Established in 1991, the South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame honors pioneers and leaders in the aviation industry who have made significant contributions to the development, advancement or promotion of aviation and have close ties to the State of South Carolina.
Aviation Hall of Fame Criteria
It is not necessary to have a Hall of Fame or Aviator of the Year inductee every year. Up to three nominees for the SCAA Hall of Fame honorees can be inducted each year and one Aviator of the Year. The individual must be of good character. The individual’s contribution to aviation must be substantial and performed with a high degree of excellence, above and beyond the performance of one’s job or political position. The individual’s contribution may be a single gallant event or achievement over time that has made a lasting impact on aviation. A single gallant event will be defined as an event, which was brave, spirited and honorable. Examples are William Farrow and Ronald McNair.
Nominees shall be reviewed by the appropriate FAA or DOA officials to ensure there are no concerns or reasons why the person should not be nominated. Nominations shall expire after the first consideration and must be resubmitted for future consideration. The individual nominated must have been born in South Carolina and made their contribution to aviation in this state or elsewhere; OR have been a native of another state and made their contribution to aviation in South Carolina. Nominations must include verifiable documentation of the individual’s contribution to aviation to include the following: A biographical resume (as detailed as possible), documentation, clippings, citations, and awards regarding the contribution to aviation. No consideration will be given to any information other than that submitted with the nomination package. Aviation Hall of Fame committee members shall only consider information submitted in the written nomination package. No other information supplied by anyone to the Aviation Hall of Fame committee members or to SCAA board members will be considered.Hall of Fame Nomination Form Hall of Fame Video
Aviator of the Year Criteria
In addition to the above: The Aviator of the Year must be a living person. The nominee should be a true aviator (pilot or flight crew member). The nominee’s accomplishment in aviation should be verifiable and attached to the application. The nominee should have achievements above and beyond a normal pilot. All Nominees shall: Have demonstrated ethical conduct and responsibility toward associates in the industry and community. Have had substantial influence in promoting and preserving the state’s aviation industry. Have contributed to the positive image of South Carolina as viewed from the state and national level. Maintained a high level of respect within the state’s aviation community for service, performance and public service.
South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame license tags are now available for inductees.
All South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame inductees are eligible to apply for the license tag. If you would like to purchase a license tag you will need to complete the MV-95 application and send it to the SCDMV to PO Box 1498, Blythewood SC 29016-0008. There is no additional registration fee from the association for the license tags.
If you desire to order more than one tag, please duplicate the application form and complete one form for each tag. For your first tag call SCAA headquarters to get a vehicle plate number to include on the MV-95 application form. This is what will be printed on your license tag. If you choose to order multiple tags you will need to contact association headquarters at 1-877-359-7222 to receive another number for the second license tag. You will need to include a letter along with your application from the association that verifies that you are a member of the SC Aviation Hall of Fame. If you have any questions on the process please call SCAA headquarters at 1-877-359-7222.Download MV-95 form
SCAA created an traveling Hall of Fame display, if you would like to display this exhibit at your airport for 3 months, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
South Carolina Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees:
2006 Ray Butters’ experience in aviation, which began when he was a 12-year-old in Detroit, spans 75 years. Butters retired from the U.S. Air Force after 20 years, holding all ranks from “Buck” private in the Army Air Corps to U.S. Air Force Major. He served as a combat pilot in WWII, Korea and with the French in Vietnam. Butters received the Silver Star, Distinguished Flying Cross, Good Conduct Medal, five Air Medals and several others. Upon retirement, Butters worked for the FAA as an air carrier inspector involved in the certification of personnel and aircraft. He held an Airline Transport Pilot License as well as Flight Engineer, Navigator, Dispatcher, Hot Air Balloon and Sea Plane ratings. His foreign licenses are French, German, Iranian, Korean, and Thai, to name a few. Once he retired from the FAA, Butters moved to France with Airbus Industries and was named deputy flight crew training manager on the Concord, Airbus and Corvette. After seven years, Butters