February 25, 2024

Rita D. (Pratte) Alderson receives Galkin Award in honor of her Uncle Capt. Charles F. Pratte, Jr.

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Rita D. (Pratte) Alderson was awarded the Galkin Award in honor of her uncle, Capt. Charles F. Pratte, Jr. He was a pilot in the 7th Army Air Forces, 11th Bomb Group (H), 42 Squadron based in the Pacific. Although being an excellent pilot, on January 22, 1945, he and his crew went missing during a mission to ChiChi Jima.

The reason for the Galkin Award, is to acknowledge his WWII notoriety in landing his B-24 Bomber with the aid of parachutes which he ordered his crew to attach to the bomber and to then billow out to aid in slowing down the speed of his aircraft after a brutal air battle resulting in over 300 bullet holes in his bomber according to Air Force documents.

The Galkin Award is given annually by the RI Aviation Hall of Fame, to someone who was born in or educated in RI, and whose contribution to aviation included an advancement of the field, be it through technology, design, implementation, exploration, bold initiative and/or risk-taking. This award, established in 2017, was established in honor of long-time contributors to this organization, Robert and Warren Galkin.

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