Born: United States of America
Primarily active in: United States of America
Alexander (Alex) J. Rankin was a retired Army colonel who spent much of his career in development of Army aviation programs. Rankin was born in Glasgow, Scotland and when he was 6 years old; his family immigrated to the United States and settled in New Jersey. He became cavalry commander during World War II. Later, in 1962, he was appointed to an adhoc committee to determine how airplanes and helicopters could improve the Army's combat potential. The recommendations of the committee became the impetus for the development of several Air Cavalry Squadrons and the first Cavalry Division with its 450 helicopters. His decorations include the Silver Star earned during World War II.
Rankin was an active member of AHS and a frequent visitor to the Alexandria, Virginia headquarters. He was also an officer and executive committee member of the Helicopter Club of America (HCA), which leads US participation in national and international helicopter championships.
Mr. Rankin died of cancer in November 29, 1997 at a veteran's hospital in Martinsburg, West Virginia.
AHS Update: Vertiflite Summer 1998