Professor John D. Akerman
Born in Latvia, Soviet Union. Akerman migrated to Russia when the Germans took over Latvia, and learned to fly there in 1916. He moved to France, where he flew for the French Air Force, before coming to the U. S. in 1918. He received an Engineering degree from the University of Michigan and worked for Stout-Ford until 1927 and for the Hamilton Metalplane Company for a while after that. He began work for the Mohawk Aircraft Company in 1928, where he did engineering redesign of the Mohawk airplane and joined the University of Minnesota in 1929, becoming head of the Aeronautical Engineering Department in 1930, when the Department was separated from the rest of the Engineering School. He stayed until 1958, and during that time, authored many books and articles on structures and meteorology. He was a consultant to the Boeing Company and a major part of the team that designed the B-29 wing. Professor Akerman was instrumental in starting the University's Rosemount Aeronautical Research Center, and headed that until 1962. He served as one of five Commissioners of the 1933 Minnesota Aeronautics Commission.
Aldrich studied engineering as a student at RPI University in New York. He learned to fly at age 22, bought an airplane, and started a flying service. He helped design an airport in Albany, then another in Troy, NY, where he became airport manager. He served as President of the New York State Airport Manager's Association and worked for American Airlines.
In 1943, the Minnesota State legislature organized the Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) and hired Aldrich as Executive Director. He served seventeen years in this capacity, during which time he directed the MAC's $54 million expansion program at Wold-Chamberlain Field and helped create the metropolitan reliever airport system that enhances both the commercial air traffic movement and the general aviation access to service. Aldrich was controversial, but dedicated to building and preserving the International Airport as an economic focus for Minnesota business.
Noel E. Allard
Born in Minneapolis, MN. Graduate of Mpls. Washburn High School. Earned a Degree in Fine Arts at the U. of M. Veteran of the US Army Security Agency. Career in Graphic Arts, retiring after 22 years in Marketing Dept. of Wells Fargo Bank.
Restored 1946 Aeronca aircraft and flew it for 31 years. Aviation historian authored two books on Minnesota aviation history and contributed dozens of articles on Minnesota aviation history to various magazines. Wrote the Minnesota Flyer Mystery Plane column for fifteen years. Served on the Air Guard Museum board for fifteen years. Founding member of Twin City Aero Historians model airplane club. Contractor for rebuilding of MAC Spirit of St. Louis replica that hung in Lindbergh Terminal at MSP. Co-designer and developer of Cold War aviation memorial at the location of bomber crash in Inver Grove Heights. Chairman of Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame for 20 years, later Executive Director. Serves on the Park Rapids Airport Commission. Allard and his wife Mary live in Park Rapids, MN.
Lloyd A. Alsworth
Born in Sherburne, MN, Alsworth learned to fly in 1933, receiving his Private license in 1938. He became a WTS instructor at the start of WWII at Northport Airport in White Bear Lake, teaching glider pilot candidates. He enlisted in the Navy and instructed at Grand Rapids and Mankato. After the war, Alsworth started a flight school at Sherburne, MN, then transferred his activities to Fairmont, MN, where, with partner Larry Daigneau, created Fairmont Flying Service. Alsworth continued to instruct until his retirement in 1990. He trained upwards of 3500 students and issued the same number of Private, Commercial, Multi-Engine and Seaplane ratings. In 1958, the new Fairmont Airport terminal was dedicated to Lloyd Alsworth. He remained active in aviation until his death in 1992.
Gordon C. Amundson
Born in Ulen, Minnesota, Amundson took his first airplane ride at Minneapolis in 1936. He soon soloed and by 1941 had earned his Private license and many additional ratings. He joined the US Navy in 1944 and served as crew of an LST that took troops ashore during the invasion of Okinawa.
Following the war, Amundson worked for Valley Flying Service at Grand Forks, ND, then was hired by North Central Airlines as line mechanic, crew chief and eventually Manager of Technical Training, instructing mechanics and flight personnel. Amundson served the CAP, the Air Guard and Air Force Reserve as maintenance advisor and earned the Charles Taylor Master Mechanic Award. After his retirement from North Central, he set up his own mechanic trainings school at his home, consulting with homebuilders and restorers, and tutoring hundreds of today’s mechanics and flight technicians.
