13, 1918) was an aviator from Omaha, Nebraska who died in World War I. Offutt Air Force Base is named in his honor.
Offutt was born in Omaha, Nebraska on October 26, 1894. He attended Omaha Central High School and graduated from the Lawrenceville Preparatory School in 1913. He graduated from Yale University in 1917; while at Yale, he was a member of the Varsity Club, Glee Club, Alpha Delta Phi fraternity, and was a Y track man, winning his honors in the high hurdles. He was also inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society, an organization which recognizes high academic achievement.
In 1916, while still at Yale, Offutt served as a company supply sergeant for the Yale Field Artillery on a summer deployment to Tobyhanna, Pennsylvania. Later in 1916, he entered officer training at Fort Snelling, Minnesota, but after a month he asked to be transferred to aviation. He was one of 300 candidates sent from the United States to Canada to be trained by the Royal Canadian Flying Corps. He went with them to Fort Worth, Texas, where he received his commission as a First Lieutenant in the Aviation Section, U.S. Signal Corps in November 1916.
In January 1917 he went to England for further training, after which he was assigned duties as a ferry pilot attached to the Royal Air Force. As a ferry pilot, his duties were to deliver aircraft from factories in England to bases at the front in France. In the course of these duties, he crossed the English Channel almost daily.
Death and afterward
Offutt died on August 13, 1918 from injuries received while flying at Valheureux, France. It is unknown whether his death resulted from enemy action or from an aircraft accident.
On May 10, 1924 the landing field at Fort Crook, near Omaha, Nebraska, was renamed Offutt Field in his honor. The dedication ceremony, attended by Offutt's mother and brother, featured an aerial salute from 19 planes which circled the field; then-Major (United States) Charles Tinker commanded seven of the planes which flew from Fort Riley, Kansas and dropped a dedicatory wreath to highlight the ceremony.
On January 13, 1948 both the airfield and Fort Crook were renamed Offutt Air Force Base.