Pages in category "Helicopter pilots"
The following 82 pages are in this category, out of 82 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
The following 82 pages are in this category, out of 82 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. Prince Andrew, Duke of York – Prince Andrew, Duke of York, KG, GCVO, CD, ADC, is the second son and third child of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. At the time of his birth, he was second in the line of succession to succeed his mother, as of 2017 he is sixth in line. He holds the rank of commander and the rank of vice admiral in the Royal Navy, in which he served as an active duty helicopter pilot and instructor. He saw active service during the Falklands War, flying on multiple missions including anti-surface warfare, Exocet missile decoy, in 1986, Prince Andrew married Sarah Ferguson, the couples marriage, subsequent separation and eventual divorce in 1996 attracted a high level of media coverage. As well as carrying out official engagements, he served as Britains Special Representative for International Trade. Prince Andrew was born in the Belgian Suite of Buckingham Palace on 19 February 1960 and he was baptised in the Palaces Music Room on 8 April 1960 by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher. He is the namesake of his grandfather, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark. Prince Andrew was the first child born to a monarch since the birth in 1857 of Queen Victorias youngest child. As with his siblings, Andrew was looked after by a governess. He was sent to Heatherdown School near Ascot in Berkshire, in September 1973, he entered Gordonstoun, in northern Scotland, which his father and elder brother had attended before him. While there, he spent six months—from January to June 1977—participating in a programme to Lakefield College School in Canada. He left Gordonstoun in July two years later with A-Levels in English, history, economics, and political science and he did not go to university but instead entered the Britannia Royal Naval College at Dartmouth. The Royal Household announced in November 1978 that Prince Andrew would join the Royal Navy the following year, on 1 September of the same year, Prince Andrew was appointed as a midshipman, and entered Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. During 1980 he also took the Royal Marines All Arms Commando Course, after being awarded his wings, he moved onto more advanced training on the Sea King helicopter, and conducted operational flying training until 1982. He joined carrier-based squadron,820 Naval Air Squadron, serving aboard the aircraft carrier, the Falkland Islands, which are a British overseas territory claimed by Argentina, were invaded by Argentina on 2 April 1982, an event that instigated the Falklands War. Invincible was one of the two aircraft carriers available at the time, and, as such, was to play a major role in the Royal Navy task force assembled to sail south to retake the islands. The Queen, though, insisted that her son be allowed to remain with his ship and he witnessed the Argentinian attack on the SS Atlantic Conveyor. At the cessation of the war, Invincible returned to Portsmouth, the Argentine military government reportedly planned, but did not attempt, to assassinate the prince on Mustique in July 1982Prince Andrew, Duke of York – The Duke of York, 2014
2. Vernice Armour – Vernice Armour is a former United States Marine Corps officer who was the first African-American female naval aviator in the Marine Corps and the first African American female combat pilot in the U. S. She flew the AH-1W SuperCobra attack helicopter in the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Armour was born in 1973 in Chicago, Illinois to Gaston Armour Jr. and Authurine Armour. After her parents divorced, Clarence Jackson married Authurine and her grandfather was a Montford Point Marine, the first African Americans to segregate the Marine Corps between 1942 and 1949. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Armour graduated from Overton High School, where she was a member of the honor society, the National Honor Society. In 1993, while a student at Middle Tennessee State University, Armour enlisted in the U. S. Army Reserve, in 1996, she took time off from college to become a Nashville police officer. She became the first female African-American on the motorcycle squad, Armour graduated from MTSU in 1997. In 1998, Armour became the first African American female to serve as a officer in Tempe. Marines as an Officer Candidate in October 1998, commissioned a Second Lieutenant on December 12,1998 Armour was sent to flight school at Naval Air Station Corpus Christi, Texas and later Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. Earning her wings in July 2001, Armour was not only one in her class of twelve. She became the Marine Corps first African-American female pilot, after flight school, Armour was assigned to Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton near San Diego, California for training in the AH-1W SuperCobra. In March 2003, she flew with HMLA-169 during the invasion of Iraq becoming Americas first African-American female combat pilot and she completed two combat tours in the Gulf. Afterwards, she was assigned to the Manpower and Reserve Affairs Equal Opportunity Branch as program liaison officer, leaving the U. S. Marine Corps in June 2007, Armour began a career as a professional speaker and expert on creating breakthroughs in life. In 2011, her book Zero to Breakthrough, The 7-Step, Zero to Breakthrough, The 7-Step, Battle-Tested Method for Accomplishing Goals that Matter. ISBN1592406246 List of United States Marines List of African-American firsts Official website Vernice Armours interview on CNNVernice Armour – Armour in January 2006
3. Patrick Henry Brady – Patrick Henry Brady, is a retired United States Army major general. While serving as a pilot in the Vietnam War, he received the Medal of Honor. Brady attended ODea High School in Seattle, Washington, a school run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers. While in college at Seattle University, he hated the compulsory ROTC program and was kicked out. Brady realized he would probably be drafted after graduation and reentered the ROTC program in order to enter service as an officer. After graduation, he was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Army Medical Service Corps On March 20,1959, on April 4,1959, he went on active duty. He served in Berlin, from September 1959 to August 1961, in August 1961, he became the Motor Pool Officer of the hospital in the 279th Station Hospital in Berlin. He became the Detachment Commander in June 1962 until October 1962, in December 1963, he graduated from the United States Army Aviation School at Fort Rucker, Alabama. In January 1964, he deployed to Vietnam. After Kellys death on July 1,1964, Brady took command of Detachment A, 57th Medicals Detachment, the following day, a Commander tossed the bullet that killed Kelly on Bradys desk in front of Captain Brady and asked if they were going to stop flying so aggressively. Brady picked up the bullet and replied, we are going to keep flying exactly the way Kelly taught us to fly, without hesitation, anytime, anywhere. On his second tour of duty in Vietnam,1967 to 68, Brady and it was during this second tour in Vietnam that Brady was awarded the Medal of Honor. Brady flew over 2,000 combat missions and evacuated more than 5000 wounded during his two tours of duty in South Vietnam, Brady retired from the US Army as a Major General on September 1,1993 after 34 years of service. Patrick Bradys Medal of Honor citation reads, Rank and organization, Major, U. S. Army, Medical Service Corps, 54th Medical Detachment, 67th Medical Group, place and date, Near Chu Lai, Republic of Vietnam, January 6,1968. To reach the site he descended through heavy fog and smoke and hovered slowly along a valley trail, despite the unchallenged, close-range enemy fire, he found the dangerously small site, where he successfully landed and evacuated 2 badly wounded South Vietnamese soldiers. He was then called to another area completely covered by dense fog where American casualties lay only 50 meters from the enemy, two aircraft had previously been shot down and others had made unsuccessful attempts to reach this site earlier in the day. With unmatched skill and extraordinary courage, Maj. BRADY made 4 flights to this embattled landing zone, on his third mission of the day Maj. Brady once again landed at a site surrounded by the enemy. The friendly ground force, pinned down by fire, had been unable to reach. Although his aircraft had been damaged and his controls partially shot away during his initial entry into this area, he returned minutes laterPatrick Henry Brady – Brady in 1989
