George Hickman holds a photo of himself in the cockpit of an AT6 trainer airplane (Jan. 16, 2009). Mr. Hickman, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, died Aug. 19, 2012. He was one of the country’s first black military pilots & ground crew members who fought in World War II. In 2007, Mr. Hickman & other Tuskegee airmen received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest Congressional civilian honor. In 2009, he attended President Barack Obama’s inauguration as a special guest.
VIETNAM HIDDEN PHOTOS An American F-105 warplane is shot down and the pilot ejects and opens his parachute in this photo taken by North Vietnamese photograper Mai Nam on September 1966 near Vinh Phuc, north of Hanoi. This photo is one of the most recognized images taken by a North Vietnamese photographer during the war. The pilot of the aircraft was taken hostage and held in a Hanoi prison from 1966 to 1973. (AP Photo/Pioneer Newspaper/Mai Nam)
On September 17, 1908, Lt. Thomas Selfridge became the first fatality in a powered airplane crash. He was flying with Orville Wright when the 1908 Wright Flyer crashed during flight trials. Orville was severely injured. The cause of the accident is shown here: a sheet metal fitting, the "eye" of which wore through, letting go a guy wire, which was then struck by a propeller. A wooden fragment from the propeller is on display at the Museum in DC.
An Irish Pilot, by John Lavery. The fascinating Lady Heath, born Sophie Pierce Evans in Limerick. For a five-year period from the mid-1920s, pilot Lady Mary Heath was one of the best-known women in the world. It was an era when everyone had gone aviation mad, she was the first woman to parachute and the first woman to gain a commercial pilot’s licence. In 1928 Lady Heath made front-page news worldwide as the first pilot ever, male or female, to fly a small, open cockpit plane solo from Cape Town
Chalk 17 poses for a photograph before departing for Normandy. This image shows the paratroopers and air crewmen of Pathfinder Team #2 of the 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment/82nd Airborne Division on the evening of Monday, June 5, 1944 shortly before taking off to go to France. They are posing in front of aircraft #42-93096, a Douglas C-47A that is in the collection of The National WWII Museum.