“NHA’s Most Worthwhile Endeavor.”
Captain Mark Starr Memorial Scholarship
The NHA Historical Society formerly known as Naval Helicopter Historical Society (NHHS) is proud to announce the establishment of the Captain Mark Starr Memorial Scholarship to be administered each year by the Naval Helicopter Association Scholarship Fund. Captain Starr left a legacy of service to the Naval Helicopter community both on active duty and in retirement. He was a true pioneer in the rotary wing community and worthy of lasting recognition
Mark Starr began a 34 year Navy career in 1942 as a dive bomber pilot. He served in the first Navy helicopter squadron and commanded several helicopter anti submarine squadrons over the years. He also served as Commander of the Anti-Submarine Warfare Wing, US Pacific Fleet and numerous duty stations including NAF Imperial Beach and NAB Coronado.
In 1952, Capt Starr formed an exhibition team of helicopter pilots in Pensacola, Florida that performed in air shows. He taught a radio/TV personality how to fly and dubbed him Celebrity Commander.
Capt. Starr graduated from the University of Southern California and the Naval War College. His pioneer spirit was instrumental in the founding of the Naval Helicopter Association where he became one of the early Executive Directors.
In 1978 a fire reduced the San Diego Aerospace Museum’s proud collection of aircraft and artifacts to rubble. Retired Navy Captain Mark Starr did more than restore the Museum, he decided that it would be a world class monument to the pioneers of aviation, and it did just that. He was instrumental in raising over $3 million by co-founding the Aerospace Museum Recovery Fund to rebuild the museum and the International Aerospace Hall of Fame at the Ford building in Balboa Park. Capt. Starr spearheaded efforts to select a professional designer to create the magnificent displays that characterize the rebuilt museum where the history of flight is depicted chronologically. The museum reopened in June 1980, where Capt. Starr served on the advisory board until 1985. Capt. Mark Starr passed away in January 1995.
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