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:
1999 Colonel Faison learned to fly in the early 1930’s with the legendary Oscar Meyer in Hendersonville, NC. He made his first solo flight on July 3, 1936 in a J-2 Cub. While a cadet at the Citadel, he continued his flight training with Bevo Howard. He graduated from the Citadel in 1939 and joined the National Guard, where he received his private license through the CPT. He continued on to active duty with the Army Air Corps. After winning his AF wings, he trained student navigators and then moved on to B-29’s. 35 combat missions followed through B-29 transition from Saipan. Colonel Faison flew in the Berlin Airlift (C-54s and the C-97), served at TAC headquarters and commanded the “ Best in SAC” 567th Missile squadron at Fairchild AFB. He flew airplanes ranging from single seat fighters to multi-engine bombers to tankers. Upon retirement, Colonel Faison returned to South Carolina and took over operation of the Wilson Memorial Airport at the Isle of Palms. He established Palmetto Air Service in 1968, which is now the longest-operating flying organization in the area. Although the primary business consists of private level flight training. Colonel Faison is a long-time member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, the OX-5 Pioneers and the United Flying Octogenarians. He is also a member of the South Carolina Aviation Association and a founding member of the East Cooper Pilots...read more
2006 William G. Farrow was born on September 24, 1918 in Darlington. Those who knew him recall a young man who lived an exemplary life, a leader in youth activities at First Baptist Church, an Eagle Scout at 16, an excellent student and a 1935 graduate of St. John’s High. Farrow was one of three USC students selected to begin pilot training at the Hawthorne Aviation School in Orangeburg in the fall of 1939. He then received his commission and the silver wings of an Army Aviator in 1941. He was then transferred to his duty station, the 17 Bomb Group in Pendleton, Oregon, and he transitioned to the B-25 Mitchell Bomber, the newest weapon in the Air Corps. In January 1942, the 17 Bombardment Group had just moved from Oregon to the new Columbia Army Air Field when Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle asked for volunteers for a “secret,” highly hazardous mission. Training over Lake Murray and flying cross-country to Bush and Daniel Fields in Augusta, was soon replaced with puzzling short field take-off training in Columbia, and then Eglin Field, Florida. On April 1, 1942, the crews and the B-25s were loaded aboard the USS Hornet and sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge, destination unknown, for a mission that would become part of the Doolittle Raid story: Lt. Billy Farrow’s plane — the “Bat out of Hell,” Crew #16 — launched toward Nagoya, Japan’s fourth largest city. There, the plane’s bombs dropped from 500 feet, destroying an oil storage tank and inflicting damage with incendiary cluster on the Mitsubishi Aircraft Factory. On April 19, 1942, 16 hours after leaving the USS Hornet, the B-25s engines sputtered out of gas. Lt. Farrow and his crew were forced to bail out shortly after crossing the south coast of Hanchung, China, which was Japanese held territory. The crew was captured, interrogated and tortured by the Japanese, who tried to force them to sign guilty confessions of war crimes. In October, the Emperor commuted the death sentence of five airmen, but executions of Bill Farrow and two others would be carried out as scheduled. Farrow was permitted to write a letter to his mother, and he wrote a selfless letter of encouragement to his family, in which he said “…don’t let this get you down. Just remember that God will make everything right and that I will see you again in the hereafter.” Farrow thanked his family for their entire help group in Darlington and closed with “So let me implore you to keep your chin up. Be brave and strong for my sake. P.S. My insurance policy is in my bag in a small tent in Columbia. Read: Thanatopsis by Brant if you want to know how I am taking this. My faith in God is complete, so I am unafraid.” (The letter was never mailed. Instead, it was discovered after the war in a secret Japanese file.) The next morning at dawn, on October 14, Farrow and the other two airmen were tied to three crosses and a Japanese firing squad fired a single bullet into the forehead of each American. Their bodies were cremated and the ashes hidden in a Japanese mortuary until American investigators found them in 1945. Farrow finally came home in 1946, and his remains were...read more
