Category Archives: Civilian Aviation

2/LT William E. Hill

2/LT William E. Hill (1923- 1943) was a Tuskegee Airman and Fighter Pilot. Narragansett native Hill, described by the Providence Journal as the first black pilot from Rhode Island in the Army Air Forces, was killed November 22, 1943 during a training mission over Lake Huron. Lieutenant Hill was serving with the 302nd Fighter Squadron of […]

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Edward Albert Johnson

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 […]

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Mary Ann Lippitt

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

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 […]

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