General Philip Conley is a LaSalle Academy alumnus and a 1950 Naval Academy graduate who grew up in West Warwick and flew combat missions in Korea and Vietnam. He earned a Distinguished Flying Cross in Korea, flying with the famous forward air controller unit known as the “Mosquitoes”. Conley eventually rose to head the Flight Test […]
Captain John J. Coonan, Jr., USN (1944-2009) was born in Pawtucket to a Navy family. His father, who also retired as a Navy Captain, was deployed in the SW Pacific flying the PB4Y (Navy version of B-24) and did not see his son until he was 13 months old. His father was stationed at NAS […]
Pawtucket native Thomas G. Corcoran (1899-1981) played a pivotal role in the establishment of the American Volunteer Group, better known as the Flying Tigers.
Edward “Ted” Cunningham is a Rumford native and a 1949 graduate of St. Raphael High School in Pawtucket. Ted enlisted in the Navy to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a carrier pilot. During the early days of the Vietnam War, he flew numerous highly classified ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) missions shadowing and photographing Soviet missiles. After […]
Domenic DeNardo (1929-) is an aviation artist and general aviation pilot. He was born in Providence in 1929, and has been fascinated with airplanes since he was a child. His father, a mechanic and toolmaker as well as an ardent motorcyclist in his early years, built an aircraft powered by an Indian motorcycle engine in […]
Over the past 22 years, long-time Warwick resident and Navy Korean War veteran Stanley R. Essex, Jr., has virtually single-handedly restored two wrecked warbirds to magnificent display condition: a WWII-era Navy Hellcat fighter for the Quonset Air Museum, and the F9F Panther jet known as the “Ted Williams Airplane” for the Rhode Island Aviation Hall […]
Raymond Noble Estey (1886-1980), a native of Waterbury, CT, moved to Rhode Island in 1909 and became an early photographer for the Providence Tribune. He assisted 2006 inductee Gerald Hanley with his first airplane in 1913, and produced some of the very first aerial photos of Rhode Island that year. While retaining his job as […]
Lt. Colonel Daniel R. Fierro, USAF, (Ret.) (1931 – 2007) was a long-time resident of North Kingstown, and served in the Strategic Air Command (SAC), first flying B47s and then B52s.
Navy veteran of WWII, local and international businessman, aviator, and inventor, R. W. (Dick) Foote was born in Providence in 1919. Foote’s successful business career followed his service as a Naval Aviator and test pilot during World War II. He was also instrumental in the development of the first “anti-blackout” or “pressure suit”, the forerunner […]
Edson Fessenden Gallaudet (1871-1945), Aviation Pioneer/Aircraft Manufacturer In 1898, four years before the Wright Brothers, he constructed and flew a glider, now in the Smithsonian, which embodied the principle of the warping wing. In 1911 he learned to fly at the Wright school, earning US pilot’s license #32 and a similarly low number in France. […]
Antoine Gazda was an Austrian count, a race car driver, and a World War I fighter ace (on the losing side), but he spent World War II in Providence, living in suite 1009 of the Biltmore Hotel. The work he performed here in Rhode Island was considered so crucial to the Allied war effort that […]
2/LT Walter S. Gladding (1915- 1945), a Tuskegee Airman, was born in Plainfield, CT in 1915, the son of Walter and Elsie Gladding of 17 Olney Street, Providence. He attended local public schools, and later played football and ran track at Hope High School. He was an only child. He went on to Rhode Island […]