The Allen Family of Aeronauts: according to New York-based aeronautical researcher Chris Lynch, “If there was a founding family of RI aviation, they are it.”
Barrington natives James Allen (1824-1897) and his younger brother Ezra Allen (1840 – 1902) distinguished themselves through a lifelong commitment to aeronautics in the 19th century.
Retired Air Force Major General, Apollo 8 Astronaut and former Textron executive Bill Anders is one of the first three humans to view the dark side of the moon. Anders described his experiences and his famous photograph, “Earthrise,” which he took on Christmas Eve, 1968. Along with the first pictures taken of the earth from […]
George Armitage (1887-1948) Born in England, he came to Rhode Island as a youngster and attended Providence public schools. He may have been the first person to fly in Rhode Island; it is known that he began experimenting with “power driven gliders” as early as 1905. A 1934 article in Rhode Island Review stated: “To […]
Eugene Bielecki was born in Pawtucket in 1927. Gene is a founding member and past president of the Rhode Island Pilots Association. In his piloting career he has logged well over 30,000 flight hours, including more than 15,000 hours as a Flight Instructor. He holds a number of single and multi-engine private and commercial ratings […]
Blake was born on November 8, 1897 in Westerly and graduated in 1916 from Westerly High School, he was the star center on the football team and a member of the track team. After a semester of college in Boston, he volunteered for the American Ambulance Service in January 1917 before the US entered the […]
Lieutenant Colonel Horace LeRoy Borden, US Air Force (1892-1951), was a World War I Aerial Observer, WWII Training Squadron Commander, & Cold War Support Squadron Commander. He was born April 25, 1892 in Portsmouth, attended Moses Brown School and graduated from Dartmouth College in 1914. He enlisted in the Army, and earned his commission in […]
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 […]
Born in 1925, Pawtucket resident Ken Brown joined the Navy in early 1943. He saw action in the Mediterranean, European, China-Burma-India and Pacific theaters, and participated in both the Sicilian and Normandy invasions as a Gunner’s Mate on LSTs. Brown took flying lessons shortly after his discharge, and in 1957 he joined the FAA as […]
Vice Admiral and career Naval Aviator Walter “Ted” Carter of Pascoag, now Superintendent of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, earned his Naval Flight Officer wings in 1982. Since then, Admiral Carter, a record-setting “Top Gun” aviator, has made 2,016 landings (called “traps”) on aircraft carriers; that is more than anyone else in US Navy […]
Aerospace engineer George Chakoian flew 46 combat missions in the Pacific as a radio operator/gunner on a B-24. After graduating from RI School of Design in 1948, he began a technical career that spanned six decades. His specialty was airdrop systems, and he was Project Engineer for a number of projects relating to the airborne […]
Marine Corps Maj. William D. Chesarek was born in Newport, RI. He is the first American to receive Great Britain’s Distinguished Flying Cross since World War II. His exploits involved the daring rescue of a wounded British soldier in Iraq. Queen Elizabeth II presented his award at Buckingham Palace.