4. Alan Bristow – At Portsmouth Grammar School Bristow was a contemporary of the author James Clavell, who remained a lifelong friend and wrote a book, Whirlwind, about one of Bristows riskier exploits. After World War II broke out, on his 16th birthday in 1940 Bristow joined the British-India Steam Navigation Company as a officer cadet. He twice had ships sunk under him, the SS Malda, by Japanese warships in the Bay of Bengal on 6 April 1942, and he was present at the evacuation of Rangoon and the Operation Torch landings in North Africa. Bristow was credited with shooting down two Stukas from the forepeak of a ship off the coast of Algeria. In 1943, Bristow joined the Fleet Air Arm as a trainee pilot, trained by the RAF in Canada, he was trained on the Fairchild Cornell and North American T6 Harvard. In 1944, he was sent to Floyd Bennett Field, New York to learn to fly the difficult Sikorsky R-4 helicopter, after demobilisation he joined the Westland Aircraft Company as its first helicopter test pilot, but was sacked for attacking the companys sales manager. As a freelance pilot, he sprayed crops in France. He was subsequently awarded the Croix de Guerre, Bristow then provided helicopter spotting services for Aristotle Onassiss pirate whaling fleet in the Antarctic. Bristow started operating flights in aid of oil exploration in the Persian Gulf, engaged by the former RAF fighter ace Douglas Bader, his company became highly profitable and Bristow a wealthy man. In the 1960, Bristow sold a stake in his business to a consortium led by Freddie Laker, Bristow won, and the funds enabled him to buy the 2,000 acres Baynards Park estate in Surrey. For his services to aviation he was honoured with an OBE in 1966, bought out by the Cayzers, Bristow retired and the companys fortunes declined with the North Sea oil industry. In April 1985, Bristow formed a consortium called Bristow Rotorcraft to launch an £89 million bid for his employer, Westland Helicopters. Bristow withdrew his bid in June 1985, by which time Westland preferred an agreement with the American company Sikorsky Aircraft, however, the Defence Secretary Michael Heseltine MP demanded a European solution, and resigned spectacularly after a cabinet row to create the Westland Affair. Westland was eventually bought by Sikorsky, in 1968, Bristow took over from Laker as the chairman of independent airline British United Airways. After leading the 1970 merger with Caledonian Airways to form British Caledonian, a keen equestrian, Bristow represented Great Britain at four-in-hand carriage driving with the Duke of Edinburgh. In the late 1980s, he developed an, ultimately unsuccessful, twice married, he had a son Laurence, a professional racing driver and a daughter by his first wife, Jean. He died on 26 April 2009, aged 85, survived by his son and by his second wife, Alan Bristow, Helicopter Pioneer, The Autobiography. Obituary in The Daily Telegraph Obituary in The Guardian Autobiography, Alan Bristow, Helicopter PioneerAlan Bristow – Alan Bristow
5. Peter Button – Peter Thomas Button OBE was a pioneering rescue helicopter pilot in Wellington, New Zealand. Button established the firm Capital Helicopters in 1975 and made his aircraft available for use in emergencies. He was a witness of the sinking of the inter-island ferry TEV Wahine in 1968, thanks to a sponsorship deal in the early eighties Button was able to dedicate one of his helicopters solely to rescues. Since Button established the service there has been a helicopter service in Wellington. In 1984 Button contested the Island Bay electorate for the New Zealand Party and he finished third out of six candidates, winning 20. 4% of the vote. On 2 July 1986, the police launch Lady Elizabeth II capsized in heavy seas at the entrance to Wellington Harbour whilst on a training mission. Despite the appalling conditions Button and his son Clive managed to save two of the four members, skipper Constable Jim McLean and crew member Constable Rod Heard. Crew members Constable Glen Hughes and Senior Sergeant Phil Ward both died in the accident, photographs of the rescue show his helicopter hovering in the troughs with its rotors below the peaks of the oncoming waves, estimated to be 10 m high. As a result of his actions Peter Button attained the status of a hero in Wellington, on 18 November 1987, Governor General Paul Reeves awarded Button the Queens Gallantry Medal for his part in the rescue of the crew from the Lady Elizabeth II. Police called in the helicopter to assist tracking Peter Carr, an offender who had escaped from Rimutaka Prison, during the search Buttons helicopter drifted into high voltage transmission lines, lost both rotor blades, and crashed in Churton Park killing all three on board. Ironically Button had been the pilot who assisted when the lines were first built. At his funeral on the 25th, thirteen helicopters paid tribute with a flyby, a few years after his death a street in Johnsonville, Peter Button Place, was named in his honour. The Life Flight Trust TVNZ coverage of the accident on YouTubePeter Button – Peter Button
6. Charles, Prince of Wales – Charles, Prince of Wales is the eldest child and heir apparent of Queen Elizabeth II. Known alternatively in South West England as Duke of Cornwall and in Scotland as Duke of Rothesay, he is the heir apparent in British history. He is also the oldest person to be next in line to the throne since Sophia of Hanover, Charles was born at Buckingham Palace as the first grandchild of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. After earning a bachelor of degree from Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1981, he married Lady Diana Spencer and they had two sons, Prince William later to become Duke of Cambridge, and Prince Harry, in 1996, the couple divorced, following well-publicised extramarital affairs. Diana died in a car crash in Paris the following year, in 2005, Charles married Camilla Parker Bowles. Charles has sought to raise awareness of the dangers facing the natural environment. As an environmentalist, he has received awards and recognition from environmental groups around the world. His support for alternative medicine, including homeopathy, has been criticised by some in the medical community and he has been outspoken on the role of architecture in society and the conservation of historic buildings. Subsequently, Charles created Poundbury, a new town based on his theories. He has authored a number of books, including A Vision of Britain, A Personal View of Architecture in 1989 and he was baptised in the palaces Music Room by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher, on 15 December 1948. When Prince Charles was aged three his mothers accession as Queen Elizabeth II made him her heir apparent. As the monarchs eldest son, he took the titles Duke of Cornwall, Duke of Rothesay, Earl of Carrick, Baron of Renfrew, Lord of the Isles and Prince. Charles attended his mothers coronation at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953, seated alongside his grandmother, as was customary for upper-class children at the time, a governess, Catherine Peebles, was appointed and undertook his education between the ages of five and eight. Buckingham Palace announced in 1955 that Charles would attend school rather than have a private tutor, Charles then attended two of his fathers former schools, Cheam Preparatory School in Berkshire, England, followed by Gordonstoun in the north-east of Scotland. He reportedly despised the school, which he described as Colditz in kilts. Upon his return to Gordonstoun, Charles emulated his father in becoming Head Boy and he left in 1967, with six GCE O-levels and two A-levels in history and French, at grades B and C, respectively. Tradition was broken again when Charles proceeded straight from school into universityCharles, Prince of Wales – The Prince of Wales in Jersey, July 2012
7. Christopher Clayton – Rear Admiral Christopher Hugh Trevor Clayton is a former Royal Navy officer who served as a Lynx helicopter pilot during the Falklands War. He went on to become a naval officer, commanding ships during the Hong Kong handover ceremony and 2003 invasion of Iraq. Clayton was educated at St Johns School, Leatherhead, after school he joined the Royal Navy as an aviator and was appointed an acting sub-lieutenant on 29 February 1972. After flying training he was commissioned as a sub-lieutenant on 29 November 1973. After being promoted to lieutenant on 16 October 1974, Clayton was selected for a Full Career Commission in 1980, on 2 April 1982, the disputed British overseas territory of the Falkland Islands was invaded by neighbouring Argentina. The United Kingdom, nearly 8,000 miles away, assembled and dispatched a naval force of 28,000 troops to recapture the islands. The conflict ended that June with the surrender of the Argentine forces, the battles fought on land, at sea, Clayton served on HMS Cardiff, piloting their HAS.3 Lynx helicopter, serial no.335 or IVOR, as part of 815 Naval Air Squadron. Cardiff arrived at the late in the conflict on 26 May. Cardiff’s primary role was to part of the anti-aircraft warfare picket, using her anti-air Sea Dart missiles to protect British ships. She was also required to fire at positions with her 4. 5-inch gun. On 13 June, around midday, Clayton was performing the routine forenoon clearance search of the south of the Falkland Sound. Two Argentine Daggers of Gaucho flight spotted Claytons Lynx and jettisoned their fuel tanks in preparation to engage. They began strafing the helicopter with their cannons, but Clayton evaded the attacks, the Daggers returned home empty-handed, their original mission had been to attack British positions on Mount Longdon with retarded bombs. After the initial Argentine surrender, Clayton flew the OC of 40 Commando, Lt Col Malcolm Hunt, in recognition of his service during the war, Clayton was awarded a Mention in Dispatches. Clayton was promoted to commander on 31 December 1988, then to a captain on 31 December 1995, Clayton commanded the Type 22 frigate HMS Chatham during the 1997 Hong Kong handover ceremony. Hong Kong had been a British colony since 1841, but Britains lease was due to finish, so I look on it as a classic military evolution and one which we hope to do with some style, orderly and professionally. He became the first officer to hold the post of Commodore Naval Aviation, the post was created in 2000 to command the newly formed Joint Force Harrier. In 1998, the UKs recently elected labour government reassessed the countrys defence needs, one of its key initiatives was a call for the amalgamation of both Royal Navy and RAF Harriers into one forceChristopher Clayton – Clayton piloting Cardiff' s Lynx helicopter
