Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame

Melvin J. Maas
1898 – 1964

Born in Duluth, MN, Maas attended schools in the Twin Cities.. He joined the Marine Corps in 1917, transferred to the aviation division and served as a submarine patrol pilot in the Azores. After attending officer's college he returned to St. Paul. In the Marine Air Reserve, he commanded the Minneapolis Marine Air detachment from 1931 through 1940. Elected to Congress in 1926, he served a total of seven terms. He was a member of the House Naval Affairs Committee and authored a number of bills including the 1938 Naval Reserve Act, providing for the expansion of the reserve that proved necessary for WWII. In the House of Representatives he achieved acclaim for disarming a gunman in the house chambers. During the Korean War, he was stationed in the Pentagon. Despite the fact he became totally blind in the 1950s, he served the government as chairman of several veteran's committees.

Inducted 2016

James C. Magnus
1917 - 2012

After graduating from high school in 1941, St. Paul native James C. Magnus became an instructor in the U.S. Navy. He later flew in the Pacific and in Korea for the United States Marine Corps. After finishing his military career, he served as director of aviation for the University of Minnesota and created the University’s Flight School at Anoka County Airport. He began flying for Honeywell in 1954, ending his career 23 years later as chief pilot. He was instrumental in organizing the Minnesota Business Aircraft Association.

Brigadier General Wyman Fiske Marshall
1893 - 1983

Brigadier General Wyman Fiske Marshall of Marion, Iowa, worked as a fixed-base operator (FBO) at Waterloo in the late 1920s and as a member of the Three Musketeers air show exhibition team in the 1930s. He became licensing chief for the Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C., where he wrote rules and regulations promoting aviation safety. In 1932 he became a Marine Corps pilot and flew with the original “Hell Divers” military air show team. Marshall joined Northwest Airlines in 1939 and became operations manager by 1942.

During World War II Marshall flew with the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command. His unit received a presidential unit citation for heroism at Guadalcanal. After the war he resumed his career at Northwest and by 1946 had become vice president of operations. Marshall went back on active duty during the Korean War, flying transport aircraft.

Inducted 2000

Kenneth E. Maxwell
1914 - 2000

Mitchell, South Dakota, native Kenneth Maxwell came to the Twin Cities during the Depression and eventually attended Northland Aviation School at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport. He worked first for Hanford Airlines, Mid-Continent, and then for Tom North at Northport during World War II.

After the war he worked briefly for Northwest Airlines before opening his own shop at Northport. He eventually moved to Crystal Airport to specialize in propeller repair and maintenance. Since that time, his propeller work has become famous worldwide.

Inducted 1999

Lawrence E. McCabe
1924 -

Hibbing native Lawrence McCabe enlisted as a naval cadet after graduating from high school in 1942. He graduated from Corpus Christie as a naval aviator in 1944 and was on active duty until 1946 when he joined the Naval Reserve at Minneapolis. He was called back to active duty in 1952 and served as a night fighter pilot on missions into Korea.

McCabe became an FBO (fixed-base operator) in Hibbing in 1955 and provided general aviation services until he sold out in 1962. He served on the Governor’s Advisory Committee and on the Hibbing Airport Commission as its first chair. He became airport manager in 1960.

Governor Elmer L. Anderson appointed him as commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Aeronautics in 1962. As commissioner, he supervised and encouraged the establishment of airports and navigation facilities in Minnesota. He served through three more governors and in 1976 was appointed assistant commissioner of Mn/DOT.

After he retired from state office, McCabe became vice president of public relations and governmental affairs for Mesaba Airlines.

Inducted 2002

General Raymond S. Miller
1891 - 1961

Ray Miller began flying in 1917, learning the skill at the Curtiss School at Newport News, Virginia, after World War I. He came to St. Paul and went to work for Bill Kidder at Curtiss-Northwest Airplane Company as a general working pilot, flying charters and sight-seers, and giving instruction. In 1920, as a pilot and member of the Minnesota National Guard, he and others in the unit decided to apply to Washington for a charter to create an Air Guard section. Miller, Minnesota Adjutant General William F. Rhinow and Lt. Colonel William C. Garis, Assistant Adjutant General, flew to Washington, D. C. in a Curtiss Oriole rented from Bill Kidder where they were successful in receiving the charter. The new 109th Observation Squadron was formed and in years to come, earned a respectable reputation for its help throughout Minnesota in time of need. Miller served as head of the Minnesota Aeronautics Commission in the 1930s and was active in licensing Minnesota's aircraft and pilots. He commanded the Guard squadron until World War II, when he was called to active duty and sent to Wright Field. He was called again to active duty during the Korean War, and retired from service in 1951. He continued to provide inspiration for the Air Guard until his death.

Inducted 1988

Norman "Bud" Mitchell
1920 -2003

Norman "Bud" Mitchell was a Marine night fighter pilot with two tours in WWII. He was decorated for his action at Pelileu, shooting down a pesky Japanese night intruder. Norm came back from the wars and became a corporate pilot, president of the National Business Aircraft Association, and retired as a G2 pilot for the Star Tribune newspaper. He retired at 60 and was on holiday in Hawaii when a wave hit him from the back. He was completely paralyzed.

Inducted 1993

John R. Mohr 
1952 –

John Mohr was born in Virginia, MN. He grew up in the Crane Lake area and took his first airplane ride in a J-3 Cub on floats with his father as a one-year old. He soloed at age fourteen and received his Private license in 1970 and other licenses followed.

In 1972, Mohr constructed a home-built helicopter using a boat outboard motor. He built four others over the years. He flew for the Einarson brothers at International Falls, hauling fishermen from camp to camp, making ambulance flights and instructing. In 1975, he purchased a Stearman biplane, restored it and soon began to perform aerobatics at local events. He moved to Orr, MN and started his own flying service. He was then hired by North Central Airlines to fly the DC-9. Today he is flying for Delta Airlines. In addition to his airline career, Mohr continues to fly exhibitions all over the world. Mohr has received many showmanship awards and has run his total flight time to 37,000 hours.

Inducted  2011

Bryan G. Moon   
1928 – 2015

Moon was born in Southampton, UK. He studied design in college, and then served with the Royal Air Force. He went to work for the Vickers Company and became their advertising director. He later served as advertising and public relations director for Aloha Airlines. In 1968, Moon began a 20-year career with Northwest Airlines, becoming Vice President of Advertising. He is a member of the American Society of Aviation Artists and his artistic skills were put to work around the world. In 1990, Moon began a second career, that of searching for missing military airmen in foreign lands. He helped locate five of the Doolittle raid aircraft. Other searches led him to Romania’s Ploesti oil fields, the jungles of New Guinea, Japan, and Sicily. Moon and his son, Christopher, have led dozens of search missions and discovered the remains of scores of airplanes and missing crew members. The Moons now reside in Sarasota, FL.

Inducted  2012

Copyright © 2020. All Rights Reserved.