Hall of Fame Inductee

Herman R. "Fish" Salmon

Born: 07/11/1913 
Died: 06/22/1980
Inducted: 10/21/1995

Born in 1913 Herman Salmon took his first airplane ride at age 14 and four years later was a licensed pilot. In the 1930's Salmon flew as a barnstormer, parachute stuntman and race pilot. He was hired by Lockheed in 1940 to ferry Hudson bombers and then progressed to engineering test flights. He had a unique ability to handle troubled aircraft with a very sensitive touch on the controls.

Salmon performed spin tests on the P-38 Lightning, dive tests on the B-17 Flying Fortress and various flight tests on the F-90 and F-94C. As Lockheed's chief engineering test pilot he flew first flights on the P-3 Orion, the F-104 Starfighter, the XVF-1 Pogo Vertical Flyer and a modified F-80 with ram jets on the wing tips. He also flew certification flights on the 649 Constellation and 1049 Super Constellation.

He participated in the National Air Races conducted in Cleveland in 1947 through 1949, along with fellow Lockheed test pilot Tony LeVier.

The 1947 Goodyear heat had Bill Brennand finishing in first place in the Wittman Buster aircraft and Salmon finishing third in the Cosmic Wind Minnow. The Cosmic Wind aircraft were designed and built by a group of Lockheed employees. There were three Cosmic Winds - LeVier took 4th place in the second aircraft, Little Toni. The third Cosmic Wind was not finished until the following year.

The 1948 race had Salmon finishing in first place ahead of both Wittman and  Brennand. In 1949 Salmon finished fifth behind Brennand (first) and Wittman (third).

He retired from Lockheed in 1978 but continued to teach flight crews and ferry aircraft. Hired to ferry a Super Constellation from Columbus, IN to Alaska in 1980, Salmon, his flight engineer and another crew member lost their lives when the aircraft lost power during the takeoff. He had logged over 17,000 hours of flight time.

Salmon, a Fellow of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, was a recipient of the Goodyear Trophy for Speed Competition, the Kitty Hawk Memorial Award, the Billy Mitchell Award and two Caterpillar awards. In 1994 Salmon was inducted into the Aerospace Walk of Honor located in Lancaster, CA.

Samon performed as the Detroit Plummet when parachuting
Fish Salmon was known as "The Detroit Plummet" early in his air show career
(WAHF photo)

Tony LeVier (left) and Fish Salmon with F-104 in background
Lockheed test pilots Tony LeVier (left)
and Fish Salmon with F-104 in background
(courtesy Coralie Hewitt Tillack
Collection, CSUN)

Poddy Mercer (left) and Fish Salmon, Lockheed Air Terminal
Poddy Mercer (left) and Fish Salmon at Lockheed Air Terminal
(courtesy Coralie Hewitt Tillack
Collection, CSUN)

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