EDWARDS TEST PILOTS HONORED LANCASTER ADDS MORE MEMORIALS TO VETERANS IN AEROSPACE.
LANCASTER - The weather was perfect Saturday for the 11th Annual Aerospace Walk of Honor.
More than 200 people were on hand as Dennis Davenport, assistant city manager for Lancaster, introduced this year's honorees: Col. Frank Borman, USAF; Col. Gordon Fullerton, USAF; Donald L. Mallick; Col. Russell E. Schleeh, USAF; and Richard Jansen, speaking on behalf of his father, George R. Jansen, who died in 1992.
All five had worked as test pilots at Edwards Air Force Base.
``Being a resident of Lancaster since 1963, we watched the formation of the Walk of Honor,'' Mallick said in his introductory speech. ``I've flown with over 15 people on the walk of honor.''
Schleeh echoed his sentiments: ``I'm truly pleased to be here today. I'm pleased to receive this recognition and it's a pleasure to be included in this select group of honorees.''
After introductory speeches were over, Mayor Frank Roberts invited everyone to watch the unveiling of the 6-foot-tall granite monuments.
He thanked Kevin Peterson, director of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, for providing the original Lunar Landing Research Vehicle (LLRV) and its M2-F1 ``lifting body'' glider for display during the event.
Roberts also thanked Al Hoffner, director of assembly integration and test from Boeing Reusable Space Systems, for providing the model of the space shuttle. The three vehicles were stationed in the center of Lancaster Boulevard.
The LLRV was somewhat of a puzzle to 7-year-old Steven Ament Jr., his cousin Michael Ament, 9, and his father, Steven Sr.
``I was trying to figure out what it does,'' said Steven Jr. His father wasn't sure what it did, either. ``It does something,'' he said.
Dressed in shorts and T-shirts, the trio from Antelope Acres were on a trip to the bank when they discovered their street was blocked off, and they decided to check out what was going on. Their faces lit up when they heard an F-18 was going to be flying over soon.
Free posters of the five inductees were handed out and long lines were formed as everyone tried to get their posters signed by the honorees.
Initiated in 1990, the Aerospace Walk of Honor program seeks to recognize experimental test pilots who have made outstanding contributions to the aerospace industry.
This year's celebration brings the number of test pilots honored on the monuments lining Lancaster Boulevard to 55. In a profession where extraordinary achievement is the norm, honorees selected for the Aerospace Walk of Honor have soared above the rest.
``The city of Lancaster has been privileged over the years to host many great experimental test pilots whose great feats were performed right here at Edwards Air Force Base,'' said Lancaster Mayor Frank Roberts.
``It seems only fitting that Aerospace Walk of Honor commemorate those who have distinguished themselves in the skies overhead and brought honor to this community.''
(1 -- color in AV edition only) From left, Donald L. Mallick; Col. Frank Borman, Col. Russell E. Schleeh, Col. Gordon Fullerton, and Richard Jansen for his father, George R. Jansen, are presented at the Aerospace Walk of Honor.
(2 -- color -- ran in AV edition only) Spectators check out the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle displayed Saturday during the Aerospace Walk of Honor event.
(3 -- ran in AV edition only) Lancaster Vice Mayor Henry Hearns, left, and Col. Gordon Fullerton, USAF, stand by Fullerton's monument.
Jeff Goldwater/Staff Photographer
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Sep 24, 2000|
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