Colonel Stanley N. Collins, Jr.
Patton
Lt. Col. Aldine "Al" Patton

Lt. Col. Aldine "Al"Patton (1923 - )

Lieutenant Colonel Aldine "AI" Patton was born in Morganton, North Carolina. In 1942, he was accepted as a U.S. Naval Aviation Cadet and graduated with class 43D at Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida. After transferring to the U.S. Marine Corps, he completed dive-bomber operational training in the Douglas SBD and was assigned to VMSB-344 flying the Curtiss SB2C Helldiver. Shortly before deploying to the Pacific, Patton became a member of the Caterpillar Club after he was forced to bail out of his plane due to a midair collision during a dive-bombing run. From 1944 until the end of the war, he flew combat missions in SBDs and SB2Cs. After the war, he remained in the Marine Corps Reserves flying F 4 U Corsairs, AD Skyraiders, FJ-4 Furys, and FOF Cougars with VMF-35, NAS Atlanta. Patton retired from the Reserves in 1965 with the rank of Lt. Colonel.

From 1955 to 1961, he was a contract flight instructor for the U.S. Air Force at Spence Air Force Base, Moultrie, Georgia. During this time, he designed and built the APF-l single place sport plane, one of the first home-builts to be designed and built in Georgia. In 1961, he moved to Augusta, Georgia, to work as an air traffic con­troller. Patton is widely known for his tireless efforts to promote sport aviation. In 1963, he founded EAA Chapter 172 in Augusta, serving as its first president and only technical counselor to date. He has designed, built, or restored over a dozen airplanes of his own, as well as having given much of his time assisting others with his knowledge, skills, and even materials to help them complete projects. He has performed the initial test flights on over thirty experimental aircraft. In 1975, Patton resurrected an abandoned airstrip to create a non­profit home for sport aviation in the Augusta area. This field has since moved to a larger site, home to over forty airplanes and to the EAA Chapter 172 with over 130 members. In 1993, he was honored as the Boshears Fly-In Aviator of the Year.  

For his skills as an aviator, his service to his country, and his contin­uous promotion of aviation, Lt. Colonel Aldine "AI" Patton was enshrined into the Georgia Aviation Hall of Fame on April 23, 2005.