By Kyle Kirby

Here at the Hickory Aviation Museum, one of our most important missions involves local veterans of all branches of service.

This mission has three main goals-

1 – Honor and express our gratitude to veterans for the sacrifices they have made

2 – Increase awareness and education about those sacrifices for all citizens of the Hickory area

3- Preserve the stories, experiences, and artifacts that veterans can share, so that we can all understand those experiences in the context of our own lives for many more years to come.

We work to fulfill those goals in several ways. First, we have an annual ceremony each Veteran’s Day.

Second, we formally invite all veterans to the museum on the first Saturday of each month for complimentary coffee and donuts. If you have a veteran in your family and you’ve already heard his or her stories a few times, bring him or her out to the museum, because we would like to hear them too!

Finally, we informally invite all veterans to come to the museum during any open hours. We can always use more volunteers for providing aircraft tours or working in the gift shop, but we are also glad to have veterans of the military on hand just to talk and share stories.

A few of our local veterans are regular visitors on the first Saturday of every month (or any other Saturday or Sunday, by that matter). Click on a name below to see a profile written by Kyle Kirby. Photos are by Kyle Kirby unless otherwise noted.

Joe Noah has compiled a list of North Carolina Aces. You can see references to some of our veterans in the list!

North Carolina Aces

Joe also compiled a list of the Top Ten American Fighter Pilot Aces and Aircraft, counting aerial victories only.

Top Ten

If you are a veteran, or know someone who would like to join the Saturday crowd, please accept our invitation to join us on the first Saturday of each month, starting at around 11:00am.