16 04, 2024

Charles McGee Selected as 2024 Paul E Garber Shrine Honoree.

Charles McGee Selected as 2024 Paul E Garber Shrine Honoree.

By: First Flight Society, Inc 

KITTY HAWK, N.C.April 16, 2024 – The First Flight Society announced today that Brigadier General Charles McGee has been named the 2024 Honoree to be inducted into the Dr. Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine located in the Museum and Visitors Center at the Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, USA.

This honor is selected annually by a high-level panel appointed by the First Flight Society, from among numerous nominations submitted from around the world as well as compiled lists of qualified candidates. The induction ceremony will be held on Wright Brothers Day, December 17, 2024, with a celebration banquet held on December 16, 2024, in Kitty Hawk. A portrait of McGee will be unveiled and presented at the ceremony on December 17th, 2024, celebrating the 121st […]

18 12, 2023

Walter and Olive Ann Beech

Inducted in 2023

Founders of Beechcraft

Walter H. Beech

1891 – 1950

Olive Ann Beech


In the mid 1920s, young WWI veteran and bold barnstormer, Walter H. Beech became one of the early leaders of the growing airplane industry. Walter and his wife, Olive Ann, founded the Beech Aircraft Company in 1932 and created a legacy of general aviation aircraft known for safety, dependability, beauty and speed.

Olive Ann Beech became one of the first female CEOs of a Fortune 500 Company as well as the first woman to lead a major aircraft company. Because of her finacial and organizational skills she was responsible for Beech Aircraft being one of the most successful airplane manufacturing companies in the world knon for quality, service and excellence. She is forever known as thr “First Lady of Aviation”.

3 01, 2023

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr.

Inducted in 2022

Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. was the first black brigadier general in the USAF.

December 18, 1912 – July 4, 2002

Benjamin Oliver Davis Jr. was a United States Air Force general and commander of the World War II Tuskegee Airmen. He was the first African-American brigadier general in the USAF. Davis Jr was born December 18th, 1912 in Washington, DC. He earned a 1932 nomination to the U.S. Military Academy from Rep. Oscar S. De Priest (R-Ill.), then America’s only black congressman. He was the first African-American to be admitted to the Academy since Reconstruction.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered the Army Air Corps to create a flying organization for African-American troops. Davis Jr., the only living black West Point graduate, was ordered from Ft. Benning, Ga., to Tuskegee Army Air Field in Alabama. Davis […]

28 12, 2021

Sally K Ride

Inducted in 2021

Sally Ride was the first American woman to fly in space.


Sally Ride was born May 26, 1951, in California. After high school, she went to Stanford University in California. She earned degrees in physics. NASA began looking for women astronauts in 1977. Sally Ride decided to apply for the job and she was one of six women picked.

Dr. Ride was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in January 1978. In August 1979, she completed a one-year training and evaluation period, making her eligible for assignment as a Mission Specialist on future space shuttle flight crews. She subsequently performed as an on-orbit Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) on the STS-2 and STS-3 missions.

Dr Ride was a Mission Specialist on STS-7 in 1983 […]

10 01, 2021

Frank W Caldwell

Inducted in 2020

Developed the Variable Pitch and Hydromatic Propellers


Frank Walker Caldwell was a leading American propeller engineer and designer. As the United States government’s chief propeller engineer, he pioneered propeller engineering and propeller testing facilities and techniques. Mr. Caldwell’s many contributions to aviation in propeller technology highlighted by his winning with Hamilton Standard the 1933 Collier Trophy for design of the controllable-pitch propeller. His design innovations led to the Hydromatic constant-speed propeller used by virtually every frontline US aircraft in WWII, and his pioneering whirl test procedures were indispensable to the development of all modern high-performance propellers during the 20th Century.

19 01, 2020

Colonel Gail S “Hal” Halvorsen

Inducted in 2019

70th Anniversary of the end of the Berlin Airlift


Colonel Gail Seymour “Hal” Halvorsen, best known as the “Berlin Candy Bomber” or “Uncle Wiggly Wings”, gained fame for dropping candy to German children during the Berlin Airlift from 1948 to 1949.   Colonel Halvorsen joined the United States Army Air Corp in 1942 after Pearl Harbor and trained on fighters with the Royal Air Force in Oklahoma, earning both his RAF and Army Air Corp wings. After the war, he was stationed in Mobile, AL when word came in that the Soviet Union had blockaded West Berlin. Arriving in Germany in July, 1948, Lieutenant Halvorsen’s role in the 15-month Berlin Airlift, labeled “Operation Vittles” was to fly three trips a day, mostly in C-54’s, from Rhein Main […]

25 02, 2019

Commander Stewart Ross Graham

Inducted in 2016

Pioneered helicopter rescue techniques


Inducted into the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine at Wright Brothers National Memorial on December 17, 2016, celebrating the 113th Wright Brothers Anniversary of Powered Flight. This aviation hero was a pioneer in the development of techniques the helicopter is renowned for to this day.

Commander Graham, trained by his mentor Capt. Erickson, was soon designated as the second Coast Guard helicopter pilot.    Commander Graham become “awestruck” by the new “machine”, and captivated by its possibilities.  Instructor and student were an outstanding team – and deservingly earned their titles as HELICOPTER PILOT #1 and HELICOPTER PILOT #2.


25 02, 2019

Captain Frank A. Erickson

Inducted in 2016

Pioneered helicopter rescue techniques


 Inducted into the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine at Wright Brothers National Memorial on December 17, 2016, celebrating the 113th Wright Brothers Anniversary of Powered Flight.

This aviation hero was a  pioneer in the development of techniques the helicopter is renowned for to this day.  Captain Erikson is designated as the first Coast Guard helicopter pilot.  Capt. Erickson, a graduate of the Coast Guard Academy, applied for flight training, became fascinated with aviation, and was challenged by the possibilities for the helicopter.

25 02, 2019

Elrey Borge Jeppesen

Inducted in 2017

Creator of the “little Black Book”-Founder of Jeppesen Company


Inducted into the Paul E. Garber First Flight Shrine, December 17, 2017. While flying across the country to deliver mail in the early days of aviation, Capt. Jeppesen created his “little black book” of navigation charts, information still in use today.  He eventually founded the Jeppesen Company providing navigational assistance to pilots, and which is now a subsidiary of the Boeing Corporation.

25 02, 2019

Katherine G. Johnson

Inducted in 2018

NASA research mathematician


A NASA mathematician for 33 years, Mrs. Johnson was the first female to author a NASA research report and is most known for her work on the trajectory analysis needed for Alan Shepards’ 1961 Freedom mission and John Glenn’s 1962 orbital mission.  However, she cites her calculations syncing the Apollo Lunar Lander with the Command & Service Module as her greatest contribution to space exploration.  Profiled in the book and movie “Hidden Figures”. Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

Painting by Gregory Kavalec, displayed at Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitors Center, Kill Devil Hills, NC.