1996 HALL OF FAME WINNER Dominick Salvatore “Don” Gentile (1920 – 1951) Gentile was born in Piqua and at the age of twenty joined the Royal Canadian Air Force prior to America’s entry into World War II. While serving with the Eagle Squadron of the Royal Air Force in England, he shot down his first Nazi aircraft. After America’s entry into the war, he became the commander of the 336th Squadron of the Army Air Force. He became one of the dominant flying aces in the European Theater, flying 182 combat missions and earning the title of Ace for destroying twenty-eight enemy aircraft. He was called “Captain Courageous by President Roosevelt and “a one man Air Force” by General Eisenhower. Gentile was inducted into the National Aviation Hall of fame in 1995.