Charles Gordon Greenhalgh (1895-1977) was born into a Pawtucket manufacturing family. Early in 1917, Greenhalgh and a number of Yale classmates left school to fight with the Allies, prior to US involvement.
Long-time North Kingstown resident William Grosvenor Jr. (1920-1980) was born in Providence and attended St. Mark’s School in Southborough, MA. In November 1942 he arrived in China where he flew 132 missions (286 combat hours) under General Chennault with the 75th Pursuit Squadron, the “Flying Tiger Sharks”.
Providence-born Donald “Bud” Guilfoyle, USAF (Ret) (1918-2011) graduated from Central High School and lived in East Greenwich for more than 60 years. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps in May, 1942 and soon became an aviation cadet. He earned his wings in June, 1943, and after advanced training in Panama, he was assigned […]
World War II ace Bill Halton (1917-1952) was one of the most decorated fliers to ever hail from Rhode Island. By the time he was killed in action in Korea, he had earned the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross with three Oak Leaf Clusters, Air Medal with 17 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Croix de Guerre with Star and numerous campaign ribbons.
Douglas Powell Hunter (1920-2014) was born in Providence in 1920 and graduated from Hope High School in 1939. He joined ROTC at Rhode Island State College. His older brother Bill, a B-17 bomber pilot in Europe, encouraged him to apply to the Army Air Forces. He did so, earning his wings in August of 1944. […]
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 […]
COL Russell Johnson (1926-2014), affectionately referred to as “Mr. Army National Guard Aviation”, took his first flight with his dad in 1929 and earned his private pilot license in 1943. He would eventually become one of the most experienced aviators in Rhode Island Army Aviation history.
Harry M. Jones (1890-1973) Described in a 1912 Providence Journal article as Rhode Island’s “1st home grown aviator”, Jones managed the very first air show ever held in Rhode Island that same year. He was also the first (and last) person ever to land a plane on the Boston Common. Jones was best known, however, […]
LT George S. Lima (1919-2011), a Tuskegee Airman, was born April 4, 1919, son of Cape Verdean immigrant parents who settled in Fall River. His father worked in a mill, while his mother and other family members ran a boarding house and a grocery store. When the Depression hit in the early 1930s, the family […]
Providence native Ogden R. Lindsley Jr. (1922-2004) moved to North Kingstown at the age of 14 and graduated from North Kingstown High School in 1939. He entered Brown University in 1940, majoring in Engineering. In January 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps. He trained as a flight engineer and as a door […]
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 […]
Major General Kevin R. McBride is now The Adjutant General and Commanding General of the Rhode Island National Guard. Also an Army Aviator, he has commanded an Attack Helicopter Battalion, a Light Utility Helicopter Battalion and the 56th Troop Command (Airborne). General McBride served as the Commander of the 43rd Military Police Brigade from February […]