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TENNESSEE'S OFFICIAL AVIATION HALL OF FAME

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REPOSITORY & ARCHIVE FOR TENNESSEE'S AVIATION HISTORY


THE TENNESSEE AVIATION HALL OF FAME
Tennessee's Aviation Hall of Fame is a non-profit IRS 501(c)(3) public charitable foundation established to recognize, honor and enshrine individuals whose leadership in or for aviation, whether by exceptional service or extraordinary achievement, has made an enduring contribution to aviation for Tennessee, our nation or the world. This organization, its projects and educational programs rely solely upon the financial support of individuals, corporations, foundations, grants and bequests. The Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame was designated as the Official State Aviation Hall of Fame by the General Assembly in 2001 and in 2003 as Tennessee's Repository & Archive for Aviation History.

The Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame Board of Directors selected its first class of Inductees early in 2002 and the Inaugural Induction Ceremony was held on September 14, 2002. Annual ceremonies held thereafter are usually scheduled in early November.

 








Click below to download a printable PDF format Official Nomination Form:
DOWNLOAD OFFICIAL NOMINATION FORM
  



MEMBERS OF THE TENNESSEE AVIATION HALL OF FAME
 
Jennifer Cairns Baker
JENNIFER CAIRNS BAKER – Enshrined November 14, 2009 -
Jennifer Cairns Baker of Nashville has been a tireless advocate for the aviation maintenance technician for over 30 years. She has unselfishly contributed to the betterment of the profession and to those who have, like her, dedicated themselves and their life's work to aviation safety. Baker's aviation career began in 1978 when she was hired as an instructor by a small aviation school in Nashville. She soon became a partner with the school's owner and traveled extensively for 16 years teaching airframe, powerplant and inspection authorization courses. In 1994 she bought out her partner and renamed the school the Baker's School of Aeronautics. The Baker's School of Aeronautics in Nashville contributes in a meaningful way to Tennessee's aviation economy and enrolls over 1,100 students each year many of whom travel from more than 125 countries around the world to take courses in Airframe and Powerplant Technology and Aircraft Inspection Authorization. The school also offers courses for Private, Commercial and Instrument Pilot written examinations. Jennifer Baker serves as Secretary of the Federal Aviation Administration's National AMT Awards Committee. She is a member of the Aviation Maintenance Technology Advisory Committee for the Tennessee Technology Center and has served as the "anchor" of Tennessee's 43-year old Tennessee Mid-South Aviation Maintenance Conference Steering Committee for many years. Mrs. Baker was chosen as the FAA's Tennessee Aviation Safety Counselor of the Year in 1999 and continues to serve as an FAA FAASTeam (Safety) Representative in the Nashville area. Jennifer Baker played an instrumental advocacy role in 2003 that resulted in the Tennessee General Assembly passing legislation declaring May 24th of each year as "Aviation Maintenance Technician Day." Since that time, she has held a picnic on that day honoring Tennessee's Aviation Maintenance professionals.
 
John T. Baugh, Jr.
JOHN T. BAUGH, JR. – Enshrined November 13, 2004 -
Nashvillian John Baugh has served on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission since first being appointed by Governor Ned McWherter in 1989 and is a former Chairman of the Commission. Mr. Baugh continues his service to Tennessee as a member of the Aeronautics Commission. He is Founder and Past President of Tennessee First Squadron-Warbirds of America. John has served on the Board of Directors of EAA for 24 years, on the Board of EAA's Warbirds of America for 22 years and is also a five-term Past President and CO of WBA. He is a past President of the Nashville QB Chapter. John Baugh holds a Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument, single & multi-engine flight instructor ratings, land and sea, helicopter and an FAA ground level aerobatics waiver. He is type rated in the B-17, B-25, P-51 and P-47, having flown 135 different types of aircraft. In 1995 John T. Baugh was Inducted into EAA's Sport Aviation Hall of Fame. In 2002, the John T. Baugh, Jr. Aviation Excellence Scholarship Fund was established at the Tennessee Museum of Aviation.
 
Walter Beech
WALTER H. BEECH (1891 - 1950) - Enshrined November 12, 2005
An aviation pioneer, Walter Beech was born in Pulaski, Tennessee. He began his legendary career in aviation by building a glider age 14. Walter Beech became a U.S. Army Aviator in 1917 and later joined the Swallow Airplane Company where he became a test pilot and later, General Manager. Walter Beech, Clyde Cessna and Lloyd Stearman (all of whom became aviation legends) co-founded the Travel Air Aircraft Company in 1924. The company became the world's largest producer of monoplane and biplane commercial aircraft and earned international acclaim by establishing numerous performance records. Travel Air Aircraft subsequently merged with the Curtiss-Wright Aircraft Company and Walter Beech became its President. In 1932, Walter and his wife Olive Ann founded Beech Aircraft Corporation. Beech airplanes set numerous speed and distance records and the famous Beech Staggerwing won the prestigious Bendix Air Race. During World War II, Beech Aircraft turned its entire production to defense, producing more than 7,400 military aircraft. The Twin-Beech AT-71C-45 was used to train most of the U.S. Army Air Force navigator/bombardier's and over half of the multi-engine pilots. Now a part of the Raytheon Corporation, Beech Aircraft became and remains a world-renowned corporate and personal aircraft manufacturer. The extraordinary history of Beech Airplanes is preserved and on display in Tullahoma, Tennessee at the Staggerwing Museum Foundation located on the Parish Aerodrome. Walter Beech was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1977.
 
Bob Bomar
ROBERT E. BOMAR – Enshrined November 10, 2007 -
Shelbyville's "Bomar Field" Airport was literally Bomar's field for years until it was first leased then purchased by the City of Shelbyville. The airport was built and owned by Bob Bomar; begun while he was home on leave as a Navy Pilot in 1944. Before enlisting in the Navy, Bob Bomar graduated from Cumberland University's first Civilian Pilot Training Class in 1939. While in the service, Bob flew various Navy fighter aircraft in the European and Pacific theatres. Bomar aspired to an airline career but his entire life has been dedicated to general aviation where he earned a reputation as staunch advocate early in his career. Governor Frank Clement sought Bomar's counsel in 1953 that resulted in saving the floundering Tennessee Bureau of Aeronautics. That same year the Governor appointed a five-member Aeronautics Commission to oversee and manage the Bureau. Fifty airports were constructed across Tennessee between 1953 to 1968 while Bob Bomar chaired and served on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission. From 1968 until 1992 Bob devoted himself to the Shelbyville Airport and upon retirement in 1992, he and his late wife were honored as recipients of Tennessee's "Career Contributions to Aviation" award.
 
Stan Brock
STAN BROCK – Enshrined November 10, 2007 -
Englishman, now long-time Knoxvillian, Stan Brock is recognized by many as the former co-star of the television series Wild Kingdom, but his true legacy will be indelibly cast as the Founder of the Remote Area Medical Volunteer Corps, a non-profit, volunteer, airborne relief effort dedicated to serving mankind by providing free health, dental and eye care as well as veterinary, technical and educational assistance to people in remote areas of the United States and the world. Brock founded Remote Area Medical in Knoxville in 1985. He and a huge cast of volunteer doctors, nurses, pilots, veterinarians and support workers work without pay as they participate in expeditions to help others, all at their own expense. Stan Brock learned to fly in Georgetown, Guiana many years ago and now has over 8,000 hours of flying time. He is an Air Transport rated pilot and Certified Flight Instructor.






 
James W. Campbell
JAMES W. "PETE" CAMPBELL (1920 - 1999) – Enshrined November 11, 2006 -
Pete Campbell first learned to fly at Gill-Dove Field in Martin, Tennessee after serving in an Army Reserve Infantry Unit. He subsequently transfered to the Army Air Force to train as a glider pilot. Campbell entered the Army Air Force Aviation Cadet program in 1943 and became a Commissioned Officer in January 1944. He flew B-24's in the South Pacific, tallying 56 combat missions with the 380th Bomb Group, 5th Air Force. Pete returned home after the war and opened a small FBO at Union City Airport. In the 50's he was with the training division of California Eastern Airways contracted to train pilots for the Air Force. Campbell joined the Federal Aviation Administration in 1960 as a field inspector. His assignment to the FAA Academy in 1964 lead to the creation of what is considered to be one of the most beneficial safety programs in FAA history. Troubled by the dismal safety record of Certified Flight Instructors across the entire nation, Pete Campbell created teams of FAA Flight and Ground Instructors who traveled the entire country implementing what became "Flight Instructor Refresher Courses", still in place today. Over a period of about seven years and more than 200 courses, training more than 16,000 flight instructors, the accident rate among flight instructors was reduced by more than 50%. In 1971 Pete Campbell created another successful safety initiative by organizing the FAA's "Accident Prevention Program". Also part of his continuing legacy, it placed FAA Accident Specialists in each of the nation's eighty-five General Aviation District Offices, now called FSDO's. James W. "Pete" Campbell retired from the FAA in 1980 after serving as Chief of the Nashville Flight Standards District Office. In retirement he continued to write, lecture and teach as a nationally recognized authority on Federal Air Regulations, the National Airspace System and flight training. Pete served as the first Southeast Regional Representative for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association and was one of the first three Flight Instructors to be inducted into the Flight Instructors Hall of Fame in 1997.
 
