Willis M. "Buster" Boshears, Jr.

Lt. Col. Willis M."Buster" Boshears, Jr. (1944 - )

Willis M. Boshears, Jr. (Buster) was born in Augusta, Ga in 1944. He graduated from high school in 1962 and the University of Georgia with a BBA in 1966. He learned to fly at Daniel Field, soloing at 16 and by the age of 19 had a Commercial license and was a flight instructor. He had three careers in aviation; military, general aviation and airport management. He joined the Air Force in February 1967 and received his commission through Officer Training School. He attended Air Force flight training at Moody AFB receiving his wings in May 1968. He received the Flying Training Award for his class. His first assignment was to fly the F-105 and after training was assigned to the 357 TFS at Takhli RTAFB, Thailand where he flew 114 combat missions and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Air Medal. He was a volunteer for a second combat tour, came back for F4 training and was assigned to the 497TFS at Ubon RTAFB, Thailand where he flew 226 combat missions, the last 80 in the Wolf FAC program. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross 3 times on his second tour. His next assignment was an instructor in the F4 at Luke AFB, in March 1973, he was able to transfer his military commitment to the Air Force Reserve where he spent the next 23 years flying the F-105, F4, and the F-16. He served as a Flight Commander, Squadron Ops Officer, Squadron Commander, Group Deputy Commander for Operations and Wing Vice Commander, retiring in 1996. After leaving active duty in the Air Force, he came back to Augusta to work with his father and uncle in the FBO business at Daniel Field. He started as a flight instructor and charter pilot later becoming chief pilot and chief flight instructor when his uncle retired. He was a FAA Designated Pilot Examiner and conducted more than a thousand pilot flight tests. After the death of his father in 1981, he became President of Augusta Aviation Inc. and operated the business until selling it in 1991. He was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Georgia Aviation Trades Association in 1975 and twice served as its chairman. His last aviation career began in March 1997 when he was hired by the City of Augusta as the Daniel Field Airport Manager, a position he held until his retirement in February 2010. In addition, from 2003 to 2008 he also served as the Airport Director of the Augusta Regional Airport at Bush Field. During his time as an airport manager he oversaw numerous airport improvement projects, the largest being the construction of a new airline passenger terminal at Bush Field. He served on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Airports Association and in 2009 was awarded the James Stogner Award for his service on the board.

 

In recognition of his distinguished career as a Military Aviator, FBO President, and Airport Manager, Col. Willis M. “Buster” Boshears, Jr. was enshrined into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame on April 18, 2015.