- Col. Charles C. "Charlie" Bock, Jr., USAF
- Robert O. "Bob" Rahn
- Maj. Gen. Robert A. "Bob" Rushworth, USAF
- Herman Richard "Fish" Salmon
- Alvin S. "Al" White
Col. Charles C. "Charlie" Bock, Jr., USAF
A veteran of Korea with the 3rd Bomb Wing and Vietnam with the 35th Tactical Fighter Wing, Charlie Bock flew 103 combat missions. During his military career he was trained as a test pilot and later as a military astronaut-designee. He was twice assigned to Flight Test Operations at Edwards AFB.
He joined the YF-12/SR-71 Test Force in 1965. As Operations Officer on the Blackbird Test Program, he piloted stability, control and performance flights, which surpassed Mach 3 and 80,000 feet. He successfully participated in the extension of the operational envelope of the SR-71.
Bock retired from the Air Force in 1973 to take a position with Rockwell International Corp. as chief test pilot for the B-1 bomber program. In December 1974, he piloted the first flight of the bomber. He was responsible for all aircrew training and had a major influence in the formulation of the B-1 flight test program priorities and objectives.
He retired from Rockwell in 1981, and from 1984 to 1987 was a consultant to Northrop Crop. on the B-2 Stealth bomber. During his flying career, Bock logged over 10,000 hours in more than 70 types of aircraft.
Born in Iowa in 1925, he received a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University in 1949. Bock was also a graduate of the USAF Test Pilot School, the USAF Aerospace Research Pilot School, the Air Command and Staff College, and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
A fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, he received the Society’s Ray E. Tenhoff Award and the Iven C. Kincheloe Award. Bock has also been honored by the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, six air Medals and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1994).
Robert O. "Bob" Rahn
Bob Rahn has been a pilot for 55 years and flew more than 10,000 hours in 86 different aircraft.
His first flights include the Sky-raiders series (4 models and 6 versions), the F3D-1 and F3D-2, F4D-1, XA4D Skyhawk and F5D Skylancer which he flew to supersonic on its first flight. He flew spins on all of these airplanes.
Tests of the XF4D Skyray earned Rahn the World Speed Record for the 100KM closed Course. He was the first to exceed Mach 1 and to perform spin/recovery in a delta wing.
As Senior Test Program Manager for Douglas, Rahn was responsible for the entire test programs on the A4D, A3D, F4D and F5D aircraft. While with the Space Division, he was Manager of SIV Rocket System Integration and was the Program Integration of the Manned Orbital Lab.
In 1967, as Research Pilot for Rockwell Space Division, Rahn flew simulator evaluations and ground tested the Apollo Command Module and performed tests on the prototype "Lunar Scooter."
He is the only ex-Army Air Force pilot inducted into the Navy Test Pilot Hall of Honor and the only U.S. Civilian to hold the World Speed Record in a plane owned by the military. Rahn is a founding member of the Fellow for the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and is a Charter Member of the Aviation Hall of Fame.
He has been honored by the Distinguished Flying Cross and 11 Air Medals while flying Spitfires, 19 Trophies earned in his NAVION, First Shuttle Flight Achievement Award, Apollo Soyuz Test Project Award, two Caterpillar Club Awards, NASA Apollo Achievement Award, NASA Special Award for ALT of the Shuttle and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1994).
Maj. Gen. Robert A. "Bob" Rushworth, USAF
In a distinguished aviation career that spanned nearly four decades, "Bob" Rushworth logged more than 6,500 flying hours and flew more than 50 different types of aircraft.
Rushworth gained notoriety as a test pilot at Edwards AFB, during which time he was assigned to NASA’s X-15 program. He was the second Air Force pilot in this program and one of eight men ever to attain the winged astronaut rating, which was then awarded only to military pilots for flights 50 or more miles high. He flew the X-15 rocket research aircraft a record 35 times.
