Two former military and two civilian aviators were elected on Monday for enshrinement at National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) next year. The four men will be joining the roster of 215 men and women air and space pioneers who have been inducted by the NAHF since its founding in 1962 in a ceremony next October in Dayton, Ohio.
The names and photos of the incoming Enshrinee Class of 2013 were unveiled at a dinner hosted by Dayton-based Aviation Trail, Inc. (ATI) in celebration of the 109th anniversary of the Wright Brothers’ historic first powered flight, Dec. 17, 1903. Serving as the dinner’s emcee was Marvin Christian, ATI president, and making the Class of 2013 announcement was Ron Kaplan, NAHF enshrinement director.
Each year, the NAHF Board of Nominations, a voting body comprised of over 120 aviation professionals nationwide, selects a handful of U.S. air and space pioneers to be recognized for their achievements by enshrinement into the NAHF. The NAHF Class of 2013 is a diverse group representing a broad range of significant contributions to the advancement of flight. The four to be enshrined next year are:
The late Charles Alfred Anderson. In 1940, Anderson, who is widely recognized as “the father of African-American aviation,” helped develop a civilian-pilot training program for blacks. His 1941 flight with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt aboard was the catalyst that led to the training of the first African American military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen, for whom Anderson served as chief instructor.
Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady, U.S.A. (Ret.). His highly decorated 34-year-plus Army career includes developing foul weather and tactical techniques for helicopter air ambulance rescue in combat. Brady flew more than 2,500 missions during two Vietnam combat tours and rescued over 5,000 wounded. His numerous service awards include the Medal of Honor and the Distinguished Service Cross.
Capt. Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson, U.S.N. (Ret.). As a Navy fighter pilot, Gibson flew combat in Southeast Asia, graduated from “Top Gun,” and served as a flight test pilot before joining NASA’s astronaut corps in 1978. He flew five Shuttle missions (four as Commander) and participated on the Challenger accident investigation team. Also an aeronautical engineer, record-setting pilot and air racer, Capt. Gibson has logged over 14,000 hours in over 130 types of aircraft.
The late Dwane L. Wallace. After 41 years with the Cessna Aircraft Co., Wallace retired in 1975 as its chairman and CEO. During the Depression, Wallace used money won by air racing to meet payroll. After the company served WWII military aircraft demand, Wallace directed Cessna’s development and growth of extensive corporate and general aviation product lines. He was a founder and first chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.
The enshrinement dinner and ceremony will take place on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013, at the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center and the adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force. Often referred to as “America’s Oscar Night of Aviation,” the black-tie ceremony is open to the public and reservations are available by advance purchase from the NAHF.
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