2000 Rear Admiral (Ret.) James H. Flatley III is the chief executive officer of the South Carolina Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Charleston. His leadership and contributions to aviation in South Carolina include the rebuilding of Patriots Point to premier Naval Air Museum. Flatley also had an outstanding career as a Naval aviator, earning the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross, among many U.S. and foreign awards. Further, in special airmanship, Flatley demonstrated the possibility of operating the large C-130 Air Force transport on and off of Navy aircraft carriers. Flatley made not one, not 10, but 29 “Touch and Gos” and 21 “Full Stop Landings” on the carrier USS Forrestal. Flatley was made an Admiral, thus following in the footsteps of his father who was the USS Yorktown’s first Air Group Commander, in WW II. Flatley retired in July 1987 to Charleston and continues to be a force in South Carolina Aviation. Flatley was named to U.S. Naval Aviation Carrier Hall of Fame in 1999. When Lt. James H. Flatley III was told about his new assignment, he thought somebody was pulling his leg. “Operate a C-130 off an aircraft carrier? Somebody’s got to be kidding,” he said. Lockheed C-130 Hercules Thanks to The Aviation Zone C-130 Hercules Lands on U.S.S. Forrestal C-130 Hercules When one reviews the encyclopedic range of accomplishments by the C-130 Hercules and its valiant aircrews over the years, surely one of the most astounding took place in October 1963 when the U.S. Navy decided to try to land a Hercules on an aircraft carrier. Was it possible? Who would believe that the big, four-engine C-130 with its bulky fuselage and 132-foot wing span could land on the deck of a carrier? Not only was it possible, it was done in moderately rough seas 500 miles out in the North Atlantic off the coast of Boston. In so doing, the airplane became the largest and heaviest aircraft to ever land on an aircraft carrier, a record that stands to this day. When Lt. James H. Flatley III was told about his new assignment, he thought somebody was pulling his leg. “Operate a C-130 off an aircraft carrier? Somebody’s got to be kidding,” he said. But they weren’t kidding. In fact, the Chief of Naval Operations himself had ordered a feasibility study on operating the big propjet aboard the Norfolk-based U.S.S. Forrestal (CVA-59). The Navy was trying to find out whether they could use the Hercules as a “Super COD” – a “Carrier Onboard Delivery” aircraft. The airplane then used for such tasks was the Grumman C-1 Trader, a twin piston-engine bird with a limited payload capacity and 300-mile range. If an aircraft carrier is operating in mid-ocean, it has no “onboard delivery” system to fall back on and must come nearer land before taking aboard even urgently needed items. The Hercules was stable and reliable, with a long cruising range and capable of carrying large payloads. C-130 Hercules The aircraft, a KC-130F refueler transport (BuNo 149798), on loan from the U.S. Marines, was delivered on 8 October. Lockheed’s only modifications to the original plane included installing a smaller nose-landing gear orifice, an improved anti-skid braking system, and removal of the underwing refueling pods. “The big worry was whether we could meet the...read more
2001 Furtick earned his private pilot’s license in 1938 and was assigned the very low number of 40027 by the US Civil Aeronautics Administration. The South Carolina Aeronautics Commission also assigned him the low number of 314; presumably, he was the 314th certified pilot in the state. Furtick was one of the four original pilots who assisted Tom Summers in creating the South Carolina Breakfast Club. He became an instructor at Hawthorne School of Aeronautics in 1941. The school trained 9,294 American and French cadets during World War II in the Stearman PT 17 primary trainer. Following World War II, Furtick worked as chief pilot for several companies and continued to provide instruction for those interested in becoming pilots. By 1970, Furtick had logged 14,051 flying hours. During the 1970’s and 80’s he was employed as an instructor by Miller Aviation in Columbia. He was sought after as an aerobatic show pilot. Furtick was born in Orangeburg, SC on October 13, 1913 and died on November 16,...read more
2001 Rocky Gannon is an international aviation consultant specializing in airports and air traffic control. In 1993, he retired as the executive director of the Florence Regional Airport. Prior to that position, Gannon was an independent aviation consultant in Washington, DC. In 1980, Colonel Gannon retired from the U.S. Air Force after 37 years of active duty. During that time, he flew more than 6,000 hours in 34 different types of aircraft, from bombers to transports and gliders to fighters. He has 50 military awards and decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star, the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and 10 Air Medals. He flew as a combat pilot in World War II, Korea, Belgian Congo and 387 combat missions in Vietnam. After World War II, Gannon served three years in the occupation of Iwo Jima and Japan. He served 14 of his 37 years of service overseas. In 2001, he was named South Carolina Aviator of the...read more
