Coleman the 2023 Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame inductee

    (Riverton, WY) – The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame and the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission have named Thomas H. “Tim” Coleman the 2023 inductee into the Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame. Awarded posthumously, Coleman is recognized for his many efforts to advance aviation in central Wyoming by providing vital air service to the area for nearly 50 years.

    Soon after arriving in Riverton in 1948, Coleman purchased his first Piper Super Cub and created an airstrip on his farm in Hidden Valley. It is believed that in 1957, he established Coleman Flying Service and operated from his airstrip. In about 1959, he purchased a large hangar at the Riverton Airport and expanded his operation as a Fixed-base operator. Services included aircraft maintenance and mechanical, charter flights, crop spraying, aerial photography and surveying, air ambulance service, and search and rescue, including in the rugged terrain of the Wind River Range. He was also a certified flight instructor and an authorized Cessna aircraft dealer.  

    Coleman was an active member of the Flying Farmers and Ranchers Association and held numerous positions with the Wyoming chapter, including being elected vice-president in 1957 and president in 1959. Coleman also was the airport manager at Lander from 1961-1962. His aerial spraying included crop spraying for area farmers as well as mosquito spraying for the local municipalities. Coleman was actively involved in predator control throughout his flying career in several counties, including Fremont, Natrona, and Sweetwater. After selling his Flying Service business in August 1971, he continued to fly on contract with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyoming Game & Fish Department, and for Fremont County Predator Control, which, in 1994, awarded him for 43 years of dedicated flying for the organization.


    He was actively involved in the community, including hosting Air Education field trips for school students from around Fremont County, offering flights for kids, and participating in numerous organizations. He helped form the Riverton Sertoma Club; was a member of the Kiwanis Club, including serving as president; and was a member of the Riverton Chamber Commerce. He received the chamber’s Certificate of Appreciation for Meritorious Civic Service Award, and, in 1966, received the Industrial Achievement Award for his contributions in helping to develop industry in the area.

    Coleman was born on May 28, 1923, in Canadian, Texas. He was raised on the family dairy farm. He began flying in about 1938 and served in World War II as a pilot and flight instructor from 1941-1945. Coleman came to the Riverton area in 1948 after he was selected in a lottery for military veterans to receive a homestead settlement on Bureau of Reclamation Riverton Project land in the Hidden Valley north of Riverton. He logged around 30,000 hours of flying before selling his farm and retiring in Riverton in 1995. He and his wife Joyce had three children – Thomas, Sharon, and Kathy. He passed away on February 1, 2005.

    The Wyoming Aviation Hall of Fame was founded in 1995 as a non-profit, publicly supported, tax-exempt organization dedicated to honoring individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the establishment, development, and/or advancement of aviation in Wyoming. The organization comprises a board of directors and operates in conjunction with the Wyoming Aeronautics Commission. Board members include Kent Nelson, retired USAF colonel and former Wyoming Aeronautics Commissioner; Dean McClain, who operates an aerial spraying business in Torrington; and John Waggener, a University of Wyoming archivist and Wyoming transportation historian. For more information about the WAHF, to nominate an individual, or to make a donation, please contact WAHF President John Waggener, in Laramie, at 307-766-2563, or by email at [email protected]. Biographies of the inductees can be found on the WYDOT website.


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