returned to the U.S. with Flight Safety International and trained Lear and Citation aircraft crews. He then served as an aviation consultant and executive vice president for Foxjet Aviation. In 1995, he moved to South Carolina and became involved with aviation in Lee County, serving as chairman of the Lee County Airport Commission and working with the Young Eagle Program in association with the Experimental Aircraft Association. As airport commissioner, Butters is credited with making renovations at Lee County Airport a reality. He secured more than $750,000 for the airport and set in motion a five-year Capitol Improvement Program to include airfield lighting, security fencing, a weather system, maintenance/administration building and a paved parking ramp. Plans also include construction of a Fixed Base Operations building, providing a place for passengers, the public and pilots to be afforded tradition airport services. Lee County received a $560,000 federal grant, and other grants and funding have been secured by Butters, said County Councilman Ron Fountain. When the construction bids were received, the low bid opened at $200,000 more than what was available. Butters went to the FAA and was able to secure the rest of the money, said County Councilman Gordon Eckley. The single efforts of Airport Commissioner Ray Butters, who worked tirelessly, willingly and feverishly to obtain funding, resolve environmental concerns, and assist the engineer, consultants and the construction company, are commendable. The citizens of Lee County recognized his hard work and named the airport Butters Field in his honor. He has brought aviation to the forefront through sponsorship of Young Eagles youth flight programs and the 3rd Annual Ultra-Light Aircraft Fall...read more
1998 A native of Columbia and a graduate of the Citadel class of 1940, Horace Ellis “ Sally” Crouch began his career as a Flying Cadet from the first U.S. Army Air Force Navigator School, Barksdale Air Base. As a navigator and a bombardier early in his career, Crouch flew in the first coastal patrol of World War II off the Oregon and Washington coast. He participated with the Doolittle Tokyo Raiders on the first Bombardment mission on the mainland of Japan of World War II on April 18, 1942. After the raid on Japan, he flew missions with the American Volunteer Group (AVG) in China, as a member of the 11th Bomb Squadron. Crouch served as the Ground Training and Intelligence Officer in the 307th Bomb Wing, Okinawa, Japan, as well as the Intelligence Officer and a SAC Combat Crew Member in B-29 and B-47 aircraft in the 301st Bomb Wing, Barksdale, and AFB. He retired from the Air force in May 1962 and became an educator, teaching and sharing his love for aviation. Air Force Celebrates The Doolittle Raiders http://www.af.mil/library/doolittleraiders.asp http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/misc-42/dooltl.htm Doolittle Raid on Japan, 18 April 1942Photo # 80-G-41196: Army B-25 bomber takes off from USS Hornet at the start of the Doolittle Raid on Japan, 18 April 1942 The April 1942 air attack on Japan, launched from the aircraft carrier Hornet and led by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, was the most daring operation yet undertaken by the United States in the young Pacific War. Though conceived as a diversion that would also boost American and allied morale, the raid generated strategic benefits that far outweighed its limited goals. The raid had its roots in a chance observation that it was possible to launch Army twin-engined bombers from an aircraft carrier, making feasible an early air attack on Japan. Appraised of the idea in January 1942, U.S. Fleet commander Admiral Ernest J. King and Air Forces leader General Henry H. Arnold greeted it with enthusiasm. Arnold assigned the technically-astute Doolittle to organize and lead a suitable air group. The modern, but relatively well-tested B-25B “Mitchell” medium bomber was selected as the delivery vehicle and tests showed that it could fly off a carrier with a useful bomb load and enough fuel to hit Japan and continue on to airfields in China. Gathering volunteer air crews for an unspecified, but admittedly dangerous mission, Doolittle embarked on a vigourous program of special training for his men and modifications to their planes. The new carrier Hornet was sent to the Pacific to undertake the Navy’s part of the mission. So secret was the operation that her Commanding Officer, Captain Marc A. Mitscher, had no idea of his ship’s upcoming employment until shortly before sixteen B-25s were loaded on her flight deck. On 2 April 1942 Hornet put to sea and headed west across the vast Pacific. Joined in mid-ocean on 13 April by Vice Admiral William F. Halsey’s flagship Enterprise, which would provide air cover during the approach, Hornet steamed toward a planned 18 April afternoon launching point some 400 miles from Japan. However, before dawn on 18 April, enemy picket boats were encountered much further east than expected. These were evaded or sunk, but got off radio warnings, forcing the planes to take off around 8 AM,...read more