Jesse Reid Garrison was born in 1936 in Madison, SC, graduating from Calhoun Falls High School in 1955 and Clemson University in 1960. While at Clemson, he worked as a “line boy” for Carolina Aero Service in Anderson, learning to fly while earning $1 per hour. He later traded work for flying instructions. He received his private pilot certificate in 1959 while at Ft. Benning, Georgia. After graduating from Clemson, Garrison entered the U.S. Army as a 2nd Lieutenant. He completed the Officer Basic Course and then graduated from the U.S. Army helicopter flight school. During his army career, he served as a rotorcraft helicopter pilot and flight instructor. In 1963, he returned to the civilian status but remained in the reserves until he retired as a captain in 1983. He returned to work at the Anderson County Airport with the Carolina Aero Service, as a flight instructor and mechanic. In September 1965, he was awarded a contract to build and develop a Fixed Base Operation (FBO) at the Clemson-Oconee County Airport. While there, he provided flight training for U.S. Army and Air Force cadets enrolled in ROTC programs. Garrison was instrumental in acquiring the first airplane to be donated to the Clemson University Athletic Department. He operated this aircraft as a pilot-in-command for almost a year while also providing air carrier charter service to Clemson. He purchased Anderson Aviation, Inc. in Anderson in 1975. He operated both the Clemson and Anderson airports as a full fixed base operation that included a flight school, a charter and helicopter service, and an aircraft maintenance and avionics shop. He sold the Clemson operation to Oconee County in 1979. Garrison continued to operate the Anderson Airport as a full-service FBO until 1999. During this period, he maintained and managed two separate Federal Aviation Regulation (FAR) Part 135 air carrier services with twin-engine airplanes and rotorcraft helicopters. In 1972, Garrison acquired the famous Art Scholl Chipmunk aircraft N13A, and he launched his aerobatic career. For about 12 years, he flew N13A in air show demonstrations. Garrison was passionate about the restoration of WWII aircrafts, and he restored a Beech T-28, two North American T-6Gs, and a Beech Dehavilland Chipmunks from London, England and Lisbon, Portugal. His prize restorations are the two restored Beech T-34s. In 2001, Garrison was contracted by MedShore Ambulance Service to create a Medicav helicopter operation. Garrison worked with the FAA to establish, Skycare, LLC, the first Helicopter Medivac certified by the South Carolina Flight Standards District Office. Garrison served as Director of Operations and chief pilot until 2011. Garrison was a Safety Counselor for South Carolina Flight Standards District Office (FSDO) for 25 years. What began as a small town boy’s enthusiasm turned into a career that spanned a...read more
2007 In 1939, as a 10-year-old boy, Wendall Gibson took his first airplane ride in a Piper J-2 cub on a grass strip known as Anderson Field with pilot Bob Houseworth after a South Carolina Breakfast club meeting in Walterboro. After World War II, Gibson worked part-time as ramp attendant at Walterboro Airport and was compensated with free flight instruction instead of money. After learning from instructors Fripp Fishburne and Joe Smoak, he flew his first solo flight on August 5, 1946 at the age of 16. In 1949, he and his closest friends joined the newly formed Walterboro Civil Air Patrol Squadron. He was designated as Squadron Check Pilot and spent many flight hours working with 18 other squadron pilots and flying many search and rescue missions in L-5 Stinsons, L-4 Pipers and L-16 Aeroncas. Gibson moved to Barnwell in August of 1954. To continue pursuing his interest in aviation, he organized a flying club in Barnwell in 1955, and coordinated the purchase of an Aeronca 11AC that became one of only three locally based airplanes. On November 7, 1964, he received his Commercial Pilot Certificate with assistance from Orangeburg Instructor Cecil Hadwin and FAA Designated Examiner Forrest Boshears of Augusta. Soon afterwards, he earned his instrument rating and Flight Instructor certification. At that time, the South Carolina Aeronautics Commission had management jurisdiction over the Barnwell County Airport. He was designated as Airport Manager, and he organized a fixed base operation, offering fuel, flight instruction, maintenance, charter and aerial application services. After 10 years, he relinquished management duties at the airport but continued as a local flight instructor. He also flew a Cessna 310 and a Piper Aztec for the law firm of Brown, Jefferies and Boulware. Wendall was a charter member of the Barnwell County Airport Commission, serving as its second Chairman in 1992. He was reappointed Airport Manager in 1995 and served until his retirement in 2005. According to Wendall, his most satisfying accomplishment in aviation is never having heard that one of his students was seriously injured due to pilot...read more
