On Monday, November 12, 2018, the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey held its 45th Annual Hall of Fame Induction Dinner at the Fiesta Ballroom in Wood-Ridge, NJ. This tribute dinner honors local aviation pioneers and subsidizes the Hall of Fame and Museum, on Fred Wehran Drive in Teterboro, NJ. It is one of the museum’s biggest fund-raising events of the year.
Founded in 1972, the Aviation Hall of Fame & Museum of New Jersey preserves Garden State’s distinguished, two-century aviation and space heritage. Men and women, whose outstanding aeronautical achievements have brought worldwide recognition to the state, are inducted into the Hall of Fame every year.
Meridian is a proud supporter of the museum and attends the Hall of Fame induction dinner every year. Ken Forester Sr., who founded Meridian with Bob Hewitt back in 1946, was inducted in 2008. His son, Meridian CEO, Ken Forester Jr., was among those who attended the ceremony for the company.
This event recognized four individuals, connected to New Jersey, who have each contributed to advancing human flight.
Congratulations to all of the 2018 Aviation Hall of Fame Inductees!
You can read their bios below.
Emil Buehler (1899-1983)
The Emil Buehler Trust was established in 1984 to perpetuate the memory of Emil Buehler and his commitment to aviation science and technology. Aviation visionary, architect and engineer. Emil Buehler was born 1899 in Alpirsbach, a small town in Germany. He first experienced flying at age 17 as a pilot in the World War I German navy. Following the war, he graduated from the University of Stuttgart with degrees in architecture and engineering – moving to America within the year to pursue his career. A pioneer in aeronautics as well as a designer of buildings, Mr. Buehler was actively involved in many of the significant aviation events that took place in New Jersey during the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. He operated his own school of aeronautics at New Jersey’s Teterboro Airport, ran a seaplane base on the Hudson River, and later designed and personally supervised the construction of an aviation facility at the Executive Airport in Fort Lauderdale. His aeronautic involvements also included funding the development of a wind tunnel with Mach 3 capability – allowing the testing of space vehicles in design configurations at speeds up to three times the speed of sound. The internationally-known Emil Buehler Mach 3 wind tunnel is located at Rutgers, the State of New Jersey university, which in 1974 conferred on Emil Buehler the title of Eminent Engineer. His legacy of philanthropic commitment extends to a number of leading educational institutions, including Bergen Community College. Mr. Buehler died in 1983.
Linda Fritsche Castner (1947- )
Born and raised on Alexandria Field Airport, Linda Fritsche Castner’s legacy is as a pioneer in developing and implementing non-traditional outreach programs at public-use airports. She’s been a private pilot since she was 17 and is an Advanced Ground Instructor. Her company “Up, Up, and Away in Hunterdon, Inc.” provides innovative, aviation-themed content to participants as diverse as Pre-K students through corporate and academic professionals. Castner is a passionate advocate for the latent potential small airports have to become valued community assets for STEM education. Among Linda’s aviation accomplishments she is Co-Owner/Operator of Alexandria Field (N85), Master Aviation Educator (since 2015). The MAE is an achievement that few ever earn. She is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Association Board of Directors. Linda produced the Magic of Alexandria Balloon Festival for ten years (1989-1998) donating $210,000 to charities. She has written numerous articles and aviation program grants. The largest was in 2010 the Garrett A. Morgan Technology and Transportation Education program grant for a total of $150,000 for which she served as the Program Director.
