David Ingalls was born in Cleveland, Ohio on January 28, 1899. In the fall of 1916, he entered Yale where he joined the first Yale Aviation Unit and trained at Huntington Bay, Long Island and Palm Beach, Fla. He qualified as Naval Aviator number 85, in August, 1917. He was 18 years old.

After several assignments in Europe, he was assigned to Royal Air Force Squadron 213, in Aug., 1918; and in less than two months of combat, Ingalls shot down at least five enemy aircraft and one balloon. He was the first and only Navy ace in World War I. Ingalls was awarded the U.S. Distinguished Service Medal, the Distinguished Flying Cross from Great Britain, and the French Legion of Honour

After the war, Ingalls returned to Yale to complete his studies and earned a law degree from Harvard.In 1929, President Hoover appointed him Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Aeronautics. In this capacity, Ingalls administered the Naval Aviation and Development program. He tested every type aircraft in the Navy inventory and was instrumental in a spectacular period of growth in Naval Aviation.

At the outbreak of World War II, Ingalls volunteered for active service and became Operations Officer for the Commander, Naval Air Force, Pacific, and then Chief of Staff of the Navy Forces at Guadalcanal.

He received the Legion of Merit for his service and retired as Rear Admiral in 1959.

David Ingalls' contribution to Naval Aviation and service to his country are without equal.