National Aviation Hall of Fame Recognizes Class of 2020

Inductee Paul Kaminski steps down from a flight in the U2 reconnaissance airplane. Courtesy Paul Kaminski/NAHF

The pandemic certainly took a toll on almost every event in the US and around the world including the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF). The organization cancelled last year’s induction ceremony and recently decided to pass on 2021′s as well. But NAHF trustee Phil Roberts took a bold step a few weeks ago to ensure the 2020 enshrinees would not be forgotten. Roberts made a formal motion at a May 15 board meeting in Dayton: “That the Class of 2020 be recognized as enshrinees of the NAHF as of September 30, 2020. And that each of these individuals is afforded the choice of a future NAHF function to be presented and ceremoniously enshrined at the earliest possible time that is mutually convenient to the NAHF and the individual.”

The NAHF said in a news release, “Enshrinement draws the best in aviation. Included in the annual dinner and ceremony are aviation legends, American heroes, industry leaders, corporate sponsors, elected officials, and lifelong NAHF members. The event has hosted such notables as John Travolta, Harrison Ford, Miles O’Brien, and Dennis Quaid and welcomed many aviation legends like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Jackie Cochran, Eileen Collins, and Dick Rutan. The Class of 2020 is now recognized among those ranks.”

Inductees for 2020 include:

*The late Second Lieutenant Eugene J. Bullard, USAF/WWI pilot; First African American combat pilot. Denied in the U.S., Ballard flew for France, and is one of the highest decorated pilots including the Chevalier de la Legion d’honneur.

*The late Dr. Maxime “Max” A. Faget, Ph.D. a mechanical engineer. Faget developed rockets, missiles, and aircraft, designed the Mercury spacecraft and was part of the design team for Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle.

*Ms. Joan Sullivan Garrett Founder of MedAire. She established the first aviation global medical emergency response and directs real-time safety services to thousands annually throughout aviation.

*The late Captain Richard “Dick” F. Gordon, USN. Gordon was a Naval aviator, test pilot, Bendix Trophy winner, Gemini 11 pilot, Command Module Pilot for Apollo 12 and Back-up Commander for that flight and part of the design team for the Space Shuttle.

*Dr. Paul G. Kaminski, Col. USAF (Ret.), Ph.D. Aero & Astro Engineer. Kaminski led technical aerospace programs including those for guided munitions, reconnaissance satellites and stealth technology including F-117. He also served as Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Technology.

Rob MarkAuthor
Rob Mark is an award-winning journalist, business jet pilot, flight instructor, and blogger.

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