2020 GAAHOF Inductees

Meet the 2020 GAAHOF Inductees

Capt. James John Hoogerwerf, Ph.D.

1943 -

James "Jim" Hoogerwerfwas born Dec 25, ’43 in Detroit, MI. During WWII his father supervised the manufacturing of Pratt & Whitney R-2800. After the war in ’49 his father transferred to Paris. Jim's first flight at age six was a Lockheed 049. This passenger liner made a lasting impression. Growing up Jim flew in the DC-3, DC-6B, Boeing Stratocruiser, Vickers Viscount, Bristol Britannia, Sud Aviation Caravelle, DC-8, Boeing 707 and others.

Jim graduated from the International School in the Netherlands in ’62 and earned a degree in International Affairs at George Washington University.  Jim joined the AF ROTC as an aviation cadet and soloed in a Cessna 150D with 8:35 hours in his log book. He earned his private pilot license under a contract with the AF. Upon graduation in ’66 he was commissioned to 2nd Lt in the USAF.

Jim reported to Webb AFB for flight training and flew the T-41, T-37, & the supersonic T-38 Talon. After earning wings, Jim transitioned to the Lockheed C-130 and was assigned to the 773rd Tactical Airlift Squadron, 463rd Tactical Airlift Wing, in the Philippines. The wing was tasked to support the Vietnam airlift. From May ’68 - May ’70 he flew over 1100 sorties & more than 900 combat hrs. He upgraded to aircraft commander in-theater & completed his tour in command of his own airplane & crew in the war zone. He was assigned to Pope AFB & flew rotations to Europe in support of USAFE requirements. These included Berlin Corridor missions & Red Cross relief flights to Amman, Jordan during operation Fig Hill. He instructed Vietnam bound C-130 pilots on tactical procedures used in-country. Jim’s decorations include the DFC, 6 Air Medals, & Vietnam Service Medal with 5 battle stars.

Jim was hired as a Delta Air Lines pilot in ’72 & Atlanta based his entire career. He served as a flight engineer on the Convair 880, Boeing 727, and DC-8; copilot on the DC-9, Boeing 727, & Lockheed L-1011; Captain on the MD-88, Boeing 757, & 767.

He soon earned a seaplane rating & bought a 1980 Cessna 172 which he leased back to his brother. With the money from the sale of the 172, Jim bought N5954T, the Cessna 150 he had soloed in ’65. It was restored to its original appearance and based at Mathis Airport, GA until it closed in 2014. He retired two years early as an international Boeing 767ER Captain in December 2001 with over 20,000 hours logged to pursue a Doctoral degree in the history of technology program at Auburn University.

While flying over the Mississippi Delta a senior captain made the comment, there’s Monroe, where Delta got its start.”  A few years later Auburn University history professors Lewis & Newton wrote Delta: The History of an Airline. A complimentary copy was presented to employees to commemorate Delta's 50th. In Delta, Lewis and Newton situate the early years of the airline in the context of the industry as a whole. To understand the details of Delta's origins, researching its early history became a hobby and Jim pursued his quest while an active pilot on off days or while away on trips. He bid for rotations with overnights in states along Delta's original “Trans Southern route” SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, and TX.

Jim looked for information in any city with a Delta connection: Ogdensburg, New York, Tallulah, Louisiana, Atlanta and Macon, Georgia, and many others. He traveled thousands of miles and spent hundreds of hours discovering and reviewing primary source materials. Jim visited the Harl V. Brackin Library at the Museum of Flight in WA and, on the east coast, the NY Public Library. In Lima he studied at the Biblioteca Nacional del Peru and in Santiago the Biblioteca Nacional de Chile. Closer to home, he spent countless hours in the Delta Corporate Archives.

With the knowledge he gained, Dr. Lewis encouraged Jim to apply to Auburn. He began his studies in 2002 and was awarded his Ph.D. in 2010. The title of his dissertation is Roots: From Crop Duster to Airline, The Origins of Delta Air Lines to World War II, telling the story of how Delta began as the result of an incremental and evolutionary process involving many individuals. He is continuing his research with the intention of writing a book on Delta’s early years.

Jim was admitted as an honorary member to the Academia De Historia Aernautica Del Peru for his research on Peruvian aviation history. Jim composed his own poem, The Allure of Flight, about man’s yearning for flight. He wrote aviation and historic related articles for the Southern Aviator & Delta Golden Wings. Book reviews for Technology & Culture..

Jim is a life member of the Atl Vietnam Veterans Business Assoc. He guest lectures college classes & informal groups. He mentors students in the Newnan HS Vietnam War history class, participates in the EAA Young Eagles program, and helps Boy Scouts earn their aviation merit badge. He served as secretary of the Delta Golden Wings committee which reunites retired Delta pilots. Jim accompanied his brother on 4 trips to Arusha, Tanzania to assist in conducting voluntarily inspections on 2 US registered Cessna 206s operated by the Flying Medical Service. This humanitarian service takes nurses & doctors on clinics at remote airfields in the Serengeti. An estimated 20,000 Maasai patients are treated each year.

Duane Huff

Duane Huff’s first airplane flight was in a Ford Tri-Motor at age 8. As a teenager, he flew in several aircraft including a Piper Cub, Aeronca Champ, BT-13 and the Aeronca Chief.