Ernest W. Colbert
ERNEST WILLIAM COLBERT (1921-2012) - Enshrined November 8, 2003 -
Mr. Colbert helped build warplanes during WWII at Nashville's Vultee Aircraft plant. In 1944, he and a partner founded Colemill Flying Service at Cornelia Fort Airpark in Nashville. In 1962, Bill Colbert's idea to convert aircraft began with an FAA Approved STC to modify an Aero Commander 500A. Since that first conversion, Colemill Enterprises has become the world's largest and most famous aircraft modifications company. Colemill has become internationally famous for conversions of the Piper Navajo, Beechcraft Baron, Beechcraft Bonanza and Cessna 310 series airplanes. The company holds more than twenty STC's and completes approximately forty-five conversions each year. Colbert pioneered the aircraft modifications and conversions business into what has become his company's slogan "Making Great Airplanes Better".



 
Larry Cox, AAE
LARRY D. COX, AAE - Enshrined November 12, 2005
President & CEO of the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority for 32-years, Larry Cox has lead the Memphis International Airport to prominence around the globe. For more than 10 years, Memphis International has been the leading air cargo airport in the entire world. 3.55 million metric tons of air cargo were handled at MEM in 2004. A native Tennessean, Cox was born in Nashville. He earned a BBA in Economics from the University of Memphis where he graduated Cum Laude and as a Distinguished Military graduate of Air Force ROTC. After an honorable discharge as an Air Force Captain, he went on to earn an MBA in Management from the University of Memphis. Widely respected among airport management professionals world wide, Larry Cox has received numerous honors. They include: "1994 Airport Manager of the Year" from the Federal Aviation Administration's Southern Region, The FAA "Kitty Hawk" Award, the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Airport Executives, "The Chairs Award" from AAAE, FedEx Corporation's "Bravo Zulu Award" and the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission's highest individual honor for Career Contributions To Aviation. Larry Cox has served for many years as President of the Tennessee Association of Air Carrier Airports and is a co-founder and Charter Member of the Tennessee Aviation Association.
 
Lanny G. Culver
LANNY G. CULVER (1939 - 2010) – Enshrined November 10, 2007 -
Louisiana native Lanny Culver made an extraordinary mark in aviation in Memphis that began when he became Vice President of world famous Jack Adams Aircraft Sales in 1972. It is said that Lanny Culver's name will always be at the forefront of those who took business aircraft sales from its beginnings to the multi-billion dollar business it is today, and for helping establish Memphis as a hub for business aviation. Culver was a visionary who developed an extraordinary knowledge of the world market for aircraft. His impeccable integrity, ethics and business acumen earned Lanny a global reputation as the consummate professional in the business and corporate aircraft industry. A stroke in April 2001 ended a career of leadership, innovation and integrity that will always be the legacy of Lanny Culver.



 
Mary (Dilda) Heringa MARY (DILDA) HERINGA - Enshrined November 12, 2011 - 
Air race gold medalist, Mary (Dilda) Heringa, has earned celebrity status as the foremost female air-racer in the nation. She is also a prominent air show performer flying at EAA’s Air Venture in Oshkosh and Sun-N-Fun in Lakeland, among others… that’s in addition to a 10-year Air Force career and her full-time job as a pilot for FedEx. When Mary was in the first grade she knew she wanted a career in aviation. As a child she flew with her Father in his Cessna Cardinal around their ranch in New Mexico. After soloing at age 18 she earned her pilot’s license in just two-months. Enrolled in college at Oklahoma State University, she earned her wings and became a flight instructor and member of the flight team, the OSU Flying Aggies, where she earned an award as “Top Regional Pilot”. As a participant in a National Intercollegiate Flying Association competition she won “Top Woman Pilot”. Following college graduation, Mary Herring joined the U.S. Air Force because she wanted to fly jets. After her initial training in T-37’s and supersonic T-38’s, at 24 years of age, she became an Aircraft Commander flying the C-9 “Nightingale”, the Air Force Medical Evacuation aircraft, and later traveled the world landing on every continent including Antarctica piloting the huge C-141 “Starlifter”. Mary left the Air Force in 1991 but continued as a civilian instructor on the C-141 simulator, then flew the McDonald-Douglas MD-80 for a scheduled charter company. When FedEx hired her in 1994 Mary began as a DC-10 simulator instructor and three years later became a FedEx “line pilot” in 1997. She has flown the Boeing 727, Douglas DC-10, MD-11 and is scheduled to upgrade to Captain on the Boeing 757. She also served in the Tennessee Air National Guard. Mary bought her first North American T-6 Texan renamed “Two of Hearts” in 1996 and ended up air racing at the world famous Reno Air Races where her record includes three Reno Gold Championships, two T-6 Gold wins and the Jet Classic championship flying an L-39 Albatross named “Heartless”.

 
John E. Ellington
JOHN E. ELLINGTON – Enshrined November 11, 2006 -
John Ellington graduated from MTSU in 1956 and joined the U.S. Army as an Aviation Maintenance Specialist. In 1959 he joined Capitol Airways of Nashville and flew DC-3's, the C-46, DC-4 and the Lockheed Constellation. He was employed by Delta Airlines in 1962 and became Delta's Chief Pilot in 1988. While at Delta, Ellington flew the DC-6, DC-7, C-46 DC-8, DC-9, Convair 440 & 880, DC-10, Lockheed 1011 and MD-11. After 32 years at Delta and holding a variety of flight and management positions and flying as Captain aboard most of the aircraft owned by the airline during that time on routes around the world, John retired in 1994 and returned to Rutherford County as Director of Operations at Corporate Flight Management. Soon thereafter he was employed as Director of Training at America Trans Air of Indianapolis and later became Vice President of Operations. Ellington once again returned home to accept a position as Executive Director of the Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport Authority. 1n 1999 he joined World Airways of Herndon, Virginia and later became its President & COO. He retired from World Airways in 2003. Still an active pilot with more than 22,100 hours of flight time, Mr. Ellington is Past-President of the Middle Tennessee State University Foundation and Past –President of the MTSU National Alumni Association. He continues to serve on the Advisory Council to the College of Basic & Applied Sciences which includes the Aerospace Department. John and his wife Barbara are sponsors of the John & Barbara Ellington Aerospace Endowed Scholarship at MTSU. Barbara retired after 30 years as a Flight Attendant with Delta Airlines. John Ellington is the son of former Tennessee Governor, Buford Ellington.
 
Jim D. Ethridge
JIM D. ETHRIDGE – Enshrined November 14, 2009 -
Jim Ethridge learned to fly in his hometown of Union City, Tennessee in 1959 and received his private pilot checkride from aviation legend Evelyn Bryan Johnson on January 19, 1960. He later served alongside Mrs. Johnson on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission. His pilot ratings include commercial fixed-wing single, multi-engine and instrument ratings and commercial helicopter. Mr. Ethridge has owned and flown a variety of piston, turbo-prop, jet and helicopter aircraft . In 1995, Governor Don Sundquist appointed Jim Ethridge to the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission where he served for two consecutive 5-year terms; twice as Commission Chairman. While on the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission, the Tennessee Office of Aeronautics was elevated to Division status within the Tennessee Department of Transportation. Prior to completing his second term on the state aeronautics commission, Jim was appointed to the Memphis-Shelby County Airport Authority. Memphis International Airport is known as "America's Aerotropolis"; the only airport in North America considered to be an "aerotropolis", a world-class facility serving more than 10 million passengers a year and the largest air cargo airport in the world for nearly two decades. Jim has chaired the MSCAA long-term planning and development committee and its general aviation committee. Mr. Ethridge was elected the 2008 Chairman of the Commissioner's Committee of the Airports Council International - North America, the North American branch of Airports Council International headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, and he became a voting member of the Airports Council Board in Washington. He expanded the lobbying efforts of Commissioners of major airports in the U.S. and Canada focused upon guiding legislation in Washington to benefit airports and air travelers. Aviation has been an avocation and a labor of love for Jim Ethridge for almost 50 years. Through his talents and his leadership Jim Ethridge has made countless contributions to aviation.
 
