HISTORY OF THE OX5 AVIATION PIONEERS HALL OF FAME
Airplanes powered by Curtiss-built Model OX5 engines represented a period when flight grew from a side-show business to an air transportation industry. The pilots and mechanics of that period became a special group of old-timers.
It was on this concept that the OX5 Aviation Pioneers was founded in 1955. It grew to thirty-one Wings and some four thousand active members whose backgrounds were general aviation, airlines, and military, all with a common bond. At one time, they all had a close relationship with that nostalgic symbol …the water-cooled OX5 V8 engine.
The Hall of Fame was a dream of Johnny Evans, a charter member. Clifford Ball, then OX5 National Secretary, was instrumental in the creation and design of the plaque, and Oliver Philips and Flora Balmer worked out the details of the first rules and procedures for the selection of candidates.
The plaque became a reality in 1971, when then OX5 Glenn Hammond Curtiss Wing President, Karl E. Voelter, made it an important part of the OX5 Aviation Pioneers. Since then, 325 important aviation people have been honored in this program.
We are proud of our Hall of Fame plaques, which attract much attention throughout the world, and certainly we are proud of the many names of distinguished aviation pioneers whose exploits and personal sacrifices have earned them the honors so afforded. Each year, a few more select names are added to the plaques.