8. Tammy Duckworth – Ladda Tammy Duckworth is an American politician and member of the Democratic Party, serving as the junior United States Senator for Illinois since 2017. She was a member of the United States House of Representatives for Illinois 8th district for two terms, in the November 8,2016, election, Duckworth defeated incumbent Republican Senator Mark Kirk for his seat in the United States Senate. Her father, an American, and her Thai-Chinese mother were working and living there at the time, Duckworth is the second Asian-American woman serving in the U. S. Senate after Mazie Hirono and next to Kamala Harris. An Iraq War veteran, Duckworth served as a U. S. Army helicopter pilot and suffered severe combat wounds and she was the first female double amputee from the war. Tammy Duckworth was born in Bangkok, Thailand, the daughter of Lamai Sompornpairin and Franklin Duckworth and her father, who died in 2005, was a U. S. Marine veteran who traced his familys American roots to the American Revolutionary War. Her mother is Thai, of Chinese descent, because of her fathers work with the United Nations and international companies in refugee, housing, and development programs, the family moved around Southeast Asia. Duckworth became fluent in Thai and Indonesian, in addition to English, Duckworth attended Singapore American School, and for a few months in her senior year was at the International School Bangkok. The family settled in Hawaii when she was sixteen and her father became unemployed for a time and the family relied on public assistance. She graduated with honors from McKinley High School in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1985 and she graduated from the University of Hawaii in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science, and later received a Master of Arts in international affairs from George Washington University. She became an officer in the United States Army Reserve in 1992. As a member of the Army Reserve, she went to school, later transferring to the Army National Guard. Duckworth also worked as a supervisor at Rotary International headquarters in Evanston. She was the first female double amputee from the Iraq war, the explosion almost completely destroyed her right arm, breaking it in three places and tearing tissue from the back side of it. The doctors reset the bones in her arm and stitched the cuts to save her arm. Duckworth received a Purple Heart on December 3 and was promoted to Major on December 21 at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center and she retired from the Illinois Army National Guard in October 2014 as a lieutenant colonel. She returned to school and completed a PhD in Human Services at Capella University in March 2015, the Daughters of the American Revolution erected a statue with Duckworths likeness, and that of the Revolutions Molly Pitcher in Mount Vernon, Illinois, in 2011. The statue was erected in honor of female veterans, on November 21,2006, several weeks after losing her first congressional campaign, Duckworth was appointed Director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs by Governor Rod Blagojevich. Duckworth served in that position until February 8,2009, while she was Director, she was credited with starting a program to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, and veterans with brain injuryTammy Duckworth – Duckworth in 2013
9. Michael Durant – Michael J. Mike Durant is an American pilot and author. He was a member of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment as a Chief Warrant Officer 3, Durant is a native of Berlin, New Hampshire, the son of Leon and Louise Durant. He entered the U. S. Army in August 1979, following basic training, he attended the Defense Language Institute, and was then assigned to the 470th Military Intelligence Group at Fort Clayton in Panama as a Spanish voice intercept operator. He then completed flight training at Fort Rucker, Alabama. During flight school, he flew the TH-55 trainer and UH-1 helicopters, upon appointment to Warrant Officer 1 in November 1983, he completed the UH-60 Blackhawk Aviators Qualification Course and was assigned to the 377th Medical Evacuation Company in Seoul, South Korea. By the time he was 24, he had flown over 150 medevac missions in the UH-1, after 18 months, he transitioned to the 101st Aviation Battalion at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. As a Chief Warrant Officer 2, he attended the instructor pilot course, Durant joined the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment on August 1,1988. Assigned to D Company, he performed duties as Flight Lead and he participated in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, and Operation Desert Storm, where he was the first U. S. helicopter pilot to engage with a SCUD missile launcher. During Operation Gothic Serpent in Somalia, Durant was the pilot of helicopter Super Six Four and it was the second MH-60L of two Black Hawk helicopters to crash during the Battle of Mogadishu on October 3,1993. His helicopter was hit on the tail by a rocket-propelled grenade and that led to its crash about a mile southwest of the operations target. Durant and his crew of three, Bill Cleveland, Ray Frank, and Tommy Field, survived the crash, though they were all badly injured, Durant suffered a broken femur and a badly injured back. Two Delta Force snipers, MSG Gary Gordon and SFC Randy Shughart, had been providing suppressive fire from the air at hostile Somalis who were converging on the crash site. Both volunteered for insertion onto the ground to protect the crew, the pair killed an estimated 25 Somalis, before they ran out of ammunition. They were soon overwhelmed and killed, after Cleveland, Frank, both Gordon and Shughart received the Medal of Honor posthumously for their heroism in this action. The hostile Somalis captured sole American survivor Durant and held him captive for eleven days, general Aidid then released Durant and a Nigerian soldier who had been captured previously, into the custody of the International Committee of the Red Cross. After being freed, and recovering at Landstuhl Air Base in Germany and he retired from the Army in 2001 with more than 3,700 flight hours, over 1,400 of which were flown under night vision goggles. He now offers seminars to military personnel about helicopter maneuvering and Combat Search, Durant offers talks about the Somalia raid and the experiences he had while in captivity. He spoke extensively with actor Ron Eldard, who portrayed him in the movie Black Hawk Down, in 2003, Durant published a book, In the Company of Heroes, in which he chronicled his military career and his captivityMichael Durant – Mike Durant speaking at Tyndall Air Force Base in November 2002
10. Ed Freeman – Too Tall Freeman was a United States Army helicopter pilot who received the U. S. militarys highest decoration, the Medal of Honor, for his actions in the Battle of Ia Drang during the Vietnam War. During the battle, he flew through gunfire numerous times, bringing supplies to a trapped American battalion, Freeman was a wingman for Major Bruce Crandall who also received the Medal of Honor for the same missions. Freeman was born in Neely, Greene County, Mississippi, the sixth of nine children, when he was 13 years old, he saw thousands of men on maneuvers pass by his home in Mississippi. He knew then that he would become a soldier and he grew up in nearby McLain, Mississippi and graduated from Washington High School. At age 17, before graduating high school, Freeman served in the U. S. Navy for two years. After the war, he returned to his hometown and graduated high school. Immediately afterwards, he joined the U. S. Army, on April 30,1954, he married Barbara Morgan. They had two sons, Mike, born in 1956, and Doug, born in 1962, during World War II, Freeman served for two years in the Navy on the USS Cacapon. By the time of the Korean War, Freeman reached the Army rank of first sergeant, although he was in the Corps of Engineers, he fought as an infantry soldier in Korea. He participated in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill and earned a commission as one of only 14 survivors out of 257 men who made it through the opening stages of the battle. His second lieutenant bars were pinned on by General James Van Fleet personally and he then assumed command of B Company and led them back up Pork Chop Hill. The commission made him eligible to become a pilot, a dream of his. However, when he applied for pilot training he was told that, at six feet four inches, the phrase stuck, and he was known by the nickname of Too Tall for the rest of his career. In 1955, the limit for pilots was raised and Freeman was accepted into flying school. He first flew fixed-wing Army airplanes before switching to helicopters, after the Korean War, he flew the world on mapping missions. By the time he was sent to Vietnam in 1965, he was a helicopter pilot and was placed second-in-command of his sixteen-craft unit. He served as a captain in Company A, 229th Assault Helicopter Battalion, on November 14,1965, Freeman and his unit transported a battalion of American soldiers to the Ia Drang Valley. Later, after arriving back at base, they learned that the soldiers had come under fire and had taken heavy casualtiesEd Freeman – Ed Freeman (left) is congratulated by President George W. Bush after receiving his award.