Carol Dobyns Fair
CAROL DOBYNS FAIR – Enshrined November 13, 2010 -
Carol Dobyns Fair was born in March 1943 and is a native of Johnson City. Her career in aviation began in March of 1963 when she became a stewardess with Winston-Salem based Piedmont Airlines just one year after the airline began hiring female flight attendants. During her career she served aboard every aircraft in Piedmont's fleet; the DC-3, Martin 404, Fairchild F-27, YS-11, and Boeing's 727, 737, and 767 aircraft. She served aboard Piedmont's inaugural flight from Charlotte to London in June of 1986 and is an International Cabin Services Director on US Airways flights aboard the Airbus 330. In 1995-96 Carol Fair was leased to British Airways and was based in London, during which time she earned British Airways prestigious Bronze Award for Leadership. Carol has been a dedicate advocate for flight attendants rights and has served on numerous in-flight safety and uniform committees in the airline industry. Well beyond the confines of an aircraft cabin, she has been a passionate advocate for aviation, and continues to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the South's beloved former "Route of the Pacemakers", Piedmont Airlines, giving speeches about aviation and Piedmont's marvelous history to senior citizens, students and civic organizations. Fair has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and television interviews and has conducted aerospace education workshops in aviation history at East Tennessee State University. Ms. Fair was invited to participate in the ceremony to christen one of the heritage Airbus 319's, painted in the Piedmont Airlines livery in 2006 and accepted the 2008 Thomas H. Davis, Sr. Excellence in Aviation Award on behalf of all Piedmont employees. She is an Associate Member of the Piedmont Silver Eagles, A Member of Golden Wings, and the Association of Flight Attendants - CWA. Carol Dobyns Fair was inducted into the North Carolina Transportation Hall of Fame in 2008.
 
Joe FleemanJOSEPH R. FLEEMAN -  Enshrined November 3, 2012 -
While in high school Joe began to fly and also began rebuilding and repairing airplanes under the supervision of his father. During this time, Joe developed a deep interest in aviation and discovered his love for restoration. His first project was a 1940 Piper J-5A Cub Cruiser that he and his uncle bought together. This was also the airplane he soloed in and got his commercial license in. The longest project was a 1943 Twin Cessna T-50 nicknamed the “Bamboo Bomber.” Because of being built mostly of tubing and wood it was a 5-year project. He bought the plane in Pensacola, FL and transported it back to Lawrenceburg in pieces and started rebuilding the airplane piece by piece. He refinished each part inside and out like a piece of furniture. The award winning “Bomber” flew better that a factory new aircraft. This was the aircraft he used to get his multi-engine rating. Through the years, the quality and renowned reputation of Joe Fleeman became well known among the aviation community across the United States. Joe has rebuilt some 20 aircraft to better than new condition. Among them was a Mustang II with a top speed of 225 mph. Joe has presented several aircraft at the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) Oshkosh AirVenture throughout the years and is a three time Grand Champion with a 1940 Piper J-5, 1955 Piper Tri-Pacer, and 1937 Bucker Jungmeister.  He also won two Reserve Grand Champions with 1953 Piper Tri-Pacer and a 1946 Piper J-3 Cub. He won Grand Champion Classic with a 1943 T-50 Twin Cessna at the  Antique Aircraft Association (AAA). Joe has also restored a long list of other vintage aircraft including: 1947 Piper PA-11, 1940 Luscombe,  1942 Stearman PT-17, 1948 Cessna 140, 1947 Piper PA-12, 1946 Aeronca Champion, 1983 Pitts Special S1S, 1951 Bucker Jungman, 1966 Mustang II, and 1956 Cessna 180. The meticulous detail in Joe’s restoration efforts is also reflected in his dedication as a flight instructor. His many students over the years are now in the aviation industry across the globe and share the passion they learned from Joe Fleeman. The Federal Aviation Administration works closely with Joe on approvals of the aircraft he has rebuilt and they are always delighted at the quality and expertise of his restorations. Restoring and rebuilding antique aircraft, flight instruction, sage aviation advice and anything concerning flying from Joe Fleeman is always first class. He is a true artisan, the consummate craftsman, teacher, mentor and aviation professional. His dedication and devotion to the preservation of aviation and the quality of his work set a standard of excellence without parallel in aviation.
 
Cornelia Clark Fort
CORNELIA CLARK FORT (1919-1943) – Enshrined November 13, 2010 -
Cornelia Clark Fort was born February 5, 1919, in Nashville and grew up on 365 acres of land along the Cumberland River in Davidson County. She attended Ross Elementary School and in 1932 enrolled at Ward-Belmont, an all-girls school. Cornelia briefly attended Ogontz Junior College and was later accepted at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. After graduation in 1939, she joined the Junior League of Nashville. Cornelia took her first flying lessons in the spring of 1940 and on March 10, 1941 became Nashville's first female flight instructor. When the Civilian Pilot Training Program was established, she was hired as a flight instructor at Fort Collins, Colorado. In the fall of 1941 she moved to Hawaii and instructed at John Rodgers Airport in Honolulu. Cornelia was hired to teach defense workers, soldiers and sailors to fly. She was aloft with a student pilot on December 7, 1941, and became one of the first witnesses to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II. When she returned to the mainland, Cornelia appeared at several war bond rallies, but she longed to be able to fly for her country. Finally, in September 1942, the Army opened the door to female pilots. Cornelia was among an elite group invited to take part, and she became the second woman to be accepted into the newly formed Women's Auxiliary Ferrying Service, or WAFS, under the Ferrying Division of the Army's Air Transport Command. Trained in Wilmington, Delaware, they would ferry new airplanes from factories to military bases. The WAFS compiled an exemplary record of service and safety, and early in 1943, they were split up to form the cores of new units of female pilots at bases across the country. Cornelia was sent to California's Long Beach Army Air Field and assigned to ferry BT-13s to Love Field in Dallas, Texas. Cornelia Fort was killed in a mid-air collision on March 21, 1943, while on a ferrying mission. She was the first female American military pilot to die on active duty. Cornelia Fort Airpark, an airport built in 1945 near her family farm in Nashville, was named in her honor.
 
BRIG. GENERAL NORMAN C. GADDIS, USAF (Ret.) - Enshrined November 12, 2011
Norm Gaddis was born in Jefferson County, TN in 1923. He entered the Army Air Corps in 1942, was commissioned in 1944. He flew the P-40 Warhawk and P-51 Mustang in WWII. He was released from service in 1945, then recalled in 1949. Gaddis served three-years with the 86th Fighter Wing in Neubiberg, Germany flying the P-47 Thunderbolt and the F-84 Thunderjet. In 1952, he was transferred to the 31st Fighter Wing at Turner AFB flying F-84 Thunderjets. It was during this time he flew the first ever fighter jet crossing of the Pacific Ocean. In 1954, he was assigned to the 81st Fighter Wing, RAF in Bentwaters, England, and subsequently reassigned to U.S.A.FE. Headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany in 1955. In 1957, Captain Gaddis was assigned to the 450th fighter Wing at Foster AFB, Texas. A year later, he became a flight instructor in the F-100 Super Sabre at the USAF Fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada. Major Gaddis entered the Air Command and Staff College at Maxwell AFB in 1960 and in 1961 became a staff officer in the Tactical Division, headquarters USAF. In 1965 as a Lt. Col. He attended the National War College followed by F-4 Phantom combat crew training in 1966. In 1966, Colonel Gaddis was assigned to the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing at Cam Ranh Bay Air Base in Vietnam. During his 73rd combat mission on May 12, 1967, he was forced to bail out of his aircraft near Hanoi, was captured and became a prisoner of war in North Vietnam for 2,124 days. He was released on March 4, 1973. After a 90-day convalescence, Gaddis resumed service with the 82nd Flying Training Wing at Williams AFB in Arizona and became its Commander in 1974. Later that year, Brigadier General Gaddis served as Deputy Director for Operational Forces in Washington, D.C.  Norm Gaddis’ military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Legion of Merit, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster and “V” device, the Air Medal with Five Oak Leaf Clusters, the Air Force Commendation Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster, the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award Ribbon. A Command Pilot, he has logged over 4,300 flying hours. He retired after 30 years of active military service in June 1976.
 
