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Apollo 13 Commander James A. Lovell to receive inaugural National Aviation Hall of Fame Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award during “Oscar Night of Aviation”

Former astronaut to accept at 53rd Annual NAHF Enshrinement Dinner
& Ceremony on October 2, 2015 in Dayton

james-a-lovell-4(Dayton, Ohio – June 11, 2015)  The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) announced today the founding of the Neil Armstrong Outstanding Achievement Award, named after the first man to walk on the lunar surface and a 1979 Enshrinee of the Hall of Fame.  The Armstrong Award has been established by the NAHF to annually recognize an exceptional one-time aviation performance of national or international significance by a U.S. citizen, or by a group, the majority of which are U.S. citizens.

Former NASA astronaut, Captain James A. Lovell, USN (Ret), will be the recipient of the inaugural Armstrong Award, which he will personally accept during the NAHF 53rd Annual Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony on Friday, October 2, 2015.  Widely known as the “Oscar Night of Aviation,” the black-tie event takes place at the NAHF Learning Center and adjacent National Museum of the United States Air Force in Dayton, Ohio. The ceremony features the induction of the Enshrinee Class of 2015:  B/Gen Robert Cardenas, USAF (Ret); the late Robert N. Hartzell; Gene Kranz (NASA Flight Director for the Apollo 13 mission), and the late Abe Silverstein (considered “The Father of Apollo”).  Capt. Lovell’s previous honors include his 1998 induction in the NAHF.

The Armstrong Award recipient is determined by a committee of five NAHF Board members.  Capt. Lovell is being honored specifically for his demonstration of a high level of skill in an aviation event, as documented in the key role he played in the Apollo 13 mission on which he served as Mission Commander in April 1970. After the explosion of an oxygen tank aboard the orbiting Apollo Command Module crippled vital systems and caused the three-man crew to abort their mission, Capt. Lovell’s skill and leadership were instrumental in orchestrating their safe recovery to Earth.

“The establishment of the Armstrong Award provides the Hall of Fame a process to publicly acknowledge singular breakthroughs in aviation technology, leadership, and service,” explained NAHF Board Chairman, William R. Harris.   “To set the bar for this new award, we felt it wholly appropriate that Captain Lovell be so recognized for his courage, leadership and skill in bringing Apollo 13 safely home.  His actions, though 45 years ago and not on the surface of the moon, continue to inspire us today as much as those of the award’s namesake.”

Neil Armstrong was a native of Wapakoneta, Ohio, a former Naval aviator, and a record-setting test pilot.  After joining the astronaut program in 1962, he served as Command Pilot for Gemini VIII in 1966.  As Spacecraft Commander on Apollo 11, he made history on July 20, 1969, by becoming the first man to walk on the moon.  Armstrong was inducted into the NAHF in 1979, and passed away in 2012.

The 53rd Annual NAHF Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony is open to the public by advance registration only.  Several sponsor packages featuring premium seating remain available.  A capacity crowd is expected to attend.  To make reservations or more information, visit www.nationalaviation.org or call 937-256-0944 ext.11.

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Ron Kaplan
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