Honoring Bleckley at Eisenhower National Airport

Few airports have the privilege to honor a local Medal of Honor recipient and their ties to aviation—currently only Chicago for Eddie ‘Butch’ O’Hare and Phoenix for Frank Luke have done so. Wichita has the chance to do likewise.

We have the opportunity that will never pass our way again. One that few American cities will ever have, and which fits perfectly with our city’s aviation heritage. The world’s only original airworthy DH-4 World War I aircraft is coming home to Wichita for repair and restoration to flying status. It is identical in make, model and markings to the aircraft in which Bleckley flew during his last flight. Bleckley and this aircraft are Wichita’s most significant contribution to its World War I aviation history.

This aircraft was restored to the exact specifications of the aircraft that Bleckley flew on his Medal of Honor mission. The original owners goal was to fly this biplane to honor those brave pilots from World War I. However, on May 2nd, the entire mission for this historic aircraft changed. During its initial test flight, the DH-4 was airborne, experienced control issues, suffered a hard landing and incurred some structural damage. We have signed the contract to buy this aircraft.



Erwin Bleckley, Wichita's aviation hero

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