George Owen Squier, born on March 21, 1865 in Dryden, Michigan, graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1887. A scientist with a doctorate from Johns Hopkins University, he served in the Signal Corps, including four years in London as military attaché, until May 1916 when he was named to head the Aviation Section. As early as 1907 he had been interested in military aviation and helped prepare specifications for the first military plane. He was prominent in the buildup of air power for World War I. He also provided necessary emphasis to passage of the Aviation Act calling for 40,000 planes at a cost of $640 million, the largest single appropriation in U.S. history up to that time. Squier moved up to Chief Signal Officer in February 1917 and was still in charge a year later as the Air Service expanded from 65 officers and 1,100 men to 12,000 officers and 135,000 men. Squier retired December 31, 1923 and died in Washington, D.C. on March 24, 1934.

He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal in 1919, with the following citation:

“Maj. Gen. George O. Squier, United States Army, for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service. As Chief Signal Officer he has demonstrated scientific attainments of the highest order. His researches and contributions to the scientific equipment of the Signal Corps are noteworthy. The Signal Corps under him has been an extremely progressive and efficient organization.”

Dupre, Flint O., Col. USAFR., USAF Biographical Dictionary (1965) – Squier, p. 221; Adjutant General of the Army, American Decorations: A List of Awards of the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross and the Distinguished Service Medal Awarded Under Authority of the Congress of the United States, 1862-1926 (1927) – Squier, p. 770.