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Honoring Three of EAA’s Finest at The Gathering

July 25, 2018 - James C. Ray, Clay Lacy, and Dave Lau will all be honored at The Gathering Thursday night at 5:30 p.m. at the Eagle Hangar for their generous donations of their time, talents, and charitable support to some of EAA’s most notable programs.

James served as a B-17 command pilot with the 8th Air Force, 447th Bomb Group, based in Rattlesden, England, during World War II, and was awarded the Air Medal and Distinguished Flying Cross, with Oak Leaf Clusters, for his service. James has regularly supported many aviation organizations, including EAA. The construction of the Air Academy Lodge and the success of the Air Academy program were both propelled by James’ contributions.

Clay enjoyed a 41-year career as a pilot with United Airlines, which began in 1952. He’s logged more than 50,000 flight hours across more than 300 aircraft types, and has more miles flying jet aircraft than anyone on Earth. His Astrovision camera system has been used on more than 2,000 film projects. Clay has also supported EAA and its education programs since the late 1980s, including a scholarship program that allows University of North Dakota students to spend a summer in Oshkosh gaining flight experience and serving as Air Academy counselors.

Dave first learned to fly in a Piper J-3 Cub — like so many before and after him did — and his connection with EAA began with a chance meeting with founder Paul Poberezny in the mid-1960s on the south side of Milwaukee. Dave flew a North American T-6 Texan (that he later donated to EAA), a Beechcraft Bonanzo, and a Daher TBM, the latter two for corporate and leisure travel. Dave has supported EAA through contributions to the development of Compass Hill, the Young Eagles program, exhibit areas in the museum, and flight simulators.

All three men will be recognized at The Gathering, an evening dedicated to the importance of personal aviation, which celebrates the people who make it happen, all while raising funds to support EAA’s educational programs.

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