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28 08, 2022

The Last Pilot Ace

50 Years Ago – The Last Pilot Ace

(Well, until Maverick)

By Retired USAF Colonel Paul Carr

From the air battles of Southeast Asia 23 airmen emerged with the title “Ace”. Of those, 17 were North Vietnamese, 1 was Soviet, and 5 were United States airmen. 50 years ago, between May 10 and August 28, 1972 Captain Richard “Steve” Ritchie, Reidsville, NC ‘s native son, became the only United States Air Force pilot to achieve Ace status (*). He will likely be the last.

       “Ace” is the title bestowed on those downing 5 enemy aircraft in air-to-air combat. During World War I the press first used the term when referring to French pilot Adolphe […]

26 03, 2022

We are Accepting Nominations for the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine for 2023

Honorees for the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine are selected annually by our National Advisory Committee from a list of nominees submitted to the First Flight Society and passed to the Committee for consideration.  The nominee(s) may but does not have to be a “first” but rather “…a person, living or dead, who since December 17, 1903, either personally or with the assistance of others, has made such outstanding accomplishments in manned flight that they are generally recognized nationally and internationally for their achievements and contributions to aviation.”  Nominees are kept on file for immediate or future consideration. Enclosed is the Nomination Form for the 2023 Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine Inductee, which can be emailed with any supporting documents to: or mailed as indicated on the form. Nominations are due April 30th, 2022. Please call our office if you have other questions.