Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Inducts Six Aviators

Published in Midwest Flyer – June/July 2018 issue

BLOOMINGTON, MINN. – The Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame inducted six aviators at its 2018 ceremonies April 21, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Bloomington, Minnesota.

Inductees included Darrell E. Bolduc, aircraft engine specialist, seaplane pilot, educator and leader within the Minnesota aviation industry. Darrell Bolduc and his father, Wilmer, who was inducted in 2002, are the first father and son to have been inducted.

Roland J. “Ron” Fagen, prominent ethanol production businessman, Vietnam veteran, and owner of Fagen Fighters WWII Museum in Granite Falls, Minnesota, was also inducted, as was Lt. Ralph D. Gracie, World War I fighter pilot and casualty, the first Minnesotan lost in aerial combat; Robert H. Jasperson, Vietnam air war veteran, F-4 Phantom weapons systems operator, and current Wings of the North museum director; Joseph E. Kilpatrick, who led the Honeywell team that developed the Ring Laser Gyro, among other navigational instruments used worldwide in today’s commercial and military aircraft, as well as the Space Shuttle; and popular fixed base operator, Robert O. Leaders of Clear Lake, Minnesota.

Scholarship recipients included: Gavin Oftedahl, a student at the University of North Dakota from Clear Lake, Minn., who received the Don Hinz Red Tail Project Scholarship; Larissa Vculek, a student at Minnesota State University Mankato, who received the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame Scholarship; and Joseph Taylor of New Prague, Minn., who received the Ken Dahlberg Scholarship, and will attend the University of North Dakota in the fall (www.mnaviationhalloffame.org).

The keynote speaker was AOPA President & CEO Mark Baker, and the emcee was Al Malmberg, host of the aviation radio program, “The World of Aviation.”

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