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Hall of Fame

EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame

established 1995

Dennis Sanders

EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame 2019

In the warbird community, when you say the name Sanders, most people think of the Hawker Sea Fury. The Sanders family has spent decades restoring and maintaining these rare airplanes. Dennis Sanders has spent his entire life as an EAA and Warbirds of America member. In 1978, at the age of 19, he flew a Hawker Sea Fury T-20 from his home base in California to EAA Oshkosh and back. In 1970, Dennis, who was just 12 years old at the time, started working for the family business, Sanders Aircraft, alongside his father, 2002 Warbirds of America Hall of Fame inductee Frank Sanders. After his father died, Dennis kept the business growing alongside his brother, Brian, and mother, Ruth, eventually moving the company to Ione, California, in 1996. Since then, the next generation of Sanders family has joined the team. As an air racer, Dennis has participated in many Unlimited Gold National Championship races, holding several speed records along the way in his highly modified Sea Fury TMK-20 named Dreadnought.  In 2019, he flew his Sea Fury to victory the Unlimited Gold Race at The National Championship Air Races in Reno, NV.

He is a check airman at Reno and shares his wealth of experience and safety insights with other racers. He has been an air show performer since 1988 and is believed to be the highest time Sea Fury pilot in the world. As a mentor, he has guided many volunteers in their quest to learn more about these amazing aircraft. Dennis helped found America’s Living History Museum in Ione, California, where he shares the aircraft and history with the public.

 

Members of the Hall of Fame

Click the year on the timeline to view the member inducted from the associated year.

  1. 1995

    Five individuals were inducted into the EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame in 1995.  Paul Poberezny, Walt Ohlrich, John Baugh, Bill Harrison and G.L. “Jerry” Walburn.

    Paul Poberezny

    Paul Poberezny has been in love with airplanes for as long as he can remember.  In high school he restored a primary glider, taught himself to fly off auto tows and made nearly 3,000 flights in the aircraft.

    Over the years Paul has logged more than 30,000 hours of flight time.  He has flown more than 386 different types of aircraft, a great number of which have been both propeller and jet military aircraft.  His distinguished Air Force career spanned almost 30 years, during which time he served as a pilot, test pilot and flight instructor.  He is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War.  He is the only person to earn all seven aviation wings the military offers…without the benefit of initial military flight training.  His most notable achievement is, of course, the founding of the Experimental Aircraft Association and leading it through its first four decades.

    Paul says he can’t remember a day when the word “Airplane didn’t cross his lips, and he’d also be the first to tell you that he’s learned more about people in his lifetime than he ever did about airplanes.

    Walt Ohlrich

    During the initial Reno National Air Races in 1964, U.S. Navy Commander Walt Ohlrich discussed with friends the possibility of forming a club to serve as a clearinghouse of information to keep World War II-era racers airborne.

    From those talks grew the Warbirds of America, an organization of owners and operators of World War II combat aircraft.  Walt became Warbird member No. 1 and served as the group’s first president.  In 1967, after returning from a combat tour in Vietnam, he moved the organization to a new home and, with the help of EAAer Jerry Walburn and EAA President Paul Poberezny, the Warbirds of America became a division of EAA.  Since then, thanks to the vision of Walt Ohlrich, the organization has grown to 6,600 members and 13 Squadrons worldwide. 

    Like the motto that he chose for the Warbirds of America, Walt has been committed for more than 30 years to Keeping ’em Flying.

    G.L “Jerry” Walbrun

    Jerry Walbrun purchased his first warbird, a Fairchild PT-19, in 1950.  A string of restorations followed, including a PT-26, a BT-15, an AT-6 and a T-28.  An avid World War II aviation enthusiast and owner, he was one of the first pilots to attend an EAA Convention in a warbird.  A newly purchased P-51.

    Jerry has flown in the airshow circuit in his Mustang and SNJ-5, has been a member of the Six of Diamonds flight team and led T-6 formations at the EAA Convention at Oshkosh.  He was instrumental in the formation of the EAA Warbirds of America division and has held all four of the organization’s elected offices, including president.  In 1987 he joined the staff at EAA Headquarters, where he played a significant role in establishing EAA’s governmental policy.  

    Prior to devoting his talents to EAA, Jerry spent 35 years in marketing and field services with the Buick Division of General Motors.  Now residing at the Leeward Air Ranch near Ocala, FL, he continues to lend his expertise to EAA and plays an active role in both EAA and Warbirds of America activities.

    John Baugh

    John Baugh is still known to Warbird enthusiasts as the pilot of the P-51 “Miss Coronado” which he owned for many years and flew at airshows and fly-ins across the country.  A Navy veteran, he is a successful Lebanon, Tennessee businessman with a Commercial pilot’s license and instrument, single and multi-engine, instructor, rotorwing and seaplane ratings.  His first love is warbirds, however, and he has flown, owned or restored a PT-23, PT-17, Messerschmitt 108 and 208 and a 1955 T-34B, in addition to his Mustang.

    John served five one-year terms as Warbirds of America president, formed the first Warbird Squadron and is a member of the Warbirds board of directors.  In 1990 he was appointed by the governor of Tennessee to serve on the Tennessee State Board of Transportation’s Aeronautics Division.

    John has an excellent rapport with all phases of the flying community and loves to serve aviation for the greater benefit of all.

    Bill Harrison

    William E. “Bill” Harrison learned to fly at age 16 and has owned, restored and flown many different types of Warbirds, ranging from helicopters to piston bombers to military jets.

    Bill is an orthopedic hand surgeon from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and has been an active member of the Warbirds of America since 1971.  He has served on the organization’s board of directors, served two two-year terms as president, as well as serving on the board of the EAA Aviation Foundation.  In 1981 Bill and his fellow members of “B-17 Around the World, Inc.” donated their B-17 to the EAA Air Adventure Museum where it has become a star attraction in the Eagle Hangar and on its nationwide tours.

    To Bill, the best thing about being a Warbird member has been the opportunity to meet the many wonderful people who share his love of aviation and military aircraft.

     

  2. 1996

    Two individuals were inducted into the EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame in 1996.  Dr. Richard “Dick Dieter and Charlie Nogle.

    Dick Dieter

    Dr. Richard “Dick” Dieter (EAA 56531) was born on April 8, 1930 in Kentland, IN, the second of four children.  His father’s military responsibilities led to childhood travels throughout the east and south but the Dieters eventually settled in South Bend, Indiana.  Francis and E.J. Dieter had an obvious sense of humor, for after naming their first two children Mary Jane and Dick, they follow with a Tom and Harry.  