Bob Gilliland
ROBERT J. "BOB" GILLILAND – Enshrined November 13, 2010 -
Memphian Robert J. "Bob" Gilliland was born in 1926. He attended boarding school during his high school years and after graduation enlisted in the U.S. Navy. In 1949, Gilliland graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in engineering. He was among an initial class offered the opportunity to accept a commission in the U.S. Air Force and began flight training. Bob earned his wings at Randolph Field, Texas in 1950 and soon afterward received his first overseas assignment flying P-47 Thunderbolts and F-84 Thunderjets in Germany. During the Korean War in 1952, Gilliland volunteered for combat duty and was assigned to Taegu to fly the F-84. His engineering degree and flight experience opened doors to opportunities in flight-testing. He ultimately flew nearly every aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory. When active duty ended in 1954, Gilliland returned home to Memphis where he joined the Tennessee Air National Guard. He left the military again in 1960 to pursue test pilot opportunities. Bob joined Lockheed as a civilian test pilot and instructor pilot on the F-104 Starfighter. In 1962 Gilliland joined the Blackbird Program and began testing the fastest and highest altitude planes ever built in the top secret Lockheed Skunk Works Division. Kelly Johnson, the founder of the Skunk Works, then hand-picked Gilliland to be the Chief Test Pilot and first man to fly the SR-71 Blackbird. Bob Gilliland is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was awarded the prestigious Ivan C. Kincheloe Award in 1964 for his work on the Blackbird program. He was named an Eagle by the Air Force Flight Test Historical Foundation in 1998 and received the Godfrey L. Cabot Award in 2001. He is a trustee of the Association of Naval Aviation. Robert J. "Bob" Gilliland logged more than 6,500 flight hours and has more experimental supersonic flight test time above Mach II and Mach III than any other pilot. Mr. Gilliland is a true legend and pioneer of American Aviation. He has provided invaluable service to his country as well as major contributions in the aviation field. He is ranked among our nation's finest aviators.
 
Gen. Lee V. Gossick
MAJ. GEN. LEE V. GOSSICK, USAF Ret. (1920 – 2005)
– Enshrined November 13, 2004 -

A former Commander of the Arnold Engineering Development Center (AEDC), Air Force Systems Command at Arnold Air Force Station, the Gossick Leadership Center at AEDC, dedicated in 1993, bears witness to his extraordinary leadership during a 32-year career in the United States Air Force. Lee V. Gossick entered the military service in 1941 as an aviation cadet and received his pilot wings and commission as a Second Lieutenant in April 1942. Gossick flew 88 combat missions in P-40 aircraft as a member of the 87th Fighter Squadron, 79th Fighter Group serving in Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Sicily. He attended Ohio State University and earned a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master's degree in aeronautical engineering. He was a 1959 graduate of the Air War College and attended Harvard University for advanced management studies in 1961. Gossick's military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal, and Distinguished Unit Citation Emblem. He held the aeronautical rating of Command Pilot. General Gossick was designated a Distinguished Alumnus by Ohio State University in 1960. In April 1967 he received the Arnold Air Society's General Hoyt S. Vandenberg Trophy for "Outstanding scientific contributions to aerospace development in the field of science." He was selected as a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics & Astronautics in 1970. After retiring from the Air Force, Gossick returned to AEDC to serve as Director of Quality & Safety and then as Deputy General Manager of the AEDC aero propulsion testing contractor for nine years.
 
Cosby P. Harrison
COSBY P. HARRISON (1900-1984) – Enshrined November 13, 2004 -
Cosby Harrison founded Trade-A-Plane in 1937 in Crossville, where it continues to be published today. Its first issue was mailed to 9,000 pilots on October 5, 1937. Over the past 67 years, Trade-A-Plane has become a world renowned icon among aviation publications with more than 1.7 million copies distributed annually. An original first issue is on display at the National Air and Space Museum in our nation's capital.









 
Col. James R. Haun
COL. JAMES R. HAUN, USAF (1911-2001) – Enshrined September 14, 2002 -
James R. Haun was born in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1925, he took his first airplane ride in a Travelair at Chattanooga. He then bought a Waco 9 for $400.00 and rebuilt it. Throughout the late 1930s, Haun flew barnstorming air shows in Tennessee and Arkansas and worked as a flight instructor. In August 1939, Haun was Commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant US Army Air Corps Reserve and the next year volunteered for active duty. In 1942, he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant and later became Commander of the 12th Observation Squadron, and promoted to Captain. In late 1942, Haun went to RAF Membury, UK and was assigned to 12th Fighter Squadron where he flew Spitfires. Later he became C.O. of 100th Fighter Wing, flew Republic P-47s and was promoted to Lt. Colonel. In 1944, Haun's unit moved to France, where he flew P-51s. He was then transferred to Brussels, Belgium as a Forward Air Controller with an infantry division. In August 1945, Haun transferred to Air Transport Command, flying C-54s in India and was Director of Operations. In 1950 Jim was promoted to Colonel. In 1951, Col. Haun became C.O. of the 1254th Squadron at Washington National Airport, home of Air Force One. He retired from the Air Force in 1964. After retirement, Col. Haun returned to flight instructing in Middle Tennessee. This distinguished American remained involved in aviation until his death in 2001. Learn more about Col. Haun at www.spitfirewingman.com .
 
Joseph C. Hawkins
JOSEPH C. HAWKINS – Enshrined November 15, 2008 -
Born February 1, 1955 in Gary, Indiana, Joe Hawkins was introduced to aviation by his grandfather, a World War II Navy pilot. A U.S. Army veteran, Hawkins served as a CH-47 Chinook helicopter Flight Engineer with the 101st Airborne Division stationed at Fort Campbell, KY. He earned awards for Meritorious Service , Army Air Crewman Wings, the Army Good Conduct Medal and Army Commendation Medal. Hawkins began his civilian career in aviation at Stevens Aviation in Greer, SC where he was responsible for the inspection and repair of general aviation/corporate class helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft and moved to the new Stevens Aviation Beechcraft/Raytheon corporate aviation service center at Nashville in 1981. In 1991, Joe was named the Chief Aviation Maintenance Technician for the State of Tennessee's Dept. of Transportation, responsible for the safety and airworthiness of a state owned fleet of piston and turbine engine aircraft. Hawkins earned a BS degree in Aviation Maintenance Management from MTSU in 1999 and in 2003, a Masters of Education in Aerospace. In 2005, Joseph C. Hawkins was chosen Tennessee's Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year followed by selection as the FAA's Southeast Region AMT of the Year. He then made aviation history in Tennessee in 2006, when he became the first Tennessean to earn the coveted National Aviation Maintenance Technician of the Year award. He has received numerous awards and recognition as an aviation maintenance professional and serves on many influential industry committees and counsels. His most significant contribution to aviation will likely be as an Educator influencing young lives and careers as a Professor of Aerospace at his Alma Mater.
 
  
GEN. BRUCE W. HOLLOWAY, USAF (1912-1999) – Enshrined November 3, 2012 - 
Bruce Holloway's hometown is Knoxville, Tennessee where he was one of two children of Frank P. Holloway and Elizabeth Keener.  He studied engineering for two years at the University of Tennessee before entering the U.S. Military Academy, where he graduated in 1937. After receiving his pilot wings at Kelly Field, San Antonio, Texas, in 1938, he served for two years with the Sixth Pursuit Squadron - 18th Pursuit Group in Hawaii before taking a postgraduate course in aeronautical engineering at the California Institute of Technology. Shortly after the United States entered World War II, he went to Chungking, China, to begin his combat experience as a fighter pilot with the famed "Flying Tigers" of the American Volunteer Group. Remaining with that group after it was activated as the Army Air Force's 23d Fighter Group, Holloway became its commander before returning to the United States in 1944. During that tour in China, he earned status as a fighter ace, shooting down 13 Japanese planes. As commander of the Air Force's first jet-equipped fighter group in 1946, Gen. Holloway  performed pioneer service in this new field of tactical jet air operations. After graduation from the National War College in 1951, he spent four years in Tactical Air Command as deputy commander of both the 9th and 12th Air Forces; and in 1961 he was named deputy commander in chief of the U.S. Strike Command At MacDill Air Force Base, FL. Later in that assignment, he also fulfilled additional responsibilities as deputy commander in chief of the Middle East/Southern Asia and Africa South of the Sahara Command. Holloway assumed command of the U.S. Air Forces in Europe in July 1965, serving in that capacity until his appointment as vice chief of staff of the U.S. Air Force August 1, 1966 and later served as Commander in Chief of the Strategic Air Command from 1968 to 1972. His decorations include the Army Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Distinguished Service Medal, Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal, and foreign decorations which include the Order of the Sacred Tripod (China), Chinese Order of the Cloud, Chinese Air Force Pilot Wings, The Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany with Star and Sash, German Air Force Command Pilot Wings, The Most Noble Order of the Crown of Thailand-First Class--Knight Grand Cross, Honorary Royal Thai Air Force Wings, the Order of Aeronautical Merit (Brazil), and French Legion of Honor - Order of Commander. Gen. Holloway’s service to his country and aviation across the globe is an enduring testimony to his dedication to the freedoms of the United States of America.
 

