The Colorado Aviation Historical Society enshrined four Coloradans into the Aviation Hall of Fame at the annual CAHS Hall of Fame Banquet. Held on October 30, the banquet took place at the U.S. Air Force Academy Officers Club in Colorado Springs.
9News meteorologist Nick Carter served as master of ceremonies. Bea Khan Wilhite, president of the Colorado Aviation Historical Society, had the honor of presenting the four inductees with a plaque and CAHF medal. Those enshrinees included Col. Jack E. Wilhite, who is a former president of the society, as well as Otto E. “Pete” Bartoe Jr., Col. William “Bill” Marsh Bower and Morris “Morrie” Lee Quick.
Otto E. “Pete” Bartoe Jr.
Otto E. “Pete” Bartoe Jr. soloed in a J-3 Cub in Boulder in 1944, and was licensed in 1945. As a design engineer by training, he helped found Ball Brothers Research Corporation in 1956, and became chief operating officer in 1973. That same year, he founded Ball-Bartoe Aircraft Corporation, which led to the Jetwing, a single-engine, swept-wing aircraft that used engine output forced over the wing to help in low-speed flight. He received many engineering honors for his innovations in Colorado.
Col. William “Bill” M. Bower
Col. William “Bill” M. Bower graduated from flying school in 1940, and was sent to Lowry Field in Denver with the 37th Bombardment Squadron, where the first contingent of commissioned bombardiers were trained on the Buckley bombing range. In 1942, he joined Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle for the daring raid on Japanese military targets, one of five key turning points in the WWII air war theatre. He piloted the twelfth of 16 U.S. Army Corps B-25 Mitchell bombers from the carrier “USS Hornet. Highly decorated, he is one of only 17 Doolittle Raiders still alive.
Lt. Col. Morris “Morrie” Quick
Lt. Col. Morris “Morrie” Quick soloed in July 1938, in a Taylor Cub on floats, and was licensed in May 1942. He joined the Army Air Force as an instructor pilot with search and rescue operations in Alaska. Between wars, he was active in general aviation, crop-dusting and flying tourists. He was recalled to active duty in Vietnam in 1963. A Coloradoan since 1966, he devotes his time to youth education through the Lafayette Foundation, Platte Valley Airpark, and the Wings Over The Rockies Air & Space Museum.
Col. Jack E. Wilhite
Col. Jack E. Wilhite recalls that at 10 years old, he flew in a Ford Tri-Motor, and shortly after that, he took a Stearman ride. Those two flights hooked the youth on aviation, and during WWII he began his flying career, with the Army Air Corps. In 1956, he joined the Colorado Air National Guard and began a 32-year career with United Airlines. He served as a “non-paid” for the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department for more than 35 years. The former CAHS president (1996-2000) flies a red MiG 17 Russian fighter jet and is based at Jefferson County Airport.