Carol Dobyns Fair

Carol Dobyns Fair

Enshrined November 13, 2010

Carol Dobyns Fair was born in March 1943 and is a native of Johnson City. Her career in aviation began in March of 1963 when she became a stewardess with Winston-Salem based Piedmont Airlines just one year after the airline began hiring female flight attendants. During her career she served aboard every aircraft in Piedmont’s fleet; the DC-3, Martin 404, Fairchild F-27, YS-11, and Boeing’s 727, 737, and 767 aircraft. She served aboard Piedmont’s inaugural flight from Charlotte to London in June of 1986 and is an International Cabin Services Director on US Airways flights aboard the Airbus 330. In 1995-96 Carol Fair was leased to British Airways and was based in London, during which time she earned British Airways prestigious Bronze Award for Leadership. Carol has been a dedicate advocate for flight attendants rights and has served on numerous in-flight safety and uniform committees in the airline industry. Well beyond the confines of an aircraft cabin, she has been a passionate advocate for aviation, and continues to serve as a goodwill ambassador for the South’s beloved former “Route of the Pacemakers”, Piedmont Airlines, giving speeches about aviation and Piedmont’s marvelous history to senior citizens, students and civic organizations. Fair has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and television interviews and has conducted aerospace education workshops in aviation history at East Tennessee State University. Ms. Fair was invited to participate in the ceremony to christen one of the heritage Airbus 319’s, painted in the Piedmont Airlines livery in 2006 and accepted the 2008 Thomas H. Davis, Sr. Excellence in Aviation Award on behalf of all Piedmont employees. She is an Associate Member of the Piedmont Silver Eagles, A Member of Golden Wings, and the Association of Flight Attendants – CWA. Carol Dobyns Fair was inducted into the North Carolina Transportation Hall of Fame in 2008.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Cornelia Clark Fort

Cornelia Clark Fort

 (1919-1943) Enshrined November 13, 2010

Cornelia Clark Fort was born February 5, 1919, in Nashville and grew up on 365 acres of land along the Cumberland River in Davidson County. She attended Ross Elementary School and in 1932 enrolled at Ward-Belmont, an all-girls school. Cornelia briefly attended Ogontz Junior College and was later accepted at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. After graduation in 1939, she joined the Junior League of Nashville. Cornelia took her first flying lessons in the spring of 1940 and on March 10, 1941 became Nashville’s first female flight instructor. When the Civilian Pilot Training Program was established, she was hired as a flight instructor at Fort Collins, Colorado. In the fall of 1941 she moved to Hawaii and instructed at John Rodgers Airport in Honolulu. Cornelia was hired to teach defense workers, soldiers and sailors to fly. She was aloft with a student pilot on December 7, 1941, and became one of the first witnesses to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II. When she returned to the mainland, Cornelia appeared at several war bond rallies, but she longed to be able to fly for her country. Finally, in September 1942, the Army opened the door to female pilots. Cornelia was among an elite group invited to take part, and she became the second woman to be accepted into the newly formed Women’s Auxiliary Ferrying Service, or WAFS, under the Ferrying Division of the Army’s Air Transport Command. Trained in Wilmington, Delaware, they would ferry new airplanes from factories to military bases. The WAFS compiled an exemplary record of service and safety, and early in 1943, they were split up to form the cores of new units of female pilots at bases across the country. Cornelia was sent to California’s Long Beach Army Air Field and assigned to ferry BT-13s to Love Field in Dallas, Texas. Cornelia Fort was killed in a mid-air collision on March 21, 1943, while on a ferrying mission. She was the first female American military pilot to die on active duty. Cornelia Fort Airpark, an airport built in 1945 near her family farm in Nashville, was named in her honor.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Robert J. “Bob” Gilliland