 
Bob Hoover
R.A. "BOB" HOOVER – Enshrined November 8, 2003 -
World-renowned aviation legend, Bob Hoover was born in Nashville, Tennessee and taught himself aerobatics at Berry Field. A test pilot, air show performer, and WWII Aviator, Bob Hoover escaped from a German prison camp during WWII. Since that time, this noted aerobatic genius has performed in more air shows, in more different countries, before more spectators than anyone in the history of aviation. General Jimmy Doolittle called Hoover "the greatest stick and rudder pilot who ever lived." His famous Aero Commander 500A air show aircraft is now on permanent display at the National Air & Space Museum's new Stephen Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport.

Bob Hoover was enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988.



 
C. Reece Howell III
CHARLES REECE HOWELL III – Enshrined November 15, 2008 -
Lincoln County native Reece Howell, III was born November 27, 1936. A ride in his uncle's Stinson in the early 50's ignited what became a lifelong passion for aviation. He soloed a Piper Tri-Pacer at Wilkes Airport in Fayetteville in 1954 and has amassed over 33,600 hours as a pilot, flying more than fifty different types of aircraft since that time. Reece Howell's career in aviation has been devoted to teaching. In 1970 he joined CFW Construction Company as Chief Pilot where he first flew the Mitsubishi MU-2 aircraft and to date, more than half of his total hours as a pilot have been in type, much of it as a flight instructor. He has trained pilots in the MU-2 aircraft in North America, South America, Europe and Africa. His pilot training work in Africa has been in support of African Inland Mission Air of Nairobi Kenya, a non-denominational organization that supports mission workers and humanitarian relief in East Africa. Reece also trains pilots for the internationally renowned Samaritans Purse, a Christian organization that operates around the world. He works personally with Reverend Franklin Graham, its Founder and President. Mr. Howell's flight and ground schools, based in Smyrna, have trained more Mitsubishi MU-2 pilots than anyone in the world. Howell is an aviation entrepreneur. He co-founded Corporate Flight Management, Inc. in 1982. CFM has become one of Tennessee's most successful aviation organizations providing air charter service, aircraft maintenance and modification, training, aircraft sales and FBO services. He formed Howell Enterprises, Inc. in 1986 specializing in FAA Approved Part 141 initial and recurrent flight and ground training programs for the Mitsubishi MU-2 and the BAE Jetstream 3101 and 3201 aircraft. He and his partners began Wings of Eagles, LLC in 1998, which has become one of the largest FAA Part 141 primary flight training schools in Tennessee. Reece Howell, III has devoted his life and passion for flight and for aviation to helping others. His skill, expertise, kindness, stewardship, mentoring and friendship have launched many careers in aviation and through his work, he has touched lives around the world.
 
Edward C. Huffaker
EDWARD CHALMERS HUFFAKER(1856-1937) – Enshrined November 8, 2003 -
Aviation pioneer Edward Chalmers Huffaker born in Sevier County, Tennessee, worked with Orville and Wilbur Wright at Kitty Hawk in 1901. He earned degrees from Emory and Henry College and the University of Virginia. In 1893, E.C. Huffaker submitted his paper entitled "The Value of Curved Surfaces in Flight", based upon his new theory of lift resulting from observations of soaring birds, to the Congress on Aerial Navigation. Two years later, in May of 1895,The Wright brothers wrote the Smithsonian Institution requesting publications on flight. Edward C. Huffaker's paper and his application of Bernoulli's principle to the generation of lift as air flows over curved surfaces were among those they received. The genius of Edward Chalmers Huffaker significantly connected this special Tennessean with the Wright brothers' historical first powered flight. Aviation changed the world forever and E.C. Huffaker earned a place in the history of early flight.




 
Evelyn Bryan Johnson
EVELYN BRYAN JOHNSON (1909-2012) – Enshrined September 14, 2002 -
In 1929, Evelyn Bryan Johnson graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College. In 1944, she rode a train from Morristown to Knoxville, took a bus, then walked one mile and finally reached Island Home Airport in a rowboat. That day she took her first flying lesson and she soloed a month later. At age 94, Evelyn Johnson remains an active flight instructor and FAA pilot examiner in Morristown, Tennessee. With more than 57,000 of flying time in her logbook, Evelyn is the highest flight time aviatrix in the world. Among hundreds of honors, she is also enshrined in the Flight Instructors Hall of Fame during its inaugural ceremony in 1997.

"Mama Bird" passed away May 10, 2012 at 102 years of age. God Bless Miss Evelyn!

Evelyn Bryan Johnson was inducted into the NATIONAL AVIATION HALL OF FAME on July 21, 2007.



 
Bill Kershner
WILLIAM K. KERSHNER (1930-2007) – Enshrined September 14, 2004 -
Bill Kershner is an internationally renowned aviation trainer, author, aerobatics and flight instructor and former Naval Aviator. Twenty editions and ninety-three printings of his books and aviation training manuals and have sold more than 1.3 million copies. Among the many awards Kershner has received is the 1992 General Aviation/FAA National Flight Instructor of the Year. He is enshrined in the Flight Instructor's Hall of Fame. He has also been honored as a lecturer at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air & Space Museum.







 
E. Ward King
E. WARD KING (1896-1977) – Enshrined November 14, 2009 -
Kingsport entrepreneur, E. Ward King, founded Southeast Airlines. Tennessee's first intrastate commuter airline in 1956, at age 61. Born in Hawkins County, the son of a Methodist Minister, Ward King grew up on the campus of Emory & Henry College. He worked at the Overland Automobile Factory in Toledo, Ohio before entering military service where he served as a truck driver and mechanic in the Army Transportation Corps in France and Germany during WWI. After the war he worked in automobile services in North Fork, WV. After applying for a Studebaker dealership he was assigned to Kingsport, Tennessee. He moved his family there in 1925. The business was closed during the depression and in 1932, he founded Mason & Dixon Lines with two partners whom he later bought out. Mason & Dixon became the largest family owned trucking company in the U.S. Mr. King's ability to maximize the use of his time and talents through the use of his own company aircraft provided the vision of a cross-state commuter airline and Southeast Airlines was born. After purchasing five DC-3's from United Airlines and hiring personnel he built a hangar and administrative offices at Tri-Cities Airport. On February 8, 1957 scheduled daily flights began with two westbound flights originating from Tri-Cities Airport and two eastbound flights leaving Memphis – serving the cities of Jackson, Dyersburg, Union City, Clarksville, Nashville, Tullahoma, Chattanooga and Knoxville. During the first five months of operations, Southeast Airlines flew 10,000 passengers throughout Tennessee. This encouraged expansion and two pressurized Convair 240's were added to the fleet in 1959. Realizing that interstate transportation of mail, passengers and freight and connections with other airlines would be necessary to continue growing, and to be financially successful, Southeast petitioned the CAB for that authority. Their bid was unsuccessful and another airline was awarded the routes. In August 1960, Southeast Airlines was forced to fold its wings. One of the airline's Convairs, named "The General" became a corporate aircraft for Mason & Dixon Lines and six years later, on Christmas Day 1966, E. Ward King and Mason & Dixon donated that extraordinary aircraft and thousands of dollars worth of spare parts to The University of Tennessee.
 
