2017 Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame

Congratulations to Col. Adelbert “Buz” Carpenter and Katherine E. Johnson!
They are both being inducted into the Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame on Oct. 28th, 2017 at the Fredericksburg Expo Center.  Please join us for a wonderful evening celebrating the incredible accomplishments of these two amazing people.  (click here for ticket information)

To purchase tickets online click here.


Retired Air Force Colonel Adelbert “Buz” Carpenter earned his pilot wings in the Air Force after graduation from the US Air Force Academy, eventually accruing over 4,400 jet flight hours.  He served as a C-141 aircraft commander doing worldwide airlift,  an RF-4 instructor pilot in combat in the Vietnam Conflict, an SR-71 instructor pilot earning 777 flight hours while executing global reconnaissance missions, an F-4E squadron commander, and, finally as a pilot of the historic U-2 piloting his aircraft above 70,000 feet. Carpenter served as a Wing Commander in Europe during Desert Storm and as the USAF “Black World” programmer in the Pentagon, involved in programs such as the F-117, B-2 Bomber, and F-22. At the end of his Air Force career he was Vice Commander of 2nd Air Force, which possessed the Air Force’s Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance mission aircraft. Following his retirement from the Air Force, he became involved as a volunteer with the Udvar-Hazy Center and has been a key player in the development of their tour information and docent training.


The subject of the recent hit movie, Hidden Figures, Katherine Coleman Goble Johnson played a crucial role in the development of space travel in the U.S. while blazing trails for African American women. Johnson graduated from West Virginia State summa cum laud in 1937 with degrees in Mathematics and French at the age of 18, when her peers were graduating from high school.  In 1953, she started her career at the National Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) which later became the National Air and Space Administration (NASA). During her career with NACA/NASA, Johnson was one of a few women, much less African American women, who were active in direct support of the American space program. Using her knowledge of analytic geometry, she calculated the trajectories for the May 5, 1961 space flight of Alan Shepard, the first American in space; John Glenn’s orbit around the Earth on February 20, 1962; the 1969 Apollo 11 mission (the first moon landing), and the 1970 Apollo 13 moon mission. Later in her career, Katherine worked on the space shuttle program, the Earth Resources Satellite, and on the plans for a mission to Mars as well as authoring or coauthoring 26 research reports.

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