Reuben Hollis Fleet was born 6 March 1887 in the Grays Harbor area in the Washington Territory, near Montesano. He attended
public schools in Montesano, and was a 1906 graduate of the Culver Military Academy in Indiana, where his uncle was superintendant.
Returning to Washington, he was involved in his family timber and real estate businesses, was an officer in the Washington
National Guard, became a civic leader, and was elected to the state legislature in 1915, its youngest member. During this
period, he became more and more interested and involved in aviation. His formal introduction came when he was selected for
aviation training, reporting to the Army’s Rockwell Field, at North Island, Coronado.