Bob McNab & Jim Wolfe
ROBERT B. MCNAB & JAMES A. WOLFE (1948-1999) - Enshrined November 12, 2005

The names of Bob McNab and Jim Wolfe are inseparable in the helicopter industry just as their extraordinary partnership, accomplishments and contributions to the world of helicopters are irrevocably linked. McNab and Wolfe co-founded Edwards & Associates in Piney Flats, Tennessee in 1977 to market helicopters. Their shared imaginative vision, entrepreneurial spirit, bold leadership and strict commitment to quality made Bob McNab and Jim Wolfe world leaders in the helicopter industry. Edwards & Associates and its wholly owned subsidiaries, Aeronautical Accessories, Inc., Aeronautical Plastics, Inc. and Rotor Blades, Inc. became global leaders in the manufacture and sales of over 800 helicopter products. The Aeronautical Accessories, Inc. products line included 244 foreign approvals or FAA Supplemental Type Certificates. The quality, and optical clarity of Aeronautical Plastics, Inc. products resulted in their installation as original equipment by several manufacturers. In 1996, Robert B. McNab and James A. Wolfe were awarded the coveted Helicopter Association International, Lawrence D. Bell Memorial Award, established in 1971 to salute excellence in management leadership and for long and significant service to the civil helicopter industry. Mr. Wolfe, who passed away in August 1999, served as an Army Helicopter Pilot during the Vietnam War and was twice awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and several commendation medals with Valor, including the Bronze Star. Edwards & Associates and its subsidiaries were premier suppliers to Bell Helicopter Textron of Ft. Worth, TX for 20 years. In 1999, Bell Helicopter acquired the companies but they continue to be located in Northeastern Tennessee.
 
ROBERT E. (BOB) MINTER, SR. – Enshrined November 3, 2012 -
While growing up in Kingsport, Bob Minter built model airplanes and spent endless hours at Tri Cities Airport longing to become a pilot. Following enrollment at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute in Miami, Florida, he soloed a Piper J-3 Cub at Tamiami Airport on October 25, 1960; studied aeronautical engineering, airframe and powerplant technology and earned a Commercial Pilot’s license. Following graduation Bob built flying time as a freelance pilot flying a variety of single and multi-engine aircraft around the country and the Caribbean, worked with a major Cessna dealer and managed a small FBO in South Florida. In 1963, Bob became a corporate pilot based at TRI where he flew a Beechcraft Twin Bonanza and an Aero Commander 720 to destinations nationwide. He later returned to Miami to work for the newly formed Burnside-Ott Aviation Training Center. BATC became the largest civilian flight training organization in the world and during his eight years there Bob served in a variety of management positions. Minter again returned to Tennessee in 1973 to serve during Governor Winfield Dunn’s administration where he became Director of Development & Operations for the TDOT- Bureau of Aeronautics, the agency responsible for the State’s system of 76 public airports. While at the Bureau of Aeronautics, he oversaw the development of airports across Tennessee. After leaving state government, Bob formed his own firm, Bob Minter & Associates and contracted to sell advertising for AOPA PILOT Magazine and was a consultant to other major aviation clients.  AOPA contracted with Minter as the Regional Representative for member services and governmental affairs in the mid-eighties. To date, he has represented AOPA for more than 35 years and is currently employed as AOPA’s Southern Region Manager in eight states in the Southeast. Bob Minter has earned a reputation as a staunch advocate for general aviation and as an accomplished aviation policy strategist, marketing and technical consultant. He has served numerous aviation technical and advisory groups throughout the Southeast; co-founded the Tennessee Aviation Association and Founded the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame. In 2002, The Tennessee Aeronautics Commission awarded Mr. Minter its highest individual honor for his “Career Contributions to Aviation”. Bob Minter has been an AOPA member for more than 51 years; a member of EAA and The Ancient and Secret Society of Quiet Birdmen – TYS Hangar.


 
Charles E. Nelson
CHARLES E. NELSON – Enshrined November 8, 2003 -
Charles E. Nelson was born in Euchee (Miegs County), Tennessee in 1931. He joined the United States Air Force in 1949 and became an Airborne Radio Operator. After his discharge from the military Charlie worked for Douglas Aircraft then under contract to build the B-47. In 1968, through an ad in Trade-A-Plane, Charlie Nelson founded The International Swift Association. One hundred twenty-six responses became an association of more than a thousand members from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada,
France, Australia, Finland, Germany, South Africa and New Zealand. Annual Swift Fly-In conventions began in 1969 and have been held in Athens, Tennessee since 1982. Hundreds of Swift members, enthusiasts and the public attend the event each year. The Swift Museum Foundation was formed and is located at the Athens-McMinn County Airport. In 1980 Mr. Nelson lead a tenacious effort to acquire the type certificate, tooling, engineering data and spare parts of Swift Aircraft, destined to be acquired by a foreign investor and moved out of the country. He also assisted in negotiations with the Government of Saudi Arabia that saved and returned to the United States a rare Temco T-35 "Swift" Buckaroo. That airplane is on display at the Swift Museum in Athens.


 
Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie
PHOEBE FAIRGRAVE OMLIE (1902-1975) - Enshrined November 15, 2008 -
Phoebe Fairgrave was born November 21, 1902 in Des Moines, Iowa. Before graduating from high school in St. Paul, Minnesota, she saw her first air show and immediately fell in love with aviation. She got her first airplane ride at Curtiss Field and soon bought a war surplus Jenny with borrowed money and signed a contract to do stunts for the movies. Phoebe Fairgrave Omlie became an aviation pioneer. She hired Capt. Vernon Omlie to be her pilot as she performed daredevil stunts. They traveled the Midwest with the Phoebe Fairgrave Flying Circus. She married Vernon in 1922 and they settled in Memphis where they established the region's first airport. The Air Traffic Control Tower at Memphis International Airport bears their name today, honoring their achievements. Phoebe set a woman's world record parachute jump from 15,200 feet in July 1922; in 1927, she became the first licensed female Air Transport Pilot and the first woman to be awarded an Airplane Mechanics license. Omlie was the first woman to fly across the Rockies in a light aircraft in 1928 and in 1929 she set an altitude record for women by reaching 25,400 feet over Iowa City. She was a charter member of the Ninety Nines international organization of female aviators and a renowned air race pilot. Omlie flew over 20,000 miles in support of Franklin D. Roosevelt's campaign for President and afterward was appointed Special Advisor for Air Intelligence to the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, the predecessor to NASA. She was the first woman to hold an official aviation post in the U.S. Federal Government and among her achievements was the NACA Air Marking Navigational Aid Program. In 1935, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt named her as one of the twelve greatest women in the United States. Following Vernon's death aboard a commercial airliner in 1936, Phoebe returned to Tennessee where she co-authored the 1937 Aviation Act which dedicated aviation fuel taxes to fund aviation education in the schools. She returned to Washington during the war and remained in the federal government until 1952. "Her place in the pages of aviation history is unchallenged. A woman of daring, courage, intelligence and devotion to the 'air age,' she ranks as one of the greatest participants in American progress."
 
Lt. Col. William H. Pickron, Jr.
LT. COL. WILLIAM H. PICKRON, JR. (1923 - 2013) - Enshrined November 14, 2009 -
Born March 7, 1923 in McCaulley, Texas Bill Pickron worked in a cotton gin at night while in high school. One of his hobbies was building model airplanes. He joined the Army as a Private in March 1941 and began night school. After taking a competitive exam and was selected for pilot training as an Enlisted Pilot. Pickron earned his wings as a S/Sgt. because he had not yet reached 21 years of age as required to become a Commissioned Officer. The regulations later changed and he was properly commissioned. During WWII he served as a Fighter Pilot in both the European and Pacific theaters. He flew the P-39, P-40 P-47, P-51 and P-38. Later as Squadron Commander in Raimstein, Germany he flew the F-84 and F-86. Pickron also flew the F-104 as a pilot and flight instructor for the Italian Air Force in Rome and also as Air Force advisor to the Tennessee Air National Guard in Knoxville. After WWII, as a member of the USAF Instrument Pilot Instructor School (IPIS), he specialized in teaching precision instrument flying to USAF and NATO pilots. When the Air Force received jet aircraft in 1949, Pickron conducted flight tests and collaborated in writing the first Air Force Manual on jet instrument flight procedures. His flight tests included over 200 thunderstorm penetrations. Col. Pickron retired from the Air Force in 1967 and became the State of Tennessee's first Chief Pilot, hired by Governor Frank Clement to fly the Governor and state officials. He was the only pilot flying a used Aero Commander for incoming Governor Buford Ellington and was also the pilot for Governors Winfield Dunn and Ray Blanton. Pickron is a Command Pilot with over 13,000 hours in over fifty aircraft with Type Ratings in the B-25, DC-3, Boeing 377 and Lear Jet 24. His many awards include four Air Medals, two Presidential Unit Citations, the Tennessee National Guard Distinguished Service Award, and a Commendation from the Italian Air Force. While a state pilot Col. Pickron answered many calls to serve Tennesseans in time of need. He flew missions in extreme weather to deliver life-saving human organs for transplant.
 
