Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame ceremony set for Oct. 25

OSHKOSH, Wis. – The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame will hold its 29th annual induction banquet Oct. 25, at the EAA Museum. Six aviators will be inducted: Brig. Gen. Peter Drahn (ret.), Vice Admiral James H. Flatley, Jr., Donald Voland, and brothers James, Ed, and Ray Knaup.

Those interested in attending the banquet can contact event coordinator Rose Dorcey at 920-385-1483 or rdorcey@wisconsinaviationhalloffame.org.

Brigadier General Peter Drahn (Ret.) retired in 1994 at the rank of brigadier general after a 30-year military career as an Air Force and Air National Guard pilot and commander. He then served as director of the Dane County Regional Airport in Madison for more than 20 years. His combat decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star Medal, and 17 Air Medals. He has served as chairman of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) and as executive director of the Wisconsin Airport Management Association. The Oshkosh native is a 1964 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point and holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. He currently resides in Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin.

Vice Admiral James H. Flatley, Jr. was a World War II flying ace and Naval tactician. Born in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Flatley graduated from St. Norbert College. A 1929 Naval Academy graduate who earned his wings in 1931, he was a flight instructor at the Naval Air Advanced Training Command at the Naval Air Station, Pensacola. Among other posts, Flatley served as Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Station, Olathe, Kansas, and in July 1952, assumed command of the USS Block Island. Flatley earned numerous military awards, including the Navy Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Combat “V,” and the Distinguished Flying Cross with two Gold Stars. Flatley died in 1958.

Donald Voland was born in Thiensville, Wisconsin, in December 1934. While a student at Iowa State College, Voland earned his private pilot certificate before graduating in 1952. Ordered to active duty in 1957 with the United States Air Force, Don earned his Air Force wings in 1958. His active duty tours took him to Oxnard AFB (California) and then to Korea. He flew single engine and multiengine aircraft as well as helicopters during those duty assignments before completing his USAF career in December 1962. Don formed Aero Optics Inc. in 1986, based at East Troy Municipal Airport in East Troy, Wisconsin, where he resides. He holds an ATP, Commercial AS/MEL, CFIA, CFII with Rotorcraft-Helicopter and Instrument Ratings. His logbooks reflect more than 60 years of flying and nearly 20,000 hours of total flying time, equally divided between fixed and rotary wing aircraft.

James, Ed, and Ray Knaup were born and spent their early years on the north side of Milwaukee; Jim in 1899, Ed in 1901, Ray a few years later. In the late 1920s, the brothers purchased an Eaglerock, with its 90-hp motor and two-seat front cockpit, with plans to start a maintenance shop and air charter service, offering rides to airport visitors. The Knaups incorporated Midwest Airways in September 1927, Jim as president, Ray vice-president, and Ed secretary-treasurer. They took delivery of their first Ryan Brougham in February 1928. In addition to aircraft sales and service, the Knaups offered flight training, aerial photography, and air parcel service. They stayed together until Ray’s untimely death in 1948. Brothers Jim and Ed continued in the aviation industry, and then sold Midwest Airways in the summer of 1966. Jim went west in December 1967, Ed in 1968.

The Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame has inducted more than 115 men and women since it organized in 1985. Its mission is to collect and preserve the history of aviation in Wisconsin, recognize those who made that history, inform others of it, and promote aviation education for future generations.

For more information: WisconsinAviationHallofFame.org

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *