Basil “BB” Smith


Organized in 1998, the original Oregon Aviation Hall of Fame was established by OAHS to honor those aviation pioneers who deserve special recognition for their contribution to aviation. Priority is given to those who hail from Oregon or made their contribution while a resident of the state.

We will be taking a weekly look at the members, beginning with the 2016 inductee:

Basil Burton Smith (1894-1977)

Basil first became interested in aviation while helping hold down a pusher type aircraft at the Multnomah County Fair in 1912. After high school, he joined the Naval Reserves and got his flight training at M.I.T. and the naval flight school at Pensacola. After WW I he worked as the Ground School Superintendent at the Rankin School of Flying (where he wrote the ground school training manual), then went to the Adcox Auto & Aviation Trade School as an instructor.

At Adcox, he designed several aircraft, including the Student Prince and the “Yellow Peril,” a racer built for the 1930 Cirrus Derby (which now hangs in the OAHS museum hangar!).

He also designed a variable orifice oleo shock absorber and served for a while on the Oregon State Board of Aeronautics. He rejoined the active reserves and during WWII was instrumental in designing the Naval Air Station at Pasco, WA, for which he was awarded the Legion of Merit. He was so good at airbase design that he was tasked with the design and consolidation of several air bases in the Philippines during the war.

If you would like to know more about the Oregon Aviation Hall of Fame or any of these aircraft please drop us a line at – Or come visit!

We are open Mon-Fri 10-3, 2475 Jim Wright Way, Cottage Grove, OR 97424

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