Annual Awards Ceremonies and Medals

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[top] Medals

This collection of medals was presented to the Langley Archives by the Alumni Association in 2014. The National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics established two awards on November 30, 1954, for award to NACA employees.

NACA Distinguished Service Medal: This gold medal recognized distinguished service to NACA. Only seven of these medals were awarded.
  • Dr. Richard T. Whitcomb (January 19, 1956)
  • Charles W. Littleton (April 19, 1956)
  • John W. Moise (April 19, 1956)
  • Jerome Hunsaker (March 21, 1957)
  • Harry Julian Allen (April 18, 1957)
  • I. Irving Pinkel (April 18, 1957)
  • John F. Victory (August 21, 1958)

NACA Exceptional Service Medal: This silver medal recognized exceptional service to NACA, but not of a degree to merit the award of the NACA Distinguished Service Medal. It is silver and the same design to the NACA Distinguished Service Medal. Only seven of the NACA Exceptional Service Medal were made.

  • Stanley P Butchart (April 5, 1956)
  • Joseph A. Walker (April 5, 1956)
  • Richard G. Payne (April 5, 1956)

The awards to these three were for bravery during the test flight accident involving the X-1A aircraft in August of 1955.

  • Seymour Lieblein (August 20, 1957)
  • Robert G. Deissler (August 20 1957)
  • John B. Parkinson (October 4, 1957)
  • Anshal I. Neilhouse (October 4, 1957)

The awards to these four were for significant scientific achievements.

The NACA Distinguished and Exceptional Service Medals are extremely rare, but a well made copy, very close to the originals, has been available on the collectors’ market for several years.

The NACA Exceptional Service and Distinguished Service Awards were inherited by NASA in 1958. The design of the first three years featured the NASA Seal (the meatball). Only three type 1 Distinguished Service medals were awarded: John Crowley, Alan Shepard, Jr., and Virgil "Gus" Grissom. Beginning with the medals distributed in 1962, the designs were specific to the medals. The medals below, from the Langley Archives Collections, are the second design.

NASA's most prestigious honor awards are approved by the Administrator and presented to a number of carefully selected individuals and groups of individuals, both Government and non-Government, who have distinguished themselves by making outstanding contributions to the Agency's mission. The Chair of the Incentive Awards Board (IAB) annually requests nominations for the various NASA honor awards. After a rigorous review, the nominations are forwarded to the IAB chair for approval. NASA medals and/or certificates are, subsequently, presented to the award recipients by the Agency's highest officials at the annual awards ceremonies held at NASA Headquarters and each NASA Center.

The listing below indicates the medal and the year introduced, if known.

  • Congressional Space Medal of Honor
  • Distinguished Service Medal (First Type: 1959-1961)
  • Distinguished Service Medal (Second Type: 1961 to the present)
  • Distinguished Public Service Medal
  • Outstanding Leadership Medal
  • Outstanding Public Leadership Medal (2012)
  • Exceptional Service Medal (First Type: 1959-1961)
  • Exceptional Service Medal (Second Type: 1961 to the present)
  • Exceptional Public Service Medal
  • Exceptional Engineering Achievement Medal
  • Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal
  • Exceptional Technology Achievement Medal
  • Exceptional Achievement Medal
  • Exceptional Public Achievement Medal (2012)
  • Early Career Achievement Medal (2012)
  • Equal Employment Opportunity Medal
  • Exceptional Administrative Achievement Medal
  • Space Flight Medal
  • Exceptional Bravery Medal
  • Silver Achievement Medal (2012)

[top] Awards Programs

Collection of programs from annual Langley Research Center awards ceremonies. Scanned from various donations of awards recipients. Originals not retained.

In 1981 and again in 1982, LaRC published a listing of award recipients from 1975 onwards.

The following listing is the awards programs for each individual year.














1985 Agency

















[top] Hall of Honor

The Langley Research Center National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Hall of Honor was conceived by members of the Langley Alumni Association and the NASA Langley Research Center as a mechanism to pay tribute to individuals who built exemplary careers at Langley, persevered against the status quo when required and achieved revolutionary scientific understanding and technological progress on the frontiers of the aerospace sciences.

The Hall of Honor formally recognizes those persons whose contributions have had the most sustained and far-reaching influence on the leadership, direction, mission and capabilities of the NACA Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory and NASA Langley Research Center and/or whose work at Langley enabled unprecedented and fundamental advancements in either a scientific or engineering field and made significant contributions to the United States' aerospace industry for commercial and military aircraft and/or spacecraft.

Langley Research Center NACA and NASA Hall of Honor, 2015

Induction Ceremony (video)

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