Frank Borman

Image used with permission from the National Aviation Hall of Fame

Frank Borman

Frank Frederick Borman II was born in Gary, Indiana on March 14, 1928. He earned his pilot’s license at 15 after his interest in aviation was sparked by a Barnstorming flight in Dayton Ohio, airplane model-building and the book, “The Red Eagle.”  His high school graduation with honors led to his appointment to West Point where he graduated eighth in his class.  Mr. Borman chose an Air Force commission to pursue his love of flying. He received his wings in 1952 and spent much of his military career flying F-80, F-84 and T-33 aircraft as an instructor pilot.

After earning Masters of Aeronautical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology in 1957, Frank joined the West Point faculty to teach thermodynamics and fluid dynamics.  He was accepted to the Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base where he flew an F-104 Starfighter to over 90,000 feet. Fate would take him even higher. In 1962, he was selected as a NASA astronaut for the Gemini program.

In 1966, Bowman commanded Gemini 7 setting a fourteen-day orbital endurance record while also completing the first space rendezvous with Gemini 6. For his efforts, Borman was awarded the NASA Exceptional Service Medal and promoted to colonel, making him the youngest colonel in the Air Force.

His NASA career continued into the Apollo program where he commanded Apollo 8 in December 1968. On that flight, he and fellow astronauts James Lovell and William Anders became the first humans to leave Earth’s gravity and the first to orbit the Moon.

Col. Borman retired from NASA and the Air Force in 1970 to join Eastern Airlines as Vice President of Operations. He was eventually named CEO and, later, Chairman of the Board, resigning in 1986.

In 1998, Col. Borman moved to a cattle ranch in Montana, where he currently resides. 

His awards include the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, the USAF Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, the 1965 Harmon Trophy (shared with James Lovell), the Collier Trophy (shared with James Lovell and Bill Anders) and the Legion of Merit, among others. He was inducted into both the National Aviation Hall of Fame and the International Space Hall of Fame in 1982.

For extraordinary achievement and service to aviation, Indiana, the nation, and the world, and for his service to the country, Frank Borman II is inducted into the Indiana Aviation Hall of Fame the 8th day of July 2020.