The 2023 Honorees: A Summary

The Twenty-first Annual RI Aviation Hall of Fame Class of Honorees will be recognized at our annual dinner on Saturday, November 18, 2023 at The Scottish Rite Center, 2115 Broad St, Cranston, RI (on the left at the entrance to Rhodes on the Pawtuxet). Click here to buy tickets.

Special Guest

Warwick native Dewey Turilli, who served as a radio operator in a P-51 Mustang squadron on Iwo Jima in 1945. He will be 101 years in February.

Posthumous Combat Recognition

Captain Charles F. Pratte, Jr., U.S. Army Air Forces (1915-1945); B-24 bomber pilot from Warren, RI. Killed in Action at Chichi Jima, January, 1945.

In addition to Turilli and Pratte, we will recognize a father-son pair who flew combat missions in World War II and Vietnam respectively, two long-time RI National Guard helicopter pilots who flew hundreds of hours of combat during the Vietnam War, plus a well-known Providence auto dealer who flew with the Royal Flying Corps during World War I.

  • Col. John F. “Jack” Barrett, US Air Force, Retired (1912-1997)
    WWII recon, patrol and bomber pilot; One of first six RI National Guard pilots,1939; CO of the 152nd Fighter Squadron, RI Air National Guard, 1949.
  • LtCol Lynn Carter, US Air Force, Retired (1919-2014)
    B-26 and B-25 bomber pilot with 69 combat missions during WWII; awarded Distinguished Flying Cross, French Croix de Guerre and seven Air Medals.
  • LCDR Lynn Carter II, US Navy, Retired (1946-)
    Naval Aviator; flew numerous F8-Crusader combat missions off carriers, Vietnam; commercial 747 pilot.
  • CDR John B. Dana, US Navy, Retired (1932-1988)
    Naval Aviator, Patrol and Early Warning Pilot; CO of Quonset squadron VXE-6 supporting Operation DeepFreeze in Antarctica. First manager of Quonset Industrial Park, 1974-1985.
  • MAJ David L. Nuttall, US Army, Retired (1948-)
    Army helicopter pilot, Vietnam; Master Army Aviator; accomplished civilian helicopter pilot. Received the Order of St. Michael for contributions to Army Aviation.
  • MAJ Eric ‘Ric’ Sawyer, USA, Retired (1945-2021)
    Distinguished Flying Cross recipient as helicopter pilot, Vietnam; Master Army Aviator; general aviation, corporate and CT State Police pilot, amassing more than 40,000 flight hours.
  • Horace A. Scott (1926-2020)
    WWII Navy enlisted air crew member; aircraft mechanic; commercial pilot for Eastern Airlines, flying everything from the Constellation to the L-1011 and amassing more than 30,000 flight hours.

This year’s recipient of the Galkin Award for Technical Advancement, named for the brothers who have been the Hall of Fame’s most generous donors, is:

  • Captain Charles F. Pratte, Jr.
    He earned a Distinguished Flying Cross for displaying ingenuity and innovation by deploying crew member parachutes to stop his brakeless bomber at Tarawa in 1943.

The 2023 President’s Award, given to a Rhode Islander who was involved with aviation but who made his primary mark in another field, goes to:

  • LT George Merlyn Power O’Keefe, RFC (1898-1954)
    World War I Observation Pilot who became a prominent automobile dealer and political influencer.

Rhode Island Aviation Hall of Fame (RIAHOF) is a volunteer driven non-profit group dedicated to identifying, honoring, and perpetuating the memory of those individuals who have contributed to Rhode Island’s rich aviation history.

Few people know just how rich and varied our aviation history is, and just how many wonderfully skilled and talented contributors to the aerial age have been born in Rhode Island, were educated here, lived here for a portion of their lives, or performed some great aviation-related act or service here.

Please help us perpetuate this message!

Click here to buy tickets.

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