William Shatner, Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk, award-winning actor, author and space tourist; Royce Williams, American aviator and Navy Cross recipient; and Robert DeLaurentis, record-setting American aviator, among notable honorees to be honored at San Diego Air & Space Museum’s annual star-studded celebration.
Join the San Diego Air & Space Museum in celebrating the honorees on Saturday, October 21, 2023, in the Edwin D. McKellar Pavilion of Flight.
San Diego, CA – William Shatner, Star Trek’s Captain James T. Kirk, award-winning actor, author, philanthropist and space tourist; Royce Williams, aviator and Navy Cross recipient; and Robert DeLaurentis, record-setting American aviator; are among the notable honorees to be honored at the annual star-studded celebration at this year’s International Air & Space Hall of Fame Gala, the San Diego Air & Space Museum announced today. Additional honorees will be announced as the Gala approaches.
Join the San Diego Air & Space Museum in celebrating the honorees on Saturday, October 21, 2023, in the Edwin D. McKellar Pavilion of Flight. Guests from around the world are assembling for a spectacular evening of fun and extraordinary recognition, as each guest is treated to a behind the scenes look into the lives of these true air and space legends. Since 1963, the International Air & Space Hall of Fame has honored the world’s most significant pilots, crew members, visionaries, inventors, aerospace engineers, business leaders, preservationists, designers and space explorers.
“We’re exceptionally pleased to honor this exemplary Class of 2023 because these men and women represent a vast range of the ongoing advances in aviation and space exploration,” said Jim Kidrick, President & CEO of the San Diego Air & Space Museum. “Achievements in aviation and space, as embodied by the honorees in the prestigious International Air & Space Hall of Fame, directly represents the human pioneering spirit and pursuit of mankind’s final frontiers. This is a can’t miss event and something every guest will remember for the rest of their lives! Guests come from all over the globe just to be in the room with the Honorees and join in this momentous celebration.”
William Shatner has cultivated a career spanning over 70 years as an award-winning actor, director, producer, writer, recording artist, and equestrian. He is one of Hollywood’s most recognizable figures and a major philanthropist. On October 13, 2021 he became the oldest person to go into space, at age 90, on board the Blue Origin NS-18; He went beyond the Kármán line. In 1966, Shatner originated the role of Captain James T. Kirk in the television series Star Trek. The series spawned a feature film franchise where Shatner returned as Captain Kirk in seven of the Star Trek movies, one of which he directed. Shatner played the title role in the hit television series T.J. Hooker before hosting television’s first reality-based series, Rescue 911. He won Emmys and his first Golden Globe for his portrayal of eccentric lawyer Denny Crane on both The Practice and Boston Legal. Shatner has received four more Emmy nominations as well as other Golden Globe and SAG Award nods.
On November 18, 1952, E. Royce Williams was flying with three other members of VF-781 from the USS Oriskany when they encountered seven Mig-15s. Before they could engage, William’s Flight Leader and his wingman had to return to the Oriskany due to a fuel pump issue. Out manned and piloting what most consider an inferior aircraft to the Mig-15, Williams engaged the seven Migs for 35 minutes, shooting down four of them. This would be the longest dogfight in the history of the US Navy, and the deciding factor would be Williams’ skill as a pilot. Though his Panther was shot 263 times, he was able to make it back to the Oriskany and land safely. Williams is the recipient of the Navy Cross, the Silver Star, and two Distinguished Flying Crosses.
Robert DeLaurentis is an American aviator, businessman and author. He was the first solo pilot to fly a Piper Malibu Mirage, a small, single-engine plane, around the world from May 17, 2015 to August 14, 2015. The flight covered 26,000 nautical miles and 23 countries in the ninety-eight days for a fundraising campaign to support aviation programs. On August 10, 2020, DeLaurentis completed a nine-month, 26,000 nautical mile polar circumnavigation and global peace mission, “One Planet, One People, One Plane: Oneness for Humanity” in his modified 1983 aircraft named “Citizen of the World”.
The International Air & Space Hall of Fame is the most prestigious induction of its kind in the world and is composed of hundreds of air and space pioneers, engineers, inventors and innovators, along with adventurers, scientists and industry leaders. NASA Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts and Russian cosmonauts are honored in the Hall, as well as famous legends such as the Wright Brothers, Charles Lindbergh, Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart. Notable inductees also include Buzz Aldrin, Chuck Yeager, Igor Sikorsky, Wernher von Braun, Jack Northrop, Jackie Cochran, William Boeing, Sr., Reuben H. Fleet, Glenn Curtiss, Walter Zable Sr., Fran Bera, Wally Schirra, Bill Anders, Jim Lovell, T. Claude Ryan, Jimmy Doolittle, Bob Hoover, Ellen Ochoa, Peggy Whitson, Linden Blue, Jeff Bezos, Patty Wagstaff, and many more. See the following link: http://sandiegoairandspace.org/exhibits/online-exhibit-page/international-air-space-hall-of-fame.
Proceeds from the prestigious International Air & Space Hall of Fame celebration benefit the Museum’s youth education programs.
“Inspiring kids to undertake tough science and engineering challenges is a critical first step for our future,” Kidrick said. “We must also give them the resources and impetus they need to pursue science education degrees.”
More than 500 national and international business, aviation and space leaders are anticipated to attend the 2023 International Air & Space Hall of Fame Celebration, including prominent representatives and Hall of Fame members from prior years. Tickets are available on the Museum’s website at http://sandiegoairandspace.org/calendar/event/2023-international-air-space-hall-of-fame-celebration
The San Diego Air & Space Museum is California’s official air and space museum and education center. The Museum is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and it was the first aero-themed Museum to be accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The Museum is home to the prestigious International Air & Space Hall of Fame. The Museum is located at 2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park, San Diego, CA 92101. The Museum and gift store are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. with admissions until 4:30 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.