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Wayne Jacobs and Wayne Broom, volunteers with the North Carolina Aviation Museum, receive the DAR Community Service Award from Kathie Thompson, Regent of the Colonel Andrew Balfour Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution.

NSDAR honors NC Aviation Museum

ASHEBORO — The Colonel Andrew Balfour Chapter, NSDAR, recognized the North Carolina Aviation Museum 
(NCAM) with the prestigious DAR Com-munity Service Award on Nov. 28 at its November meeting.


DAR Community Service Awards are given for outstanding community activities. The Award may be presented to an individual or organization; however all activities must be voluntary, unpaid and recent. Programs must reflect the needs and the strengths of the community.  


The NCAM, located at 2222 Pilots View Road near the Asheboro Regional Airport, is run by a team of about 75 volunteers. It receives no ongoing federal or state support.  


The NCAM collection is housed in two hangars which provide 20,000 square feet of military and civilian aircraft, war-time memorabilia, aviation art, uniforms, and historically accurate aircraft models. 


For example, the Museum features the unique Piper “Flitfire” that Orville Wright flew; an L-16 aircraft used in the Korean War as an artillery spotter; and a Stear-man Model 75, a biplane built in the USA during the 1930s and 1940s and used as a military training aircraft.  


The NCAM Hall of Fame honors flight pioneers like Viola Estelle Gentry (1894 – 06/23/1988, the first woman in North Carolina to fly an aircraft, and Zachary Smith Reynolds (11/05/1911 – 07/06/1932), an early pilot whose license was signed by Orville Wright. At 19, Reynolds flew the longest point-to-point solo circumnavigation at the time, at 17,000 miles over land, lasting from December 1931 to April 1932. 


Another honoree is Warren Hervey Wheeler (10/01/1943), the first African American pilot for Piedmont Airlines. 


In all, 14 people or organizations have been inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame. The NCAM also recognizes the 99s, an international organization for woman pilots, the Tuskegee Airmen and Piedmont Airlines.   


The NCAM sponsors community events that educate, inspire and build camaraderie. Last spring, NCAM held a 1940s-style Hangar Dance complete with a swing band, men in uniform, and women in bobby socks. The highlight of every year is the Annual Fly-In. For the 27th Fly-in on Sept. 30, 2023, one feature was the P-51 Swamp Fox flown by R. T. Dickson.   


The motto of the North Carolina Aviation Museum is Preserving History to Honor all who Serve: Past, Present, and Future. This exemplifies the DAR objectives to promote patriotism and education.