Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame

The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame is a nonprofit, publicly supported, tax exempt organization dedicated to honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, and/or advancement of aviation in Wyoming.  The Hall of Fame was established in 1995 through efforts of R.R. "Red" Kelso, a veteran Wyoming pilot.  The first four honorees were inducted in 1995.  Since 1995, one nominee has been inducted annually.  In 2020, in celebration of the organization's 25th anniversary, two individuals were inducted.  

The Aeronautics Commission selects the new inductee each year from the nominations submitted by the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame.  The number of inductees is limited to enhance the honor of being selected.

The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame also collects aviation historical artifacts for display to educate the public on Wyoming's significant role in aviation's early days. In addition, the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame maintains an archive including pilot biographies, which is available for researchers in Laramie at the American Heritage Center.

The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame is dependent upon individual contributions to finance its operations. Charitable, tax-deductible donations can be sent to the president at the address below.  Anyone wishing to submit a nomination can contact John Waggener, president of the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame.  Tax exempt contributions may also be sent to the following address:

Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame
Attn: John Waggener
1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3924

Laramie, WY 82071
Telephone:  (307) 766-2563

 

 

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Fueling a Ford Tri Motor in Casper in 1928.  Courtesy Herman C. Bretschneider Collection, American Heritage Center, University of Wyoming.  


Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame Celebrated 25th Anniversary in 2020

The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2020. After the formation of the Hall of Fame, the first inductions occurred in 1995, when Ralph Johnson, Harold Slim Lewis, Dillard Pic Walker, and Samuel Phillips were inducted at a ceremony in Cheyenne. Since the inaugural 1995 induction, only one induction occurs annually. Breaking from that tradition, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame, the board selected two individuals for induction into the hall of fame, Doyle Vaughan, of Jackson, and Daniel Hawkins, from Greybull.

The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame is a non-profit, publicly supported, tax-exempt organization dedicated to honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, and/or advancement of aviation in Wyoming. 

The organization comprises a board of directors and operates in conjunction with the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission. The late Red Kelso, of Cheyenne, began the effort to create the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame. The initial selection of inductees was made by the Wyoming Aeronautics Commissioners, including Ray Hunkins, of Wheatland, Carol Lewis and Brad Mead, of Jackson, Bill Hallam, Lander, Gene Bannister, Gillette, and Mike Vase, of Rock Springs. 

Those who assisted in forming the hall of fame included Gerald Adams, who was a retired USAF colonel from Cheyenne; Toni Brown, of Gillette, who was the secretary of the Wyoming Pilot’s Association; Curt Kaiser, who had an investment firm in Cheyenne; Kristi Feusner, who was assistant manager of the Cheyenne Airport, and Dick Spaeth, who was the State Aeronautics Director at the time. Current board members include Kent Nelson, retired USAF colonel and former Wyoming Aeronautics Commissioner; Dean McClain, who operates an ag flying business in Torrington; and John Waggener, a University of Wyoming archivist and transportation historian. 

For more information about the hall of fame, to nominate an individual, or to make a donation, please call Board Chairman John Waggener, in Laramie, at (307) 766-2563.