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2018 Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame (MAHF) Enshrinees

Each spring, the Air Zoo celebrates the current year's Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame enshrinees at a Gala event as part of the Air Zoo Science Innovation Hall of Fame Awards. For ticket information pertaining to this year's event, please click HERE.

A complete list of MAHF Enshrinees can be viewed HERE.

2018 MAHF Enshrinees

John D Amundson

John D. Amundson
Military and U-2 Reconnaissance Pilot,
Aviation Executive,
Air Zoo Pilot & Volunteer

Colonel John Amundson was born on January 31, 1935, in Decorah, Iowa. After graduating from high school, he studied at the University of Minnesota for a year before entering the U.S. Air Force Aviation Cadet program. In May 1956, he completed U.S. Air Force flight training in May 1956 and was commissioned a second lieutenant. He completed advanced flight training in the B-47 nuclear bomber. He served as B-47 Aircrew Commander with the 310th Bombardment Wing, Schilling Air Force Base, Salina, Kansas, until 1965, with tours of duty in Alaska, Guam, England, Spain, and North Africa. During his B-47 tour, he earned a bachelors degree. In 1957, he married his wife, Margaret. Their five children and their many grandchildren and great-grandchildren have been of the utmost importance to him.

Read full bio HERE.

Dennis NortonDennis E. Norton

Pilot, Museum Founder
Aviation Historian

Dennis Norton was born in East Lansing, Michigan, on May 25, 1947. His family moved to Ypsilanti in 1949. He was a frequent visitor to Willow Run Airport with his father, who learned to fly in the U.S. Navy. Dennis first flight in the mid-1950s was at Willow Run in a Cessna 170.

Norton graduated from Ypsilanti High School in 1965. He attended Eastern Michigan University, where he was a founder of the Eastern Michigan University Flying Club. In 1967, he earned his private pilot s license. He continued flying at Willow Run while at Eastern Michigan, earning his instrument rating, his commercial pilot license, and his Instructor and Instrument Instructor ratings. All his students passed their FAA Practical Flight Tests on their first try.

Read full bio HERE.

Samuel UrsiniSamuel M. Ursini
Military Pilot, Test Pilot (SR-71), Aviation Executive


Colonel Samuel Ursini was born in Detroit on June 2, 1933. He graduated from the University of Detroit High School in 1951 and attended the University of Detroit, where he was a four-year varsity baseball player and where he was elected student council president. He graduated from the University of Detroit in 1955 as an Air Force ROTC second lieutenant. He was awarded Air Force navigator wings in 1956 at Ellington Air Force Base, Texas, and assigned as a radar intercept officer to the 84th Fighter Interceptor Squadron, Hamilton AFB, California.

Read full bio HERE.

Richard HarrisonRichard E. Harrison

Tuskegee Airman, Company Pilot

Richard Harrison was born In Dowagiac, Michigan, on July 2, 1922. He loved flying from an early age, but Dowagiac did not have an airport. He took flying lessons in Niles, 12 miles away, a distance he sometimes covered by bicycle. Harrison received his student certificate in September 1942 and first soloed on October 6.

Harrison entered military service in November 1942. A private first class after basic training, he was promoted to corporal upon completion of his training as a technician at Lincoln Army Air Base Training School, Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1943. He served with the U.S. Army Air Corps in Tuskegee, Alabama, from 1943 to 1946. He was both a technician and, because of his prior flight training, an instructor of flight.

Read full bio HERE.

Don OstranderDon R. Ostrander

Military Pilot, Innovator & Administrator, Aviation Executive

Major General Don Richard Ostrander was born September 24, 1914, in Stockbridge, Michigan. He was valedictorian of the Stockbridge High School class of 1931. He studied engineering at Western State College Kalamazoo (now Western Michigan University) before he was appointed to the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, where he graduated in 1937, a member of the Academy 's last cavalry class.

After graduating, he entered flight school at Fort Bliss, Texas, where he also served as a cavalry troop commander until 1939. Ostrander then served in Aviation Ordnance Command positions at various air fields, including Selfridge Air Force Base.

Read full bio HERE.

Smithsonian Institution Affiliations Program