11. Kenneth J. Gray – Kenneth James Gray was an American businessman and politician. He was a veteran of World War II, and represented Illinois in the United States House of Representatives from 1955 to 1974, born in West Frankfort, Illinois, Gray attended the West Frankfort and Pope County elementary schools and graduated from Frankfort Community High School. At age 13 Gray started a business -– Gray’s Roller Rink -– at which he performed almost every job alone, at age 16, he became an auctioneer, and at age 18 he became the owner of the Gray Motors car dealership, which he operated until 1954. In January,1943 Gray enlisted in the Army Air Forces for World War II. He served as with the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa, with the engineers of the Fifth Army in Italy. Gray was a crew chief and attained the rank of first sergeant before being discharged in December 1945. The authors also indicate that Gray can be seen in the photo of Eisenhower speaking with soldiers including First Lieutenant Wallace C. Grays awards included the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal and World War II Victory Medal, after the war Gray was active in the American Legion, and was commander of the Southern Illinois region. In addition he served as Vice President of the Illinois Jaycees, Gray also completed training as an airplane and helicopter pilot and operated an air service at Benton, Illinois from 1948 to 1952. In 1950 Gray campaigned for a seat in the U. S. House and he lost the Democratic nomination to Kent E. Keller, who lost the general election to incumbent C. W. Bishop. Gray opted not to run again in 1952, in 1953 Gray was one of the founders of the Walking Dog Foundation for the Blind, a charitable organization to provide guide dogs to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. Gray was the successful Democratic nominee against Bishop in 1954 and won election to the 84th Congress and he was reelected nine times, and served from January 3,1955, until his resignation on December 31,1974. Gray was known as the backer of converting Washington, D. C. s Union Station into the National Visitor Center for the United States Bicentennial. The center was open in time for the 1976 Bicentennial celebrations, but was plagued with design and workmanship. It was closed again after the Bicentennial, and in the late 1980s it was redeveloped again to serve as a train station, Gray was an amateur magician and performed for civic groups and youth organizations in his district. Another example of Grays abilities came during a show, when Senator Estes Kefauver. In 1966, Gray appeared as a guest challenger on the TV game show Ive Got a Secret, introduced as a magician and pilot, he successfully stumped the panel, which did not guess that he was a member of Congress. Gray resided on a houseboat while serving in Congress, Gray denied wrongdoing, but was not a candidate for reelection in 1974 to the 94th CongressKenneth J. Gray – Kenneth J. Gray
12. Desiree Horton – Desiree Tyler Horton, nicknamed Chopper Chick, is a helicopter pilot and television personality based in Los Angeles, California. She is one of the few female helicopter pilots/on-camera reporters in Los Angeles television history, Horton began to fly at age 19, shortly after graduation from North Hollywood High School in North Hollywood, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. She worked two jobs for two and a years to pay for her training. She explained, I could only afford to take lessons once a week or once every week as I made the money to pay for them. She also washed local pilot/reporter Scott Reiffs helicopter in exchange for flying hours, at one point, Horton was a stuntwoman, riding horses for films. She has also ferried helicopters across the U. S, from 2001 to 2005, Horton flew and reported for KABC7 in Los Angeles. She was with KTLA5 in Los Angeles from April 2005 to October 2005, flying their helicopter and reporting traffic and breaking news for the KTLA Morning News. Los Angeles magazine says, The most memorable and unfortunate event Horton ever covered was in 2002, I hate to bring this up, but I was the first one on the scene when they discovered her body in the mountains. The police hadnt covered her up yet, and with my 1, the next day, Horton herself would be fighting that fire from the air. Horton now divides her time among several jobs, In the summer, she fights fires by helicopter for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, only about twenty women are certified by the USFS to do this. Horton derives great satisfaction from fighting fires because shes saving peoples property and she says it also provides an additional enjoyment that comes from making full use of a choppers unique capabilities. She was featured in the August 2007 issue of Wildland Firefighter magazine, in the winter, she reports breaking news in the evening and at night for KCBS2 and KCAL9 in Los Angeles. She has also flown a helicopter for the city of Corona and she has been featured in articles in Private Pilot, Air Beat, Pilot Magazine, Pacific Flyer, and the LA411 directory. With regard to Horton, LA411 said, A young woman with a nature, youthful looks and bright smile. In fact, shes been yelled at for simply going near the helicopter, Horton says, Ive even been told sometimes when they see me walking toward the helicopter, ‘Hey girl get away from the helicopter. She has also appeared as a model in both the Harley-Davidson motorcycle catalog and the Harley-Davidson clothing catalog, Horton and her helicopter have appeared on camera in several films including American Icarus, Showtime, and One Six Right. Horton has also worked on a number of motion pictures where the helicopter served as a camera platform. She is one of just a handful of female SAG/AFTRA chopper pilots, in 2008, Horton was set to star in her own television series Sky Racers on truTVDesiree Horton – Desiree Horton
13. Robert Karjel – Robert Karjel is a Swedish writer of literary thrillers. He was born in Gothenburg, Sweden, and lives in Stockholm, a helicopter pilot, he is a Lt. Colonel in the Swedish Air Force and the only Swedish pilot who has trained with the U. S. Marines. In May 2015, his novel The Swede received a review in Publishers Weekly. HarperCollins had purchased the thriller for publication in the U. S. in 2013, Publishers in other ten countries followed suit, including France, Brazil, Israel and Germany. The novel, which has been compared to Homeland, looks at the consequences of the War on Terror. The print run in English is 40,000 hardcover, in the UK, the thrillers title is My Name Is N. With this book, Karjel joins the list of Scandinavian noir crime writers with international exposure, on 31 July 2015, the Guardian online ran his article discussing controversy over a thriller with a bisexual hero. The Swede was shortlisted for a 2016 Lambda Literary Award, booklist listed The Swede as one of the Best Crime Novels of 2016. In 2013, 20th Century Fox Television bought the rights to The Swede for adaptation as a TV drama. As of 2015, the series remained under development by Chernin Entertainment and Yellow Bird, Karjel grew up in the small city of Örebro, the son of a Swedish mother, Solveig, and an Estonian father, Raivo. His father escaped Estonia as a child at the end of World War II, perhaps my mixed Swedish-Estonian background created a permanent inner tension, Karjel wrote in an author profile. The almost mythic stories of heroism I heard growing up clashed with the dullness of the Swedish suburb where I lived. In 1987, Karjel traveled to the Amazon jungle, where he lived with Swedish missionaries in a dependent on the cocaine trade, material he used in his second book. In 1993, he appeared in the Swedish TV version of Fort Boyard, in which he had to arm-wrestle a muscleman, do complex math under pressure, and dive into the ocean to retrieve a key. In 2000, he traveled with his 6-year-old daughter across Egypts Great Sand Sea, doing research for his third book and he has taken his younger daughter scuba diving in the Red Sea. Karjel writes his first drafts by hand, in lined notebooks he can carry on military assignments, in 2010, Karjel commanded a helicopter squadron on the ship HSwMS Carlskrona, as part of the EUs Operation Atalanta fighting Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden. He was interviewed during the mission in a BBC documentary film, from 2011 to 2013, he directed an $800 million program for the Swedish Air Force, procuring Black Hawk helicopters for medivac operations in Afghanistan. In 2005, he was a Copeland Fellow at Amherst College, in 2013, he held a writers residency at Ledig House, Omi International Arts Center, upstate New YorkRobert Karjel – Robert Karjel - HMS Carlskrona, Gulf of Aden, May 2010
14. Gaurav Keerthi – In 2008, Gaurav served as one of the permanent judges on Season 2 of the International Emmy Award-nominated TV show The Arena, which was broadcast on Mediacorp Channel 5. He also appeared as a guest judge for one of the semi-finals of Season 1 of the show in 2007, in 2012, he served as the host and moderator for Season 2 of the debate show Bridging Asia, The Singapore Debates, broadcast on Channel NewsAsia. Gaurav served as the President of Debate Association Singapore from 2006 to 2010, in 2011, he published a book about debating entitled Think, Speak, Win, Discover the Art of Debate. The book included a written by Singapores then-Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports. Gaurav was born in India, and grew up in Nigeria and Germany and he later took up Singapore citizenship. After returning to Singapore, he became a pilot in the RSAF. He subsequently completed a Masters of Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government in 2014, Think, Speak, Win book website dialectic. sg websiteGaurav Keerthi – Keerthi during the recording of a Channel NewsAsia programme at MediaCorp in December 2014
