Captain Karl W Augenstein USAF (1924-1954) was a German immigrant from Cranston who, as a teenager, made the decision to fight for his adopted country. He became a WWII B-24 bomber pilot, flying 11 combat missions before German capitulation in May 1945. As a civilian, he was the corporate pilot for Bulova Watch Company. He […]
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 […]
BG Christopher Callahan, USA now serves as the 44th Adjutant General of the State of RI. Previously, he served as the Director of Aviation and Safety at Quonset. He also served in Iraq as CO of 1st Battalion, 126th Aviation Regiment.
James H. Chute (1918-1993), a Pawtucket native, was an 8th Air Force B-17 bomber pilot who earned the Distinguished Flying Cross over Germany. After completing his 35 combat missions in January, 1945, he went to the Pacific Division of Air Transport Command, flying C-54 transports. At the end of the war he participated in Southwest […]
LTC Charles E. Griffith, USAAF (1916-1944), Griffith was a fighter pilot who fought in the Aleutian Islands campaign of 1942/3, came to China in mid-1944 and joined the 76th Fighter Squadron of the famed 23rd Fighter Group. Born in North Dakota, he was a 1935 Hope High School graduate and all-state athlete who went on […]
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.
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.