    Dick’s interest in flying began after high school when he was given flying lessons as a graduation present from his parents.  He enlisted in the Navy in 1949 and spent four years as hospital corpsman.  Due to colorblindness he was not eligible for flight training, so, he jokes today, he spent the Korean War period in Trinidad fighting off snakes.

    After attending Indiana University, Dick married Flora Jean Solzan in 1955.  Following podiatry school in Cleveland, the Dieters returned to South Bend and raised a three-D family of children: Derek David, Daria Denise and Damian Drew Dieter.

    Eventually Dick was able to resume flying and flew an Aero Commander to his first EAA Convention at Rockford in 1969.  That year he and his partner, John Worley, purchased an SNJ-5 and the following year at Oshkosh, Jerry Walbrun asked him to participate in the Warbird Air Show.  Dick says he was so excited he forgot to retract his gear, but overcame his embarrassment and has appeared at every subsequent EAA Convention with a Warbird of one type or another.

    The SNJ was traded for a T-28A “before owning one became fashionable.”  In 1975 Dick bought out his partner and restored the airplane with its familiar red, white and blue paint scheme and the name “Jeannie” emblazoned on the nose.  He would fly the T-28 until 1990, logging some 2,000 hours along the way.

    In 1978, Len Tanner, a past Warbird director, loaned Dick his P-51 to play with over the winter.  Dick always dreamed of flying a Mustang, so Tanner said, “Here, get it out of your system!”

    In 1979 Dick found a stock TBM in Nevada and along with Ray Stutsman, flew the seven-seated Turkey until 1983.  In 1990 Dick purchased his present Twin Bonanza and restored it to its present red, white and blue “Dragon Lady” Configuration.

    Over the years, Dick has been an active participant in EAA Warbirds of America affairs.  He was instrumental in instituting the Warbird’s merchandising effort and was involved in the decision-making process that produced the Warbird uniform.  He has also served the organization as the vice president, recording secretary and Convention Chairman.

    Charlie Nogle

    Charlie Nogle (EAA 13494) was born in February of 1931 in Champaign, IL.  He was introduced to flying at the age of six by a local owner/pilot of a Stinson SM-8A, and when he was 16, his uncle bought an Ercoupe in which both learned to fly.  Charlie earned his Private license the following year and obtained his Commercial license when he was 20.He spent three years at Miami University, Oxford, OH studying business administration and while there he was enrolled in the Air Force ROTC.  He was unable to pass the Air Force physical for orthopedic reasons, however, so was not able to pursue Air Force flight training.  He transferred to the University of Illinois for his senior year and graduated with honors and a B. S. degree in the spring of 1953.

    Charlie’s professional career began with employment with Illinois Bell Telephone.  He spent two and a half years with the company in the Chicago area, but returned to Champaign to start a mechanical contracting business and raise a family.  He and his wife Diana would have four children:  Jim, Jud, John, Ellen and stepson Josh.  Jim, Jud and Ellen are active pilots and EAA Warbird members today.

    In 1959 Charlie began collecting wrecks and parts for his first T-34 project.  This first of many basket cases resurrected from military salvage first flew again in 1962.  Since then, 26 or more Mentor derelicts have been brought back to flying condition by Nogle & Black Aviation, Inc.  (Nogle & Black is a family business name that dates back to the late 1800s, even though there has not been a person named Black involved since 1936.) Over 110 T-34s have had powerplant STC conversions to 285/300 h.p. at his facility.  His aviation and property investment business were demanding more time, so Charlie sold his mechanical contracting company in 1975. At the time, he called it an early retirement, but his subsequent activity tells a different story.

    In 1975 Charlie placed an ad in Trade-A-Plane that led directly to the formation of the T-34 Association and the first T-34 Fly-In.  This group has grown to about 350 current members and Mentors are now welcome contributors to all warbird events nationwide.  The formation patch system and the Formation Flight Manual were Charlie’s brainchildren and products of the T-34 Association.  

    Over his aviation career, Charlie has been a fixed base operator, Warbird director, owner of over 25 different airplanes, not including the dozens of T-34s he has owned.  In addition to his aviation interests, he is also a World War II history buff, especially as it relates to the air war.  He assisted the Ernie Pyle Museum in Dana, Indiana with many contributions, including his first Jeep restoration.  He has subsequently collected a fleet of military Jeeps, which he trucks to Oshkosh for use on the flight line each year.

    In 1994 Charlie built a private hangar at the Willard Airport in Champaign to store in an appropriate environment his family’s aircraft collection and to serve as a meeting place for his aviation friends.  The collection of aircraft now includes a T-34A, T-34B, AT-34 Allison, E Model Baron, E-33A Bonanza, V-35 Bonanza, Cessna 150 and Pilatus PC-7.  Charlie welcomes visitors, but you may have a hard time finding him at home.  At any given moment he is probably on the road to Wichita or transporting parts to one of his three aircraft shops.

    Currently, Charlie is working on another T-34 basketcase.  This one, however, is his first T-34C model.  He is lacking only a rebuildable nose section to make it a complete project.

  3. 1997

    Three individuals were inducted into the EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame in 1997.  Jeff Ethell, Rudy Frasca and Sue Parish.

     

    Jeff Ethel

    Jeff Ethell was born to fly military aircraft.  His father was a fighter pilot at California’s March Air Force Base when Jeff was born in 1947.  Soon, young Jeff was interested in Warbirds.  He learned to fly from his dad in a Navion and a T-34.  When a preflight physical revealed his 20/40 vision would prevent him from entering flight training at the Air Force Academy, Jeff pursued civil flight training instead.  He soloed at age 18 and went on to obtain his commercial, instrument, multi-engine, CFI and unrestricted High Performance Piston Engine letter of authorization to fly all types of World War II aircraft.  During his illustrious career, Jeff logged over 5,000 hours in more than 215 different types of aircraft.

    An ordained Baptist minister, Jeff majored in English and history during his collegiate studies.  He received research grants from the National Air and Space Museum to research and write books about various military aircraft from the museum’s collection, including the Messerschmitt 163, F6F Hellcat and P-38 Lightning.  The books were so successful Jeff took future projects on the open market.

