Tuesday, September 11, 2012


Neil Armstrong passed away on August 25th at age 82.  I don't think he and Caniff ever met, but their stories managed to intersect in other ways.  It's no surprise that this aviation legend would have connections to Milton Caniff, aviation's biggest booster and enthusiast.  Like Caniff, Armstrong was born and raised in Ohio.  Both were Eagle Scouts, and later each received the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award.  Above is the official portait of Neil Armstrong in the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF).  I recommend a visit to the Hall in Dayton to see this and the other portaits of the enshrinees.  The majority of them are by Caniff, who did the portaits up until his death in 1988.  

The NAHF also annually dedicates the Milton Caniff Spirit of Flight Award to an organization that has made sustained, significatnt contibutions to aviation and the space program. In 2004, the award was given to the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA), with Neil Armstrong as presenter.

Dr. Russell Rayman and Dr. Melchor Antunano of the AsMA with the award.

In 2009, the Spirit of Flight Award was given to the Apollo Astronaut Crews, resulting in a rare reunion of 12 Apollo astronauts, Armstrong included.

The Apollo Astronauts (Armstrong 4th from right)

This is one of my favorite pieces by Caniff.  It's an envelope cachet for the launch of the Apollo 11 commemorative stamp.  I've tried for years to get more information on the background of this piece, without much luck.  If any philatelists can clue me in, I'd love to hear from you!

Neil photo by Ron Kaplan
Drs. by John Shannon

photo by Robert Cunningham
Armstrong 4th from right
July 17, 2009

More information on Spirit of Flight

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