15. John Kelvin Koelsch – John Kelvin Koelsch was a United States Navy officer and a recipient of Americas highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor — for his actions in the Korean War. He was the first helicopter pilot to be awarded the Medal of Honor, John Kelvin Koelsch joined the U. S. Naval Reserve as an Aviation Cadet on September 14,1942 and was commissioned as an Ensign on October 23,1944 after completing flight training. During the next few years, he served at Naval Air Stations at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Norfolk, Virginia and he became an accomplished torpedo bomber pilot, and was promoted to Lieutenant on August 1,1946. After the outbreak of the Korean War, he joined Helicopter Squadron 1 at Miramar, California, as Officer in Charge of a helicopter detachment, he joined USS Princeton in October for pilot rescue duty off the eastern coast of Korea. He served in Princeton until June 1951 when he joined Helicopter Squadron 2 for pilot rescue duty out of Wonsan, Korea and he provided lifeguard duty for pilots who were downed either in coastal waters or over enemy-held territory. On June 22, he rescued a Naval aviator from the waters of Wonsan Harbor, capt. Wilkins parachuted from his burning plane at low altitude, and survived despite being severely burned about the legs. Despite approaching darkness, worsening weather, and enemy fire, Lt. Koelsch located the downed aviator in the Anbyon Valley. All three men survived the crash, and, after hiding in the mountains from enemy patrols for 3 days, after 6 more days, they reached a coastal village where they were captured the following day while hiding in a hut. During his captivity, though beaten and abused, Koelsch refused to aid his captors or submit to interrogation and his fortitude and personal bravery inspired his fellow prisoners. John Koelsch died of malnutrition and dysentery on October 16,1951, on August 3,1955, Lieutenant John Kelvin Koelsch was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in Korea. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia and his grave can be found in section 30, grave 1123-RH, Map Grid V/U36.5. While the victim was being hoisted into the aircraft, it was again by an accurate burst of hostile fire. His great personal valor and heroic spirit of self-sacrifice throughout sustain, list of Korean War Medal of Honor recipients Inline General This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Naval History & Heritage Command. Claim to Fame, Medal of Honor recipients, web US People - Koelsch, John Kelvin. Dictionary of American Naval Fighting ShipsJohn Kelvin Koelsch – Lt(jg) John K. Koelsch
16. Wendy B. Lawrence – Wendy Barrien Lawrence is a retired United States Navy Captain, former helicopter pilot, an engineer, and a former NASA astronaut. She was the first female graduate of the United States Naval Academy to fly into space and she was a mission specialist on STS-114, the first Space Shuttle flight after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. She enjoys running, rowing, and triathlons, Lawrence was born in Jacksonville, Florida. Lawrence graduated from Fort Hunt High School in Alexandria, Virginia in 1977 and she went on to attend the U. S. Naval Academy, graduating in 1981 with a Bachelor of Science in ocean engineering. Larwance Heights Middle School Phi Kappa Phi Association of Naval Aviation Women Military Aviators Naval Helicopter Association Lawrence graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in 1981, a distinguished flight school graduate, she was designated as a Naval Aviator in July 1982. Lawrence has more than 1,500 hours of time in six different types of helicopters and has made more than 800 shipboard landings. While assigned to Helicopter Combat Support Squadron 6, she was one of the first two helicopter pilots to make a long deployment to the Indian Ocean as part of a carrier battle group. After completion of a degree program at MIT and Woods Hole in 1988. In October 1990, Lawrence reported to the U. S. Naval Academy where she served as a physics instructor, selected by NASA in March 1992, Lawrence reported to the Johnson Space Center in August 1992. She completed one year of training and was qualified for assignment as a Mission Specialist. She flew as the flight engineer and blue shift orbit pilot on STS-67. S. /Russian Shuttle/Mir program. In September 1996 she began training as a crew member for a 4-month mission on the Russian Space Station Mir. Because of her knowledge and experience with Mir systems and with crew transfer logistics for the Mir, she flew on STS-86, a veteran of four space flights, she logged over 1,200 hours in space. Lawrence was a Mission Specialist on the crew of STS-114, the mission launched on July 26,2005 and landed on August 9,2005. Captain Lawrence retired from NASA in June 2006, STS-67 Endeavour was the second flight of the ASTRO observatory, a unique complement of three telescopes. Mission duration was 399 hours and 9 minutes, STS-86 Atlantis was the seventh mission to rendezvous and dock with the Russian Space Station Mir. Highlights included the exchange of U. S, Mission duration was 169 orbits in 259 hours and 21 minutes. STS-91 Discovery was the 9th and final Shuttle-Mir docking mission and marked the conclusion of the joint U. S. /Russian Phase I Program, Mission duration was 235 hours,54 minutesWendy B. Lawrence – Wendy B. Lawrence
17. Richie McCaw – Richard Hugh Richie McCaw ONZ is a New Zealand former rugby union player. He captained the team, the All Blacks, in 110 out of his 148 test matches. He is the most capped test rugby player of all time, McCaw predominantly played in the openside flanker position for the New Zealand, Crusaders and Canterbury teams, but also played as a blindside flanker and no.8. During McCaws career, Canterbury won the NPC five times, as well as two world cups, the All Blacks won seven Tri-Nations titles, completed three successful Grand Slam tours and won the Bledisloe Cup eight times. He made his debut in 2001 for the Crusaders, and was selected for the All Blacks 2001 end-of-year tour and his debut for New Zealand was against Ireland, where he was awarded man-of-the-match. McCaw became a selection for New Zealand, only missing a few games due to recurring concussions. In 2006 he was appointed captain of the All Blacks, whom he led at the 2007 World Cup, McCaw was the first All Black to reach 100 caps, and the first rugby union player to win 100 tests. He is the player in rugby union history with 148 caps. McCaw has also equaled the record for most appearances at the Rugby World Cup with Jason Leonard, McCaws great-great-grandfather immigrated to New Zealand from the Scottish Borders in 1893, and settled in the Hakataramea Valley, South Canterbury. McCaws father still works the family farm and his mother is a local teacher, on New Years Eve 1980, Richard Hugh McCaw was born in the nearby town of Oamaru. He grew up on his parents farm along with his sister Joanna, McCaw started flying gliders with his grandfather, a Tempest pilot during World War II credited with shooting down 20 V1 missiles, when he was nine years old. He played rugby for the local Kurow rugby club as a youngster, but it was not until 1994, when he boarded at Otago Boys High School in Dunedin, that he started to take the game seriously. In his last year at Otago Boys High, McCaw was head boy, proxime accessit to the dux, McCaw came to the attention of national selectors during a 5-all draw with Rotorua Boys High School in the 1998 New Zealand secondary schools rugby final in Christchurch. However, he failed to make the New Zealand Secondary Schools Team, losing out to Sam Harding, Angus McDonald, with Sam Harding moving south to study at the University of Otago, McCaw headed to Christchurchs Lincoln University to study agricultural science and pursue his rugby interests. He achieved all but two papers for his Bachelor of Agricultural Science degree before deciding to pursue his career instead. He received a doctorate on recognition of his sporting achievements in April 2012. In 1999, McCaw was selected in the New Zealand under-19 squad, during that series, McCaw realised his All Blacks dream could be attainable. The following year he was selected in the New Zealand under-21 squad, on 31 March 2001, he made his Super Rugby debut with the Crusaders, playing a few minutes in a losing effort against the HurricanesRichie McCaw – Richie McCaw
18. Anne McClain – Anne Charlotte McClain is a NASA astronaut from the class of 2013. Anne McClain is a Major in the U. S. Army, since she was a very young child she had always wanted to be an astronaut She is a graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, N. Y. the University of Bath, McClain qualified as an OH-58 Kiowa Warrior scout/attack helicopter pilot and flew 216 combat missions during 15 months in Iraq. McClain graduated from the U. S. Naval Test Pilot School at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in June 2013 at the time she was selected as a NASA astronaut. Following selection in the NASA Astronaut Group 21 in 2013, she became the youngest NASA astronaut, Group 21 astronauts completed training in July 2015 and are available for future missions. McClain has said that she would jump at the chance of going to Mars, anne McClain on Twitter NASA Astronaut Candidate BioAnne McClain – Anne C. McClain
19. Mykola Melnyk – For this operation, he was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, and the Igor I. Nikolai Melnik was born on December 17,1953 and grew up in the town of Stavyshche in the Kyiv Oblast of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which is now Ukraine. Upon his school graduation, Melnyk worked as a sports coach, in 1972-74 he served his conscript service in the Soviet Armed Forces. In 1979 Melnyk graduated from the Civil Aviation Pilot School in Kremenchuk, later he continued his education at the Kremenchuk Department of the Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute and the Civil Aviation Academy in Leningrad. After graduation from the special test pilot school in 1984, Melnyk worked as a test pilot, after the April 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Melnyk was directed to work in the cleanup operations. Lethal levels of radiation created after the Reactor #4 fire prevented ground liquidator teams from most operations on the roof of the plant building. However, helicopters could reach and leave the area above the building within seconds and they were employed to cover building openings with sandbags and lead slabs, install necessary equipment, commence aerial photography and atmospheric radioactive contamination monitoring. Melnyk, among others, was assigned to missions as an experienced civilian helicopter pilot. He flew 46 sorties over the building, for a combined total duration of 52 hours. This operation was described as dropping a needle into a precise spot, when Melnyk successfully completed the operation during a training exercise in Moscow, the observers broke into applause. Melnyk did not know the purpose of the training, however, the first attempt to insert the needle into the actual reactor was foiled by a frozen crust above the target, Melnyk succeeded on the third try. According to the Remembrance Book by the Chornobyl Museum, Melnyk participated in the operations on site of the disaster from May 20,1986 until September 9,1986. In 1994, he underwent two surgeries related to health problems attributed to his radiation exposure, upon return from Chernobyl mission, Melnyk continued his work as a test pilot at the Kamov helicopter testing center in Feodosiya until 1992. In independent Ukraine, the facility was reorganized as a separate Feodosiya Kamov Research, some time after the fall of the Soviet Union, Melnyk co-founded a cargo airline in Kiev. The company operated Antonov An-24 airplanes and Kamov helicopters as a subcontractor for DHL, however, he gradually became disappointed with the business, citing lack of sustainable demand for his helicopter specialization. In 1995, Spanish airline Helicopteros del Sureste approached Melnyk for help with purchase of Soviet-made helicopters, Melnyk used the opportunity to move to Alicante, where he became contracted as a pilot and instructor specializing in Soviet-designed helicopters with the Helicopteros del Sureste. He trained at least 25 local pilots and also has worked in aerial firefighting, as of 2006, Melnyk had 13,400 recorded flight hours. According to a Ukrainian regional newspaper, Mykola Melnyk died in Spain on July 26,2013, later he was also decorated with the Soviet Order of Lenin for the same deedsMykola Melnyk – Nikolai Melnyk
