Howard Franklin Wehrle was born in Charleston, West Virginia on January 20, 1890. In April 1916, Wehrle entered the Curtiss Aviation School. He made his first solo flight on June 16, 1916. Wehrle served overseas as a pilot in World War I, and returned to the United States in December 1918 as a major. He was secretary of the National Aeronautic Association in 1924, and general manager of the Cessna Aircraft Company in 1929. Wehrle also wrote a newspaper column, "Flying – America's Path to Greatness." Howard Franklin Wehrle died on December 14, 1964, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.