R. W. “Buzz” Kaplan

Year Inducted: 1999

Year Of Birth: 1924

Year Of Death: 2002

Owatonna-born Buzz Kaplan saw action in the U.S. Army in World War II and learned to fly following the war. He began making flying hunting trips while he was working at Owatonna Tool Co. and explored the far North as far as the Arctic Circle in his planes.

He made several friendship flights to Europe, Russia and, most recently, Antarctica, putting his adventure on the Internet for educational purposes. Kaplan flew a restored 1930 Savoia-Marchetti seaplane through Europe. He created from scratch a replica of 1928 Sikorsky S-38 flying boat flown to South America. Kaplan also established and sponsored Owatonna’s Heritage Halls Museum.