20. Rustam Minnikhanov – Rustam Nurgaliyevich Minnikhanov is a prominent politician and the second and current President of Tatarstan, a federal subject of Russia. Rustam Minnikhanov was born on March 1,1957 in a Volga Tatar family in the Novy Arysh village of Rybno-Slobodsky District in the Tatar ASSR and he graduated from Kazan Agricultural Institute in 1978 as mechanical engineer and from Correspondence Institute of Soviet Trade as a commodity expert in 1986. He is a doctor of economic sciences, Minnikhanov is married and fathered two sons. His son Irek Minnikhanov died in the Tatarstan Airlines Flight 363 crash on November 17,2013, after graduating from the institute in 1978, he began his career as an engineer in Sabinsky District Association of Selkhoztekhnika. He then worked in the district as a engineer and chief power engineer in a state timber industry enterprise and was deputy chairman of District Consumer Society Board. In 1993 he was appointed head of Vysokogorsky District administration and in November 1996 he was appointed minister of finance of the Republic of Tatarstan, from July 10,1998 until March 25,2010 he was prime minister of the Republic of Tatarstan. During his tenure as prime minister, Minnikhanov continued to be involved in industry. For the 2008 and 2009 ERX series Hansens team built a brand new C4 for MinnikhanovRustam Minnikhanov – Rustam Nurgaliyevich Minnikhanov Röstäm Nurğäli ulı Miñnexanov Рустам Нургалиевич Минниханов
21. Barry North – Air Marshal Sir Barry Mark Baz North, KCB, OBE is a senior Royal Air Force officer, who served as Deputy Commander at RAF Air Command. 7 Squadron at RAF Odiham in March,78 Squadron in the Falkland Islands, flying both the Chinook and Sea King aircraft, in July. He was awarded a Master of Arts in Defence Studies in 1997, in October 1999 North took command of No. In May 2002 North moved to Headquarters JHC as Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff – Personnel, Policy & Plans and Communications, his promotion to group captain following in January 2003. Having led the planning for JHCs role in the invasion of Iraq, in 2006, as an acting air commodore, North became the first commander of the newly established No. In January 2007 North received his promotion to air commodore. North was promoted to air marshal and appointed Air Officer Commanding No.22 Group in July 2009. He was promoted to air marshal and appointed Deputy Commander at RAF Air Command on 3 May 2013, North was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2015 New Year Honours, and retired in May 2016. North was born in September 1959 and educated at Carres Grammar School in Sleaford and he was awarded Alumnus of the Year by Nottingham Trent University – the former Trent Polytechnic – in 2011. He also holds a Master of Arts in Defence Studies from Kings College LondonBarry North – Officer of the Order of the British Empire (2003) Member of the Order of the British Empire (1996)
22. Michael J. Novosel – Michael J. Novosel, Sr. of Enterprise, Alabama served in the United States military in three wars, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. He flew the B-29 Superfortress bomber in World War II, in order to serve in the Vietnam War, he gave up the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve to become a chief warrant officer in the Army. For his bravery in conducting a medical evacuation under fire in this conflict, he was awarded the United States highest military decoration and he was born in Pittsburgh-area town of Etna, Pennsylvania, the son of Croatian immigrants, and grew up during the Great Depression. At the age of 19, Novosel joined what was then the Army Air Corps and that was just ten months prior to Pearl Harbor, and by 1945, he was a captain flying B-29 Superfortress bombers in the war against Japan. He left the service for a time due to reductions in force after the war was over and settled in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. Novosel joined the U. S. Air Force Reserves and went back on duty to again serve his country during the Korean War. He left the again in 1953 and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Force Reserve in 1955. In 1963, Novosel was working as an airline pilot when he decided to return to active military duty. By then, he was 41 and the Air Force did not have space for any officers in the upper ranks. Novosel made the decision to give up his rank of lieutenant colonel in the Air Force to join the Army and he served his first tour in Vietnam flying medevac helicopters with the 283rd Medical Detachment. His second tour in Vietnam was with the 82nd Medical Detachment, during that war, Novosel flew 2,543 missions and extracted 5,589 wounded personnel, among them his own son, Michael J. Novosel, Jr. On the morning of October 2,1969, he set out to evacuate a group of South Vietnamese soldiers who were surrounded by several thousand North Vietnamese light infantry near the Cambodian border, the South Vietnamese soldiers radio communication was lost and their ammunition expended. Without air cover or fire support, Novosel flew at low altitude under continuous enemy fire and he skimmed the ground with his helicopter, while his medic and crew chief yanked the wounded men on board. Novosel completed his tour in March 1970. S. to remain on flying duty. Novosel accumulated 12,400 military flying hours, including 2,038 in combat, while residing in Enterprise, Alabama during his retirement, Novosel remained active in the military community. He frequently was invited as an honored guest for military lectures and ceremonies across the nation and he co-piloted the liftoff of the In the Shadow of the Blade mission in 2002. His book, Dustoff - The Memoir of an Army Aviator, was published in 1999, diagnosed with a recurrent cancer in November 2005, he underwent a series of highly successful treatments at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D. C. The cancer tumor was greatly reduced in December 2005 and January 2006, in February 2006, Novosel concluded chemotherapy and other treatments and waited to regain strength in preparation for surgery on March 7Michael J. Novosel – Chief Warrant Officer Michael Novosel
23. Stephen W. Pless – Stephen Wesley Pless was a major in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War. He earned the Medal of Honor as a UH-1 Iroquois Huey helicopter pilot for rescuing soldiers trapped by enemy fire. Pless was born Stephen Pollard on September 6,1939, in Newnan, after his parents divorced, his mother Nancy Lassetter Pollard moved to Atlanta and remarried, to Berlin Pless. Stephen was adopted by his stepfather and took the Pless surname and he attended Decatur High School in Decatur before transferring to Georgia Military Academy in College Park, graduating from that school in 1957. While a senior at Georgia Military Academy, Pless enlisted in the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve on September 6,1956, after graduation, he attended recruit training and advanced combat training at Parris Island, South Carolina, finishing in October 1957. He then served as a surveyor with the 10th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division. While attending flight training at Pensacola, Florida, he was commissioned as a lieutenant on September 16,1959. He was promoted to first lieutenant on March 16,1960, ordered to East Asia in June 1962, he saw duty as Assistant Administrative Officer of HMM-162, MAG-26, in Thailand, and at Da Nang, in the Republic of Vietnam. He was promoted to captain on July 1,1964, after his detachment in April 1966, Pless was assigned duty as Brigade Platoon Commander, 1st ANGLICO, Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. For his service in this capacity, he was awarded a Bronze Star Medal, from March 20 to September 22,1967, Pless served in Vietnam as Assistant Operations Officer, VMO-6, Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. During this time, he earned the Medal of Honor, the Silver Star, the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, over the course of his time in Vietnam, Pless flew a total of 780 combat missions. He was the only Marine aviator awarded the Medal of Honor in the Vietnam War and his decorations include, After his return from Vietnam, Pless served as an administrative assistant of Aviation Officer Candidate School at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. While serving in that capacity, he was promoted to major on November 7,1967, on January 16,1969, four days before leaving office, President Lyndon B. Johnson presented Pless the Medal of Honor at a White House ceremony. Legend states that, upon realizing that both Pless and Jackson were from the same small Georgia town, President Johnson quipped there must be something in the water down in Newnan. The Department of Defense, recognizing the extreme circumstances of the helicopter rescue, rupert Fairfield, Leroy Poulson, and John Phelps were each awarded the Navy Cross, the second highest Naval award for valor. The combined crew of four represent the most highly decorated helicopter crew to fly in the Vietnam War, Pless died in a motorcycle accident on July 20,1969, just over six months after receiving the nations highest award for gallantry in action. While driving across a drawbridge which connected the city of Pensacola to Pensacola Beach, the center span of the bridge opened horizontally, and Pless did not realize it was open until it was too late. His body was recovered by divers seven hours later, news of his death was overshadowed by the Apollo 11 moon landing, which occurred the same dayStephen W. Pless – Major Stephen W. Pless, USMC