    By 1973, Jeff received clearance to fly with the military services in all types of front-line combat aircraft.  Several years later, he received the call sign “Fighter Writer” in recognition of his writing and flying abilities.  He would ultimately fly everything from World War II fighters and bombers to todays high-tech jets.

    Jeff was recognized as one of the World’s leading authorities on warbird aircraft as well as on weapons effectiveness and battle strategy.  At last count, he had written 64 books and more than 1,000 magazine articles.  He served as editor of EAA’s Warbirds magazine from 1980 to 1992 and as a contributor until the time of his death.  Jeff’s writing ability and on-screen talent were showcased on ABC’s “Wide World of Flying”; Speedvision’s “Roaring Glory”; A&E’s “First Flights” hosted by Neil Armstrong; the Discovery Channel’s “Wings” Series; “Top Guns Over Moscow” on the PBS Series NOVA; and countless others.  He also received special recognition from organizations that ranged from the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, Order of Daedalians and American Fighter Aces to the National Warplane Museum, EAA and the EAA Warbirds of America.  Prior to his death, Jeff fulfilled a lifelong dream of piloting a P-38, the type in which his father had flown more than 50 years earlier.

    Rudy Frasca

    Rudy Frasca has been involved with aviation since he soloed in 1945 at age 14.  In his 50-plus years of active flying, he has logged more than 13,000 hours in a great number of types of aircraft.  His personal collection of Warbird aircraft has included a P-40E, SNJ, T-34, FM-2 Wildcat, MK. 18 Spitfire, Fiat G46, SE-5 replica, AT-6 “Zero” look-alike and a host of others.  Several have appeared in movies such as “Midway” and “1941.”

    Rudy’s interest in Warbird aircraft has spanned almost all his flying career.  An EAA member since 1956 and a charter member of EAA Chapter 29 in Champaign, IL, Rudy has been heavily involved with Warbird activities since the organization was officially chartered in 1968.  He has participated in every EAA Convention with flying or static Warbird aircraft since 1969.  During that time he has also participated in other Warbird events and activities across the country on a regular basis. 

    Rudy has served the EAA Warbirds of America in virtually every capacity since those early days.  He has held every elected Warbird office, including a term as president in 1975.  He has also contributed to EAA’s Warbirds magazine as well as other publications that have featured his military aircraft.  Rudy has been a major sponsor of exhibits and activities relating to the EAA Air Adventure Museum, most notably the Flight Simulation exhibit.  He has also been a generous contributor to other EAA projects.  

    Currently, Rudy continues his work as founder and president of Frasca International, which manufactures more flight simulators than any other company in the world.  Frasca International, which ships to clients in 75 countries, is the only company capable of producing a complete line of simulators for single engine, multi-engine, fixed wing and helicopter training.  

    Rudy is also the owner/developer of the Frasca Air Museum, which showcases aircraft, engines, simulators and artifacts, and Frasca Field, a 470 acre complex that includes comprehensive FBO services, services as a site for numerous air shows, open houses and displays.

    A member of the Illinois Hall of Fame and the Chanute Hall of Fame, Rudy organized and sits on the board of directors of the Illinois Military Hall of Fame.  He has passed along his passion for Warbird aircraft to family members who continue Rudy’s selfless contributions to the aviation and Warbird communities. 

    Sue Parish

    Perhaps the best way to get Sue Parish to do something is to tell her she can’t.  Known to tens of thousands of air show enthusiasts as the pilot of “that pink P-40,” Sue has been proving naysayers wrong since she was a child.  But it was a passion for horses and a subsequent fall from one of her mounts that proved to be a turning point in her life.

    While mending a broken ankle from the fall, Sue accepted an invitation to a local airport.  Her first flight was in an Aeronca Chief, during which she learned the true meaning of the word “horsepower” (or lack of).  Later, when her family moved to Phoenix, Sue flew Luscombes, Taylorcraft and a Stinson at Sky Harbor Airport, all before the age of 20.

    With World War II raging in Europe, Sue longed to join Jackie Cochran and become a Women’s Airforce Service Pilot (WASP).  Initially denied entry because of her youth, Sue became even more determined and, in short order, obtained her Private ticket, Instrument rating, Commercial license and an Instructor’s rating – and forwarded her new credentials to Jackie Cochran.  Following her 21st birthday and a successful flight physical, Sue entered the WASP lass of 44-W-6 in 1944 and began training in a PT-17 at Sweetwater, Texas.  She completed Instrument School at Bryant, Texas and became a “back to service” test pilot, checking out aircraft following maintenance and repair.

    After the war, the returning flood of combat pilots made it difficult for Sue to find work with the airlines.  After a stint as a Red Cross Motor Corps driver, she met and married Preston “Pete” Parish, a former Marine aviator, who encouraged her aviation interests. They owned several Bonanzas before purchasing a Stearman, a Texan and a Wildcat.  When a P-40 Warhawk became available, Sue purchased it and had it restored to airworthy condition.  With its “desert pink” paint scheme, a legend was born.

    Sue is co-founder and past president of the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, whose collection includes her air show Texan, the pink P-40, a pink T-34 and that 65 hp Aeronca Chief.  She has also served on numerous boards of directors, including the EAA Warbirds of America, Kal-Aero, the 99s, Jackson Space Center, Kalamazoo Civic Auditorium and Kalamazoo Civic Players.  Her adventurous and pioneering spirit complement her affinity for the arts as both a performer and patron.

  4. 1998

    Two individuals were inducted into the EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame in 1998.  John Ellis and Randy Sohn.

    John Ellis

    John Ellis has been a member of EAA Warbirds since 1973 and has attended 25 consecutive conventions since that time.  He served on the Warbird Board of Directors for two decades, as secretary for 13 years and as a member of the safety committee for 11 years.  He also served as Warbird Air Boss from 1977 through 1980.

    John received a Naval ROTC scholarship to the University of Missouri and graduated in June of 1962 with a Bachelor of Science degree and a regular commission in the U.S. Navy.  He flew the Grumman F9F Cougar through carrier qualifications on the U.S.S. Lexington and received his wings in December of 1963.  He was released from active duty in 1967.

    That same year John founded Kal-Aero, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan with seven employees.  By February 1998, when Kal-Aero was acquired by Duncan Aviation, the company had 365 employees.

    Through his military experience and warbird activity, John has flown a wide variety of former military aircraft, including the SNJ, T-28, T-34, F6F, FG-1D, F7F, F8F, P-51, P-47, P-39, AD-4N, C-4A, S2F, AF Guardian, N2S, A-4, T-2, T-38 and C-47.