Robert J. “Bob” Gilliland

 Enshrined November 13, 2010

Memphian Robert J. “Bob” Gilliland was born in 1926. He attended boarding school during his high school years and after graduation enlisted in the U.S. Navy. In 1949, Gilliland graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy with a degree in engineering. He was among an initial class offered the opportunity to accept a commission in the U.S. Air Force and began flight training. Bob earned his wings at Randolph Field, Texas in 1950 and soon afterward received his first overseas assignment flying P-47 Thunderbolts and F-84 Thunderjets in Germany. During the Korean War in 1952, Gilliland volunteered for combat duty and was assigned to Taegu to fly the F-84. His engineering degree and flight experience opened doors to opportunities in flight-testing. He ultimately flew nearly every aircraft in the U.S. Air Force inventory. When active duty ended in 1954, Gilliland returned home to Memphis where he joined the Tennessee Air National Guard. He left the military again in 1960 to pursue test pilot opportunities. Bob joined Lockheed as a civilian test pilot and instructor pilot on the F-104 Starfighter. In 1962 Gilliland joined the Blackbird Program and began testing the fastest and highest altitude planes ever built in the top secret Lockheed Skunk Works Division. Kelly Johnson, the founder of the Skunk Works, then hand-picked Gilliland to be the Chief Test Pilot and first man to fly the SR-71 Blackbird. Bob Gilliland is a Fellow in the Society of Experimental Test Pilots and was awarded the prestigious Ivan C. Kincheloe Award in 1964 for his work on the Blackbird program. He was named an Eagle by the Air Force Flight Test Historical Foundation in 1998 and received the Godfrey L. Cabot Award in 2001. He is a trustee of the Association of Naval Aviation. Robert J. “Bob” Gilliland logged more than 6,500 flight hours and has more experimental supersonic flight test time above Mach II and Mach III than any other pilot. Mr. Gilliland is a true legend and pioneer of American Aviation. He has provided invaluable service to his country as well as major contributions in the aviation field. He is ranked among our nation’s finest aviators.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com

Clyde H. Shelton

Clyde H. Shelton

(1931-2017) Enshrined November 13, 2010

Clyde Shelton lived his entire life in Fayetteville, Tennessee and dedicated most of his life to general aviation. He was born in Taft, Tennessee on March 7, 1931. Clyde delivered newspapers to support his family until graduating from Fayetteville Central High School in 1949. He worked for Kraft Food Company until joining the US Air Force where he was trained as a Crew Chief for T-33 and F-86 aircraft. During his service Clyde developed an insatiable interest in aviation and vowed to one day buy his own aircraft. Following his honorable discharge in 1955 Clyde finished his B.S Degree in Business Administration at Indiana Tech. Clyde soloed in 1956 and began earning his piloting credentials at Wilkes Field in Fayetteville where he did buy that aircraft and began flight instructing both at Fayetteville and at Huntsville, Alabama in 1963. Mr. Shelton, still actively flying, has given well over 20,000 hours of flight instruction. He has graduated over 1,000 students and as an FAA Flight Examiner since 1987, has given more than 8,800 check-rides. His personal logbook documents more than 36,400 hours of flight time with ratings as an ATP , SMEL, CFI, CFII, MELI, and CE 500 Type. Clyde Shelton has actually had two careers. A charter member of The National Aeronautics & Space Administration and the Marshall Space Center. He and his colleagues made aerospace history during our nation’s space race. He was there from the beginning working with Dr. Werner Von Braun on all of the launch vehicles from the Redstone rocket, to the Saturn Five moon rocket. Finishing after 38 years with the Shuttle program in 1993. The patriarch of three generations of pilots, Clyde instructed and soloed his wife Sara in 1966; his son Scott, now a Boeing 767 Captain for Delta Airlines, on his 16th birthday and Grandson, Nevada, currently a cadet at the United States Military Academy at West Point, on his 16th birthday as well. Clyde Shelton’s legacy is firmly established in those whose lives he has touched. He is a genuine aviation professional. A man whose integrity, character, good-nature and sincere interest in his students define him as a man of competent humility.

To learn more, visit: www.tnairmuseum.com