Enshrined November 1, 2014
Mike Dover successfully transitioned from a distinguished career as a wartime Army Helicopter pilot to the Tennessee Highway Patrol Tactical Helicopter Squadron responsible for statewide Airborne Law Enforcement and Air Medevac programs.
From 1960 to 1972, Dover served two tours in Vietnam earning the Silver Star, Bronze Star with “V” device with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Purple Heart, Distinguished Flying Cross with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal, Army Aviation Badge, seventeen Air Medals, Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Silver Star, and the Combat Infantry Badge.
He developed search and rescue plans, trained personnel in emergency medical evacuations and trained the THP’s Tactical Squad to perform rescues, SWAT assaults, and rappelling. In 1977 Dover was instrumental in setting up Governor Lamar Alexander’s Task Force on Marijuana Eradication— a program still in place today.
Medevac Operation was put to the test at the 1982 World’s Fair in Knoxville. Anticipating ground traffic issues, Dover helped establish an airborne medical transportation plan. He was also instrumental in establishing medical helicopter operations at the University of Tennessee, the City of Chattanooga and at Vanderbilt Hospital.
During his 37 years in law enforcement, Mike Dover flew over every county in Tennessee many times, logging over 19,000 hours. Captain Dover retired from the Tennessee Highway Patrol in 2004 but continues to work with local sheriff departments as a consultant. He is a pilot with the Momentum Foundation of Tullahoma, and provides law enforcement departments with search and rescue, counter drug operations and aerial interdiction support.
For extraordinary service and enduring contributions to aviation for Tennessee, our nation and the world, and for his service to our country, Melton “Mike” A. Dover is honored by and inducted into the Tennessee Aviation Hall of Fame this first day of November 2014.