1991 Joe Giltner developed Chester’s Bermuda High Soaring School into the most important Glider Operation in the Southeast. A World War II fighter pilot and a POW, he was an instructor and Glider Examiner designee. He helped thousands of pilots earn glider ratings and was instrumental in making Chester famous as a competition site for regional and national soaring contests. Giltner served as an airport commissioner and was a former postmaster. This trophy was commissioned and endowed by a group of soaring pilots in 1981 to commemorate the memory of Joe Giltner following his death. Mr. Giltner, from Chester, South Carolina, was a dedicated soaring instructor and an outstanding competitor. For the trophy his friends chose a bronze sculpture of an osprey about to take flight to symbolize Joe’s love of flying and especially soaring. This trophy is perpetual and is awarded annually to the pilot scoring the fastest official speed on a task during the U.S. 15-Meter National Soaring Championships. The trophy remains in the custody of the winner for one year and then is passed on to the next winner. Each recipient is also given a handsome certificate to commemorate the...read more
When he was young, David Griffin built dozens of model airplanes. When he was in grammar school, he learned to fly gliders from the Royal Air Force. And at the age of 15, he soloed. He worked in the aviation industry on a five-year professional study program while simultaneously attending college. He then attended Sheffield University, and he registered as a Professional Engineer at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London, England. He participated in a five-year program at Fairey Aviation, UK, that required potential engineers to work through every aspect of aircraft manufacture from learning how to use machine tools to aircraft assembly, and finally, in the design office. The company built innovative airplanes including the “droop-snoop” FD 2 that established a world speed record and subsequently became the flying lab for the Concorde. After immigrating to California in 1956, he was not allowed to work in the aircraft industry because his security clearance did not transfer. He never returned to the aircraft industry. In 1980, he moved to Charlotte to start his own textile machinery company, but in 2007, he retired and rekindled his interest in aviation. Around 2005, he bought a Cessna 150 and obtained his private pilots license. He then spent six years and about 3,000 hours building a Titan T-51 scale all metal Mustang airplane. Griffin began a bi-weekly aviation course for 7th and 8th grade at Edisto Island School. He installed a flight simulator program onto the school computers and the students learned the basics of controlled flight, weather systems, navigation, communication, and the principles of flight. He also provided kits to build small flying models. The program continued for five years until the school terminated the 7th and 8th grades. He flew every student in the C 150. At Fort Mill High School, he contributed to Career Day and promoted aviation as a career for more than five years. The school later decided to add an aviation course as a part of their curriculum. Griffin taught and supervised engineering students and auto tech students from Fort Mill High School and Nation Ford High School during a yearlong project to build a full sized Sopwith Camel bi-plane. Students used the school’s engineering facilities for design work and construction, and they incorporated both computer sided manufacturing techniques as well as hands-on construction of the airframe and engine. The aircraft is now on display at the Carolina Aviation Museum near the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The project was designed to commemorate the life and contribution to aviation of Col Elliott Springs. Griffin and Elliot Close (Col. Elliott Springs grandson) are friends and financed the project...read more
1994 A native South Carolinian, Cecil Hadwin graduated from Bamberg High School. He learned to fly in 1939 and finished No. 6 in competitive ground school. He was awarded one of ten flight scholarships. In 1942, he was hired as a flight instructor by Hawthorne School of Aeronautics. He trained 12 classes of cadets and became assistant squadron commander. He then served as manager of Hawthorne Aviation at Orangeburg Airport until 1983. Hadwin trained hundreds of pilots, including six airline captains and at least one Air Force General. He was responsible for many improvements to the Orangeburg Airport, and he has touched and influenced thousands of people around the...read more