George Hardie
Aviation Historian - Submitted

George A. Hardie

Born: November 29, 1912
Died: June 19, 2001
Inducted: 1991

George Hardie, Jr. was born in Rockford, Illinois and moved to Wisconsin in 1932. George was just a boy when Charles Lindbergh made his famous flight in 1927 but he was already interested in airplanes. In 1938 he began the research that led him to become an authority on Milwaukee aviation history. He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 and worked for the Milwaukee Post Office for 34 years.

George retired from the United States Postal Service in 1973 and then remained busy researching and collecting aviation history information. He was exhibit designer and historian for the Mitchell Gallery of Flight located at the General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.

George viewed his work not only as a labor of love but something that's essential to all who enjoy aviation in some way. He has received various awards in recognition of his dedication to aviation.

In 1957 he was the recipient of the General Billy Mitchell Award for Air Power Achievement. In 1971 George received the Marion G. Ogden prize from the Milwaukee County Historical Society for his article on the Lawson airliner, the first commercial air transport in this country.

In addition to the Lawson article he has written and edited many articles on aviation for various publications. He helped produce the commemorative booklet marking the 50 years of aviation progress at General Mitchell International Airport.

Hardie served on the Board of Directors of the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) from 1955 to 1960 and served as managing editor of Sport Aviation, EAA's flagship magazine from 1958 to 1960. From 1973 to 1983, Hardie continued his participation in the EAA by serving as display designer and historian. Hardie also served on the Board of Directors of the American Aviation Historical Society and was president of the organization from 1961 until 1963.

George Hardie (center) reviews historical aviation materials - WAHF photo