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Volume 46 | Issue 7 | August 2004

News

photo:Vice Admiral Richard Truly.

Vice Admiral Richard Truly. NASA Photo

Truly Added to Walk of Honor

The 2004 class of honorees for Lancaster's fourteenth annual Aerospace Walk of Honor event will be inducted Sept. 11 in ceremonies combining the local observance with national Patriot Day.

This year's inductees include Vice Admiral Richard Truly, U.S. Navy (Ret.), a former NASA administrator, astronaut, test pilot and commander of numerous Space Shuttle missions. Along with Truly, honorees include Thomas Albert Morgenfeld, Col. Joseph W. Rogers, (USAF-Ret.), Col. Roger J. Smith, (USAF-Ret.) and the late Joseph John "Tym" Tymczyszyn.

Induction ceremonies will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the corner of Lancaster Boulevard and Sierra Highway in Lancaster, in Boeing Plaza. An aviation fair in the area surrounding Boeing Plaza will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event will feature live music by the Air Force Band of the Golden West, static displays of rocket engines, airplanes and aircraft models and booths offering aviation displays and souvenirs.

In observance of Patriot Day, a national day of remembrance for military and civilian security forces established in 2002, a Reflection Pavilion will offer visitors a time and place in which to honor those who lost their lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C. The pavilion, hosted by a U.S. military veteran, a firefighter and a police officer, will feature a description and rendering of the memorial planned for construction at the site of the former World Trade Center as well as a guest book in which thoughts and memories of the events may be recorded by aviation fair attendees.

During his 35-year career at NASA and in the Navy, Truly logged over 7,500 flight hours and made more than 300 carrier landings. He played key roles in the Air Force Manned Orbiting Laboratory program of the 1960s as well as in NASA's Apollo, Skylab, Apollo-Soyuz and Space Shuttle programs. Following graduation from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering, Truly was an instructor at the Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base.

Truly piloted the Enterprise approach and landing tests at Dryden in 1977 and set a world circular orbit altitude record as pilot of Columbia in November 1981. As Challenger's commander in 1983, he flew the Shuttle's night launch and landing mission. Following a stint as first commander in the Naval Space Command, he returned to NASA in 1986 to lead the Challenger accident investigation and was instrumental in return-to-flight activities following the investigation's conclusion. He served as NASA administrator from 1989-1992.

A member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Astronaut Hall of Fame and a Golden Eagle, Truly's awards include the Presidential Citizen's Medal; SETP's Iven C. Kincheloe and James H. Doolittle awards; two NASA Distinguished Service Medals and two Space Flight Medals; Defense Distinguished and Superior Service medals; two Legion of Merit awards; the U.S. Navy Distinguished Flying Cross; two Robert J. Collier Trophies; two Robert H. Goddard Memorial Trophies; the Federation Aeronautique Internationale Gold Space Medal; the Harmon International Trophy and Thomas D. White Space Trophy.

photo:Vice Admiral Richard Truly.

Aerospace Walk of Honor logo.

Truly recently retired as director of the Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado.

The Walk of Honor program began in 1990 and was established for the purpose of recognizing experimental test pilots for their contributions to the aerospace industry. Past honorees have included Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager, Neil Armstrong, Joe Walker, Milt Thompson, Lt. Col. Fitzhugh "Fitz" Fulton and Capt. Glen Edwards. This year's class of inductees brings the total number of aviators honored with plaques, murals and granite monuments lining Lancaster Boulevard to 75.

The program is sponsored by the City of Lancaster, with support from The Boeing Company, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics and Northrop Grumman. Additional sponsors for this year's event include Adelphia Cable, Piper Jaffray, Time Warner Cable, Verizon Wireless, Clear Channel Worldwide, High Desert Broadcasting, Lancaster Auto Group, Waste Management, JT3, Southern California Edison and the Antelope Valley Press.