Announcement made at NBAA Convention – October 2016 ceremony enshrines first Shuttle pilot, Medal of Honor recipient, NASA pioneer and former EAA leader
(Las Vegas, NV – Nov. 18, 2015) Today the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) announced the names of four individuals who have been elected for enshrinement at its annual formal ceremony on Saturday, October 1, 2016 in Dayton. Enshrinement Director Ron Kaplan and NAHF Trustee Phil Roberts revealed the names before an audience of nearly 1,000 attendees at a special session of the annual National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Each year, the NAHF Board of Nominations, a voting body comprised of over 120 aviation professionals nationwide, selects a handful of previously nominated air and space pioneers to be recognized for their achievements with enshrinement into the NAHF. Since its founding in 1962, 229 men and women have been so honored.
The NAHF Class of 2016 is a diverse group representing a broad range of enduring contributions to both the advancement of flight and the manned exploration of space. The four to be formally enshrined on October 1, 2016, are:
- Capt. Robert L. Crippen, USN (Ret) – Former Naval Aviator who later joined the NASA astronaut corps, piloting first NASA Space Shuttle mission, STS-1, and three others before transitioning to Shuttle mission director roles.
- The late Col. George “Bud” Day, USAF (Ret) – Marines Corps combat veteran of WWII who became Air Force fighter pilot in Korea and S.E. Asia; shot down and spent 67 months as Vietnam War POW, earning the Medal of Honor.
- Christopher “Chris” Kraft, Jr. – NACA Aeronautical Engineer who became NASA’s first Flight Director, creating, implementing and directing its Mission Control Center for manned space flight programs.
- Tom Poberezny – Two-time former aerobatic champion and air show performer who later served as President, Chairman and CEO of the EAA; established the EAA Young Eagles program to encourage youth to become pilots.
The 54th Annual NAHF Enshrinement Dinner & Ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 1, 2016 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 ceremony is open to the public and reservations are available by advance purchase from the NAHF.
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 aerospace legends to inspire future leaders, which it does through a 17,000 square-foot public Learning Center featuring interactive exhibits, a youth education program, other public outreach programs, its annual enshrinement ceremony, and collaboration with like-minded organizations.
NAHF Enshrinement Director