    John says that while he did not enjoy night carrier landings, he does take pride in being able to say, “Been there, done that.”

    Randy Sohn

    Randall Sohn took his first flying lesson the same year he entered the U.S. Air Force: 1953.

    Randy began his military career as a radar operator, but soon advanced to flight training, piloting PA-18s, T-6s, T-28s and B-25s.  He was a distinguished graduate of the Aviation Cadets in May 1955 and was released from active duty in 1960…but was recalled the next year for the Berlin Crisis.  During this time he also received his Airline Transport license, CFI rating and both four-engine and jet checkouts.  He joined the Minnesota Air National Guard and rose to the rank of major.

    Randy was hired by North Central Airlines in 1960 and in progressing from the right to the left seat, flew the DC-3, DC-6, DC-9, DC-10, Convair 340/440, the 727 and 747.  He also became an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner for the Convair 580 and the PBY.  He retired as a Northwest captain in 1994.

    Randy was an early member of both EAA and EAA’s Warbirds of America.  He is currently the Program Coordinator for EAA’s National Designated Pilot Examiner registry and flies and checks out other pilots in EAA’s B-17, Aluminum Overcast.

  5. 1999

    Two individuals were inducted into the EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame in 1999.  Richard Ervin and William Grant Dodds.

    Richard Ervin

    Like many youth of the era, Dick Ervin, an Iowa native, got his first airplane ride at 12 years old, after riding his bicycle to the local airport.  His lifelong aviation interest was influenced by the Navy Primary Flight School in Ottumwa.

    He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1952 and qualified as an aviation cadet while in basic training.  Just to show how small the warbird community really is, his first checkride was administered by Hal Weekley, a long time active member of the EAA Warbirds of America.  Ironically, Hal flunked Dick on his ride.  While demonstrating spin recovery, Dick’s input caused Hal to come out of his seat and he hit his head on the frame of the T-6!  Lucky for us, though, Dick passed the next checkride and later he became an instructor in the T-28 and T-33.

    A small world it is indeed, for while Dick was stationed with the Iowa Air Guard and attending Iowa State University, he had the opportunity to meet Paul Poberezny when he delivered the first F-89 to the unit.  The rest, shall we say, is history.

    Currently the treasurer of the EAA Warbirds of America, Dick has served as president and vice president, and has chaired and/or served on the Convention, Nominating, Strategic Planning, Squadrons and Judging and Awards Committees.  He also organized the first meeting of warbird museums, collectors and owners; this meeting was the forerunner of the current annual National Warbird Operators Conference.  Further, he is a charter member and board member of Indiana Squadron 3 of the Warbirds of America, as well as a past officer of EAA Chapter 67 and the Indianapolis Aero Club.

    Throughout their 35 years of marriage his wife, Joan, has been right there with him.  In fact, their first date was an airshow!  Today they reside in Indianapolis and Fort Myers, Florida, and own a T-28 and a Piper Vegabond under restoration.

    William Grant Dodds

    Bill Dodds’ first flight, at the age of 10, was a birthday present from his father.  That was the spark that started the aviation fire in him.  At 14, he was taking lessons and saving his money so that by 17, he had enough to send himself to the American Flyers School in Fort Worth, Texas.  He returned to his native New Jersey at 18 and ran the entire Hadley Airport

    Not content to stop there, he shortly thereafter was hired by Seaboard and Western Airlines, which became Seaboard World, Flying Tigers, and then Federal Express.  During this time, he began flying warbirds.  His true love was his T-6, “Squeeze”, which he flew with the Six of Diamonds flight team, but he also flew many other types, including those in Jeff Clyman’s (Avirex) collection of warbirds, as a result of skill and charm.  His son David related, “Given the opportunity, he would charm the keys away from many a warbird owner.”

    Bill’s passion for flight – safe flight – became an asset to the warbird community.  Bill Harrison said it well, “He loved to fly and he loved to teach others to fly and to fly safely.  His checkrides and instruction were thorough, fair, but most of all, fun.”  Bill did train many to fly warbirds, including his two sons, both of whom are now airline flight officers.  He was an integral part of EAA’s National Designated Pilot Examiner Program.  He also was an energetic member of the EAA Warbirds Aerobatic Competency Evaluator program.

    The aviation world lost a great member and friend in Bill, who died of a heart attack at an airshow in 1997, but his spirit lives on in those who continue to fly warbirds.

  6. 2000

    Dave Schlingman

    David Schlingman did more than just go to college.  In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and an associate’s degree in aviation technology, the Pottstown, Pennsylvania, native gave civilian and ROTC flight instruction, flew charters in the summer, and got hooked on warbirds, thanks to the Army Guard’s L-19 and Gary Levitz and his P-51.

    Feeding his passion he crewed for the unlimited F8F racer, “Rare Bear,” and kept adding to his pilot ratings until he held an airline transport pilot certificate and a warbird unlimited letter of authorization.  He went to work for TWA in 1964, and through the years he’s served as a flight engineer, captain, simulator instructor, ground school instructor, and line instructor who has flown everything in the line’s fleet starting with the Lockheed Constellation and including the entire Boeing 7-series.

    Dave crossed the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans 1,041 times and flew TWA’s last 747 flight from Tel Aviv, Israel, to New York in February1998.  In another 747, he and his crew also set the speed record between New York and Rome – six hours, 34 minutes – that still stands.  He retired from TWA after his last Honolulu to St. Louis flight in December 1998 as the airline’s highest time 767 captain with 6,727 hours.

    Dave joined EAA Warbirds of America in 1976, was elected one of its directors in 1981, and served as its vice president from 1982 to 1988.  He led the committee that responded to the Hamilton Standard propeller Airworthiness Directive and the committee for the small N-number exemption.  But Dave found his warbird niche in 1997 when he started working as an air boss with Walt Troyer at Forbes AFB in Topeka, Kansas, and with Reg Urschler at Offutt AFB in Omaha, Nebraska.

    Soon thereafter, Dave became the air boss at EAA AirVenture and EAA Sun ‘n Fun, a position he held at Oshkosh until 1998 and holds today at Sun ‘n Fun.  His favorite AirVenture shows are 1985’s Tribute to Vietnam Veterans and 1995’s Tribute to Valor, during which 172 warbirds crossed the airport from three directions.

