3 aviation pioneers to be honored with statues

A proposed project will honor three Troy aviation pioneers with eight-foot statues to be placed on property adjacent to the original Waco airfield north of the Great Miami River .

The Troy Aviation Heroes Statue Project would recognize Clayton Brukner, Robert N. Hartzell and Nancy Currie-Gregg with sculptures by Mike Major of Urbana.

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Brukner and Hartzell are inductees in the National Aviation Hall of Fame while Currie-Gregg is a Troy High School graduate and a NASA astronaut who flew on the space shuttle.

The statues would be placed on city park land immediately north of the senior citizens center and west of North Market Street.

Robert Hartzell founded the Hartzell Walnut Propeller Company in 1917 and served as president until his passing in 1968.

Brukner was one of the founders of the company that became the Waco Aircraft Company. Waco was by the late 1920s the largest commercial builder of aircraft in the world.

Currie-Gregg still works with NASA in safety.

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The presentation was made by local attorney Bill McGraw; Tom Hartzell, son of Robert Hartzell; and Steve Bruns of Bruns General Construction during a joint meeting of the city park and recreation boards on Tuesday, Oct. 3.

“We hope this will serve as an inspiration to others,” McGraw said.

The project is being privately funded by The Acorn Society of The Troy Foundation along with other foundations.

The park board approved the site plan for the aviation heroes statue project.

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