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 […]
East Greenwich resident LCDR Robert McCollough, USN (Ret) 1924-2008 posted a record of more than 50 years of achievement in military and commercial aviation in the State of Rhode Island. Bob enlisted in the Navy in 1943 after graduating from high school in Pennsylvania. Trained as a fighter pilot, Ensign McCollough flew F4F Wildcats from […]
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 […]
CAPT John A. Romano, USN (Ret) is a retired Navy Captain and long-time East Greenwich resident. John Romano’s role in RI aviation history is broader than his service and accomplishments as a Naval Aviator. With war clouds on the horizon in the late 1930s, the Navy appropriated the Romano family’s 400-acre Davisville farm, vineyards and […]
This highly-decorated U.S. Navy pilot shot down a confirmed 11 Japanese aircraft, including a Japanese ace. Commanding a squadron of Hellcat fighters off the carrier Essex, he shot down 5 in one day over Cebu Island, in the Philippines. He was also credited with sinking a destroyer escort by firing at the depth charges on […]
Albert F. Schmid (1929-) pursued a lifelong career in general aviation after he left Naval Aviation. He has resided in Rhode Island for the past 18 years, most recently in Exeter. He was born on September 7, 1929 in Springfield, Illinois and entered Western Illinois University in 1947, where he earned a business degree. He […]
Providence-born Martin R. Shugrue, Jr. (1941—1999) was a Naval Aviator and airline executive who played a pivotal and at times controversial role in unsuccessful attempts to keep Pan American World Airways and, later, Eastern Airlines from failing. He was known as a gregarious executive who had a knack for getting along with union leaders and […]
VADM James B. Stockdale, USN (1923-2005) A graduate of the Naval Academy Class of 1947, he is best remembered for his extraordinary leadership as the senior naval officer held in captivity during the Vietnam War, and his 1992 stint as running mate to independent presidential candidate Ross Perot. Admiral Stockdale was one of the most […]
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 […]
In September 1943, Jean Teresino Yarnall (1923-2013) was living in Hartford, CT and working for an insurance company. She decided to join the new Navy unit called “Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service”, or WAVES.
Robert (Bob) J. Yarnall Sr., USN, Ret. (1924-2015) graduated from boot camp at Norfolk Naval Station in 1941 and was an aerial gunner in WWII and an aviation machinist at Quonset.