    Dave owned a number of warbirds between 1977 and 1998, including a T-34 and a T-28, in which he flew 1,800 hours.  And he’s flown a number of his friends’ warbirds; T-34, A-26B, B-17, AD-4 Skyraider, P-51, T-6, B-25, AT-11, L-19, L-17, S-2 Tracker and a Tiger Moth he flew in England with one of the Concorde pilots (remember, Dave, drive on the left side of the road and push left rudder on takeoff).

    A volunteer at Sun ‘n Fun since 1975 and director since 1988, Dave has left his mark on this event’s operations and other Florida aviation activities in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area, and he has formed committees to save his local airport from commercial development.  For his efforts, he has twice been awarded the key to the city!  With more than 23,500 flight hours, Dave Schlingman truly embodies the Warbirds motto, “Keep ’em Flying.”

  7. 2001

    Two individuals were inducted into the EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame in 2001.  Lincoln Dexter and Edward T. Maloney.

    Lincoln Dexter

    Lincoln Dexter graduated from Boston’s Wentworth Institute of Technology Aviation School in 1956 and joined the U.S. Navy.  He earned his wings of gold at Naval Air Station Pensacola in 1958 and flew the Bell 47 and the Piasecki HUP-1.

    In the fleet, Linc rubbed wings with some of the world’s military leaders.  Aboard the USS Pocono, Linc was a department head and supported the ship with advance security work for a visit from President Eisenhower.  In 1959, he gave Winston Churchill his first helicopter flight, from Nice, France to the USS Randolph.  After the flight, Churchill invited Linc and his crew home for dinner.  

    Linc returned to Pensacola, where he served as a flight instructor, maintenance officer and test pilot.  Later, he had the opportunity to fly virtually everything in the Navy’s inventory, and he logged more than 1,500 carrier landings in the process.  

    Leaving the Navy in 1968, Linc joined Seaboard World Airlines as a first officer flying DC-8s, and he eventually became a C-46 Captain.  Seaboard merged with Flying Tigers in 1980, and Linc captained a DC-8, 727, and 747 before he retired from Flying Tigers in 1987.  Never losing his love for warbirds, Linc decided to have some fun with them after his retirement.  He’s a former T-28 owner and is currently a partner in another T-28.  Since 1987, Linc has also been performing T-28 annual inspections and maintenance in his hangar in Pine Shadows Airpark.

    EAA and AirVenture have also played a big role in Linc’s life.  He’s the former Warbird Flight Line Chairman, and during the 1980’s he brought a Flying Tigers DC-8 to Oshkosh.  For many years it was the largest aircraft to attend the event.  

    Linc has logged more than 32,000 flying hours, and his journeys have taken him around the world.  He currently flies the EAA Aviation Foundation B-17 and is working on a GlaStar with a neighbor.  Lynn, his wife of more than 23 years, is also a volunteer in Warbird Volunteer Food Service.

    Edward T. Maloney

    Edward Maloney is a modest man who, since 1948, has amassed an impressive aircraft collection that includes more than 145 aircraft that can be seen at the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California.  Born out of Ed’s desire to preserve at least one example of as many different aircraft as possible, Planes of Fame is the oldest privately operated air museum in the world.

    To this day, Ed directs the facility he founded, and he instituted an unheard of concept when he created the museum – flying the aircraft in the collection so visitors could see the aircraft in their natural environment.  Since then, many other museums around the world have embraced the same concept.

    Among the many magnificent aircraft Ed has collected is the world’s sole surviving Mitsubishi A6M-5 Model 52, the renowned Japanese Zero.  Other one-of-a-kind aircraft Ed has helped preserve and maintain in flying condition include a Boeing P12E, Seversky 2PA/AT-12A Guardsman, and a Boeing P-26A.

    Ed’s accomplishments with warbird aircraft and the Planes of Fame Museum are remarkable, but he is also an esteemed member of several organizations including the Civil Air Patrol, American Aviation Historical Society, Navy League, the Museum Director’s Association, and, of course, EAA.  In his “spare time,” Ed has written 26 aviation books and co-founded the “Aero Series” collection of aviation books.

    Ed Maloney is truly an aviation historian who has not only chronicled the lives of some amazing aircraft, but he has also maintained these aircrafts in airworthy condition so his passion for aviation can be shared with future generations.

  8. 2002

    Frank C. Sanders

    Frank Sanders, Member number 41, was one of the early supporters of Warbirds of America.  Throughout his life he wore many caps:  Air show pilot, homebuilder, warbird restorer, instructor, aviation researcher, inventor, stunt pilot, test pilot, businessman, and author.

    As an air show pilot Frank flew a fabulous air show act in his Sea Fury at shows across the western United States.  A regular at EAA Oshkosh, for seven years he flew right wing in Team America’s tight three-ship formation.  As a test pilot Frank flew his homebuilts and warbird restorations, particularly for his smoke generator research.  A contract instructor at the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School, he also raced his P-51 at Fox Field in 1965 and in 1971 won the Mojave 1000 in his Sea Fury.

    Some other facets of his career include becoming a film and television stunt pilot and an aircraft builder and restorer in 1969.  This latter interest led to a successful business, Sanders Aircraft, which he formed with his wife Ruth.  Known for its warbird restorations and Smokewinders (smoke generators), the business thrives today with Ruth and their sons, Dennis and Brian at the helm.

    Before his death in 1990, Frank wrote several papers on air show safety and served on various safety boards. When asked why he put so much effort into safety articles, he once explained: “I feel I can make a difference, and possibly save a life; That’s what makes it worthwhile.”

  9. 2003

    Lloyd Parker Nolen

    Lloyd Parker Nolen was born in Texarkana, Texas, in 1923 and earned his pilot’s certificate while in high school.  When a vision problem prevented him from military flying, he became a civilian instructor of military aviation cadets in 1943.

    After World War II, Lloyd established a successful crop dusting company that gave him the resources to pursue his undiminished ambition to fly World War II fighters.  In 1951, he purchased a Curtiss P-40 and in 1957, with several partners, bought a P-51 mustang.  The following year he added an F8F Bearcat to his collection.

    These P-51 and F8F became the nucleus of the Confederate Air Force (now the Commemorative Air Force, CAF), which he led from 1961 until his death in 1991.  Through Lloyd’s guidance, leadership and dedication, more than 100 rare warbirds were restored.  Today, these beautiful aircraft can be seen and heard at airshows, museums and displays across the country.

