Four New TAHOF Members Inducted April 19

R. Walter Cunningham-photo courtesy TAHOF

Four new members will be inducted into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame (TAHOF) on April 19. Colleen C. Barrett, R. Walter Cunningham (posthumously), Wally Funk, and Heather Wilson comprise the TAHOF Class of 2024. The esteemed group will be officially inducted at the 2024 TAHOF Induction Ceremony and luncheon, held at the Lone Star Flight Museum at Houston’s Ellington Airport.

Douglas H. Owens, Lieutenant General (ret), and President & CEO of the museum, said, “We are thrilled about these four worthy individuals going into the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. Supporters of the Hall of Fame are who make this ceremony possible for these amazing people. We are excited to honor all of them.”

TAHOF History

The Texas Aviation Hall of Fame was established in 1995 through a resolution by the 74th Texas Legislature and signed by then Gov. George W. Bush. Its purpose is to honor and recognize Texans and Texas companies or organizations that have made significant and lasting contributions to the advancement of aviation. There are currently 93 individuals and groups in the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame. Its four categories include trailblazers and explorers, wartime aviators, leaders, and entrepreneurs and innovators.

The 2024 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame inductees join an impressive list of members representing trailblazers and explorers like Bessie Coleman and Wiley Post; and leaders like Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. World War II aviators Tex Hill, the Doolittle Raiders, Tuskegee Airmen, and Women Airforce Service Pilots are also members. Astronauts Eileen Collins, Joe Engle, and Gene Cernan; and entrepreneurs Howard Hughes and Rod Lewis are also TAHOF members.

2024 Inductees

2024 TAHOF members
Colleen Barrett photo courtesy TAHOF

Colleen C. Barrett served as President of Southwest Airlines from 2001 to 2008 as the first female president of a major airline. Her business savvy and genuine heart for others laid the foundation for Southwest Airlines’ one-of-a-kind culture and legendary customer service. R. Walter Cunningham (1932-2023) served his country as a United States Marine Corps fighter pilot in Korea before traveling to space as an Apollo 7 astronaut and leading NASA’s Astronaut Offices’ Skylab branch until 1971.

TAHOF inductee 2024
Wally Funk photo courtesy TAHOF

Wally Funk is a trailblazer as a member of the Mercury 13 “Women in Space” program. She was the first female FAA flight inspector and National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator, and the oldest woman to fly in space. Heather Wilson was the 24th Secretary of the Air Force. She also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and is currently the President of the University of Texas at El Paso. To learn more about the 2024 Texas Aviation Hall of Fame inductees, visit

Lone Star Flight Museum (LSFM)

The 501c3 aviation museum and STEM learning center’s mission is to celebrate flight and achievements in Texas aviation as well as educate and engage our youth through science, technology, engineering and math. In addition to the Texas Aviation Hall of Fame, the 130,000 square foot museum is home to a flying collection of rare and historic commercial, general aviation and military aircraft. Guests can experience the wonder of flight in a warbird ride and get hands-on in the high-tech Aviation Learning Center and Flight Academy. Multiple public and STEM-focused education programs create an unforgettable museum experience for visitors of all ages. LSFM is open Tues.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday 12 noon-5 p.m. Tickets start at $12 with senior and military discounts, and memberships are also available.