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.”
Lieutenant Commander Stanley Auslander, US Naval Reserve, a long-time Warwick resident and patrol bomber pilot, sank one German U-boat and damaged another off the coast of Brazil. He later flew patrols from England before and after D-day, and is credited with homing a British destroyer in to sink another U-boat. He earned a Distinguished Flying […]
Wisconsin-born Frank Fox met his bride Jane while stationed at Quonset late in World War II, and thereafter considered Rhode Island his home. He earned a Navy Cross in the Battle of Philippine Sea when his Avenger torpedo bomber scored a direct hit on the Japanese carrier Zuikaku, helping send her to the bottom. In […]
Russ, an East Greenwich resident since 1965, served in the Navy from 1944 to 1969. During his flying career he landed on 21 different carriers; he also served on the USS Wasp for two years and USS Lake Champlain for one year. He flew F8F Bearcats with fighter squadron VF-19, and later transitioned to jets […]
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, […]
A Westerly native, Low enlisted in the Rhode Island National Guard in 1936 and graduated from West Point in 1942.
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 […]
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 […]
Colonel Sherwood “Woody” Spring, USA (Ret.) graduated from Ponaganset High School, Chepachet, RI in 1963. Woody was selected as a NASA Astronaut in May 1980. He has experience in 25 types of airplanes and helicopters logging over 4,000 hours flying time.
Major Elliot Summer, US Army Air Corps, a Providence native and WWII ace with ten kills to his credit, flew P-38s in the Pacific with the 432nd Fighter Squadron – which he ended up commanding by the end of the war. His many awards included the Silver Star, 2 Distinguished Flying Crosses, and 9 Air […]
Lieutenant Robert Thorpe, US Army Air Corps, a Providence native and Cranston High School grad, was captured and beheaded by the Japanese in 1944. His remains have never been recovered, even though evidence suggests that US authorities have known where he was buried since 1947. “We are honoring the memory of Lt. Thorpe on behalf […]
Hugh Willoughby (1856-1939) Newport resident Hugh Willoughby was was an avid inventor, traveler, aviator, and sportsman. He built his first serious aircraft model in 1894, the same year he organized the Naval Reserve in Rhode Island (he graduated from the Naval War College in 1896). By 1900 he was a noted aerial photographer, taking pictures […]