    Chuck Doyle

    Chuck Doyle has lived a colorful aviation career that began in 1932 when at age 16 he soloed a Waco.  During his senior year in high school he bought and restored his first plane, and his daredevil tendencies helped him earn a lucrative living as a barnstormer.  Engaging in stunts like motorcycle-to-airplane transfers, he made his first parachute jump in 1935 and learned the art of smoke skywriting, which he did for more than 50 years.

    Northwest Airways hired Chuck as a copilot in 1942 and immediately transferred him into the CG-4A glider program – a joint operation with the U.S. Army Air Forces.

    After the war, he returned to passenger service and flew for Northwest until his retirement.

    Besides flying, Chuck enjoys building, restoring, and owning aircraft:  Warbirds are among his favorite.  Since purchasing that first airplane in 1933, he’s owned more than 80 airplanes.  And, like most pilots, Chuck enjoys sharing his aviation knowledge, experience and Aircraft with others.

  10. 2004

    Howard Pardue

    Howard Pardue (EAA 127179) was inducted into the EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame.  Pardue has logged 14,000 flight hours in 120 different types of aircraft in more than 50 years of flying.  He flew more than a dozen types of aircraft as a military pilot, then turned to warbird air show flying and competing at the National Championship Air Races.  Pardue also showed his passion for military aircraft by founding the Breckenridge Aviation Museum in Texas.

     

  11. 2005

    Steve Hinton

    A pilot since 1971, Steve Hinton has logged more than 9,500 hours, with more than 120 aircraft types flown.  He has been an A&P mechanic since 1976.

    Hinton has been an air show performer in the United States, Europe and Japan since 1972.  As an Unlimited Air Racer from 1975 through 1990, he captured six unlimited victories, including two National Championships.  He was a world speed record holder for more than a decade for piston-powered aircraft – 499 miles per hour in a Red Baron – a feat that was captured on ABC-TV’s American Sportsman series.  During the late 1970s and early 1980s, Hinton also flew for Western Airlines.

    His film and TV aviation career began in 1976, flying a variety of warbirds for the television series “Baa Baa Black Sheep”.  He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and a charter and board member of the Motion Picture Pilots Association.  He has been a movie pilot and coordinator since 1977, in films and TV series such as “The Aviator”, “Waterworld”, “The Rocketeer”, “Forever Young”, “Always”, “Blue Thunder”, “Flight of the Intruder”, “Iron Eagles 3”, and “Pearl Harbor”.

    Since 1994, Hinton has been the president of the Planes of Fame Museum, with two facilities – Chino, California, and Valle Grand Canyon, Arizona.  He is also the owner of Fighter Rebuilders, an aircraft restoration company that consults, restores, test flies, and certifies fighter and bomber aircraft for collectors as well as museums in the Untied States and Great Britain.

    Kermit Weeks

    At age 16 Kermit Weeks bought a set of drawings for $40 and began construction of his first flyable homebuilt aircraft.  He went on to design and build a Weeks Special a few years later, which he flew to make the U.S. Aerobatic Team at 24.  He placed second overall in the Special, winning three silvers and a bronze at his first World Aerobatic Championship in 1978.  He also built and developed another aircraft called the Weeks Solution, and eventually won 20 medals at the world level and became a two-time U.S. National Aerobatic Champion.

    One of the proudest days of his life was when he taxied into a ramp full of friends in his new P-51D Mustang “Cripes A’Mighty” at age 25.  As he began to collect more aircraft, he started to work with the local airport authorities to build a museum in southwest Miami.

    He outgrew the Weeks Air Museum before the doors even opened, so in 1987 he purchased 250 acres in central Florida to develop his dream called Fantasy of Flight, which now houses aircraft from the beginning of flight through early jets.

    Weeks’ warbird collection includes every major fighter and bomber the Americans flew during World War II, as well as the largest private collection of WWII British aircraft.  He and his crew set a new standard with the winning of Oshkosh Grand Champion Warbird for their restoration of “Cripes A’Mighty”.  After suffering damage from Hurricane Andrew, it was re-restored to an even higher standard and won Grand Champion again 10 years later.

  12. 2006

    Two individuals were inducted into the EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame in 2006.  Jack Harrington (EAA 266182, Warbirds 9941) and Daryl Lenz (EAA 125926)

    Jack Harrington

    Jack Harrington, a current EAA Warbirds of America Board Member, and past president, began serving the organization in 1992.  He currently serves on the Warbirds Executive, Nominating, and Government Affairs committees.  His expertise in the government affairs arena has helped establish a solid working relationship with the FAA.  Jack served two terms as Warbirds president from 1996-2000.  Jack also serves on the EAA Board of Directors and is a founding member of the EAA Legal Advisory Council.

     

    Daryl Lenz

    Daryl was a former EAA director of aircraft maintenance, and was a strong supporter of the warbird movement.  His work helped thousands of people experience the sights and sounds of WWII aviation through EAA’s B-17, Aluminum Overcast.  His work also included organizing and operating AeroShell Square, the center of activity at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.  Tragically killed in an automobile accident this year, he was immortalized on the closing day of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2006 when the AeroShell Square operations building was renamed the Daryl Lenz Center.

  13. 2007

    Wilson Connell “Connie” Edwards

    Wilson Connell “Connie” Edwards was employed by United Artists as chief stunt pilot for the movie Battle of Britain and flew the ME-109, Spitfire, Hurricane, Heinkel, and B-25 camera plane, among many others.  HE is the owner and pilot of PBY N4NC, which flew to Europe in 1986, reenacting the first Atlantic crossing by his specific type of aircraft, the 1919 flight of the Navy NC-4. HE has won many awards including the Seaplane Pilot of the Year award, the John Henry Towers Award from the Naval Aviation Commandery, donations of a P-38, ME-109, and F4U to the EAA Museum, and the Peoples Choice Award from the EAA in 1986.

  14. 2008

    Connie Bowlin

    After completing studies at Winston-Salem Business College in 1970, Connie Bowlin began her aviation career as a Delta Airlines flight attendant.  During her time with Delta, she obtained her private, commercial and airline transport pilot certificates and multiengine and instrument ratings.  She became the fourth female pilot hired by Delta and one of the first 50 women pilots hired by a major commercial airline.

