MG Bill Anders, USAF (Ret)

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 the moon, Anders is perhaps best remembered for his inspirational quote, “We came all this way to explore the Moon, and the most important thing is that we discovered the Earth.”

Anders, a 1955 graduate of the Naval Academy, was portrayed by Robert John Burke in the 1998 miniseries “From the Earth to the Moon”, and the Anders Crater on the Moon was named in his honor.

Anders lived in Barrington for most of the 1980s while serving as Textron’s executive vice president and later as senior vice president. Providence-based Textron is also a major sponsor of this year’s event.

“Textron takes great pride in the induction of Bill Anders into the Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame. This is a well-deserved honor that recognizes Bill for his achievements as an astronaut and his work in furthering the U.S. space program,” said John D. Butler, executive vice president, Administration and chief human resources officer of Textron Inc. “On behalf of the men and women of Textron, we salute Bill for his service to our country and to our company. We are proud to support Bill and the Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame as it honors those who have contributed to the exploration of flight.”

Anders, who now lives in the state of Washington, flew in with his wife Valerie to receive the award.

“We are delighted that Bill Anders will be able to join us,” said Hall of Fame founder Frank Lennon. “He is truly one of the living giants of the aviation and space community, and we are delighted that someone of his stature will headline our commemoration of 100 years of manned flight in Rhode Island.”

[The first manned flight in this state took place in 1910, but the identity of the first pilot is still uncertain. See attachment for details.]

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