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Colorado pilot honored with permanent exhibit at Wings Over the Rockies Museum decades after plane crash

Exhibit of William Hodgson at Wings Over the Rockies Museum follow up
Posted at 9:20 PM, Oct 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-18 23:20:39-04

DENVER — Sixty-five years after a deadly plane crash, a Colorado family reconnected with their father's memory after they were presented with a piece of his plane found lodged into the ground of a Nebraska field.

In June, Denver7 shared the story of the years-long search for the pilot's descendants. Months later, the family has been granted a permanent tribute at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum.

Bill Knobbe, the first-born son of pilot William Hodgson, was only 6 years old at the time of his father's deadly crash. Hodgson, who had flown in World War II and the Korean War, was flying a mission for the Colorado Air National Guard from Buckley Airfield to upstate New York in 1958 when he encountered issues with his plane and lost control.

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Since sharing his father's story, and the connections that led to the return of the piece of his plane, Knobbe said he has received positive comments from people across the country. And now, he has found a resting place for the piece.

Tucked away in a corner of the Wings Over the Rockies Museum is a special wing, dedicated to the Colorado Air National Guard. Behind glass and under soft light, Hodgson is permanently remembered with the piece of his plane leaning next to his picture and the news stories he inspired.

"My father actually has a home now," Knobbe said. "I'm sure my mother would just be beaming about this whole thing."

Colorado pilot honored at Wings Over the Rockies Museum decades after crash

In the video above, watch Hodgson's son and granddaughter react to the exhibit, you can visit at the Wings Over the Rockies Museum.

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