The National Aviation Hall of Fame Recognizes the “Class of 2020”

While their enshrinement event is postponed, their induction is not.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) Board of Trustees are proud to share that the vote to formally recognize the NAHF Class of 2020 as Enshrinees was unanimous.

Trustee Phil Roberts made the formal motion at the spring meeting of the Board on May 15th in Dayton. “It didn’t seem right (to me) that their Enshrinement was canceled twice and their induction put in limbo,” Roberts said.

Roberts’s motion read “That the Class of 2020 be recognized as Enshrinees of the NAHF as of September 27, 2020. And that each of these individuals is afforded the choice of a future NAHF function to be “presented and ceremoniously enshrined” at the earliest possible time that is mutually convenient to the NAHF and the individual.”

The NAHF’s Enshrinement Ceremony, widely known as the Oscar Night of Aviation, was canceled in May 2020 due to COVID restrictions. Earlier this month, the Board voted to cancel the 2021 Enshrinement due to COVID uncertainties and the impact on the NAHF’s biggest supporters, the aviation industry.

“While there is much to be positive about as the nation is increasingly vaccinated from COVID-19, we are still cautious regarding travel and uneasy in seeking sponsorship when many of our supporters are among the hardest hit economically, “said President and CEO Amy Spowart. 

Enshrinement draws the best in aviation. Included in the annual dinner and ceremony are aviation legends, American heroes, industry leaders, corporate sponsors, elected officials, and lifelong NAHF members. The event has hosted such notables as John Travolta, Harrison Ford, Miles O’Brien, and Dennis Quaid and welcomed many aviation legends like Neil Armstrong, John Glenn, Jackie Cochran, Eileen Collins, and Dick Rutan.
The Class of 2020 is now recognized among those ranks.

“The NAHF Class of 2020, is a diverse group representing a broad range of enduring contributions to both the advancement of flight and the exploration of space. We believe that this is an excellent class and we are looking forward to celebrating them all”, NAHF Board of Trustees Chair Michael Quiello said. “From pioneer Bullard to visionaries Faget, Sullivan Garrett and Kaminski, to aerospace hero Gordon, the NAHF’s Class of 2020 represents the best in aviation.”

“Regardless of COVID restrictions and the other hurdles in our path, we will celebrate our next induction in the Birthplace of Aviation“, Spowart said. “It is our goal to hold the 2022 Enshrinement Dinner and Ceremony in Dayton, Ohio. We are eager to recognize the Class of 2020, induct the Class of 2022, and honor all 253 women and men who are the NAHF.”

(The late) Second Lieutenant Eugene J. Bullard, USAF– WWI Pilot; First African American combat pilot; Denied in the U.S., flew for France; and is one of the highest decorated pilots including the Chevalier de la Legiond’honneur


(The late) Dr. Maxime “Max” A. Faget- Ph.D. Mechanical Engineer; developed rockets, missiles, and aircraft; and designed the Mercury Spacecraft and was part of the design team for Gemini, Apollo, and the Space Shuttle

Ms. Joan Sullivan Garrett- Medical Professional; Visionary; Founder of MedAire; established the first aviation global medical emergency response; and directs real-time safety services to thousands annually
throughout aviation.

(The late) Captain Richard “Dick” F. Gordon, USN- Naval Aviator; Test Pilot; Bendix Trophy Winner; Gemini 11 Pilot; Command Module Pilot Apollo 12; Back-up Commander Apollo 12; and part of the design team for the Space Shuttle.

Dr. Paul G. Kaminski, USAF (Ret)– Ph.D. Aero & Astro Engineer; led many technical aerospace programs including guided munitions, reconnaissance satellites; Stealth Technology including F-117. Former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition & Technology & Colonel USAF