    Bowlin flew as a second officer on the Boeing 727 and as a copilot on the DC-9 and Boeing 767/757 before eventually moving to captain on the DC-9.  In 2003, she retired as a Boeing 767/757 captain.  She not only flew commercial aircraft but warbirds as well.  She has enjoyed flying the P-51 Mustang and EAA’s B-17.  She has more than 17,000 hours of flying time in more than 70 different aircraft.  

    Her involvement with warbirds, aviation history, and aviation friendships inspired her to co-found AviationAutographs.com.  She has also become one of the driving forces behind EAA’s popular Warbirds in Review program at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.  In 1998, Bowlin was honored as an Eagle at the Gathering of Eagles and remains an inspiration to both female and male pilots.

  15. 2009

    George Baker

    George H. Baker was born January 19, 1930 in Hawthorne, NJ and has been flying since the age of 16.  He soloed in 1946 while in the eleventh grade in high school.  At the age of 20, he started in the aircraft restoration profession, starting with a Culver Cadet.

    George is well known for his restoration work on Beechcraft T-34’s and flying his aerobatic routine in the unique Curtis-Wright R-3350 powered Hawker “Sky Fury”.

    Over the years George has won numerous awards for his T-34, N341GB, including Grand Champion Warbird at EAA AirVenture 2000, along with the Reserve Grand Champion at the 2001 & 2002 Sun ‘n Fun Fly-Ins.  He was also awarded the Golden Wrench for his meticulous restoration work.  In 2004, he won a Preservation Award at the Sun ‘n Fun Fly-In.  George has also travelled the globe to recover and restore a number of warbird aircraft.

    He is also recognized for his efforts to inspire future aviators, mechanics, and other warbird enthusiasts, by sharing his vast knowledge of aviation and restoration work.

    George has been a member of EAA Warbirds of America since 1974 and was a founding member and past commander of the Valiant Air Command.  He has served as the chief pilot for NASCAR and the Daytona International Speedway and has flown over 100 different types of aircraft, accumulating over 20,000 hours of flying time.

  16. 2010

    Harold D. “Hal” Weekley

    Harold D. “Hal” Weekley began flight training in 1936.  In fall 1942, he was assigned to the U.S. Army Air Forces.  A year later, Hal graduated from flight school as an Army Air Forces pilot and was commissioned as a second lieutenant.  In 1944, he went to England and flew 20 combat missions.  On his last mission he was shot down by flak.  After bailing out at 20,000 feet, he successfully evaded capture for several weeks, hidden by the local French people.

    Hal also trained jet instructor pilots during both the Korean and Vietnam wars.  After retirement from the Air Force, he worked with the FAA for 14 years.  He has amassed more than 20,000 hours in 97 different aircraft types and his certificates include airline transport pilot and airplane multi-engine land with type ratings in the DC-9, B-727 and CV-240/340/440.

  17. 2011

    David B. Lindsay Jr.

    Lindsay was known to some as “Mr. Mustang.”  In 1957, he purchased his first P-51D from a Royal Canadian Air Force disposal sale for approximately $2,000.  Soon after, he founded Trans-Florida Aviation, later Cavalier Aircraft Corporation, to build custom “Executive Mustangs,” called Cavaliers.  He was directly responsible for saving a large portion of the surviving North American P-51 Mustang fleet as well as engines and parts.  His company held the P-51 FAA type certificate and developed eight STCs for the Mustang: tip tanks, tall vertical stabilizer, baggage door, and ammo and gun bay fuel tanks, to name a few.

    Throughout the 1960s, David bought Mustang airframe and engine parts at sales and auctions whenever he could find them, often by the rail carload.  In 1966, David’s company was made the sole franchised distributor for Rolls-Royce Merlin engines, spare parts, and allied equipment in the Western Hemisphere by Rolls-Royce.

    David served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1942 to 1949 as a field artillery officer and served in the Pacific theater of operations during World War II.  He passed away in 2009.

  18. 2012

    Preston S. (Pete) Parish

    FAA ATP – rated pilot Preston S. (Pete) Parish began his aviation career with the U. S. Marine Corps during World War II, where he worked his way up to the rank of major.  Pete successfully completed his flight training syllabus but was released from active duty before receiving official designation as a naval aviator.  In 1984, the U. S. Navy recognized its error and Pete received his Navy Wings of Gold.

    After his military service Pete initiated and set up the aviation department at the Upjohn Company of Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He served as chairman of the board of the National Business Aircraft Association (NBAA) from 1985 to 1987.  Pete held another chair position on the board of Kal-Aero Inc. from 1973 until 1998, when it was sold to Duncan Aviation.

    After purchasing an N2S Stearman, Pete became very involved with EAA Warbirds of America and was elected to the board of directors, later serving as Warbirds president from 1976 to 1980

    Pete is a co-founder of the Kalamazoo Aviation History Museum, also know as the Air Zoo.  It started with his aircraft, but today the Air Zoo has grown to a fleet of more than 60 display and flying warbirds.  He continues to serve on the board of directors of the Air Zoo  as its chairman.

    On May 19, 2012, Pete was inducted into the Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame for his contributions to the field of aviation.

  19. 2013

    Lee Lauderback

    Lee Lauderback, EAA 333795, of Orlando, Florida, began flying in 1966 at the age of 15.  Shortly after graduation from college, Lee started to work for professional golfer and businessman Arnold Palmer.  For 17 years, Lee headed up Arnold’s flight operations as chief pilot and director of flight operations, piloting his Learjet, C-I, C-II and C-III Citation Jets, and MD 500E Helicopter.

    Currently, Lee is an instructor and demonstration pilot in the P-51 Mustang.  In addition, he is one of the pilots for the U.S. Air Force Heritage Flight Program and has been a civilian instructor for the Naval Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, Maryland.

    Lee is a certified flight and ground instructor for single and multi engine airplanes, instrument, helicopters, and gliders, as well as an FAA Pilot Proficiency examiner and acceptance flight-tester in various warbirds, helicopters, and turbojets.  He is also a specialty aircraft examiner, providing FAA checkrides in 12 different warbird aircraft.

    Amassing in excess of 20,000 flight hours in all types of aircraft and helicopters, including more than 8,800 hours in Mustangs, Lee has also had a chance to fly an F-15 Eagle, F-16 Viper and F/A-18 Hornet.  Lee has more than 2,000 hours in sailplanes and has competed in many soaring contests and held several sailplane records.