In 1950, Duane married Montess. Their future was spent pursuing music and aviation. They moved to GA in 1954 and in 1958, Duane started teaching General Science 6th - 8th Grade. He developed a Choral Program at Bethesda School which continued for 6.5 yrs. Duane was asked to develop an Elementary Music Program for 18 schools which lasted 7 yrs.

He directed the Band & Chorus program for 2 years at Berkmar HS and conducted the choral curriculum for 15 yrs. He has been the Minister of Music for 5 churches.

Duane resumed flying lessons in 1966 at the Gwinnett Airport. In 1967 he soloed in his Aeronca Chief and received his Private Pilot’s License on 9/12/70.

In 1984, he became a member of Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 690, at Briscoe Field, Lawrenceville, GA. He was President of the chapter for two terms and VP for one term. During his years as a teacher, Duane conducted tours of the airport, and offered presentations of his aircraft. In 1988, Duane retired from teaching. Currently he serves as a Mentor in EAA 690’s Youth Build Program

Between ’89–’95, he totally rebuilt his Aeronca Chief and in 1992, EAA instituted their Young Eagle Rally Program (YERP) to introduce youth to aviation by offering them free flights. Duane became the YERP Coordinator for EAA 690 in 1994. He still holds that position. Hundreds of Scouts, Sea Cadets, and youth have created dreams with the YERP.

In March 1994, Duane chaired a committee from EAA 690 for a Young Eagle Rally that flew 635 Young Eagles, in one day. He still maintains the Coordinator position, having personally flown over 800 Young Eagles, as of 2018.

The EAA developed the Eagle Flight Program for older individuals. Duane was pleased to fly the first participant since its inception. He still serves intermittently on the BOD and BOT.

In 2000, Duane became Gwinnett County’s Airport Representative for those wanting to visit the airport. He has conducted site tours for over 7000 + children and over 2000 adults.

Since Duane became a Chapter member, he has served as president for two-2 year terms and vice president for one-2 year term.

He serves on BOT and BOD for 690. He assists as Mentor in the Youth Build Program that the chapter has initiated in the last 6 years.


  • An AOPA Member since 1980.
  • Member of EAA & EAA Chapter 690 since 1984.
  • Member of Vintage Aircraft Association since 1991.
  • In 1995 and 1997, EAA Judges presented The Outstanding Aeronca Chief Award at Oshkosh Fly-Ins.
  • In 1996, he received Classic Grand Champion at Sun n Fun, and at the Southeast Regional Fly-In in 2002.
  • In 2003 he was awarded the EAA Major Achievement Award at Air Venture, Oshkosh for Outstanding Service to EAA and Recreational Aviation.
  • In 2007, Duane was recipient of the EAA International Award for Young Eagle Chapter Coordinator of the Year.

Major General Perry McCoy Smith, Jr.

1934 -

Born into a military family at West Point in 1934, Smith travelled extensively as an “Army brat”. ON 7 December 1941, he was on the way to Sunday School in the back on an Army truck. At 7:50 AM that fateful morning, the truck was stopped as it approached the main gate of an Army post near Hickam Field. Six-year-old Perry McCoy Smith Jr. witnessed the attack on Hawaii as the truck raced around Honolulu returning the children to their homes. It was Smith’s first experience with aviation—in this case, Japanese warplanes.

A retired major general, Smith served for 30 years in the U. S. Air Force. During his career he had a number of leadership experiences, including command of the F-15 fighter wing at Bitburg, Germany where he provided leadership to 4000 personnel. Later, he served as the top Air Force planner and as the commandant of the National War College.

Smith’s total number of flying hours as a pilot (mostly in fighter aircraft: F-84, F-100, F-4 and F-15). is 3400  He flew 180 combat missions in the F-4D aircraft over North Vietnam and Laos during the Vietnam War. He was a member of the following fighter squadrons, 10th, 615th, 612th, 555thand the following fighter wings. 50th, 401st, 432ndand 36th.  Smith is the recipient of two distinguished flying crosses, ten air medals and the bronze star. Other awards include the distinguished service medal, defense distinguished service medal and two legions of merit. 

A graduate of the U. S. Military Academy at West Point, he later earned his Ph.D. in International Relations from Columbia University. At West Point, he played on the varsity lacrosse team—earning All American honors (second team) his senior year. 

Smith’s published books include Rules and Tools for Leaders, Assignment Pentagon, and Courage, Compassion, Marine: The Unique Story of Jimmie Dyess. The latter book is a biography of Smith’s father in law--the only person to have earned America's two highest awards for heroism, the Medal of Honor and the Carnegie Medal.

With more than 350,000 copies in print, Rules and Tools for Leaders, is his most popular book list. Assignment Pentagon is a substantive guide on how to deal with and operate in the Pentagon.

Since 2015 Smith and videographer Mark Albertin have produced four DVDs: Twice a Hero: The Jimmie Dyess Story. When Duty Calls: The Life and Legacy of Don Hollered. Dr. Hervey Cleckley: A Man for All Seasons. and Flying Combat with the Triple Nickel.

In 2011, The General Perry Smith Parkway near the Augusta Regional Airport was dedicated. Smith received this honor largely because of his fund-raising efforts in the Augusta area.

IN 1959 Smith married the talented Connor Cleckley Dyess, the daughter of Marine Lieutenant Colonel Jimmie Dyess. Connor was eight years old when her father was killed in the Marshall Islands in Febraury,1944. The Smith’s have two children, McCoy and Serena, and four grandchildren, Dyess, Porter, Perry IV and Jacob.