MORRIS W. RAY, M.D. - Enshrined November 3, 2012 -
Beginning at an early age, Morris Ray soloed in 1953 at the age of 16. By age 18 he was a certified flight instructor and continued instructing while in medical school from 1959-1962. While serving his country in the U.S. Army, Dr. Ray was a flight surgeon flying medical misns leading to his career in medicine. He was also a flight instructor in the Army at Ft. Knox, KY and Ft. Richardson, AK. His lifelong passion for aviation has touched the lives of aviators across the world. Ray combined his talents as an aviator and doctor through his dedicated efforts with the Federal Aviation Administration on aviation medical and neurological issues, providing expert witness knowledge for the FAA. The aviation community and pilots across the United States have reaped the benefits of his valuable research focusing on the effects of flight and the neurological systems of the human body. Dr. Ray holds a ground level, unrestricted aerobatic competency waiver and has competed and performed as an air show pilot with the Aeroshell T-6 Aerobatic team. A founding member of the Gold T-6 Aerobatic team, he performed at airshows across the country. In 1996, he performed at the OshKosh Airventure Airshow in a TBM-3. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in 2004, and Flight Instructor of the Yean 2005 and 2008.  He continues his dedication to aviation as a Formation and Safety Training Specialist, Instructor and Check Pilot for the Commemorative Air Force, Designated Pilot Examiner for the Memphis Flight Service District Office and Chief Flight Instructor at Downtown Aviation in Memphis, TN. His lifelong support of aviation as a pilot, instructor and physician has provided valuable research for aviation and safety training to countless aviators. He has more than 11,400 hours of flight time in many aircraft types and continues his devotion to aviation. Dr.Morris Ray’s service to his country, to the advancement of medicine within the field of aviation and his extraordinary contributions to aviation have influenced and shaped flight safety for Tennessee and far beyond.

 
MACK H. ROWE (1919-1980) - Enshrined November 12, 2011 - 
Aviation was Mack Rowe’s passion from the age of five and it became his lifelong vocation. During 45 years of flying he, arguably, flew more types of aircraft than any other Tennessee pilot. Some, documented in log books and military records include: P-36, P-38, P-39, P-40, P-47, P-51, P-61, P-63, B-17, B-25, B-26, C-46, C-47, C-54, C-78, ME-109, Fieseler 
Stork, Supermarine Spitfire, Hawker Hurricane, De Haviland Mosquito, along with numerous civilian aircraft from the Lockheed Lodstar to the Lockheed Constellation. In the early 60's, before the age of corporate jets, Mack used his personal P-51D Mustang for business trips. Mack began flying at the age of fifteen at the former McConnell Field under the direction of Louis and Albert Gasser. Later, Mack and his younger brother Gene bought a Curtiss Robin and went barnstorming around the southeast. When WWII began Mack’s civilian flight experience earned him a direct commission as a First Lieutenant. His squadron was shipped overseas to fly in North Africa, Sicily, and Italy. During one mission, flying a P-40, he was forced down in the desert during a sand storm and was rescued four-days later. A few days later he took a crew back, dug it out, patched it up and flew it back to base without a canopy. In 1946 Mack joined the 105th Air National Guard Fighter Squadron flying P-47's at Nashville’s Berry Field under the command of Col. G.A. “Skeet’s” Gallagher. Later that year he joined Jesse Stallings and Henry Cannon to start Capitol Airways at Cumberland Field, now Nashville’s Metro Center. As Chief Pilot and ultimately CEO, Mack guided Capitol Airways from a grass field to an international air carrier with a fleet of DC-8's flying to Europe, Asia and the Caribbean, employing over 3,800 people worldwide. At it's headquarters and heavy maintenance base at Smyrna Airport, Capitol International Airways employed over 700 people. Along the way, Mack made many friends in the aviation community: Bob Hoover, Chuck Yeager, Jackie Cochran, Paul Tibbetts, Beevo Howard, Cornelia Fort, Betty Gorrell, Tennessee Hall of Fame member John Ellington, and many more not only in commercial aviation, but many private pilots all who shared his great love of aviation both past and future.Tennseess's late Adjutant General Earl Pate, of the Tennessee Air National Guard said, "Mack Rowe probably had more influence on commercial aviation in Nashville than any single person." 
 
Dr. Rhea Seddon, MD
ASTRONAUT MARGARET RHEA SEDDON, M.D. - Enshrined November 12, 2005
Born in Murfreesboro, Rhea Seddon became a NASA Astronaut in 1979. A three-flight veteran with more than 722 hours in space Dr. Seddon was a mission specialist on STS-51D in 1985 and STS-40 in 1991. She was the Payload Commander on STS-58 in 1993. In September 1996 she was detailed by NASA to Vanderbilt University Medical School in Nashville where she assisted in the preparation of cardiovascular experiments which flew aboard Space Shuttle Columbia on the Neurolab Spacelab flight in April 1998. Born in Murfreesboro, Margaret Rhea Seddon graduated from Central High School in 1965. She received a BA in Physiology from the University of California, Berkley in 1970 and a Doctorate of Medicine from the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in 1973. Dr. Seddon completed her surgical internship and 3-years of general surgery residency in Memphis. Dr. Seddon is married to former Astronaut Robert L. "Hoot" Gibson and is now the Assistant Chief Medical Officer of the Vanderbilt Medical Group in Nashville.


 
Clyde H. Shelton
CLYDE H. SHELTON – Enshrined November 13, 2010 -
Clyde Shelton lived his entire life in Fayetteville, Tennessee and dedicated most of his life to general aviation. He was born in Taft, Tennessee on March 7, 1931. Clyde delivered newspapers to support his family until graduating from Fayetteville Central High School in 1949. He worked for Kraft Food Company until joining the US Air Force where he was trained as a Crew Chief for T-33 and F-86 aircraft. During his service Clyde developed an insatiable interest in aviation and vowed to one day buy his own aircraft. Following his honorable discharge in 1955 Clyde finished his B.S Degree in Business Administration at Indiana Tech. Clyde soloed in 1956 and began earning his piloting credentials at Wilkes Field in Fayetteville where he did buy that aircraft and began flight instructing both at Fayetteville and at Huntsville, Alabama in 1963. Mr. Shelton, still actively flying, has given well over 20,000 hours of flight instruction. He has graduated over 1,000 students and as an FAA Flight Examiner since 1987, has given more than 8,800 check-rides. His personal logbook documents more than 36,400 hours of flight time with ratings as an ATP , SMEL, CFI, CFII, MELI, and CE 500 Type. Clyde Shelton has actually had two careers. A charter member of The National Aeronautics & Space Administration and the Marshall Space Center. He and his colleagues made aerospace history during our nation's space race. He was there from the beginning working with Dr. Werner Von Braun on all of the launch vehicles from the Redstone rocket, to the Saturn Five moon rocket. Finishing after 38 years with the Shuttle program in 1993. The patriarch of three generations of pilots, Clyde instructed and soloed his wife Sara in 1966; his son Scott, now a Boeing 767 Captain for Delta Airlines, on his 16th birthday and Grandson, Nevada, currently a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, on his 16th birthday as well. Clyde Shelton's legacy is firmly established in those whose lives he has touched. He is a genuine aviation professional. A man whose integrity, character, good-nature and sincere interest in his students define him as a man of competent humility.
 