  20. 2014

    Jay Wisler

    Jay Wisler of Tampa, Florida, has been the go-to guy in the warbird parts industry.  His Business, Warbird Parts and Memorabilia, has supplied critical parts for restoration projects around the world since 1982.  He has traveled from coast to coast in the United States and Canada, overseas in Australia, South America, and Europe, buying inventories of surplus military aircraft parts.  He now manages nine large warehouses stocked full of inventory to serve the warbird community.  Many of the past EAA Warbirds of America Grand Champions/Reserve Grand Champions are outfitted with some of Jay’s aircraft parts.

    His favorite restoration aircraft is the North American P-51 Mustang.  Over the years, Jay has supplied parts for countless Mustang restorations.  His favorite project was Jack Roush’s P-51B, Old Crow.

    His motto is “If I don’t have it, I’ll help you find it”  This philosophy has served the warbird community quite well.

    Jay has been married to his wife, Sharon for 41 years, and they have one daughter.

     

  21. 2015

    Nelson Ezell
    EAA 484845, Warbirds 595324

    Since 1986, Nelson Ezell has been rebuilding warbirds.  That’s an understatement – from his facilities at the Stephens County Airport in Breckenridge, Texas, he and his team have saved some unique aircraft that otherwise may have ended up in the scrap heap.

    Aircraft saved include a Brewster Corsair, Lockheed P-38 Lightning, a Wildcat, many Sea Furys and P-51 Mustangs, a Curtiss Helldiver, and some F8F Bearcats.  One Bearcat in particular is known as Rare Bear, the Unlimited Class racer that is a crowd favorite at the National Championship Air Races in Reno, Nevada.  Rare Bear has made the circuit in Reno at speeds well more than 500 miles per hour, making it a top contender year after year.  

    Nelson was born in 1943 and was interested in hot rods as a young man.  His interests eventually led him to aviation and restoring warbirds.  He is well-known in the warbird community as one of the best in the business.  Safety and attention to detail are the hallmarks of his restoration work.

    Nelson and his wife, Dude, have four children, and their two boys are actively involved in the family business, Ezell Aviation.

  22. 2016

    Doug Champlin

    Doug Champlin’s passion for preserving military aircraft extends to all eras, for World War I to the Vietnam War period. His Champlin Air Museum in Mesa, Arizona, became a magnet for warbird enthusiasts from around the world. The facility also became the home base for the American Fighter Aces Association and the Flying Tigers Association.

    After Champlin retired, the entire collection was moved in 2002 to the Museum of Flight in Seattle, where it is displayed in the museum’s Personal Courage Wing. There, the airplanes and stories of the people who flew them can be preserved for posterity. Champlin passed away in May 2013, leaving behind a unique legacy in aviation.

  23. 2017

    Clarence E.“Bud” Anderson

    Clarence Emil “Bud” Anderson was born in Oakland, California, and grew up on a farm. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a pilot in the fall of 1942, and went on to fly two combat tours with the 363rd Fighter Squadron of the famed 357th Fighter Group in England. Bud, flying his faithful P-51D Mustang, Old Crow, flew more than 100 missions and scored 16 and 1/4 air combat victories. He started the war as a second lieutenant and returned to the States in 1945 with the rank of major. After the war, Bud was a test pilot first at Wright Field, and then at Edwards Air Force Base, where he served as chief of flight test operations. After a stint at the Pentagon, he commanded an F-105 fighter wing in Vietnam before retiring as a colonel in 1972 with more than two dozen decorations to his name. Throughout his storied career, Bud has logged more than 7,000 hours of flying time and flown more than 100 different types of aircraft. Bud is a volunteer with EAA Warbirds of America where he appears annually in the Warbirds in Review program during EAA® AirVenture® Oshkosh™. His presentations are always among the most popular of all Warbirds in Review sessions.

  24. 2018

    Jack Roush was born in Covington, Kentucky, in 1942 at the height of the war. His interest in science, math, and all things mechanical began at an early age. Those interests led him to auto racing and eventually partnering with Fenway Sports Group to form Roush Fenway Racing — one of the most successful NASCAR teams in history. Roush’s entry into the aviation community led him to the P-51 Mustang, purchasing his first in 1992. With his vast experience in motor sports, he began studying the Rolls-Royce Merlin engine and quickly discovered that parts and maintenance support were in short supply. With his typical drive, Jack laid the groundwork for the establishment of the first and only FAA Repair Station for Merlin engines. Jack and his company, Roush Aviation, are the leaders in preservation of the Merlin, keeping today’s P-51 Mustangs in the air and preserving our rich military aviation history. Jack currently owns and operates two Mustangs, Old Crow and Gentleman Jim. Despite his busy racing schedule, he always carves out time to visit EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, participating in the ever-popular Warbirds in Review program.

  25. 2019

    Dennis Sanders

    EAA Warbirds of America Hall of Fame 2019

    In the warbird community, when you say the name Sanders, most people think of the Hawker Sea Fury. The Sanders family has spent decades restoring and maintaining these rare airplanes. Dennis Sanders has spent his entire life as an EAA and Warbirds of America member. In 1978, at the age of 19, he flew a Hawker Sea Fury T-20 from his home base in California to EAA Oshkosh and back. In 1970, Dennis, who was just 12 years old at the time, started working for the family business, Sanders Aircraft, alongside his father, 2002 Warbirds of America Hall of Fame inductee Frank Sanders. After his father died, Dennis kept the business growing alongside his brother, Brian, and mother, Ruth, eventually moving the company to Ione, California, in 1996. Since then, the next generation of Sanders family has joined the team. As an air racer, Dennis has participated in many Unlimited Gold National Championship races, holding several speed records along the way in his highly modified Sea Fury TMK-20 named Dreadnought.  In 2019, he flew his Sea Fury to victory the Unlimited Gold Race at The National Championship Air Races in Reno, NV.

    He is a check airman at Reno and shares his wealth of experience and safety insights with other racers. He has been an air show performer since 1988 and is believed to be the highest time Sea Fury pilot in the world. As a mentor, he has guided many volunteers in their quest to learn more about these amazing aircraft. Dennis helped found America’s Living History Museum in Ione, California, where he shares the aircraft and history with the public.

Nominate our next EAA Warbirds Hall of Fame Member

It is the intent of the EAA Warbirds of America to recognize individuals, either living or deceased, who have furthered the cause of the EAA War birds of America and/or the warbird movement, in general. These may include, but are not limited to: restorers, aviators, educators, innovators, award winners, leaders, record setters, technical contributors, etc.