Boshears
Willis "Buster" Boshears

Willis "Buster"Boshears (1909 - 1981)

Willis M. "Buster" and Forrest E. Boshears

Willis M. "Buster" and Forrest E. Boshears grew up in the Tennessee community of Tiptonville. Both were employed by the Army Corps of Engineers, working on projects along the Mississippi Missouri Rivers. In 1935, Buster was transferred to Augusta, Georgia, where he worked on Corps projects until he resigned in 1942. Forrest left the Corps in 1938 and also moved to Augusta. Buster learned to fly in 1935, bought his first airplane in 1936, and by 1938 was a flight instructor at Daniel Field. He taught Forrest to fly in 1938. Buster entered the aviation business in 1940 when he became a partner in the fixed base operation (FBO) at North Augusta Airport. He became sole owner of the Augusta School of Aviation in 1942 and participated in the Civilian Pilot Training Program throughout World War II. Forrest began his aviation career as a flight instructor in 1940. During the war, he served as a civilian glider instructor for the Army Air Corps. Forrest joined Buster at the FBO in 1945 where they worked as a team until Buster's death in 1981. Forrest was appointed a Designated Pilot Examiner in 1948 and conducted pilot examinations until 1978. He continued to be an active flight instructor until his death in 1991. The Boshears brothers moved the FBO to Daniel Field in 1947 and in 1960 renamed it Augusta Aviation Inc., where it continues to operate. Buster and Forrest were part of a group of Georgia FBOs that kept general aviation alive in the state during the economic crisis that plagued the aviation industry in the 1950s. While they operated a full service FBO, they continued to function primarily as a flight school, turning out thousands of pilots and often teaching children and grandchildren of former students. The Boshears brothers worked for many years to convince Augusta's leaders of the value of Daniel Field as an in-town general aviation airport. Their efforts were rewarded in 1972 with the decision not to close Daniel Field and to make the needed improvements to the airport.

The Boshears Memorial Fly-In, founded in 1992, continues each year honoring their commitment to aviation. Willis M. "Buster" and Forrest E. Boshears, pioneers in general aviation, were enshrined in the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame April 29, 2000.