Learning Center Our Enshrinees

Walter James Boyne


  • Was a nuclear test pilot with the 4925th Nuclear Test Group flying B-47’s and B-52’s at Kirtland Air Force Base. He became a “nuclear ace” for dropping five nuclear bombs during tests.
  • Accumulated over 5,000 flying hours by the time he retired from the United States Air Force as a colonel in 1974. 120 of these hours were completed while serving in combat during the Vietnam war as a C-47 instructor.
  • In 1983, Boyne was named Director of the National Air and Space Museum. Under his tenure, he established the Air and Space magazine and negotiated an agreement to fly an IMAX camera aboard the Space Shuttle.
  • Co-founded “Wingspan – the Air & Space Channel.”
  • Wrote more than 1,000 articles, 44 non-fiction books and seven novels, all focused on aviation
  • Chairman of the National Aeronautics Association from 2006-2014

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