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WV Department of Transportation

Captain Jon A. McBride

Captain Jon A. McBride Year Inducted: 2014


  • US Navy Fighter Pilot – 64 Combat Missions
  • Became NASA Astronaut in 1979
  • Lead Chase Pilot - Maiden Voyage of Columbia
  • Piloted 1984 Mission Aboard Orbiter Challenger
  • Served as NASA Administrator – Dep. Director
  • Retired with 8,800+ Hours in Over 40 Different Types of Military and Civilian Aircraft
  • Received Numerous Awards for Many Accomplishments

Jon A. McBride was born August 14, 1943 in Charleston, West Virginia. Though his aviation accomplishments are many, he is best known for being a NASA Astronaut.

McBride's service began in 1965 when he earned his wings as a naval aviator and was assigned to Fighter Squadron 101 based at Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, for training in the F-4 "Phantom II" aircraft. He was subsequently assigned to Fighter Squadron 41 where he served three years as a fighter pilot and division officer having flown 64 combat missions. He attended the U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School at Edwards Air Force Base then reported to Air Test and Development Squadron Four at Point Mugu, California where he served as maintenance officer and Sidewinder project officer.

McBride became a NASA astronaut in 1979 after being selected as an astronaut candidate the year before. His NASA assignments included lead chase pilot for the maiden voyage of Columbia. McBride was pilot of STS 41-G, which launched from Kennedy Space Center in Florida on October 5, 1984, aboard the Orbiter Challenger. Following the tragic events of the Space Shuttle Challenger in 1986, his next mission was deferred and McBride was assigned to serve as Assistant Administrator for Congressional Relations at NASA Headquarters. In May 1989, Captain McBride retired from NASA and the Navy having logged more than 8,800 hours in over 40 different types of military and civilian aircraft. His FAA ratings include commercial pilot (multi-engine), instrument, and glider; and he previously served as a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI).

The awards for his accomplishments and contributions include the Legion of Merit award, the Defense Superior Service medal, the Navy Commendation medal with Combat V, a Navy Unit Commendation, the National Defense medal, the Vietnamese Service medal, and the NASA Space Flight Medal. The State of West Virginia is honored to induct him into the Hall of Fame and appreciates his contribution to aviation.

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