DALE “RED” JACKSON
1906 - 1932
Jackson was born in Iowa. His family moved to Faribault, MN where he graduated from High School. He earned his Private license in 1928 in St. Louis and barnstormed across the country. In 1930, he set a barrel-rolling record of 417 rolls. He also flew as a member of a stunt flying team with Freddy Lund, another Minnesotan Aviation Hall of Famer.
In July, 1929, Jackson and Forrest O’Brine, a flyer from St. Louis, set an aerial endurance record. Using a Curtiss Robin aircraft, they circled the city of St. Louis for some 420 hours, refueling 48 times in flight. They only landed to attend the funeral of a comrade. When their record was broken, they again took the Robin into the sky and set a second record of 647 hours aloft (27 days). In 1931, Dale Jackson flew the famous Laird “Solution” to third place in the National Air Races Thompson Trophy race. Jackson was killed in 1932 during a stunting session in Miami. He is buried in the Maple Lawn cemetery at Faribault.
BRUCE D. JAEGER
Bruce Jaeger was born in Mankato, Minnesota. His first plane ride was in 1954. He soloed in 1970 and received his private license in 1972. Other ratings followed. He has owned numerous aircraft. Early in his career, he worked as a physical education teacher and a sales representative for International Harvester. He was also a supply sergeant in the U.S. Army reserves from 1970 to 1976.
Jaeger bought Willmar Air Service from his father-in-law, John Rice, who was a Mooney aircraft dealer. Jaeger was an instructor and charter pilot for the company and accumulated over 30 years as a fixed base operator. He was a member of the Minnesota Aviation Trades Association, Experimental Aircraft Association and held several positions in Mooney related associations. He is a frequent speaker at many aviation groups, and has authored numerous publications on a variety of aviation related topics.
Jaeger sought to stop fuel leaks, a common Mooney aircraft problem. He created a separate company named Weep No More to clean the tanks to prevent buildup and leaking. The company is currently operating at Willmar. In 2008, Jaeger sold Willmar Air Service, and organized Jaeger Aviation, Inc. He continues to offer personalized flight training and recurrent training in the Mooney line. He has also started a new venture called “Spatial Interiors”, for the purpose of refurbishing Mooney interiors with new side panels and added space, all approved by Mooney Aircraft and the FAA.
Born in North Dakota, Johnson came to Crookston, MN in 1948. Trained as an electrician in the US Army, he worked on helicopters in Korea. Johnson received his Private license in 1988 and began soaring. He owned two sailplanes and built a Pietenpol homebuilt aircraft. Johnson is not only a mentor for contemporaries, helping them with every facet of aircraft home-building, but he has studied and become adept at such diverse skills as propeller making, powder coat painting, machine-shop tool operation, ice boating, and home construction. He has been a lead member of the construction crews for the Air Guard Jenny, the Centennial Wright Flyer replica and the Waco CG-4A glider restoration.
Born in New Ulm, MN, Johnson served in the National Guard as an engineer and saw service in Korea building airstrips. He earned his Private license in 1962 and went on to earn additional licenses. Johnson began his career as an agricultural spray pilot in South Dakota. He opened Tracy Air Service at Tracy, MN in 1963, which soon became the area’s outstanding FBO. The company expanded and moved to Marshall, MN. In 1973, the company became Midwest Aviation, which it remains to this day. Johnson logged over 32,000 hours in his career, offering every aviation service imaginable. He left his mark in Minnesota as an ag and charter pilot and flight instructor. Johnson still works as a Pilot Examiner.
Darell L. Johnson
Darrell Johnson moved to the Twin Cities as a youth and began his aviation career at Wold-Chamberlain Field in Minneapolis. He joined the Air Corps in World War II and went to the Canal Zone as a P-38 fighter pilot.
Following the war he worked for Gopher Aviation at Rochester as a flight instructor and flight examiner. He remained with Gopher for 25 years before returning to his previous work as a pilot examiner. He has accomplished nearly 4,500 flight checks during 47 years. He has logged over 35,000 flight hours.
Wayne G. Johnson
Ortonville's Wayne Johnson flew as a fighter pilot in World War II with the 23rd Fighter Group in China under Lt. General Claire Chennault. Following the war, Johnson served in the North Dakota Air Guard. Johnson was a successful attorney in Silver Bay, Minnesota, and the driving force behind airport development there. Johnson is currently an active member of the North Shore business community, helps design and funds the Flying Tigers memorials at Dayton, Ohio and Taipei, Taiwan.