The Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame will honor three new inductees into the Hall of Fame April 18 at the 2015 Annual Enshrinement Banquet at the Museum of Aviation. The three Georgia aviation luminaries are Capt. John M. Bailey, Jr., Col. Willis M. “Buster” Boshears, Jr. and Brig. Gen. Dan Cherry. The three new members brings the total number of military and civilian inductees in the Hall of Fame to 107 since the hall started in 1989.
The Banquet will begin with a 6:00 pm reception followed by the dinner and program at 7:00 pm. Seating is limited and by advance reservation only. Seats are $75 per person of which $35 is tax deductible. Attire is business suit or black tie optional. Sponsorship opportunities are still available. The expected audience of 500 people will include current and former Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame Board Members, former enshrines, government, aerospace and defense industry leaders and aviation enthusiast from around the state.
This year’s, honorable mentions are AMT of the Year, Michael Paul Cochran; Flight Instructor of the Year, Jack B. Scoggins; and Corporation of the Year, The Boeing Company.
The three inductee nominations read:
For reservations and further information contact
Nicole Bissette at the Georgia Aviation Hall of
Fame at 478-328-0704 or email
For more information call (478) 328-0704 or
Capt. John M. Bailey, Jr. entered the USAF in 1968 completing pilot training in 1970. During his active duty tour he flew the C7, EC47 and C141 aircraft. He flew worldwide and combat missions in the Lockheed C141, and exceeded over 809 combat hours and amassed over 120 combat missions in the EC47 aircraft. In addition, Captain Bailey also provided support for the U.S. President’s flight schedule from Andrews AFB. Among his numerous decorations and honors, include the USAF Air Medal for Meritorious Service and The Distinguished Flying Cross for heroic actions during the Vietnam War. Upon completing his military service, Captain Bailey flew for Delta Air Lines for 30+ years and left an indelible mark. He was the First African American to fly Captain on the MD-88 and the Boeing 767-400ER aircraft. He also flew the B727-100, B727-200, DC-9-30, B767-200, B767-300, B767-300ER and B757. He also worked as a Delta Project Pilot for Diversity Recruitment of Women and Minority Pilots. Upon retiring, he turned his attention to aiding, aviation career-oriented young adults, through Delta Air Lines and Tuskegee Airmen supported programs. These programs include: ACE Camps, Dream Flight, Flight Line, Atlanta Dream Jamboree, and the Tuskegee Airmen Aviation Career Training Summer Camp.
Col. Willis M. “Buster” Boshears, Jr. soloed at 16 and by the age of 19 had a Commercial license and was a ?ight instructor. He had three careers in aviation; military, general aviation and airport management. He joined the Air Force and was assigned to ?y the F-105 and the 357 TFS at Takhli RTAFB, Thailand where he ?ew 114 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. He was a volunteer for a second combat tour and joined the 497TFS at Ubon RTAFB, Thailand where he ?ew 226 combat missions, the last 80 in the Wolf FAC program. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross 3 times on his second tour. He served in the Air Force Reserve where he spent the next 23 years ?ying the F-105, F4, and the F-16. He served as a Flight Commander, Squadron Ops Officer, Squadron Commander, Group Deputy Commander for Operations and Wing Vice Commander, retiring in 1996. After leaving active duty in the Air Force, He started as a ?ight instructor and charter pilot later becoming chief pilot and chief ?ight instructor at Daniel Field. He was a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner and conducted more than a thousand pilot ?ight tests. He became President of Augusta Aviation Inc. and was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Georgia Aviation Trades Association in 1975 and twice served as its chairman. He was hired by the City of Augusta as the Daniel Field Airport Manager, a position he held until his retirement in February 2010. In addition, from 2003 to 2008 he also served as the Airport Director of the Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field. During his time as an airport manager he oversaw numerous airport improvement projects, the largest being the construction of a new airline passenger terminal at Bush Field.
Brig. Gen Dan Cherry, author of, My Enemy…My Friend, a story of reconciliation from the Vietnam War. This inspiring book chronicles an intense 1972 dogfight between Dan’s F-4 Phantom and a North Vietnamese MiG-21 and his subsequent meeting and friendship with the MiG pilot, Nguyen Hong My. He is also Director Emeritus of Aviation Heritage Park, an educational facility in Bowling Green, Kentucky. His military credentials include flying 295 combat missions during the Vietnam War and shooting down a North Vietnamese MiG-21. During his Air Force career, he held the positions of Commander and Leader of the Air Force Thunderbirds; Commander of Moody Air Force Base, Georgia; Inspector General of the Pacific Air Forces; Commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing flying the F-16 and Commander of the Air Force Recruiting Service. He earned several military awards and decorations including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Silver Star with one oak leaf cluster, the Legion of Merit with two oak leaf clusters, the Distinguished Flying Cross with nine oak leaf clusters and the Air Medal with thirty four oak leaf clusters. He completed his service in the Air Force with the rank of Brigadier General. He was inducted into the Kentucky Aviation Hall of Fame in October 2000 and the Western Kentucky University Hall of Distinguished Alumni in October 2013.