Military Heritage Museum Announces 2010 Wall of Warriors' Inductee

The Military Heritage Museum is pleased to announce the selection of Captain Eugene (Gene) Leo Geronime, U.S. Navy, retired, as the 2010 inductee to its Wall of Warriors. This is a place of honor for those who have - over a significant length of time - consistently performed outstanding service to country and community.

Geronime was in carrier aviation during a military career that spanned almost thirty years, beginning with graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy in 1954, followed with advanced degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from the Naval Post Graduate School and Stanford University. He operationally flew planes that included the F9F-6 Cougar, the FJ3/3M Fury, the F8 (series) Crusader and the F4J Phantom II. During two combat tours to Southeast Asia on the USS Oriskany he flew the F8E Crusader. Other carriers upon which he deployed were the USS Hornet, the USS Ranger, USS Saratoga, USS Kitty Hawk and the USS Constellation. He had 850 carrier landings and 4000 jet hours during his career. Geronime also managed three major programs during his Washington tours, including the F/RF-4 Joint Program Office, the Harpoon Project Office and the Tomahawk Project Office. In addition, he was a test pilot in Carrier Suitability at the Naval Air Test Center.

Geronime was awarded the Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, seven Air Medals, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals - with device for combat valor, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, the Navy Unit Commendation Medal, the Navy Meritorious Unit Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, four Republic of Vietnam Service Medals, the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and the Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross with Palm Medal.

After retiring from the Navy, Geronime spent 15 years with McDonnell Douglas in various executive positions. In 1998, he and his wife Jane moved to Punta Gorda, where he became actively involved with the Florida International Air Show, currently serving as a director and as the secretary for Florida International Air Show, Inc. The Florida International Air Show has given more than $2.5 million to local charities over the last 30 years, having kept nothing in excess of the show costs.

Geronime is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and he is a trustee of the Athletic and Scholastic Division of the United States Naval Academy Foundation.

Geronime and Jane have been married for 50 years and have three children: Cynthia, who lives in St. Louis, Missouri; Brian, who lives in Annandale, Virginia, and Pamela, who lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. They have eight grandchildren.

Geronime will be inducted during the 2010 Wall of Warriors' Honoree Dinner on Friday, June 18, starting at 6:00 p.m. at the Cultural Center of Charlotte County in Port Charlotte. The ticket price is $50. For more information, or to register with your MasterCard or Visa over the phone, call 941-575-9002.

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