Born in 1925, Pawtucket resident Ken Brown joined the Navy in early 1943. He saw action in the Mediterranean, European, China-Burma-India and Pacific theaters, and participated in both the Sicilian and Normandy invasions as a Gunner’s Mate on LSTs. Brown took flying lessons shortly after his discharge, and in 1957 he joined the FAA as […]
Edward Albert Johnson (1885-1949) was born in Newport, RI in January of 1885. He developed an interest in aeronautics and spent May-October, 1915, at the Curtiss school in Buffalo. He first soloed in 1915 and received Pilot License No. 32. He joined the Curtiss Aeroplane Company and became its representative in England. After the US […]
Raised in Providence, Harold Edminston Lemont, Jr. (1920-2003) was an aeronautical engineer and inventor who graduated from Moses Brown School, and Rhode Island State College (now URI).
Mary Ann Lippitt (1918-2006) was a descendant of an old and influential Rhode Island family that was very active in Rhode Island business and politics. In 1944 she learned to fly during a visit to Virginia, and was soon a skilled aviatrix. She worked as a flying instructor in Virginia and served in the US air postal service before returning to Rhode Island. She was one of about a dozen women pilots in the state.
Sabatino ‘‘Sabbie’’ Ludovici (1910-2001) Born in Oguila, Italy, this pioneer aviator was also founder and chief flight instructor of Skylanes at North Central Airport. He started flying in 1927, and launched his first flight school at the What Cheer Airport in Pawtucket (later the site of Narragansett Race Track). In 1932 he moved to Smithfield […]
Thomas J. H. Peirce (1888-1956), a Providence native, is one of the most accomplished and least known Rhode Islanders from the first half of the 20th century. After attending Providence public schools, he graduated from the RI School of Design (RISD) in 1907 and became an accomplished designer, architect and engineer. In 1916 Peirce was […]
Master Army Aviator Thomas P. Shortall is best known for safely crash landing the helicopter carrying Governor Noel after a mechanical failure in May of 1976. He was raised in the Mount Pleasant section of Providence and graduated from Mount Pleasant High School in 1950. He joined the RI Air National Guard in 1949, and […]
Riverside resident Roland E. Stumpff flew for more than 68 years. He was a WWII B-24 bomber pilot who participated in the dangerous raids on the Ploesti oil fields. On his 13th Ploesti mission his aircraft was hit by flak over the target and lost two engines. With a wounded copilot he nursed his B-24 […]
George Sullivan was born in 1934, raised in Newport and graduated from Rogers High School in 1952. In 1954 he was drafted and assigned to the Army’s rotary aircraft maintenance school at Fort Rucker, AL. His ensuing duty tour took him to Korea where he serviced the Sikorsky H-19 and the Bell H-13 “Sioux.” He […]
Major Elliot Summer, US Army Air Corps, a Providence native and WWII ace with ten kills to his credit, flew P-38s in the Pacific with the 432nd Fighter Squadron – which he ended up commanding by the end of the war. His many awards included the Silver Star, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 9 Air […]
A long-time Warwick resident, Albert Tavani is credited with bringing the state airport system from its infancy in the 1940s to the full-service network that now exists. When he retired at the end of 1977, Green Airport was greatly expanded, numerous airlines were serving Rhode Island, and there were five state airports in addition to […]
Richmond Viall (1896-1973) was born in Providence on June 26, 1896; his father was second-in-command at Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company when it was a global force in the machine tools business. He attended Williams College, but left in 1917 to join the British forces in Canada. He joined the Royal Canadian Flying Corps as […]