Olof A. "Ole" Anderson
Ole Anderson was born in Linkoping, Sweden. After working in Swedish aircraft factories, he migrated to America and became a resident of North Dakota. He barnstormed the Dakotas and Minnesota and joined Northwest Airlines in 1941. Anderson helped pioneer the Northern Routes through Canada and Alaska. Ole retired in 1963 and made his home in Minnesota. He was inducted into the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 1992.
Ralph Waldo Anderson
1934 - ____
Anderson was born in Greenbush, Minnesota. His first airplane ride was from a farm field in 1946. In 1955, following high school and two years of college, he enlisted in the US Air Force. He took mechanics training and was assigned to Smoky Hill AFB in Kansas. There, he took flying lessons with the local military flying club, where he earned his Private as well as Commercial license. He was hired by the University of Minnesota in 1959 to worked as instructor for the University flight facility at Anoka County Airport. In 1967 he became chief pilot and was designated a flight examiner. He transported University officials, made over 1000 organ transplant flights and medical assistance flights with hospital medics. Anderson served 38 years till the facility closed. He followed that by more instructing and hired flight work, which included piloting the replica Sikorsky S-38 seaplanes built by Buzz Kaplan’s company at Owatonna.
1923 - 2016
Born in St. Paul, Anderson began a lifetime of aviation maintenance and education in 1941. He worked for Northwest Airlines in their Accelerated Structures Test Branch at Vandalia, Ohio helping to set up maintenance procedures. In 1944, in the Civil Service, he worked on aircraft at Ford Island, Hawaii. After the war, he joined the Minnesota Air Guard, to work on jet fighters while also working on civilian aircraft for local
businesses. He also owned and flew several of his own aircraft.
In 1966, Anderson joined the staff of the Aviation Training Center at Minneapolis, and in 1986 was named manager of the training program. In retirement, Anderson continued his work as an educator, mechanic and technical advisor to homebuilders.
Inducted - 2006
Anderson was born in Cyrus, Minnesota. An advanced student, he entered college at age 14. He had a Master's degree in Mathematics prior to entering Naval Air Service in World War II. As an aerial navigator, he helped develop radar bombing tactics. After the war, he helped pioneer radar tracking of hurricanes, flying night hurricane patrol. He helped develop radar detection of snorkeling submarines during this time, taking time off from studying for a Ph.D. to demonstrate these techniques to the Pentagon.
Following his military service, he entered the education field, teaching at St. Cloud State Teacher's College. He developed the aviation degree program there and organized the Saint Cloud State University (SCSU) Aero Club, which he guided to several national championships during the early 1960s. He inspired hundreds of students to take up aviation careers.
Major Scott D. Anderson
Anderson and his family moved to Duluth, MN when he was six years old. He went through school there and attended the University of Minnesota. Continuing later at Stanford University, he earned degrees in Mechanical Engineering and History. Anderson lived the life of an adventurer, building a two-man submarine; making a marathon canoe trip from Duluth to Hudson’s Bay and writing a book about it; writing and co-authoring several other books; playing saxophone in jazz bands and playing professional football in Salzburg, Austria. He returned to Duluth and joined the Air National Guard. He flew F-16s, becoming an instructor pilot with Duluth’s 179th Fighter Squadron. His career path led him to the role of test pilot with the Cirrus Design Corporation where he gave his life testing the first production model Cirrus SR20. The Scott D. Anderson Leadership Foundation was created in his honor.
Chief master sergeant Andreotti began his aviation career at Holman Field, St. Paul, as a mechanic for a fixed-base operator (FBO). He served in World War II as a gunner on B-29s, flying 22 combat missions. Following the war he worked in the engine shop for Northwestern Aeronautical at Holman Field. He joined the Minnesota Air National Guard and rose to the rank of chief master sergeant.
After retiring, Andreotti led a team that built a replica Curtiss Oriole for a flight commemorating the Minnesota Air Guard’s anniversary. He co-founded the Southern Minnesota Wing of the Commemorative Air Force and continues to help maintain their aircraft at Fleming Field, South St. Paul.
Harold W. "Bill" Atkins
1919 - 2001
Nebraska native Harold “Bill” Atkins was a B-17 instructor and B-29 instructor during World War II. After the war he joined Northwest Airlines. He was assigned to Air Vietnam and flew in Southeast Asia before moving to Greece to train Olympic Airways pilots on Boeing 720s purchased from Northwest. He developed the strobe light used today on most commercial and military aircraft around the world.