Abbey, USNA ’54, Tx Aviation Hall of Fame Induction


Induction ceremony and luncheon rescheduled for Wed., Sept. 2, 2020 – 75th Anniversary of VJ Day

(HOUSTON, Texas) – The Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM) is pleased to announce the selection of four new inductees into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. A distinguished panel of aviation historians, authors, publishers, archivists and aviation experts selected George W.S. Abbey USNA ‘54, Colonel (retired) Eileen M. Collins, Usto Schulz and Tyson Weihs from a field of more than 100 candidates.

This prestigious group will be officially inducted on Friday, May 8 at the 2020 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and luncheon at the Lone Star Flight Museum located at Houston’s Ellington Airport.

The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1995 to honor and recognize Texans and Texas companies or organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of aviation. There are currently 76 individuals and groups in the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, in four categories which include: trailblazers and explorers, wartime aviators, leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.

The 2020 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame inductees join an impressive list of past inductees representing trailblazers and explorers such as Bessie Coleman and Wiley Post; leaders such as Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush; World War II aviators Tex Hill, the Doolittle Raiders, Tuskegee Airmen and Women Airforce Service Pilots; astronauts Alan Bean, John Young and Gene Cernan; and entrepreneurs Howard Hughes, Gordon Bethune and Herb Kelleher. To be selected as a member of the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, the individual or group must have a significant connection to Texas and have left an indelible mark on the history of aviation or be an aviator who made an extraordinary contribution to the world in another field.

George Abbey, USNA ‘54

With a bachelor’s degree in general science from the U.S. Naval Academy and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the U.S. Air Force Institute of Technology, George W.S. Abbey flew both helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft, logging more than 5,000 hours in the air.  Serving as the USAF technical liaison at Boeing on the Dyna-Soar, SST and Lunar Orbiter projects, he was later detailed to NASA in 1964.  In 1967, Abbey left the Air Force and was named technical assistant to the JSC Center Director during the Apollo, Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz programs.

In 1976, Abbey was named NASA’s Director of Flight Operations, and was responsible for overall direction and management of flight crew and flight control activities for all human space missions.  In 1988, he was appointed Deputy Associate Administrator for Space Flight at NASA Headquarters, and later appointed Senior Director for Civil Space Policy for the National Space Council in the Executive Office of the President.  In 1992 Abbey was named Special Assistant to the NASA Administrator before being named Deputy Director of Johnson Space Center in 1994 and then JSC Center Director from 1996 to 2001.  After retirement from NASA in 2003 he became Senior Fellow in Space Policy at Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

Sept. 2 also commemorates the 75th anniversary of the World War II Victory over Japan. Along with celebrating the 2020 Hall of Fame inductees, the Lone Star Flight Museum will will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. The summer long program, aptly named Fight To The Finish, is an invitation for Houstonians to take part in recognizing this significant anniversary and honor those that served and supported the U.S. to victory during WWII.  This four-month celebration will include special events, presentations, screenings, exhibits and more.