LCDR Godfrey DeCourcelles Chevalier, USN, Aviation Pioneer (1889 – 1922)
Providence-born Chevalier graduated from the Naval Academy in 1910. On July 12, 1916, he was launched from the first catapult designed for shipboard use, aboard USS North Carolina. In 1917 Chevalier was assigned to duty in Europe. He commanded the US Naval Aeronautic Station in Dunkirk and the Northern Bombing Squadron, US Naval Aviation Forces in Paris. In 1920 he participated in the conversion of the collier Jupiter into the United States’ first aircraft carrier, USS Langley (CV 1). As Officer in Charge of the Aviation Detachment, he had been instrumental in the development of the arresting gear used aboard. On October 26, 1922, LCDR Chevalier made the very first landing on Langley’s deck. Ironically, Chevalier never saw the full glory of the aircraft carrier. Less than three weeks later, he incurred fatal injuries in a plane crash near Norfolk.
Induction was accepted by the senior naval aviator present, Jack Everling, former CAG on USS Saratoga.