Colonel Joseph Kittinger to Receive Henderson Award at June NAA Luncheon
From April-May 2013 The NAA Record
Colonel Joseph Kittinger, USAF, (Ret.) was selected to receive the 2013 Cliff Henderson Trophy, which will be presented to him at the NAA Luncheon on June 18, 2013 at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Virginia.
The Cliff Henderson Trophy, which resides at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, was established in 1960 by the National Aviation Club (now part of NAA) to honor the creator and Managing Director of the world-renowned National Air Races from 1928-1939. His work stimulated a generation’s interest in aviation and challenged the state of the art in aviation development.
In that spirit, the trophy is awarded to “. . .a living individual, group of individuals, or an organization whose vision, leadership or skill made a significant and lasting contribution to the promotion and advancement of aviation and aerospace in the United States.”
On August 16, 1960, Kittinger became an aviation pioneer with the “highest step in the world” when he made history as he ascended to 102,800 feet in a high-altitude balloon and jumped to Earth. During a distinguished Air Force career, Kittinger served as a test pilot, Squadron Commander, and Vice Wing Commander.
In addition, he spent 11 months as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. After retiring from the Air Force he set two world ballooning records and won numerous ballooning competitions. Kittinger is a NAA Elder Statesman of Aviation; was awarded a Lifetime Achievement in Aviation trophy from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum; was made an Honorary U.S. Army Golden Knight; and is enshrined in the National Aviation Hall of Fame, the U.S. Ballooning Hall of Fame and the National Skydiving Museum Hall of Fame. To date, he has logged more than 16,800 hours of flying time in over 93 aircraft. His adventures are detailed in his autobiography, Come Up and Get Me.
Most recently, Colonel Kittinger served as Capsule Communications as Mission Control’s primary point of radio contact with Felix Baumgartner and the Red Bull Stratos Project. Click here to register for the June 18 NAA Luncheon where Kittinger will receive his award.