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Eagles Honored in 2003

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...
Watson, Florene M.

Watson, Florene M.

Florene Miller Watson, one of only 25 women to qualify for the Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Squadron (WAFS), later known as the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots (WASPs), became fascinated with planes at the age of 8.¬† By age 19, she had completed flight...
Rutan, Richard G.

Rutan, Richard G.

“Born with aviation fuel in his body instead of blood” is how Richard G. “Dick” Rutan’s mother describes her eldest son who would later co-pilot the first aircraft to circumnavigate the globe non-stop, without refueling. Rutan was born in...
Piccard, Bertrand

Piccard, Bertrand

Dr. Bertrand Piccard was the captain of the first hot-air balloon team to circumnavigate the globe. Born in Lausanne, Switzerland, in 1958 into a family of explorers and scientists, Piccard was enamored with adventure at an early age and inspired by his grandfather,...

Mahurin, Walker M.

Walker Melville “Bud” Mahurin was the first American double ace in Europe during World War II. Born in 1918 in Benton Harbor, Michigan, Mahurin developed an interest in flying at the age of 12 when his father took him for a ride in a Stinson. Some years...

Kittinger, Joseph W. Jr

Joseph W. Kittinger, Jr., commanded the 555th Triple Nickel Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS) in Vietnam, was a POW in the Hanoi Hilton, and is the current world record holder for highest manned balloon flight, longest parachute jump, and longest freefall. Born in...

Hill, David Lee

David Lee “Tex” Hill was born on 13 July 1915, in Kwangju, Korea, the son of American missionaries. He grew up in Texas, but returned to the Far East years later as one of the first pilots in General Claire Chennault’s American Volunteer Group (AVG),...

DeBellevue, Charles B.

Colonel (ret.) Charles B. “Chuck” DeBellevue is America’s top ace of the Vietnam War and the last ace to serve on active duty in the United States Air Force. Colonel DeBellvue was first selected as an Eagle by Air Command and Staff College’s...

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...

Crippen, Robert L.

Robert L. “Crip” Crippen piloted the first orbital test flight of the space shuttle program. Born in Beaumont, Texas in 1937, Crippen earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas in 1960. Following graduation, he received his...

Crossfield, A. Scott

A. Scott Crossfield made aeronautical history and was dubbed the “fastest man alive” by becoming the first person to reach the aviation milestone of Mach 2 (twice the speed of sound). His boyhood dream to follow in the footsteps of aviation giants, such as...

Collins, Eileen M.

Colonel Eileen M. Collins is the first woman space shuttle pilot and the first woman shuttle commander. Collins was born in Elmira, New York, in 1956. Inspired by the exploits of Amelia Earhart and the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II, she earned her...

Brett, Devol

Devol “Rock” Brett pioneered deploying fighters across the ocean as he led his squadron in the operational debut of the Composite Air Strike Force (CASF), a new US Air Force concept for getting airpower to trouble spots anywhere on the globe. Born in 1923...

Archer, Lee A. Jr

Lee A. “Buddy” Archer, Jr., is a member of the famed Tuskegee Airmen, a group of black pilots who compiled an outstanding record of performance during World War II. He was born on 6 September 1919. As a child, Archer developed the passion to become a pilot...