Legendary Army aviator among four to be honored at 51st Annual National Aviation Hall of Fame Ceremony

Tuskegee Airmen mentor, Navy “Top Gun” Shuttle astronaut, civil aviation pioneer among those enshrined at “Oscar Night of Aviation” October 4th in Dayton

(Dayton, Ohio – July 22, 2013)  The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) will soon add more illustrious names to its roster of 215 air and space pioneers previously so honored by the Congressionally chartered organization. Among the four individuals to be inducted on October 4, 2013, is the first Army Aviator to be enshrined into the Hall, retired Major General Patrick H. Brady.

Considered by many to be the top helicopter pilot of the Viet Nam War, Brady is legendary among Army aviation and aerial medevac communities.  His 34-year Army career includes flying over 2,500 combat missions as a Dust Off helicopter pilot, saving over 5,000 wounded, and earning the Medal of Honor among his other awards for valor.  He also developed foul weather and tactical techniques for air ambulance rescue, none of which had ever been executed in combat before.  Serving to present Brady his enshrinement at the ceremony will be his daughter, former Army Captain Meghan Brady Smith.

In addition to Brady, the NAHF Enshrinee Class of 2013 is:

  • The late C. Alfred “Chief” Anderson – Widely recognized as “the father of African-American aviation,” Anderson helped develop a civilian-pilot training program for blacks in 1940.  His 1941 flight with first lady Eleanor Roosevelt aboard was the catalyst that led to the training of the first African American military pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen, for whom Anderson served as chief instructor.  Accepting will be Anderson’s grand-daughter, Christina Anderson.  Presenting will be retired Air Force Colonel and astronaut, Guion S. “Guy” Bluford, Jr.
  • Capt. Robert L. “Hoot” Gibson, USN (Ret) – As a Navy fighter pilot, Gibson flew combat in Southeast Asia, graduated from “Top Gun,” and served as a flight test pilot before joining NASA’s astronaut corps in 1978.  He flew five Shuttle missions (four as Commander) and participated on the Challenger accident investigation team.  Also an aeronautical engineer, record-setting pilot and air racer, Capt. Gibson has logged over 14,000 hours in over 130 types of aircraft.  Accepting will be Capt. Gibson.  Presenting will be retired USMC Major General and astronaut, Charles F. Bolden, NASA Administrator.
  • The late Dwane L. Wallace, After 41 years with the Cessna Aircraft Company, Wallace retired in 1975 as its Chairman and CEO.  During the Depression, Wallace used money won by air racing to meet payroll.  After the company served to meet demand for WWII military aircraft, Wallace directed Cessna’s development of extensive corporate and general aviation product lines. He was a founder and first chairman of the General Aviation Manufacturers Association.  Accepting will be Wallace’s daughter, Sarah Bracco.  Presenting will be former Cessna CEO, Jack J. Pelton, EAA Chairman of the Board.

The enshrinement dinner and ceremony will take place on Friday, October 4, 2013 at the National Aviation Hall of Fame Learning Center and the adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio.  Often referred to as “America’s Oscar Night of Aviation,” the black-tie dinner and ceremony is open to the public and reservations are available by advance purchase from the NAHF.  Patron seats are $150 each and Premium seats are $300 each.  Sponsored tables are also available.

The NAHF is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in Dayton in 1962 and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1964.  Its mission is to honor America’s outstanding air and space pioneers, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, a youth education program, its annual enshrinement ceremony, other public outreach programs, and collaboration with like-minded organizations.

For more information or to make reservations visit www.nationalaviation.org or call 937-256-0944 ext.10.


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Media Contact:

Ron Kaplan                                                                 TEL: (937) 256-0944 x16
NAHF Enshrinement Director                                    CEL: (937) 212-8847
[email protected]

Editors – Please note:

  • Enshrinee Brady will be featured at EAA AirVenture “Warbirds In Review” at Oshkosh on Saturday, August 3, at 1 PM, with the Army Aviation Heritage Association’s restored Bell UH-1 “Huey”.  Details at www.warbirds-eaa.org.
  • Individual photos of the Enshrinee Class of 2013 are available for download at www.nationalaviation.org or by calling (937) 256-0944 x16.