Ben Howard (1904-70) began designing aircraft in the 1920s. By the 1930s he was designing small, successful racing planes and then a larger, 4-seat cabin monoplane that won the 1935 Bendix Trophy race from New York to Los Angeles and was developed into a series of luxurious, powerful light transport and utility aircraft. The Howard Aircraft Corporation was formed in Chicago to manufacture these planes in 1937. About 70 of these machines were built before World War II, and during the war the U.S. Navy procured a further 525 to use as transports, advanced trainers and utility aircraft. Howard’s civil designs were designated with the prefix DGA, for “darn good airplane”, followed by a model number. The Howard company ceased operations near the end of World War II; Ben Howard left the aviation field to pursue other business interests.