During Rushworth’s first assignment at Edwards, he flew test missions in the F-101 Voodoos, TF-02 Delta Daggers, F-104 Starfighters, F-105 Thunderchiefs and F-106 Delta Darts. He returned to Edwards AFB in 1979 as commander of the Air Force Flight Test Center.
As a veteran of World War ii and the Korean War, he was assigned to the 12th Tactical Fighter Wing in Vietnam as deputy commander and flew 189 combat missions. He later served as the director of the AGM-65 maverick missile program, as commander of the 4950th Test Wing, Inspector General of AF Systems Command, Commander of the AF Test and Evaluation Center and Vice-Commander of Aeronautical Systems Division. He retired in 1981. Rushworth died at home on March 17, 1993.
Rushworth was honored by the Legion of Merit twice, three Distinguished Flying Crosses, 1 Air Medals, a Meritorious Service Medal, a Commendation Medal, HASA’ Exceptional Service Medal and the James A. Doolittle Award. He was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the International Space Hall of Fame and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1994).
Herman Richard "Fish" Salmon
Salmon was a natural as a test pilot. He was best know for his special ability to "out guess" troubled aircraft and to "feel" with the plane. Salmon was a specialist in structural integrity tests on fighter-type aircraft.
Born in 1913, Salmon took his first flight at age 14. By age 18, he was a licensed pilot. In the 1930’s , Salmon worked as a barnstormer, parachute stunt man, and race pilot. In 1940, he was hired by Lockheed to ferry Hudson bombers.
Soon, he was promoted to engineering flight test. He did the P-38 spin tests, the B-17 dive tests, and tested the F-90 and F-94C at Edwards AFB. As Lockheed’s chief engineering test pilot, Salmon flew the first flights of the P-3 Orion, the Electra Prop Jet Transport, the Starfighter, the XFV-1 Pogo Vertical Flying and the modified F-80 equipped with ram jets on the wing tips. He flew certification tests on the 649 Constellation and the 1049 Super Constellation.
Salmon retired from Lockheed in 1978 but did not retire from the air. He continued to teach flight crew and ferry aircraft.
He was hired to ferry a Super Constellation from Columbus, Indiana to Alaska in 1980. During take off, the aircraft lost power and crashed. Salmon, his flight engineer and a passenger were killed. He had logged more than 12,000 flight hours.
Salmon was honored by the Goodyear Trophy for Speed Competition, the Kitty Hawk Memorial Award, the Billy Mitchell Award and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1994).
Alvin S. "Al" White
A veteran engineering test pilot, Al White has been awarded the nation’s highest achievement awards in flying.
Early in his career, White was a combat fighter pilot in World War II. Later, he served as Assistant project Engineer at the Parachute Research Unit at Wright Patterson AFB. He worked on projects which included the development of drag chutes for the XB-51 and B-47. He was then assigned to the Experimental Parachute Group at El Centro as Chief of Test Operations. He worked on the development of guide surface personnel parachutes, drogue stabilization, and entire systems for aerial delivery of heavy equipment.
Assigned to the Air Force Flight Training Center in 1952, he worked on the F-86D and the E-4 Fire Control System, and the F-84F and J-65 engine development. He was Project Pilot on the F-89D and E-6 Fire Control System development. He served his last year at the Flight Test Center as the Assistant Chief of Flight Operations.
White joined North American Aviation in 1954 as an engineering test pilot. In 1961, he was appointed Chief Test Pilot. He flew the first flights of the prototype F-100C and F-100F aircraft. He conducted the Mach 2 store drop demonstration and the zoom climb program in the F-107. He was Assistant project Pilot of the X-15 Research Aircraft, and Chief Project Pilot of the XB-70 Weapons Systems. White flew the first flights of both XB-70 aircraft, flew the first 2000 mph flight and all subsequent Mach 3 exploration flights.
He has been honored by the Distinguished Flying Cross, 10 Air Medals, Iven C. Kincheloe Award, Octave Chanute Award, Harmon International Trophy, American Academy of Achievement Golden Plate Award, the Burroughs Flight Safety Award and the Aerospace Walk of Honor (1994).