The Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM) is pleased to announce the selection of four new inductees into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. This prestigious group was inducted on Friday, April 12, at the 2019 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame luncheon at the Lone Star Flight Museum located at Houston’s Ellington Airport.
Christopher C. Kraft (born 1924)
An aerospace engineer who graduated from Virginia Tech, Christopher Kraft was hired by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1944. He performed aerospace research for fourteen years before being asked to join the Space Task Group, a group within the newly formed NASA which managed the program to put a man in space and on the Moon. As part of the Flight Operations division, Kraft became NASA’s first flight director, overseeing flights in the Mercury and Gemini series of space missions.
H. Ross Perot, Jr. (born 1958)
A native of Dallas, Texas, H. Ross Perot, Jr. came to prominence early in life. He graduated from Vanderbilt University and shortly thereafter co-piloted the first around-the-world helicopter flight in 1982, at the age of 23. Using a Bell 206L-1 Long Ranger II named the “Spirit of Texas,” he and fellow pilot Jay Coburn took off from Fort Worth and flew around the world in 29 days, 3 hours and 8 minutes. Perot next spent over eight years as a fighter pilot with the U.S. Air Force.
Dr. Peggy A. Whitson (born 1960)
A native of Iowa, Dr. Peggy Whitson received her Doctorate in Biochemistry from Rice University before becoming a National Research Council Resident Research Associate at NASA’s Johnson Space Center. She next supervised the Biochemistry Research Group of a NASA contractor before becoming adjunct professor of Internal Medicine and Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston.
General Ira C. Eaker (born 1896, died 1987)
Born in Field Creek, Texas, Ira Eaker served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army infantry before he was selected for flight training at Kelly Field. During World War II, Eaker was sent to England to organize and later command the Eighth Air Force in the strategic bombing of Nazi Germany. He became Commander-in-Chief of the Mediterranean Allied Air Forces in 1944, then Deputy Commander of the Army Air Forces and Chief of the Air Staff before his retirement in 1947.