Surrounded by 20 members of his family, Col. George Lodge was inducted into the Commemorative Air Force Hall of Fame on Sat. March 1. The induction ceremony was held at the CAF headquarters in Midland, Texas. Also on hand were more than 250 CAF members and staff.
“As a Colonel (of CAF) of over 26 years, I have had the honor of serving the mission of the Commemorative Air Force which is ‘Honoring American Military Aviation Through Flight, Exhibition and Remembrance,’ and I am thrilled and honored to be selected to be inducted to the Hall of Fame,” Lodge said.
Although Lodge was not in the Air Force, he served with the US Army Infantry ROTC at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA from 1949 to 1954. Commissioned 2nd Lt. upon graduation with BS in Co-op Bus. Adm. June ’54, Lodge served two years in West Germany at Butzbach north of Frankfurt in the 1st Bn 8th US Regt. 4th Infantry Div. as Weapons Platoon Leader, CHARLIE CO. He rose to 1st Lt. as 1st Bn. Communication Officer. In 1956, Lodge transferred to 39th Regt. 9th Inf. Div. as second in command moving the regiment back to America under Operation Gyroscope during the Cold War.
Lodge has had a life-long passion for flying. During Officer School at Ft. Bennington, Lodge said he wanted to fly Army L-19s, but his training officer told him he wasn’t a good candidate because he wore glasses.
He fulfilled his passion by joining the Frontiers of Flight Museum as board member in 1989 and serving as Executive Director until he turned 70 in 2001. Presently, Lodge is a member of the Advisory Board for History of Aviation Collection at University of Texas Dallas.
“I love to fly. I’ve had some great experiences,” Lodge said. “And my passion for this flying museum comes from wanting to tell four generations since the ‘Greatest Generation’ why they have the freedom they have today. Freedom is not free.”
The CAF is a nonprofit aviation association dedicated to honoring American Military Aviation through flight, exhibition and remembrance, by maintaining a flying museum of military aircraft.
The CAF Hall of Fame was established in 2010 to honor members who have made significant contributions toward the “success and worldwide impact” of CAF. Two living
Col. Lodge and his wife Bobbie reside in McKinney.