1997 Frank L. Culbertson was born in Charleston and lived for years in Holly Hill. He graduated from Holly Hill School in 1967 and earned a degree in aerospace engineering from the US Naval Academy in 1971. Culbertson served aboard the USS Fox, a rocket escort ship, in the Pacific Ocean during the Vietnam War before being designated a naval aviator. After training as an F-4 Phantom Pilot, he served aboard the USS Midway out of Yokosuka, Japan. Aboard the USS John F. Kennedy, he graduated with distinction from the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. He was program manager for all F-4 testing and a test pilot for automatic carrier landing systems in the Carrier Systems Branch at the Naval Test Center. He was training in the F-14A Tomcat until his selection as an astronaut candidate in 1984. That same year, he was selected to NASA (group 10) and was subsequently assigned to Houston, TX for astronaut training. He has logged more than 4,400 flying hours in more than 40 different types of aircraft, and he has made more than 450 carrier landings. On his first shuttle flight November 15-20, 1990, he served as Captain (co-pilot) aboard Atlantis. On his second space flight aboard Discovery September 12-22, 1993, Culbertson served as Commander. Culbertson has 344 total hours in space flight. He retired from the U.S. Navy as Captain, on March 8, 1997 and is presently NASA’s program manager for the shuttle-MIR Program. In 1997, he was named South Carolina Aviator of the Year. Boeing NASA United Space Alliance Frank L. Culbertson, Jr. NAME: Frank L. Culbertson, Jr. (Captain, USN, Ret.) NASA Astronaut PERSONAL DATA: Born May 15, 1949, in Charleston, South Carolina, but considers Holly Hill to be his hometown. Married, June 1987, to the former Rebecca Ellen Dora of Vincennes, Indiana. Five children. His parents, Dr. and Mrs. Frank Culbertson, Sr., reside in Laurens, South Carolina. Rebecca’s mother, Mrs. Avanelle Vincent Dora, resides in Vincennes, Indiana. Her father, Mr. Robert E. Dora, is deceased. EDUCATION: Graduated from Holly Hill High School, Holly Hill, South Carolina, in 1967; received a bachelor of science degree in aerospace engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1971. ORGANIZATIONS: Senior Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, member of the Association of Naval Aviators, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association, the Aviation Boatswains Mate’s Association, and the Association of Space Explorers. SPECIAL HONORS: Awarded the Legion of Merit, the Navy Flying Cross, the Defense Superior Service Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, NASA Space Flight Medals, Navy Commendation Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, the Humanitarian Services Medal, and various other unit and service awards. Distinguished graduate, U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. Awarded Honorary Doctor of Science Degrees, College of Charleston, 1994, and Lander University, 1999. Also awarded the Komarov Certificate for Space Flight Achievement, 1994, the AAS Flight Achievement Award for STS-51, 1994, Aviation Week and Space Technology 1997 Laurel for Achievement in Space, IEEE/ASME Award for Manager of the Year, 1997, and the Space Center Rotary Club Stellar Award for 1998. EXPERIENCE: Culbertson graduated from Annapolis in 1971 and served aboard the USS Fox (CG-33) in the Gulf of Tonkin prior to reporting to flight training in Pensacola, Florida. After designation as a Naval Aviator at...read more
1991 John Cureton began his flying career as a flight instructor for the U.S. Air Force at Southeast Training Command in Bennettsville. He was a World War II Army Corps Veteran and served as pilot. Cureton worked as a flight instructor as Stallings Air Force Base in Kingston, N.C., and served as chief of the FAA’s General Aviation District Office for 20 years. Cureton served more than 28 years with the Federal Aviation Administration. He was instrumental in writing FAA crop dusting and pilot regulations. Governor Dick Riley presented Cureton with the Order of the Palmetto for his contributions to...read more
1992 Originally from New York State, Maynard Cusworth’s Air Force career spanned three decades. In 1966, he was stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, and, in 1972, he retired as a Lt. Colonel. For 19 years, Cusworth taught flight instruction to hundreds of students. According to the FAA, 100 percent of his students passed their aviation exams. He helped organize the Jamil Flying Fezzes, a charitable flying group that transports children to Shrine treatment facilities. For 10 years, he has flown more than 200 trips and logged 1,194 flying hours, contributing his time and talent to those in need. Still flying today, he has already amassed more than 18,000 hours in military and general aviation flights. He once said his flights for crippled or burned children were far more meaningful to him than all his years in military service. In 1992, Cusworth was named South Carolina Aviator of the Year. Special Note: Maynard was the oldest pilot to ever land an airplane at Wright Paterson AFB, last year, when he flew his Mooney there for the 463rd Troop Carrier Wing Reunion, at 84 years young. He is now 85 and still passing his physicals and flight checks. He retired after 28 years of active Air Force duty, and then, 20 years as my chief pilot. Jim Hamilton 08/30/2006 