In 2007, the RI Aviation Hall of Fame provided Special Recognition awards to the men and women of the 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment of the Rhode Island Army National Guard, which was named the Outstanding Army National Guard Aviation Unit of the Year nationwide for 2005. Flying in the Iraqi theater for virtually the […]
Thomas J. Magnan, retired from the Rhode Island Army National Guard as a Chief Warrant Office Five (CW5) on July 1, 2009, completing nearly 41 years of honorable military service, which included active duty deployments to Viet Nam, Iraq, Kuwait and Afghanistan. He accrued more than 20,000 flight hours in his career, qualifying in aircraft […]
Captain Karl W Augenstein USAF (1924-1954) was a German immigrant from Cranston who, as a teenager, made the decision to fight for his adopted country. He became a WWII B-24 bomber pilot, flying 11 combat missions before German capitulation in May 1945. As a civilian, he was the corporate pilot for Bulova Watch Company. He […]
Alabama-born Richard Warren Blackman (1939—2013) made a major contribution to aviation in RI through
his lengthy service with the Civil Air Patrol (CAP).
Commander Harold J. Brow, USN (1894-1982) Born in Fall River, he graduated from Providence Technical High School in 1912. He served in the Rhode Island National Guard from 1913-1914, then enlisted in the Navy in April, 1917 and earned his wings a year later. By 1923 he was the fastest flyer in the world; Brow […]
BG Christopher Callahan, USA now serves as the 44th Adjutant General of the State of RI. Previously, he served as the Director of Aviation and Safety at Quonset. He also served in Iraq as CO of 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment.
Bertrand “Bert” T. Cournoyer (1919-1967) was born and raised in Manville, RI. During WWII, Bert served as a French interpreter for General Claire Lee Chennault in Kunming, China.
Gerald T. Hanley, Sr. (1884-1950) is considered the founder of the Rhode Island Air National Guard. Then-1st Lt. Hanley of Battery A, Coast Artillery, in the RI state militia used his own Curtiss hydro-aeroplane to provide basic aeronautics instruction to members of his battery well before the US entry into World War I. Early flier […]
Edouard Jacques (1921-2013) was born in West Warwick, graduated from West Warwick High School and joined the National Guard in 1940 at the age of 19. In 1943 he became an Aviation Cadet and trained as a B-24 bombardier, earning his wings in Lincoln, NE in 1944. He married the love of his life, Marie […]
John J. Kapstein (1918-2016) is the only American buried in Moscow’s in Novodevichy Cemetery, roughly the Russian equivalent of Arlington National Cemetery. A native of Providence, he graduated from Hope High School and enlisted in the 103rd Field Artillery of the RI National Guard in 1934 by lying about his age. He eventually became a […]
Lieutenant Colonel John M. Lepry US Air Force (Ret) (1917-2003), a Warwick resident, flew 101 combat missions in a P-47 Thunderbolt over Italy, France and Germany in 1944 and 1945. He was awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross, five single action Air Medals and the Soldier’s Medal. He was born July 17, 1917 and graduated from […]
A Westerly native, Low enlisted in the Rhode Island National Guard in 1936 and graduated from West Point in 1942.