Edward J. Bonaccorsi (1925-2015) graduated from Samuel Gorton High School in Warwick, then enlisted as an Aviation Cadet in May, 1943. Failing a pilot medical, he became a mechanic, qualifying in both the B-24 Liberator and the B-29 Stratofortress. He served with the 40th Bombardment Squadron, and spent six months on Tinian Island as the war […]
Commander Richard L. Cevoli, USN (1919-1955) Born in East Greenwich in 1919, Commander Cevoli earned numerous decorations during WWII and Korea. The LaSalle Academy and URI grad was awarded the Navy Cross during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. By the end of his tour Cevoli earned a total of five Air Medals in addition to […]
General Philip Conley is a LaSalle Academy alumnus and a 1950 Naval Academy graduate who grew up in West Warwick and flew combat missions in Korea and Vietnam. He earned a Distinguished Flying Cross in Korea, flying with the famous forward air controller unit known as the “Mosquitoes”. Conley eventually rose to head the Flight Test […]
Senior Chief Malcolm L. Craig, US Navy (1927-2006) was a Combat Air Crewman, World War II, Korea and Vietnam Veteran. Malcolm Craig was born in Charlotte, Maine and enlisted in the Navy in 1943 at age 16. After receiving navigation training he became a LORAN (Long Range Navigation) specialist. By the time he retired as […]
Over the past 22 years, long-time Warwick resident and Navy Korean War veteran Stanley R. Essex, Jr., has virtually single-handedly restored two wrecked warbirds to magnificent display condition: a WWII-era Navy Hellcat fighter for the Quonset Air Museum, and the F9F Panther jet known as the “Ted Williams Airplane” for the Rhode Island Aviation Hall […]
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.
Thomas MacLean (1932-2017) exceeded his wildest dreams by becoming a USAF F84 Thunderjet pilot right before the end of the Korean War. The Warwick native joined the RI Air National Guard, where he was active from the early 1960s to the mid 1970s.
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 […]
George Sullivan was born in 1934, raised in Newport and graduated from Rogers High School in 1952. In 1954 he was drafted and assigned to the Army’s rotary aircraft maintenance school at Fort Rucker, AL. His ensuing duty tour took him to Korea where he serviced the Sikorsky H-19 and the Bell H-13 “Sioux.” He […]
Retired Air Force Colonel Joseph Zinno designed, built and flew America’s first human-powered aircraft, and is a flying veteran of three wars (WWII, Korea and Vietnam).