The Columbia Star October 8, 2004 Six–year–old burn victim thrives with local Shriners’ help For four years Darby Langley has gone to the Shriners Burn Hospital in Cincinnati for treatment By Natasha Whitling Darby and Tunie take flight out of Owens Field in the Flying Fez for Darby’s treatment at the Shriners Burns Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. As her plane flew 10,000 feet above the Appalachian mountains, six–year–old Darby Langley curled up for a quick nap on her mother’s lap. Darby and her mother, Tunie, were on a mercy flight, soaring safely in the hands of the Flying Fezzes. Their flight was one of over 500 mercy flights out of Owens Field to Shriners’ hospitals across the US and Canada in the past 10 years. Pilots Durham Harrison and Maynard Cusworth, both long time Shriners and members of the Jamil Temple, were taking Darby for a check–up at the Shriners Burns Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio. The temple purchased the Piper Seneca 2 plane for $35,000, and they hold fundraisers and dinners to help cover the maintenance costs. “Insurance alone is $7,000 a year,” Ron Griffin, a Flying Fez in training, said. “But it’s worth it.” Pilot Maynard Cusworth, Ron Griffin, Tunie Langley, Darby Langley, and pilot Durham Harrison in front of the Flying Fezzes airplane Darby was two years old when 39.5% of her body was covered in third degree burns as a result of a kitchen accident. At that time, Darby’s family was living in Gainesville FL. The burn hospital there told Tunie they were not equipped to handle a case like Darby’s, and they recommended the Shriners. I said ‘whatever you have to do, as long as you save her,’” Tunie said. “They wouldn’t even show me a bill. A nurse told me they don’t have to be regulated by our insurance company. There are no restrictions. If Darby needs ten rolls of bandages, she’ll get it.” Darby spent two months at the Burns Hospital initially and...read more
Ralph Hunter Cuthbertson was a visionary and pioneer of the aviation industry in South Carolina and throughout the Southeast. Born in Mcbee in 1920, he received his primary pilot training from Jim Hamilton at the L.B. Owens Field in Columbia. Cuthbertson served his country as a Squadron Commanding Officer in World War II, before becoming a pilot for Pan American Airline, the largest International Air Carrier in the United States from 1927 until 1991. He was also the personal pilot for Pan Am founder Juan Trippe. Cuthbertson was a leader and early pioneer of the corporate flight department concept, which was considered highly innovative in the 1950s. He started programs for J.P. Stevens, Inc., Milliken Aviation, Spartan Mills, Greenwood Mills and Daniel Construction. He was the founder and CEO of Steven’s Aviation, Inc., a fixed base operator (FBO) in Greenville. He was an original pioneer of the multiple-location FBO chain — prevalent now but unheard of in the 1950s and 60s. He began and managed other locations in Atlanta, Knoxville, Nashville, Dayton and Denver, and many of these locations are still operating today. Ralph Cuthbertson died at the age of 59, leaving a family legacy of aviators through his children and...read more
1996 A native of Norfolk, Va., Darden graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Virginia in 1953, a master’s in physics from the University of Virginia in 1954 and a PhD in nuclear physics from M.I.T. in 1960. Darden earned a Private Pilot S.E. Land in 1954; M.E. Land and Instrument Ratings in 1964; a DC-2 Type Rating in 1969; and a Multi-Engine Sea Rating in 1989. He has owned a variety of planes, including a Stinson Voyager, Piper Apache 150, 160 Apache, Cessna 172, Meyers OTW, Ryan SCW, Spartan Executive, Lockheed 12A, DC-2 and a Douglas Dolphin. Darden worked at the Savannah River Laboratory near Aiken from 1959-1964, and served as an assistant, associate and a full Professor of Physics in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at USC from 1964 to 1994. On July 1, 1994, he retired as a Distinguished Professor of Physics. He flies his airplanes to antique fly-ins and open houses so people can see and hear them. He is a member of the Antique and Classis Division of the Experimental Aircraft Association, South Carolina Aviation Association, American Radio Relay League, The Antique Automobile Club of America, the American Physical Society and the South Carolina Breakfast...read more
1996 Nettie Durant Dickerson was born in Jasper County in 1923. She was graduated from St. John’s in Darlington in 1940, the South Carolina State School of Nursing in 1944, and the USC College of Nursing in 1964. She served in the Army Nurse Corps on a hospital ship during World War II, and in 1945, she married John Edward Dickerson. From 1950 to 1974, she worked in public health nursing, and she received her pilot’s license in 1974. She is an icon for aviation in the banking industry because of her contribution to the development of air transportation for the rapid clearance of checks. In 1973, she and her family founded Bankair, Inc. Under her leadership, the company became nationally known. Dickerson also introduced commuter passenger service to many small towns in South Carolina and provided an entry to commercial aviation for hundreds of pilots, many mechanics and administrators. Active in many civic organizations, and her philosophy is “The more one shares, the more one has to share.” She says she has received as much as she has given because of this shared philosophy with family and friends, and especially with associates in the aviation...read more
