Chester W. (Bill) Hazelton

1910 - 2001

Bill Hazelton was born in Minneapolis, MN. His first airplane ride was at Wold-Chamberlain Field in 1932. He received his Private, Commercial and Transport licenses in 1933. Hazelton spent the largest part of his career flying aerial photography missions. He joined the Mark Hurd Aerial Survey Company in 1938. He flew mapping flights over Northern Minnesota. In 1941, those flights expanded to New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Maine. When WWII broke out, Hazelton joined Pratt & Whitney’s aircraft service department, training military mechanics on the installation of engines. Later he worked for the Springfield Flying Service of Springfield, MO ferrying new Cessna aircraft to customers. Following the war, Hazelton returned to Minnesota and worked briefly at Northwest Airlines before returning to flying survey missions. Over the following years, Hazelton logged 10,345 hours of aerial photography, mapping counties throughout the United States, including Alaska and Central America. He was also involved in the development of new aerial camera technology and camera mounts with negative lenses placed around the camera, giving precise navigation of a photographic flight line. Hazelton retired from aerial mapping in 1978, but continued to fly for several more years. His total flight hours were likely over 20,000 at the time of his death in 2001.

Year Inducted: 2020