Evergreen Dream to Fly Gala, featuring the induction of four aviators into the Oregon Aviation Hall of Honor, will be held Nov. 7 at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville.
2015 inductees include:
Lt. Col. Bill Harris: Harris originally enlisted in the Navy in 1936 and as radioman, performed duties with the scout planes on the USS Houston. He left the Navy but joined the Army Air Force in 1942 and was sent to fighter training on the P-38 Lightning. Harris was assigned to the 339th Fighter Squadron and thrown into the battle for Guadalcanal. Over the next three years, he would rise to the rank of Lt. Col. and be credited with 16 kills; becoming the second highest ranking ace in the 13th Air Force and 13th overall in the list of USAAF aces in the Pacific. He finished the war as commander of the 18th Fighter Group in the Philippines. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, the Bronze Star, and the Air Medal with 23 Oak Leaf Clusters. After the war he continued to fly and inspired three of his children to follow careers in aviation. He moved to Oregon in the 1976 and passed away in 2014. The Klamath Falls Chapter of the Air Force Association has been named the Bill Harris Chapter in his honor.
Lt. Floyd Keadle: Keadle learned to fly during World War I and flew forest fire patrols before leaving the Air Corps in 1921. During the 1920s he flew air shows, charter work and mail flights as well as becoming an instructor at the Tex Rankin School of Aviation in Oregon. He flew for Alaska-Washington Airways and Westcoast Air Transport before flying airmail for Varney Airlines on the west coast. He flew with the famous stunt team of Rankin, Mount & Associates and once stopped an aircraft from running into a crowd at an air show, after it had started unexpectedly, run him over and smashed his arm in 12 places. He died of pneumonia in 1934.
Capt. Robert Snoddy: Snoddy grew up and went to high school in Roseburg, Oregon, before attending Oregon State University. In 1940 he joined the Civilian Pilot Training program and in 1942, he enlisted in the Navy for the Naval Aviation Cadet program. Upon completion, Snoddy was sent to VB-115 to fly anti-sub, recon and anti-shipping missions. He was involved in numerous air battles and received a Navy Air Medal with 4 stars, a Purple Heart and several battle stars. After discharge in 1946, Snoddy went to work for Hawaiian Airlines before joining Civil Air Transport in China, which was later acquired by the CIA. In that role he flew missions of a clandestine nature to support units battling the Communist Chinese rebels. On Nov. 29, 1952, he was piloting a C-47 on a resupply mission, and to extract an a special agent, when the aircraft came under intense fire and was shot down. Snoddy was killed in the crash and two other CIA aircrew were taken prisoner. Snoddy’s remains were returned by the Peoples Republic of China for burial in Eugene in 2004.
Major Drury Wood: Captivated by flight after a ride in a Ford Tri-Motor, Wood learned to fly in 1942. He was commissioned as a Marine aviator and flew the F6F Hellcat and F4U Corsair with VMF-123, winning a Distinguished Flying Cross during actions over Okinawa and Japan. Serving from 1946-48 as a Forward Air Controller with the 2nd Marine Division, Wood was part of the 1st Marine Division at the Chosin Reservoir in 1950. Wood attended the Naval Test Pilot School and became Operations Officer for the Naval Air Test Center’s Tactical Division. He tested the Douglas A-3 Skywarrior, and A-4 Skyhawk before going to Dornier Ag in Germany in 1964 to be involved in the Do-31 VTOL jet transport project. Wood flew as pilot in command for the entire Do-31 program, right up to its cancellation in 1970.