Charlie Ray Smith, M.D.
CAPT. CHARLIE R. SMITH, M.D. – Enshrined November 11, 2006 -
Charlie Ray Smith is a native of Kodak, Tennessee who has lead a double life…. one as an Airline Pilot, and another as a Doctor, and both at the same time! FAA mandatory retirement at age 60 took him out of the left seat as an airline Captain after 36 years with American Airlines, but not out of the Doctor's office. Today, 17 years later, Dr. Smith continues to practice medicine in Nashville, now primarily as one of Middle Tennessee's most beloved FAA Medical Examiners. Charlie R. Smith joined the Air Force at the tender age of 17. He later flew a B-29 mission into Korea on the first day of the Korean War, a fact recorded at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. After 57 missions over Korea, at age 23, Charlie Smith was discharged from his distinguished service to his country having earned The Distinguished Flying Cross and Five Oak Leaf Clusters. Smith was hired by American Airlines in 1953 and began flying the DC-6. While flying for the airline, he used his G.I. benefits to enroll in pre-med at UT-Knoxville. He persisted through furloughs and leaves-of-absence through medical school and residencies and graduated from UT's Medical School in 1965. He practiced Ophthalmology and taught as a Clinical Medical Instructor at Vanderbilt University until 1994. Even though Charlie retired as American's 10th most senior pilot in 1989 he continues to serve aviation through his private practice of Aviation Medicine as an FAA Senior Aviation Medical Examiner and consultant to the Federal Air Surgeon.
 
Lt. Gov. John Wilder
JOHN SHELTON WILDER (1921-2010) – Enshrined November 13, 2004 -
No other public servant in Tennessee's history has been a more ardent or more effective advocate for aviation, air transportation and Tennessee's system of airports than Lt. Governor John S. Wilder. Mr. Wilder, Speaker of the Senate, is also a pilot who has flown for more than 40 years and logged over 12,000 hours of flight time. He holds a unique and distinguished place in the history of our nation having served as Speaker of the Senate and Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee for 36 years, longer than anyone has held that office in any state in United States history. Now in his 80's, Governor Wilder still commutes between his home in West Tennessee to the State Capital in "Jaybird" his beloved 1970 Piper Twin Comanche aircraft.





 
Frederick W. Smith
FREDERICK W. SMITH – Enshrined September 14, 2002 -
Fred Smith founded Federal Express, now known as FedEx, in 1971. He is chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corporation, a $20 billion global transportation and logistics holding company. FedEx companies serve 211 countries with operations that include more than 640 aircraft, and about 95,000 vehicles. More than 215,000 employees and independent contractors worldwide handle an average of five million shipments every day. Headquartered in Memphis, FedEx is Tennessee's largest corporate employer. FedEx operations helped Memphis International Airport become the largest air cargo airport in the world. A leader in regulatory reform, Smith has been an active proponent of global commerce and "open skies agreements" for aviation around the world. In 1976, Smith launched an airline deregulation campaign before Congress, the Department of Transportation and the Civil Aeronautics Board to obtain an air-cargo operating certificate for large aircraft.
Fredrick W. Smith was inducted into the NATIONAL AVIATION HALL OF FAME on July 21, 2007.



 
William S. Whitmore
WILLIAM S. WHITMORE (1923-2001) – Enshrined November 10, 2007 -
Bill Whitmore's aviation career began in 1942 when he became a Marine Aviator. He flew 168 missions in WWII in the F4U Corsair and the AD-4 Skyraider attack bomber in Korea and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. Whitmore began what was to become a distinguished 30-year career with the Federal Aviation Administration in 1961. His logbook contains evidence that he conducted over 5,000 pilot check rides but his legacy is his extraordinary contributions to aviation safety in Tennessee. In 1990 when he retired from the FAA, the Tennessee Aeronautics Commission awarded Bill Whitmore its highest individual honor for his "Career Contributions to Aviation in Tennessee"







 
WILLIAM A. WILKERSON, JR. - Enshrined November 12, 2011 -
Bill Wilkerson’s early interest in becoming a pilot was seeded by a book in his family's home entitled “Library of Universal Knowledge”. The book contained an illustrated section about flying a plane. He and his younger brother often pretended to fly together, using those illustrations as a guide. In Junior High School, he did a career project on becoming a pilot and organized a neighborhood model aircraft flying club. 
At age 16, Bill took his first flying lesson at Knoxville’s Powell Airport. The expense of flying lessons and a lack of family support for something so “dangerous” were early obstacles but he soloed November 27, 1964, soon after his 18th birthday, before he even had a driver’s license. Wilkerson enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1966 and earned his Private, Commercial, Instrument, Multi-engine and Flight Instructor ratings while stationed at Davis-Monthan AFB in Arizona and then became Chief Flight Instructor at the Davis-Monthan Aero Club. He completed his service in the USAF in 1970, and later returned to Knoxville, and became the Chief Flight Instructor at Powell Airport, where he first learned to fly. Bill’s dream job came in 1974 when he was hired by Piedmont Airlines. In 1980, he became only the second African-American to earn the rank of Captain with the airline. Piedmont merged with USAir in 1989. Captain Wilkerson flew the YS-11, Boeing 727, 737, 757, and 767. In 1996 he was promoted to Flight Manager of the Boeing 737-300/400 program, the largest fleet at USAir, with responsibility for over 155 aircraft and the training of more than 1,800 pilots. During the last two and one-half years of his airline career with USAirways, Captain Wilkerson flew the Airbus 330 to European destinations, retiring in November 2006 after a 32-year career as an airline pilot, his boyhood dream fulfilled. Bill Wilkerson continues to Share his love for flying and his many years of experience with General Aviation pilots and student pilots as an FAA Safety Counselor, lecturer and flight simulation advocate to improve flight proficiency and flight safety. In January 2011, he was honored as NOrth Carolina's Flight Instructor of the Year. 
 
Robert A. Wilson
ROBERT A. "BOB" WILSON – Enshrined November 11, 2006 -
Robert A. Wilson served the Air National Guard in Tennessee for over 30 years. His love of flying began at an early age. He soloed an airplane when he was 15 years old and earned his Private Pilots License on his 16th birthday, before he got his drivers license the next day. Bob is an Air Force Command Pilot with over 12,000 hours of flight time in a long list of military and civilian aircraft. During his service to our country with Tennessee's Air National Guard he served as Aircraft Commander, Flight Commander, 155th Airlift Squadron Commander, Wing Chief of Safety and Director of Operations for the 164th Airlift Wing at Memphis International Airport. Bob Wilson was personally responsible for the installation of the only flight director system ever installed for the C-130A aircraft allowing it to operate with lower weather minimums thereby increasing its military value and efficiency. At TANG-Memphis he was responsible for the flight safety and operations of ten (10) C-130A aircraft and later, nine (9) C-141B & C aircraft. As Director of Operations for the C-141 aircraft conversion he supervised the transition of over 1,200 personnel to a new and demanding mission at Memphis. Wilson is Founder and President of Wilson Air, Inc., a corporate and general aviation fixed base operation at Memphis International Airport, selected in 2005 as the number one FBO in the United States. Wilson Air has recently opened similar facilities at Charlotte International Airport and at Houston's Hobby Airport. Mr. Wilson is one of three recipients of the Legends in Aviation Award voted on by the local aviation community in Memphis.
 
Maj. Gen. Fred D. Womack
MAJ. GEN. FRED DENNIS WOMACK, USAF (Ret) - Enshrined November 15, 2008 -
Fred Womack is a native of McMinn County, born in Riceville. He graduated from Tennessee Wesleyan College in 1963 and began became two successful and extraordinary careers with both the airlines and the military. During Fred's distinguished military career he earned numerous positions of leadership. Following completion of U.S. Air Force undergraduate pilot training in 1966 he returned home to the 134th Fighter Interceptor Group at McGee Tyson Airport where he served as Safety Officer, Instructor Pilot, Group Operations Officer, Chief of Command Control and Aircraft Maintenance Officer. He graduated from the Air War College in 1984 and later became the Commander of the Tennessee Air National Guard. A Command Pilot with more than 20,000 hours in the T-37, T-38, KC-97, KC-135, Martin 404, YS-11 and Boeing 737, 757 and 767, Womack has received many awards and commendations during his career including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal and the coveted Tactical Air Command Aircrew Achievement Award. Fred's airline career began in 1967 when he became a first officer with Piedmont Airlines where he attained the rank of Captain in 1974. In 1979, he was selected to be Piedmont Airline's Director of Operations followed by designation as Director of Flight Operations & Flying Safety in 1985, a position held until he retired in 1989. During his airline career, he served as Chairman of the prestigious Airline Transport Association's Flight Systems Integration Committee working closely with the FAA on complex issues involving cockpit design, human factors and developing technologies. He was named Project manager for the development and implementation of the Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), an advanced technological safety system now found in today's airline cockpits around the world. In retirement Fred Womack has remained active in aviation, serving as a Senior Consultant to the National Transportation Safety Board, the Board of Directors of EAA's Warbirds of America, the T-34 Association, QB's, AOPA and as C.O of Tennessee First Squadron/WBA.