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Additional Images
Primary Object
The Famous Fliers' Wall
Artifact Attributes
The Famous Fliers Wall is located at the southwest corner of the St. Francis Atrio at the Mission Inn
Thyrsis Field and others unknown
Title/Object Name
The International Shrine of Aviators
1932 to present
Concrete walls with copper wings and other plaques attached
To Come
Artifact Descriptions
Mission Inn owner Frank Miller had the Saint Francis Chapel built to hold the extraordinary Reyes Altar and Louis Comfort Tiffany windows. The chapel and atrio (atrium or patio) were dedicated as The International Shrine for Aviators on December15, 1932. A copper plaque mounted on the wall to the left of the chapel doors gives the date of the dedication. The plaque is surrounded by copper wings, each dedicated to an individual or a group of liers. The copper wings are 14 inches wide.
Artifact Origin Map
Riverside, California
The Collections Aviation | International Shrine of the Aviator - The Famous Flier’s Wall
The International Shrine of Aviators - The Famous Flier’s Wall

Updated: October 5, 2006

rank Miller had the Saint Francis Chapel built within the Mission Inn to hold the extraordinary Reyes Altar and Louis Comfort Tiffany stained glass windows. The chapel and atrio were dedicated as the International Shrine of Aviators on December 15, 1932, as noted on a copper plaque to the left of the chapel doors. The words "Francis of Assisi Lover of Birds and Birdmen Patron Saint" festoon a double cross there. Mr. Miller’s chapel thus became a symbol of hope and protection for all who take to the air.

The plaque on the Famous Fliers' Wall is surrounded by 151 pairs of 10-inch copper wings, each dedicated to an individual or a group of fliers. General H.H. “Hap” Arnold, Major General Robert Olds, Amelia Earhart, James H. Doolittle, General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Brigadier General Chuck Yeager, Mercury astronaut and Senator John Glenn, John K. Northrup, General Curtis LeMay, Jacqueline Cochran, Captain Eddie Rickenbacker, Charles Lindbergh, the MIA – POWs (whose copper wings are wrapped in barbed wire), Orville Wright, the WASPs (Women's Army Service Pilots), and Medal of Honor Aviators are among those honored. The Wall has created a true sense of community among fliers – not all military and not all men.

Online Links & Resources

National Aviation Hall of Fame
Learning Lab for Science, Technology and Research
Arnold Air Society National Website
San Diego Aerospace Museum
Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum
March Field Museum

Selected Bibliography

Parks, Walter P. (1986). The Famous Fliers’ Wall of the Mission Inn Orange, California. Infinity Press, 2004; Rubidoux Printing.

Meilinger, Colonel Phillip S. (1997). American Airpower Biography: A Survey of the Field. Maxwell Air Force Base, AL: Air University Press.

Individual Aviators

Armstrong, Brigadier Frank A., Awake the Sleeping Giant this has not been published (located in the library of East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina)

Hap Arnold
Thomas M. Coffey's. (1982). Hap: The Story of the US Air Force and the Man Who Built It. New York: Viking Press.

Arnold, General H. H. (1949). “Hap”Global Mission. New York: Harper and Row.

Lowell Thomas and Edward Jablonski. (1976). Doolittle: A Biography. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday.

Glines, Carroll V. (1972). Jimmy Doolittle: Daredevil Aviator and Scientist. New York: Macmillan.

Dootlittle, James and Carroll V. Glines. (2001). I Could Never Be So Lucky Again An Authobiography. New York: Bantam.

Parton, James. (1986). Air Force Spoken Here: General Ira Eaker and the Command of the Air. Bethesda, MD: Adler & Adler.

Shiner, John F. (1984). Foulois and the U.S. Army Air Corps, 1931-1935. (Washington, D.C.: Office of Air Force History.

Foulois, Major General Benjamin D. (1968). From the Wright Brothers to the Astronauts. New York: McGrawHill.

Coffey, Thomas M. (1986). Iron Eagle: The Turbulent Life of General Curtis LeMay. New York: Crown Publishers.

Patrick, Major General Mason M. (1928). The United States in the Air. Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, Doran, and Co.

Bingle, Bruce A. (1981). Building the Foundation: Major General Mason Patrick and the Army Air Arm, 1921-1927. Unpublished master thesis, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH.

Mets, David R. (1988). Master of Airpower: General Carl A. Spaatz. Novato, CA: Presidio Press.

Davis, Richard G. (1992). Carl A. Spaatz and the Air War in Europe. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

McCarley, J. Britt. (1989). General Nathan Farragut Twining: The Making of a Disciple of American Strategic Air Power, 1897-1953. Philadelphia, PA.: Temple University.

Vandenberg, Hoyt S. (1989). Hoyt S. Vandenberg: The Life of a General. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.

Reynolds, Jon A. Reynolds. (1980). Education and Training for High Command: Hoyt S. Vandenberg's Early Career. Durham, NC: Duke University.


Faulkner, William and Frank Faulkner. (1990). Westover: Man, Base and Mission. Springfield, MA: Hungry Hill Press.




Koestler-Grack, Rachel. (2003). Eddie Rickenbacker (Famous Flyers). Chelsea House Publications.

Rickenbacker, Eddie. (1943). Seven Came Through. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, Doran.

Rickenbacker, Edward V. (1967). Rickenbacker: an Autobiography. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc.


Aldebol, Tony. (2001). Army Air Force and United States Air Force Decorations, Medals, Ribbons, Badges and Insignia, 1941-1997.   New York: Penguin Books.

Borts, Lawrence H. (1998). U.S. Military Medals 1939 to Present. Fountain Inn, SC: Medals of America Press. s

Maguire, Jon A. (1994). Silver Wings, Pinks and Greens: Uniforms, Wings & Insignia of USAAF Airmen in World War II. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing.


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