24. Prince Harry – Prince Henry of Wales, KCVO, familiarly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. After an education at schools in the United Kingdom and spending parts of his gap year in Australia and Lesotho, Harry chose a military career, undergoing officer training at RMA Sandhurst. He was commissioned as a cornet into the Blues and Royals, serving temporarily with his brother, in 2007–2008, he served for 77 days in Helmand, Afghanistan, but was pulled out following publication of his presence there by an Australian magazine. He returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week deployment in 2012–2013 with the Army Air Corps and he left the army in June 2015. Harry launched the Invictus Games in 2014, and remains patron of its Foundation and he also gives patronage to several other organisations, including the HALO Trust, the London Marathon Charitable Trust, and Walking With The Wounded. Harry was born at St Marys Hospital in Paddington, London, on 15 September 1984 at 4,20 pm and he was baptised on 21 December 1984 at St Georges Chapel, Windsor Castle, by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert Runcie. His godparents are Prince Andrew, Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones, Carolyn Bartholomew, Bryan Organ, Gerald Ward and Celia, Harry began to accompany his parents on official visits at an early age, his first overseas tour was with his parents to Italy in 1985. Harrys parents divorced in 1996, and his mother died following a car accident in Paris the following year, Harry and William were staying with their father at Balmoral at the time, and the Prince of Wales told his sons about their mothers death. Like his father and brother, Harry was educated at independent schools and he started at Jane Mynors nursery school and the pre-preparatory Wetherby School, both in London. Following this, he attended Ludgrove School, and, after passing the exams, was admitted to Eton College. In June 2003, Harry completed his education at Eton with two A-Levels, having decided to drop history of art after AS level and he excelled in sports, particularly polo and rugby union. Passing two A-levels, Harry was eligible to apply for a commission in the British Army. One of Harrys former teachers, Sarah Forsyth, has assessed that Harry was a weak student, both Eton and Harry denied the claims. While a tribunal made no ruling on the claim, it accepted the prince had received help in preparing his A-level expressive project. After school, Harry took a gap year, during which he spent time in Australia, working on a cattle station and he also travelled to Lesotho, where he worked with orphaned children and produced the documentary film The Forgotten Kingdom. Harry entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst on 8 May 2005, where he was known as Officer Cadet Wales, and joined the Alamein Company. Within a year, in April 2006, Harry completed his training and was commissioned as a Cornet in the Blues and Royals. He was given the service number 564673, on 13 April 2008, when he reached two years seniority, Harry was promoted to lieutenantPrince Harry – Prince Harry during the Invictus Games in London, September 2014
25. Andrew Pulford – Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Douglas Pulford, GCB, CBE, ADC is a retired senior Royal Air Force commander. He became Chief of the Air Staff on 31 July 2013, born the son of Douglas and Jean Pulford, Pulford was educated at Magnus Grammar School in Newark. He had a tour with the Royal Australian Air Force between 1985 and 1987. 2 Group with the rank of air marshal in February 2007. Pulford was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2013 New Year Honours. He was also promoted to air marshal on taking up the appointment of Chief of the Air Staff in July 2013. As of 2015, Pulford was paid a salary of between £175,000 and £179,999 by the department, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time. He was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 2016 New Year Honours, Pulford received his GCB at a joint investiture ceremony at Windsor Castle along with former First Sea Lord Admiral Sir George Zambellas on 13 April 2016. Pulfords interests include history, motorcycling, old cars and sailing. In 1982, Pulford married Nicola Jane Pearse, they have a son and a daughterAndrew Pulford – Air Chief Marshal Sir Andrew Pulford c.2013
26. Alan Purwin – Alan David Purwin was an American helicopter pilot, aerial film operator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Purwin founded and owned Helinet Aviation, on September 11,2015, while working for the film American Made, Purwin died in a plane crash in the Andean natural region of Colombia. Purwin was born on August 28,1961 in Southern California and was raised in North Hollywood, Purwins father owned an automobile repair business. When Purwin was a child, he would fly with his father in a single-engine Cessna 210, Purwins father flew the plane as a hobby around all of North America. Purwins father also flew cancer patients for treatment in support of the Angel Flight Network. Purwin attended U. S. Grant High School in the greater Los Angeles area, while in high school, Purwin earned his fixed-wing pilot certificate. At the age of eighteen, with prodding from his father, at the age of nineteen, Purwin worked as a helicopter crop duster in Greenfield, Indiana, where he flew ten to twelve hours a day. Purwin said of his time in Indiana, It was the opportunity to rack up flying hours. After his short time in Indiana, Purwin returned to Southern California and he flew helicopters that covered cycling and sailing. After that, Purwin did aerial helicopter stunts for television shows including The A-Team, in 1987, Purwin and Michael Tamburro co-founded West Coast Helicopters. Purwin, along with Michael sold just about everything they owned and bought a first generation, the company provided flight services to the Los Angeles Kings and performed aerial stunts for a television show called, The Adventures of Buck James. In 1988, West Coast Helicopters signed on with hospitals to transport medical teams for organ transplants, in 1990, West Coast Helicopters secured its first news contract with KTLA in Los Angeles. West Coast Helicopters and Purwin offered charter services, flying corporate executives and celebrities, in 2011, Purwin took Prince Harry on a helicopter tour of Los Angeles, California. One of Purwins clients was Emil P, Martini Jr. a major pharmaceutical company executive. Martini mentored Purwin and taught him how to run a business, Purwin said Martini taught him if you want to get ahead in business, you have to anticipate trends. In 1998, Purwin purchased Helinet Aviation, merging it with West Coast Helicopters, Purwin aided in the filming of over a hundred Hollywood movies as a helicopter pilot and aerial coodinator. Purwin shot extreme aerial shots for up to ten films a year from a camera mounted onto his helicopter, Purwin shook up the aerial cinematography industry by changing the business model. Purwin often worked in conditions, and tried to de-risk when working in dangerous conditionsAlan Purwin – Alan Purwin
27. Hanna Reitsch – Hanna Reitsch was Germanys most famous female aviator and test pilot, starting in the early 1930s. During the Nazi era she served as a representative for the regime. In the 1960s she was sponsored by the West German foreign office as an adviser in Ghana. She was the only awarded the Iron Cross First Class. She set more than 40 altitude and endurance womens records in gliding before, in the 1960s she founded a gliding school in Ghana, where she worked for Kwame Nkrumah. Reitsch was born in Hirschberg, Silesia on 29 March 1912 to an upper-middle-class family and she had a brother, Kurt, and a sister. She began flight training in 1932 at the School of Gliding in Grunau, while a medical student in Berlin she enrolled in a German Air Mail amateur flying school for powered aircraft at Staaken, in a Klemm Kl 25. She left medical school at the University of Kiel in 1933 to become, at the invitation of Wolf Hirth, Reitsch contracted with the Ufa film company as a stunt pilot and set an unofficial endurance record for women of eleven hours and twenty minutes. In January 1934 she joined a South America expedition to study conditions, along with Wolf, Peter Riedel. While in Argentina, she became the first woman to earn the Silver C Badge, Reitsch became a member of the Deutsche Forschungsanstalt für Segelflug in June 1934 and became a test pilot in 1935. Reitsch enrolled in the Civil Airways Training School in Stettin, where she flew a twin-engine on a cross country flight, Reitsch was given the honorary title of Flugkapitan by Ernst Udet in 1937, after successfully testing Hans Jacobs divebrakes for gliders. In September 1937 Reitsch was posted to the Luftwaffe testing centre at Rechlin-Lärz Airfield by Ernst Udet. She was a test pilot on the Junkers Ju 87 Stuka and Dornier Do 17 barrage balloon-cable fender projects, for which she received the Iron Cross, Second Class, from Hitler on 28 March 1941. Reitsch was the first female pilot and one of the few pilots to fly the Focke-Achgelis Fa 61. Her flying skill, desire for publicity, and photogenic qualities made her a star of Nazi propaganda, physically she was petite in stature, very slender with blonde hair, blue eyes and a ready smile. She appeared in Nazi propaganda throughout the late 1930s and early 1940s, in 1938 she made daily flights of the Fw 61 helicopter inside the Deutschlandhalle, during the three weeks of the International Automobile Exhibition in Berlin. In September 1938 Reitsch flew the DFS Habicht in the Cleveland National Air Races, at the DFS she test flew transport and troop-carrying gliders, including the DFS230 used at the Battle of Fort Eben-Emael. Reitsch was asked to fly many of Germanys latest designs, among them the rocket-propelled Messerschmitt Me 163 Komet in 1942, a crash landing on her fifth Me 163 flight badly injured Reitsch, she spent five months in a hospital recoveringHanna Reitsch – Hanna Reitsch greets well-wishers with the Hitler Salute in her hometown of Hirschberg (Jelenia Góra); April 1941. Karl Hanke, Gauleiter of Lower Silesia, is at left.
