Hank Caruso Designated Honorary Naval Aviator #27!

Reno, NV, 9 September 2006

Hank Caruso's unique standing in the Naval Aviation community and the world of aviation art just became even more unique...

The Secretary of the Navy has designated Hank Caruso as Honorary Naval Aviator #27 for his contributions to Naval Aviation through his distinctive Aerocatures™ for more than 25 years. The official Honorary Naval Aviator Program was initiated in 1949 to honor individuals for certain extraordinary contributions and/or outstanding performance for service to Naval Aviation. In recognition of their service, an Honorary Naval Aviator designation is bestowed on the individual with the right to wear the "Wings of Gold." The honor designating an individual an Honorary Naval Aviator has not been bestowed lightly. Individuals who have received the honor include Jackie Cooper (#7), VADM Hyman Rickover (#8, father of the nuclear Navy), R.G. Smith (#11, the dean of Naval Aviation artists), Robert Osborne (#14, artist, creator of Dilbert and Gampaw Pettibone), General Jimmy Doolittle (#17), Bob Hope (#19), and Ed Heinemann (#20, designer of a generation of Douglas carrier-based aircraft).

Hank Caruso (4th from left) is designated as Honorary Naval Aviator #27 at the 50th Tailhook Symposium. VADM Wally Massenburg (2nd from left) holds the original Aerocature™ that was presented to Banquet Speaker Senator John McCain. VADM Jim Zortman (far right) holds Hank's original 50th Anniversary Tailhook art, which was presented to Vice Chief of Naval Operations VADM Robert "Rat" Willard.

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