The San Antonio Aviation and Aerospace Hall of Fame inducted their 2017 honorees on Thursday, March 30. GDC Technics hosted the dinner at their hangar at Port San Antonio, which had several aircraft on site for the 500 guests to view. Your Chamber’s President and CEO Richard Perez was the Master of Ceremonies, and the Honorable Phil Hardberger was the keynote speaker. This is the second year of the program, which was spearheaded by Wayne Fagan, Chair of the Dee Howard Foundation. The event was part of the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Kelly Field.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was honored this year for her leadership in slowing the closure of Kelly Field, which was eventually replaced by the unique Port San Antonio. Lieutenant Colonel Olga Custodio (USAF Retired) was recognized for her leadership as the first Latina US military pilot, first Latina flight instructor for the Air Education and Training Command, and the first Latina captain for American Airlines.
Dr. Bernard A. Harris, Jr. was awarded for his leadership as a NASA astronaut: He was the first African America to perform a spacewalk during the second of his two Space Shuttle flights. Colonel William Charles Ocker and Major Carl Joseph Crane were recognized for their leadership in developing instrument flight systems, which resulted in the invention of the Pre-Flight Reflex Trainer, the Flight Integrator, and their co-authorship of the world’s first manual for instrumental flights, Blind Flight in Theory and Practice (1932).
Will Tuttle and Luther Bynum Clegg were honored for their leadership in funding and acquiring the land that was deeded to the US government that became Randolph Air Force Base and in the process helped retain Kelly Field in San Antonio. Both men led the Chamber’s Military Affairs committee, and Richard Perez was honored to accept the award on behalf of Mr. Tuttle. The 433rd Airlift Wing accepted an award for its leadership in ensuring combat readiness and performance of peacetime missions.
The San Antonio Chamber of Commerce would like to congratulate all the 2017 honorees for their achievement in and impact on the field of aviation and aerospace.