Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame

Hal Carr

Kansas-born Hal Carr graduated from college with degrees in finance and industrial management. He worked for Trans World Airlines (TWA) from 1943 to 1947 and helped establish that carrier’s international route system. He then became executive vice president of Wisconsin Central Airlines. In 1954, after two years with a management consultant firm in New York, Carr became president of the ailing North Central Airlines (which succeeded Wisconsin Central). He got the airline back to financial health before being elected chair and CEO.

When North Central merged with Southern Airways to become Republic Airlines, Carr remained as CEO and chair until retiring from management in 1986.

Inducted 1997

Robert J. Ceronsky
1920 - 2012

Robert Ceronsky, a B-29 command pilot during World War II, participated in one of the longest combat missions of the war: a round-trip flight from Guam to Northern Japan lasting over twenty hours and covering more that 37,700 miles. After the war he joined Wisconsin Central Airlines and continued his career as senior pilot with North Central Airlines and Republic Airlines.

Inducted 2001

Harold C. Chandler
1906 – 1998

Chandler was raised on a farm near Euclid, Minnesota and attended Crookston Agricultural School. He learned to fly in 1928. During WWII, as a pilot for the Air Corps Ferry Command, he flew B-24 bombers between California and the Pacific islands. He later flew C-54 transports to and from the Pacific islands, taking medical personnel over and bringing wounded back to the States.

After the war, he opened a flight school at Thief River Falls, worked as a crop duster, and in 1962, opened a flight service at Alexandria, Minnesota with his wife as partner. He managed the airport, test flew aircraft for the Bellanca company and licensed new pilots. The Alexandria airport was named Harold Chandler Field in his honor.

Inducted 2006

Edward J. Chapman
1946 -

Ed Chapman was born in Detroit, Michigan, Chapman took his first flight lesson in 1967. Though he joined the Marine Corps as an Aviation Officer Candidate, he began military flight training on an exchange tour with the U.S.A.F. in 1968, flying the Cessna T-41 and T-37, and the supersonic Northrop T-38. He received his Air Force wings in 1969—then was posted to MCAS Yuma for transition training in the TA-4F—receiving his Navy wings in 1970. Ed then transitioned to the F-4 Phantom II.

In 1972, he received orders to Da Nang, Vietnam, where he served as a Division Leader, earning 4 Air Medals. Upon his return to the U.S. he served as an F-4 instructor pilot at MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.

Chapman never had a Private Pilot license, earning his FAA Commercial and Flight Instructor ratings based on military competence in 1974. After completing his active duty, he joined the USMC Reserve, flying F-4s out of Andrews AFB MD, outside of Washington D.C. He was instructing in General Aviation aircraft in Detroit, later moving on to Ann Arbor, Mich. as Chief Pilot and Designated Check Airman. He purchased a Mooney to commute to his Reserve squadron in 1974.

Ed started flying balloons in 1976, and is rated in both gas and hot air balloons. He has set 20 World Records in balloons, including a flight to 38,900 feet. In 1983, he received the Montgolfier Diploma from the FAI—the highest honor for ballooning in the world.

Ed moved to Minnesota in 1977, and went on to fly for Braniff, Midway, and United Air Lines, flying a number of Boeing, Airbus, and McDonnell-Douglas aircraft. Ed set four World Records for Speed over Commercial Air Routes during his United career. He has accumulated more than 25,000 hours aloft.

Ed has the unique distinction of having flown at ZERO airspeed (balloon) and Mach II (F-4)—both on the same day!

Inducted 2017

Cyrus Foss Chamberlain
1896 - 1918

A native of Minneapolis, where his father was Chairman of the First and Security National Bank, Chamberlain joined the French Lafayette Flying Corps in June of 1917. He attended French school and was posted to Escadrille Spad 98. Slightly older than his squadron mates, he was often more reckless than the rest. During the German offensive in the spring of 1918, his squadron flew air superiority missions over the front lines and on 13 June, his group dove from 12,000 feet on some German aircraft. They had been lured into a trap and other German fighters attacked. Chamberlain was killed by machine gun fire from an enemy ship. He was posthumously awarded the Croix de Guerre. Wold-Chamberlain Field was dedicated in his honor in 1923.

Inducted 1989

Anders J. Christenson
1929 -

Anders Christenson, born in Elbow Lake, Minnesota, joined the U.S. Army and served with the First Cavalry Division. He earned five Battle Stars and a Bronze Star during a two year combat tour in Korea. After his Army time, he gained a teaching degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, and also earned his pilot’s certificate. He acquired additional ratings and in 1958 became a flight instructor. In 1965 he became Chief Flight Instructor at Thunderbird Aviation at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie and in 1967 was designated a Flight Examiner. He spent 35 years in that capacity. He gave more than 7,000 check rides and has over 28,000 hours in his log book. During this time, he created the aviation course at Edina High School, teaching there and at Mankato State University.