Charles “Charlie” Dickerson Sr was born in Hartsville in 1950. He lived his entire life in South Carolina, except when he was on active duty as a U.S Army helicopter pilot serving in Vietnam. After Vietnam Charlie worked as a ramp agent at the Columbia Airport (CAE). Shortly thereafter he created BankAir. BankAir was based on flying high-priority freight, legal documents, production line parts, human organs, and passengers. As the number of passengers increased, Charlie recognized the need for a commuter airline. He established BankAir Commuter in 1975, which became the first and longest-lived commuter airline in South Carolina’s history. Charlie was more than a pilot. He managed a support structure that included fleet contract maintenance, aircraft refueling, pilot and mechanic training, aircraft replacement parts, and a full-service fixed base operation. He also gave back to his community and was instrumental in creating and supporting the Dickerson Children’s Center. When he died in 2014, he had transformed himself from a young man returning from war to a successful chief executive officer of a charter and air cargo service with 72 pilots and 42 aircraft. Charlie was a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airline Transport Pilot, for Single and Multiengine Land Airplanes and a Commercial Pilot in Helicopters. He held FAA Airframe and Powerplant mechanic ratings, and was a FAA certificated Ground Instructor. His total flight hours exceeded 10,000....read more
1994 Charles Duke attended High School in Lancaster and graduated from Admiral Farragut Academy in St. Petersburg, Florida. He then went on to graduate from the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD along with earning a master’s in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT . He has also earned honorary doctorates from USC and Francis Marion College. In 1966, he was selected as an astronaut and was assigned to the Apollo program. He served as a lunar module pilot of Apollo 16 and spent 71 hours on the moon performing scientific experiments. Overall, he logged more than 265 hours in space. Duke attained the rank of Brigadier General in U.S. Air Force. A highly effective role model for the citizens of South Carolina, Duke serves as director of Young Astronaut Council. He has been recognized as South Carolina Man of the Year, a member of South Carolina Hall of Fame, and he received the distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Charles Duke’s website: http://www.charlieduke.net Charlie Duke – Apollo 16 Charlie Duke Apollo 16 Blastoff Apollo 16 Blastoff Charlie Salutes from the Moon Charlie Salutes from the Moon Astronaut Charles Duke is one of the 19 astronauts selected by NASA in April 1966. He served as lunar module pilot of Apollo 16, April 16-27, 1972 and was the 10th of only 12 men to walk on the moon. He was accompanied on the fifth manned lunar mission by John W. Young (spacecraft commander) and Thomas K. Mattingly II (command module pilot). Apollo 16 was the first scientific expedition to inspect, survey and sample materials and surface features in the Descarts region of the rugged lunar highlands. Duke and Young commenced their lunar surface stay of 71 hours and 14 minutes by maneuvering the lunar module Orion to a landing on the rough Cayley Plains. In three subsequent excursions onto the lunar surface, Duke and Young logged over 20 hours in extra-vehicular activities. It involved the emplacement and activation of scientific equipment and experiments, the collection of nearly 213 pounds of rock and soil samples, and the evaluation and use of Rover 2 over the roughest surface yet encountered on the moon. With the completion of the Apollo 16 mission, General Duke had logged 265 hours and 51 minutes in space. Astronaut Duke has served as backup lunar module pilot for Apollo 13 and Apollo 17 flights. He has numerous honors and his hobbies include hunting, fishing, reading flying and golf. In December 1975, Duke retired from NASA to enter private business in San Antonio, TX. Charlie Duke is an active motivational and inspirational speaker. As an entrepreneur, business executive, military officer, and astronaut, he brings to the speaker’s platform forty years of experience. He has appeared on numerous TV shows, and spoken for hundreds of associations, clubs, organizations, churches, and schools all over the world. He and his wife Dorothy reside in New Braunfels, Texas. They have two sons, Charles III and Thomas and three grandchildren. They have co-authored the book, Moonwalker, and two videos, Moonwalker and Walk on the Moon, Walk with the Son. http://www.alcbahamas.org/Bahamas/CharlieDuke.htm Skip the biography headerBiographical Data NASA logo linking to NASA Home Page National Aeronautics and Space Administration Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center Houston, Texas 77058 [Charles M. Duke portrait] NAME: Charles Moss Duke, Jr. (Brigadier General, USAF, Ret.)...read more