Huntley Lawrence (1963- )
Growing up in Queens, NY, next to LaGuardia Airport, Huntley developed a passion for aviation. As a young man, he attended an aviation program offered at Public School 127, and those early years were foundational in his lifelong passion for aviation. As a student at August Martin High School, Huntley selected a curriculum that provided him the opportunity to learn and excel in all aspects of aviation. His passion for aviation continued as a student at Florida Institute of Technology. He worked for the Port Authority as an intern while still in high school, and began his full-time career with the agency after his graduation from FIT. In the years that followed, Huntley held a variety of positions of increasing responsibility in airport operations at John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, and LaGuardia airports. Following 9/11, the Short Hills, NJ resident helped manage the transition at Newark Liberty from civilian security under the FAA to oversight by the newly created U.S. Transportation Security Administration. He became General Manager for New Jersey Airports in 2011, Deputy Director of Aviation in 2014, and Director of Aviation in January 2017. As Director, Huntley is responsible for managing one of the world’s largest airport systems, comprising JFK, Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, Teterboro, and New York Stewart International airports. The airport system serves tens of millions of passengers annually while supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs and generating billions of dollars in economic activity for the New York/New Jersey region.
Colonel Arthur E. Martone (1923- )
Colonel Arthur E. Martone a life-long New Jersey resident, enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1942 and completed his training in 1943 as a fighter pilot. The colonel flew 166 combat mission during WWII. Flying a P-40 on his 166th mission, ironically on June 6th, 1944, Arthur was shot down eighty-miles behind enemy lines in Monte Cristo, Italy. Bailing out, although injured he was found and kept alive by Italian Partisans until American troops retook the area. For his service, Colonel Martone was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Purple Heart. He was honorably discharged in November of 1945. In 1947, Colonel Martone joined the Air National Guard, the 119th Fighter Squadron flying P-47s. Arthur was recalled to active duty during the Korean Conflict. After the end of the Korean War, he assigned to the 141st Tactical Fighter Squadron, McGuire AFB flying F-84S; being recalled to active duty in 1961-1962 serving in France with the 141st Tactical Squadron flying 2,811 sorties. IN 1969, Arthur was promoted to Colonel. While at McGuire he served in many staff positions including eight-years as Director of Operations and Special Assistant to the Commander of the 108th Tactical Fighter Wing. In June of 1980, after serving with great distinction Colonel Martone retired. In 1986, he was honored with his name being placed on the F-84 he flew at a dedication aboard the USS Intrepid. In retirement, the Colonel was a member of the Monmouth Flying Club serving as Treasurer and President for ten years. He is still active as a speaker.
On Thursday, May 4, 2017, Meridian Hayward proudly hosted the 9th Annual Hero Awards Dinner in its new 30,000 sq. ft. hangar. The event was organized by the Hayward Education Foundation located in Hayward, CA. The Hayward Education Foundation launched the HEROES campaign in 2008 to acknowledge those who believe that children deserve the best education possible. Today, the organization’s everyday activities are building their future – Hayward Heroes are investing in their future.
Each year, the Hayward Education Foundation asks all schools in the Hayward community to choose a ‘hero’, someone in the school who has gone above and beyond his or her usual duties to serve the school. A ‘hero’ may be a volunteer, parent, custodian, office worker, parent, teacher, or anyone who the school community feels should be recognized for his or her commitment to the students and school in general.
The ‘hero dinner’ was the idea of community member and local philanthropist, George Pacheco, who had gathered support for the dinner during HEF’s annual fundraiser. In 2009, the first awards ceremony was celebrated with a small intimate gathering for lunch. The event has since evolved into a grand celebration growing every year in both attendance and number of heroes honored.
The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by welcome remarks from Rick Bartholomew (HEF Board President), Matt Wayne (Master of Ceremonies), and Mayor Barbara Halliday (City of Hayward). A dinner then followed with remarks from Community Heroes, then the Award Ceremony itself, and concluded with the announcement of auction winners. Total attendance was estimated to be over 600 people.
Carlos Rodriguez, Operations Manager for Meridian Hayward, had this to say, “We were honored that the Hayward Education Foundation had asked us to host their annual Awards Dinner at our facility. It is truly a great organization for honoring those individuals who make a positive impact in our communities by going above and beyond for the students and schools. We are proud to support this worthy cause and to be able to give back to Hayward and the local community.”
For more information about the Hayward Education Foundation and the Heroes Award Dinner, go to www.haywarded.org