Arizona Aviation Hall of Fame
Ralph Vaughan was born in Merkel, Texas and spent much of his boyhood in Mexico and Southern California. He enlisted in the Signal Corps in 1917 and won his wings in France where he was an instructor. After the war, he established a flying school in Ontario, California. He pioneered photography from the air and flew in early motion pictures, in one of which he intentionally spun an aircraft into the ground. Moving to Globe, Arizona in 1929, Vaughan set up and operated Apache Airlines, Arizona’s first intra-state carrier service.
During the depression he made a living barnstorming but was recalled to active duty in 1940. He flew production acceptance tests on Stearman trainers and eventually Superfortresses. Vaughan retired at Davis-Monthan AFB in 1958 as a Colonel. He amassed the astounding total of over 15,400 flying hours in his lifetime.
Pima Air & Space Museum