About the 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 organization comprises a board of directors and operates in conjunction with the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission.

The Hall of Fame was established in 1995 through efforts of R.R. "Red" Kelso, a veteran Wyoming pilot. Those who assisted in forming the hall of fame include 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.

The initial selection of inductees was made by the Wyoming Aeronautics Commissioners, which included Ray Hunkins, of Wheatland; Carol Lewis and Brad Mead, of Jackson; Bill Hallam, Lander; Gene Bannister, Gillette; and Mike Vase, of Rock Springs. The first four honorees, who were inducted during a ceremony in Cheyenne on August 11, 1995, were Ralph Johnson, Dillard “Pic” Walker, Harold “Slim” Lewis, and Samuel Phillips. Since the inaugural 1995 induction, the number of inductees is limited to one to enhance the honor of being selected. Breaking from that tradition, in 2020, in celebration of 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 also collects aviation historical artifacts for display to educate the public on Wyoming's significant role in aviation's early days. The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame also maintains an archive, which includes nominee biographies. The archive is available for researchers in Laramie at the University of Wyoming’s American Heritage Center.

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.

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.

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.