28. Jon E. Swanson – Jon Edward Swanson was a United States Army helicopter pilot during the Vietnam War. He directed the destruction of five enemy bunkers and two anti-aircraft positions before being shot down in Cambodia and his actions were recognized over thirty years later, when his family received the Medal of Honor posthumously from President George W. Bush in 2002. Born in 1942, Swanson grew up in Denver, Colorado and he met his future wife Sandee there as a teenager. Swanson attended Colorado State University where he was a member of the Armys Reserve Officers Training Corps, after graduating in 1965 and becoming a commissioned officer in the Army, he continued to correspond with Sandee, who was serving with the Peace Corps in the Philippines. The two were married in 1967 in Honolulu, Hawaii, while Swanson was on leave from his first tour in Vietnam and they settled in Boulder, Colorado, and had two daughters, Brigid and Holly. Swanson later volunteered for a combat tour in Southeast Asia. Now a captain, he served as an OH-6A Loach helicopter pilot, on February 26,1971, he and his observer, Staff Sgt. Larry Harrison, were on a mission over Cambodia, searching for enemy positions in support of an Army of the Republic of Vietnam task force. When the task force came under fire, Swanson engaged and destroyed five enemy bunkers despite intense anti-aircraft fire. He then helped destroy two machine gun positions and, although his craft had been damaged and was running low on ammunition. While heading towards a machine gun position, the helicopter exploded and crashed to the ground. Swanson and Harrison were listed as killed in action – body not recovered, in 1992, a search team located the crash site and found small amounts of human remains. More remains were recovered in 1999 and, in late 2001, were identified as Swanson and Harrison, Swansons widow, Sandee, and his younger brother, Tom, were married in 1977. Tom Swanson adopted his brothers two daughters, as adults, the daughters learned that Jon Swanson had been recommended for the Medal of Honor shortly after his death. His original nomination had been rejected, and he was given the militarys second-highest award. In 1998 his daughters began an effort to have the nomination re-assessed, a subsequent investigation concluded that Swansons Distinguished Service Cross should be upgraded. He was awarded the Medal of Honor on May 1,2002, during a ceremony at the White House Rose Garden that day, Swansons widow and daughters accepted the medal on his behalf from President George W. Bush. World War II soldier Ben L, salomon was also honored at the ceremonyJon E. Swanson – Captain Jon Swanson
29. Dimitris Ververelis – Dimitris Ververelis, also known as D. T. Ververelis, is a Greek helicopter pilot nicknamed The Wizard. He is the first Greek helicopter pilot to perform a full loop with a helicopter. Ververelis became a pilot in 1998. He served in the Hellenic Army Special Forces, Ververelis received his commercial helicopter license in the United States and continued to train in countries including France, the United Kingdom, the Ukraine and South Africa. He then became a flight instructor and in 1999 he founded GreekHelicopters. gr. Since 2004 he is an instructor at Dekeleia Aeroclub in Tatoi. He participates in the Athens Flying Week, the largest air event in Greece, since it started in 2012, Athens Flying Week involves pilots performing precision exercises, operational maneuvers and mock rescues. Since 2014, Ververelis flies a EC-120 B. with the colors of Vostok Europe and his air displays often incorporate backward movements with quick changes of heading, back and front pirouettes, 90° climbs, 360° vertical dives, dog turns and full down autorotations. In June 2016 he participates for the first time at the Kavala Air Sea Show in Kavala, the word helobatic is used for unusual and extreme helicopter maneuvers. He has both FAA and JAA flight licenses, GreekHelicopters. gr 2013 Athens Flying Week Demo on YouTube Wizard Helobatic Display Dimitris Ververelis nicknamed the Doctor of helicopters on the Athens News AgencyDimitris Ververelis – Dimitris Ververelis
30. Prince William, Duke of Cambridge – Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, KG, KT, PC, ADC is the elder son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales. He is second in line to succeed his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, William was educated at four schools in the United Kingdom and obtained a degree from the University of St Andrews. He spent parts of a gap year in Chile, Belize, in December 2006, he completed 44 weeks of training as an officer cadet and was commissioned in the Blues and Royals regiment. In April 2008, he qualified as a pilot by completing training at Royal Air Force College Cranwell. He then underwent helicopter flying training in order to become a pilot with the RAF Search. His service with the British Armed Forces ended in September 2013, William married Catherine Middleton, on 29 April 2011 at Westminster Abbey. Hours before the wedding, he was created Duke of Cambridge, Earl of Strathearn, the couples first child, Prince George, was born on 22 July 2013, and their second, Princess Charlotte, was born on 2 May 2015. William, the first child of the Prince and Princess of Wales, was born at St Marys Hospital and his names, William Arthur Philip Louis, were announced by Buckingham Palace a week later on 28 June. He was baptised in the Music Room of Buckingham Palace on 4 August by the Archbishop of Canterbury and he was the first child born to a Prince and Princess of Wales since Prince John in 1905. William was affectionately called Wombat by his parents or Wills, Williams first public appearance was on 1 March 1991, during an official visit of his parents to Cardiff, Wales. After arriving by aeroplane, William was taken to Llandaff Cathedral where he signed the visitors book, on 3 June 1991, William was admitted to Royal Berkshire Hospital after being accidentally hit on the side of the forehead by a fellow student wielding a golf club. He did not lose consciousness, but suffered a fracture of the skull and was operated on at Great Ormond Street Hospital. In a 2009 interview, he dubbed this scar a Harry Potter scar and he was reported to have said, I call it that because it glows sometimes and some people notice it—other times they dont notice it at all. His mother wanted him and his younger brother Harry to have wider experiences than are usual for royal children and she took them to Walt Disney World and McDonalds as well as AIDS clinics and shelters for the homeless. She bought them typical teenage items, such as video games, Diana, who was by then divorced from the Prince of Wales, died in a car accident in the early hours of 31 August 1997. William, then aged 15, along with his brother who was 12, the Prince of Wales waited until his sons woke the following morning to tell them about their mothers death. At his mothers funeral, William accompanied his father, brother, paternal grandfather, William began to accompany his parents on official visits at an early age. William was educated at independent schools, starting at Jane Mynors nursery school, following this, he attended Ludgrove School near Wokingham, Berkshire, and was privately tutored during summers by Rory StewartPrince William, Duke of Cambridge – The Duke of Cambridge in Japan in 2015
31. George Zambellas – Admiral Sir George Michael Zambellas, GCB, DSC, ADC, DL, FRAeS is a retired Royal Navy officer. He was the First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval Staff from April 2013 until he handed over duties to Admiral Sir Philip Jones in April 2016. In his early career he served as a pilot with 814 Naval Air Squadron,829 Naval Air Squadron. As captain of HMS Chatham he was deployed as part of Operation Palliser off Sierra Leone and he went on to be Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of Naval Staff in early 2012. He studied aeronautical and astronautical engineering at the University of Southampton, Zambellas was commissioned as an acting sub-lieutenant in the Royal Navy on 17 September 1980. He was promoted to lieutenant on 16 May 1982 and served with 814 Naval Air Squadron,829 Naval Air Squadron and 815 Naval Air Squadron in his early career. His next appointment was ashore, as an operations officer in the Fleet Headquarters at Northwood. In 1995 he was given command of the frigate HMS Argyll and was deployed on operations in the Caribbean. In 2001 he took the Higher Command and Staff Course at Shrivenham before becoming Deputy Flag Officer Sea Training, responsible for training Royal Navy and foreign warships and he was given command of the Royal Navys Amphibious Task Group in January 2005. In 2007, he became Commander United Kingdom Maritime Force, and in October 2008, promoted vice admiral in January 2011, Zambellas was appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief Fleet, Chief of staff to Navy Command Headquarters, and Chief Naval Warfare Officer. He became Commander-in-Chief Fleet in January 2012 and was promoted admiral on 6 January 2013, in April 2012 his role was re-designated Fleet Commander and Deputy Chief of the Naval Service. Zambellas was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2012 Birthday Honours and became First Sea Lord and Chief of the Naval staff on 9 April 2013. As of 2015, Zambellas was paid a salary of between £180,000 and £184,999 by the department, making him one of the 328 most highly paid people in the British public sector at that time. On 15 April 2014, Zambellas wrote a piece in the Daily Telegraph that laid out the case for a No vote in the Scottish independence referendum,2014. He said it would weaken the defence of the UK. He handed over duties as First Sea Lord to Admiral Sir Philip Jones in April 2016, Zambellas is a Younger Brother of Trinity House. He is also an Honorary Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Merchant Taylors, in 1982 Zambellas married Amanda Jane LeCudennec, they have three sons. Zambellas was elected Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society in 2009, in September 2013, he was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant of DorsetGeorge Zambellas – Admiral Sir George Zambellas