Major Dominic Salvatore Gentile

12/16/1920 - 1/28/1951

Inducted 2003

Major Dominic Salvatore Gentile was a World War II fighter pilot dubbed a “one man air force” by General Eisenhower and called “Captain Courageous” by President Roosevelt. He volunteered in the Royal Canadian Air Force at the outset of the war, and by war’s end had flown 188 combat missions with 20 confirmed kills and one of the most outstanding records in the annals of aerial warfare. Major Gentile won two Distinguished Flying Crosses, a British Distinguished flying Cross, the Belgian Croix de Guerre and the French Croix de Guerre, the Military Order of Italy and numerous other awards. In 1995 he was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of Fame. This Piqua native’s reputation for integrity and exceptionally high moral standards made him a national role model. After the war, Major Gentile was assigned to Wright–Patterson Air Force Base as a test pilot. He was killed in the crash of a jet fighter. The former Gentile Air Station in Kettering was named in his honor.