Before he became one of history's most famous aircraft designers, Donald W. Douglas was a studious U.S. Naval Academy midshipman with a love for building model airplanes.
The young man stood at the edge of the drill field and felt his entire being-heart, body, soul-lifting into the air as the fragile, box-like aeroplane clattered past, making first one and then another turn around the grassy area at the center of Fort Myer, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. He knew he was seeing the future-not just the future of America, but his own. "I will build something better than that!" Donald Wills Douglas told himself. "That is what I am going to do!"