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Eagles Honored in 2000

Rall, Günther

Rall, Günther

“The flyingest General in the German Air Force,” Günther Rall, entered the German Army in 1936 as an officer candidate in the infantry. However, the 20-year-old Rall decided aviation was his real interest and transferred to the Luftwaffe. After pilot...
González, Leon José

González, Leon José

José González flew combat during World War II over the epic allied amphibious assaults on Italy, in the lonely night sky above China, and over the steaming jungles of Burma. González, whose lineage includes Cuban, Dutch, and Irish ancestors, was born in 1921 in New...
André, Valérie

André, Valérie

Valérie André was the first female general officer in the air force of France. Born in 1922, as a youth, she lived in Alsace near the Rhein River and border with Germany. She was fascinated by airplanes and had her first flight in a Potez 58 monoplane. In 1939,...
Yeager, Charles E.

Yeager, Charles E.

Brigadier General (ret.) Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager was the first person to break the sound barrier and went on to become one of the most legendary figures in aeronautical history. Born in 1923 in Myra, West Virginia, Yeager joined the US Army Air Corps at...
Sears, Michael M.

Sears, Michael M.

Mike Sears led 50,000 people who designed, produced, and supported military aircraft, missiles, and munitions to defend the United States and its allies around the globe. Sears was born in St.Louis, Missouri, in 1947 and, after high school, went to Purdue University...

Reid, William

William “Bill” Reid earned one of only 32 Victoria Crosses awarded for heroism in the air during World War II. The son of a blacksmith, Reid was born 21 December 1921 at Baillieston, Glasgow, Scotland. After completing his studies at the Coatbridge Secondary School,...
Rector, Edward F.

Rector, Edward F.

Ed Rector was just 10 years old when an older brother advised “get into aviation, that’s going to be the coming thing.” Growing up in Marshall, North Carolina, Rector, at age 12, gleaned knowledge from pulp aviation magazines such as Battle Aces ....
Novosel, Michael J. Jr

Novosel, Michael J. Jr

Mike Novosel, Jr. is the only pilot to fly in the same helicopter unit with his father in combat! Born in 1949 at Eglin AFB, Florida, Novosel grew up around pilots and aircraft. As a teenager, he took every opportunity to be down on the flight line. In 1968, at the...

Novosel, Michael J. Sr

Known as the “Dean of the Dustoff Pilots”, Chief Warrant Officer Michael J. Novosel, at age 48, earned the United States’ highest award for valor, the Medal of Honor, by rescuing 29 soldiers during the Vietnam War. Born and raised in Etna, Pennsylvania, Novosel became...

Lenart, Louis

Lou Lenart led the first fighter mission of one of the world’s most respected and successful air forces! Lenart was born in Hungary in 1921 and, at age 10, he immigrated with his immediate family to the United States. As a youth, he watched the rising tide of...

Jackson, Joe M.

Joe M. Jackson flew for his country in three wars! As a youth in Newnan, Georgia, Jackson was an avid model airplane enthusiast. After graduation from high school, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps and, when the United States entered World War II, he became a crew...

Hudgens, Robert P.

Bob Hudgens is a nationally recognized leader in civil aviation! Born in 1915 in Luverne, Alabama, Hudgens’ love of flying began at age 15, shortly after hiss family moved to Birmingham. He worked at a drug store, located near final approach to the city’s...

Hickam, Homer H. Jr

Homer Hickam is the original “Rocket Boy!” Hickam was born in the mining town of Coalwood, West Virginia, in 1943. He watched Sputnik race across the night sky in 1957 along with most of the town’s residents. The satellite’s path pointed to the...

Hennies, Clyde A.

Lou Hennies convinced the Army to develop a special operations helicopter capable of worldwide deployment through air-to-air refueling. Born in Manly, Iowa, in 1935, Hennies grew up in Iowa and graduated from high school in 1953. The next year, he enlisted in the Air...

Fulton, Fitzhugh L. Jr

Fitzhugh L. “Fitz” Fulton is one of America’s most accomplished test pilots having flown more than 15,000 hours in over 225 different types of aircraft. After attending Auburn University, he enlisted in the Army as an aviation cadet and was awarded...

Foss, Joseph J.

Joe Foss “the Flying Marine” was truly a Proud American! Born near Sioux Falls, South Dakota in 1915, he graduated from the University of South Dakota. He soon joined the Marine Corps, became a Naval Aviator and received his commission in March 1941. After a tour as...

Dengler, Dieter

Dieter Dengler was the only United States military pilot to survive capture by communist forces in Laos and successfully escape. Dengler was born in Wildberg, Germany, in 1938. As a young boy in the small town in the Black Forest, he watched fighter aircraft flying at...

Deatrick, Eugene P.

Eugene Deatrick has flown more than 50 types of aircraft and logged more than 12,000 flying hours in a lifetime devoted to aviation. Born in 1924 in Morgantown, West Virginia, Deatrick graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1942. He entered the United States...

Cunningham, Randall H.

Navy Lieutenant Randy Cunningham was Americas first pilot ace of the Vietnam War. Born on 8 December 1941, he was commissioned in the US Navy in 1967. Receiving his gold wings the following year, he soon joined VF-96 flying F-4J Phantoms. Assigned to the...

Crawford, Oliver R.

Ollie Crawford is one of America’s foremost advocates for a strong and modern United States Air Force! Born in Amarillo, Texas, in 1925, Crawford’s desire to fly was whetted by Army Air Corps aircraft flying over his hometown early in World War II. At age...

Azam, Saiful

Saiful Azam, from Bangladesh, holds awards for gallantry in aerial combat from Pakistan, Jordan, and Iraq! Azam was born in 1941 in Pabna, India, and, as a young boy, lived in Calcutta. In 1947, his family moved east to an area that became part of predominately Moslem...

Albert, Marcel

Marcel Albert flew fighters from France, England, and the Soviet Union during World War II. Born in Paris in 1917, he inherited mechanical talent from his father and, after high school, went to work building gearboxes for Renault. He also developed an interest in...