Inducted 2001

Julie E. Clark
1948 –

Clark first flew with her airline captain father in a DC-3 and soloed at age 21. After acquiring additional licenses through ATP, she began instructing in a Navy flying club in T-34 aircraft. She was hired by Golden West Airlines in 1976 and followed that by becoming one of the first women pilots to fly for a major airline when she was hired by Hughes Airwest. Through mergers, Clark was able to finish her airline career as a Captain for Northwest Airlines. She owned several aircraft including a Beech T-34 that she purchased military surplus. In restoring that airplane, she spent years bringing it to showplane status.

Clark has spent the last decade since retirement performing at airshows across the country, including Oshkosh, where she performed both day and nighttime shows with colored smoke and fireworks from her wingtips. She has won dozens of prestigious awards for both showmanship and service to women's and children's groups. Clark summers at Sky Harbor Airport, Webster, MN

Inducted –  2016

Marty Coddington
1937 –

Born in Illinois, Coddington became a Minnesotan in 1974. He began flying in 1956 and earned his Private license in 1971, followed by certificates through ATP. He enlisted in the Air Force and became an air traffic controller. Following his service, he joined the FAA and served in Chicago, Honolulu and then came to Minneapolis in 1974. He became Supervisor and Controller at MSP. He was elected chairman of the Air Traffic Controllers Procedures Advisory Committee and was assigned as team leader and Assistant Chief of the work force at Oshkosh for ten years. He worked on the Precision Monitoring installation at MSP and the Closely Spaced Parallel Approach procedure.

Coddington joined Express One, a Northwest Airlink in 1988, became a Captain and set several point-to-point speed records. He became involved with ALPA and worked as a consultant dealing with the FAA. He has been a Minnesota resident for over 38 years.

Inducted –  2014

Max Conrad
1903 - 1979

From Winona, Minnesota, Conrad was a college athlete. He took up flying and opened his own flight school, operating from a farm strip that many years later would become the Winona city airport. During the pre-war years, he contracted with several colleges to run flight training in conjunction with their Civil Pilot Training Program (CPT). At one time he had seven of these programs. He started an airline between Rochester, the Twin Cities and Duluth, but found it impossible to maintain fixed schedules. He worked for the Honeywell Company as corporate pilot following World War II and began making deliveries of Piper aircraft around the world. Conrad eventually recorded well over two hundred solo ocean crossings, of both the Atlantic and Pacific, and began making record-breaking flights. His most ambitious trip was to include a flight around the world via the poles. His journey across the north pole went well, but he had to abandon his plane at the south pole when it suffered engine problems. Minnesotans grew to love this hard-working and intense individual and nicknamed him "The Flying Grandfather."

Inducted 1991

Logan L. Coombs
1920 - 2007

Born in Indiana, Coombs studied at the Spartan Aviation School of Aeronautics and took his first airplane ride in a Ford Trimotor in 1928. He became a Minnesotan in 1942 when hired to work in the Northwest Airlines mechanical department. Coombs was assigned to work in the Northern Region and while in Edmonton, he enlisted in the Army Air Force, and was based with the 1452nd USAAC Base Unit at Edmonton. As a C-47 crew chief, he was given a commendation for his role in the recovery of a crash-landed C-47 in Fox Lake, Alaska. Following the war, Coombs resumed his career as a mechanic at Northwest and retired in 1982.

Since a youngster, Coombs was interested in aviation photography. He purchased a series of fine cameras with which he began tracking the aircraft of both the military and airline aircraft at bases and airshows he visited. His record-keeping of the aircraft that graced the ramps of the local airports since the 1940s is a solid chapter of Minnesota history. Coombs is still active and his aircraft portraits are still the standard of aviation photography in this area.

Inducted 2005

Edwin H. Croft
1907 - 1998

Born in St. Paul, Croft was raised on the family farm across the road from the Curtiss-Northwest airport. Watching planes daily, got him enthused about flying. He opened an auto repair shop in St. Paul and gave visiting pilots low prices on their repairs. Croft barnstormed an OX-5 Travel Air and taught in the Civil Pilot Training Program and the War Training Service (WTS) at Wold-Chamberlain for Mac McInnis, and later at Rochester. With partners Art Hoffman and Henry Robinson, he started Gopher Aviation at Rochester. In 1943, Croft joined Mid-Continent Airlines and stayed with them after a merger with Braniff Airlines, retiring as a senior Captain. In post-war years, Croft helped major corporations, such as 3M, Pillsbury, and Peavey, set up flight departments.

Inducted 1992

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