United States of America
Arthur H. (Art) Kesten founded the ARMY AVIATION magazine in 1953 with his wife Dotty, and the Army Aviation Association of America (AAAA) in 1957. He resided in Westport, CT for almost 60 years. Inducted into the Army Aviation Hall of Fame along with Dotty in 1975, Art served as Executive Vice President of the AAAA from the time of the Association’s founding until his retirement in 1989.
Art joined the United States Army Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) at Cornell University as a Cadet in 1942 and became editor of the student newspaper, the Cornell Daily Sun. His college education was interrupted in 1943 by active military service in WWII.
Art completed pilot training – for light, single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft such as the Piper Cub – at the US Army Flight Training School at Fort Sill, Oklahoma in 1945 and received orders to join the 11th Airborne Division in the Philippines for the anticipated invasion of Japan. He then served as a member of the United States Occupation Forces in Japan from 1945 to 1948 and earned his jump wings while deployed.
Art and Dotty were engaged to be married when he was deployed to the Pacific. They were married by proxy in 1946 – so that she could join him in Japan. Art was discharged from active duty in 1948 and transferred to US Army Reserve where he served as a pilot stationed at the Army Airfield located on Governor’s Island off the tip of lower Manhattan.
After returning to the US in 1948, Art received a BA from Cornell in 1949 and started utilizing his journalism skills to publish a small mimeographed newsletter for Army pilots serving in the First Army region in the Northeast. This simple regional newsletter, which was started as an after-work, at-home hobby, grew into a significant monthly publication that was re-named ARMY AVIATION in 1953. Moving from New York City to Westport, Connecticut in 1955, he quit his “day job” so that he and Dotty could devote their full time to making ARMY AVIATION Magazine into a profitable, self-supporting business and AAAA into a successful association with over 20,000 members. Art’s daughter, Lynn Kesten, was the third Executive Director of AHS, serving from 1977 to 1981. Art passed away on September 6, 2014, at the age of 92.
AHS Update: Vertiflite Nov/Dec 2014