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HAFB Unveils New Ployer P. Hill Exhibit for 75th Anniversary

A-10 Thunderbolt on the grounds of the Hill Aerospace Museum

Hill Air Force Base officials and local dignitaries unveiled the new Ployer P. Hill Exhibit Friday at the Hill Aerospace Museum. The ceremony marked the 75th anniversary of the base and honored its namesake. Aaron Clark is the museum historian. He says many people are unaware of the contribution to aviation made by Major “Pete” Hill.

“He is most well-known for his time as a test pilot actually. He flew nearly 60 aircraft and tested their serviceability and application for the Army Air Corp,” says Clark.

Major Hill died in 1935 from injuries sustained from a crash during a test flight. Clark says an exhibit about Major Hill has been a part of the museum display since it first opened in 1986, and it is fitting to expand it on the base’s anniversary.

“We wanted to give a complete story of his life that includes his family, the growth of aviation and the Army Air Corp,” Clark says, “the sacrifices he made, just a more in-depth story. It’s become the showcase of our lobby.”

Clark says they were honored to have the grandchildren of Hill on hand for the ceremony and share stories about him. The Hill Aerospace Museum is open most Monday through Saturdays. No special base pass is required and admission is free.

Bob Nelson is a graduate of the University of Utah with a BA in mass communications. He began his radio career at KUER in 1978 when it was still in Kingsbury Hall. That’s also where he met his wife, Maria Shilaos, in 1981. Bob left KUER for commercial radio where he worked for 25 years, and he is thrilled to be back at KUER. Bob and his family are part of an explorer group, fondly known as The Hordes and Masses, which has been seeking out ghost towns and little-known places in Utah for more than twenty years.
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