The Van Wert County Courthouse

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

VW Airport event memorialized in photos

Members of the Van Wert Area Photography Club and Lima Photography Club photographed the displays and events held Saturday, May 18, at the Van Wert County Regional Airport that is now officially renamed Walter Hinton Airfield.  Hinton, born in Tully township, piloted the first transatlantic flight in May 1919 in a NC-4 flying boat with a crew of 6.

Planes of various sizes and models, both factory and home built, were on display including Scott Niswonger’s jet and a radio controlled fighter plane.  Plane rides were available all day.   After lunch provided by the Crisis Care Line and Collins Fine Foods, the Lutheran Medical helicopter was present for inspection.

VWAPC members (from the left) Joe Schramm, Cheryl Knost, and Rex Dolby in front of one of the airplanes on display Saturday.

The American Legion handled the presentation of the colors and the flag raising.  Michaella Johnson, reigning Peony Queen, sang our “National Anthem”.  Master of Ceremonies Mark Hartman introduced a list of representatives from the city, county, state, and federal governments, all with proclamations and praises for the airport and its staff.

When pilot Scott Niswonger took the platform, he told about James L. Rice who was the airport’s first manager and his accomplishments in the development of the airport and the field of aviation.  With the help of two assistants who held the architect’s rendering of a new Van Wert airport terminal and its floor plan, Scott announced that it would be named in Rice’s honor.  The north-south street now under construction off business U.S. 224 at the Elks will end at the new terminal. 

The Van Wert County Historical Society had a display of pilots who were born or lived in Van Wert County and were involved in private, commercial, and/or military aviation. Their collection of this information is ongoing and at this point spans from World War I to the present.  Any additional pilot, or relative of one, should contact Larry Webb at 419.203.5779 so that the new information can be added to their database.

Weather wise, it was sunny and warm, but a brisk breeze prevented the temperature from being too uncomfortable. I think it was a great day in and for Van Wert.

POSTED: 05/22/19 at 3:41 pm. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News