Honorees by Year

To see photos from the annual dinners from 2010 and beyond, check our photos page.


During these centennial years of the US involvement in World War I, we will honor those who made significant contributions to aviation during that conflict. We will also continue our recognition of those individuals who served with (or supported) the RI Air National Guard, or aviation elements of the RI Army National Guard.


As the selection subcommittee reviewed our ever-increasing inventory of candidates, it became apparent that a large number of them were individuals who served with aviation units of the RI Army National Guard (starting with the 152nd Observation Squadron in the late 1930s), or, after 1948, with the RI Air National Guard.

As a result, we decided that acknowledging the contributions of this group would be a multi-year process. Working with the Guard, we have developed a short list of 26 potential Guard honorees (either full induction or special recognition) and that list continues to grow as word of our plan circulates.

BG Christopher Callahan, RI Adjutant General, was Guest of Honor.


2015 awardees have North Kingstown, Portsmouth, Coventry, Warwick, East Greenwich, and Woonsocket connections, and include attendees at Westerly and Woonsocket High Schools, St. Mary's Academy-Bay View, Providence College and Brown University.

Our Guest of Honor this year was Arizona Congresswoman and retired Air Force Colonel Martha McSally, a Warwick native and Bay View graduate.


The Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame inducted three new members (one of whom is deceased), presented a seldom-given President’s Award and recognized the service of three others (also deceased) at a ceremony and dinner held at the Scottish Rite Masonic Center in Cranston on Saturday evening, November 22nd, 2014.

Vice Admiral and career Naval Aviator Walter 'Ted' Carter of Pascoag, now Superintendent of the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, was guest of honor at the ceremony.


Honorees for 2013 included a World War II fighter ace who flew with Chennault in China, a Naval Aviator who rose to leadership positions in three airlines, and a well-known philanthropist who was one of the first female flight instructors in the state.


Awardees have connections to Pawtucket, Woonsocket, Wakefield, Newport, Warwick, East Greenwich, North Kingstown, Harrisville and Providence, and include graduates of Pawtucket and Samuel Gorton High Schools, LaSalle Academy and Providence College.

The guest of honor was Newport-born Marine Corps Major William D. Chesarek, 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.


From turn-of-the-century pioneers to fighter pilots, RIAHOF honors master aviators from throughout the 20th century.


The 2010 honorees include Otto Hermann, described in 1909 as ''the first one (biplane) to be tried on testing grounds'' in Rhode Island, as well as Retired Air Force Major General and former Textron executive Bill Anders, one of the first three humans to view the dark side of the moon.

At the event, 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.''









Help Us Continue to Honor RI's Aviation History.

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