National Aviation Hall of Fame Inducts Four into Class of 2018

Newest enshrines honored at gala awards dinner in Washington, D.C.

National Aviation Hall of Fame 2018
The class of 2018 was welcomed into the National Aviation Hall of Fame at a gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on September 29.Stephen Pope

The National Aviation Hall of Fame welcomed its newest enshrinees at a glittering gala dinner in Washington, D.C., on Friday, September 29, that was attended by more than 800 well-wishers from the aerospace industry.

This year’s class of honorees included four accomplished aviators with deep roots in military aviation and the space program. Colonel R. Walter “Walt” Cunningham, USMC (Ret.) was the Lunar Module pilot on the Apollo 7 mission; William H. “Bill” Dana spent time as a test pilot and former chief engineer at NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center at Edwards Air Force Base in California; General John R. “Jack” Dailey, USMC (Ret) is a former military pilot who held positions as Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, Acting Associate Deputy Administrator of NASA and director of the National Air and Space Museum; and General Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF, (Ret.) is former Chief of Staff of the Air Force and Commanding General of the United States Transportation Command.

The black-tie gala, dubbed the “Oscars Night of Aviation,” was held inside the stunning National Building Museum in Washington just blocks from the White House, where each enshrinee was presented as a video of their life’s accomplishments played on large screens.

Also honored was Dayton, Ohio-area high school science teacher Heidi Edwards, who received the 2018 A. Scott Crossfield Educator of the Year Award for her work as Executive Curriculum Director for Air Camp USA and as a Dayton STEM Fellow.

The award was presented to Edwards the night before at the NAHOF’s President’s Reception underneath the North American X-15 that hangs in the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum and which Crossfield flew as chief engineering test pilot at North American in the late 1950s.

The success of the gala weekend seemed to confirm that the decision to move the annual event beyond Dayton, where the National Aviation Hall of Fame has its headquarters, was the right one. This was the second year in a row that the gala was held outside of Ohio after last year’s event in Texas. Next year’s enshrinement will take place in Denver.