Joel Rawson

Harrisville resident Joel Rawson, best known locally for his lengthy and distinguished career at the Providence Journal, has had a life-long love affair with flying.

His Vietnam combat flying experience was so secret that most people have never heard of his airplane or its mission. He was an original member of the Richmond Flying Club in the 1970s, and was also a founding member of EAA Chapter 1363. Over the years he has flown dozens of youngsters in the EAA Young Eagles program.

Perhaps most importantly, the recently retired Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of The Providence Journal tried to bring informed coverage of aviation issues to his readers. In 1982 the Journal won a prestigious Polk Award for a series on commuter airline safety. He and his team also covered the death of John Kennedy, Jr. in the crash off Martha’s Vineyard and the Egypt Air loss off Nantucket. In all these stories the reporting benefited from intelligent sourcing of aviation officials and knowledge of aircraft and their operation.

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