By Connor Wolanski, Army Flier Contributing WriterJune 21, 2012
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 21, 2012) -- The Army Aviation Association of America honored one of Army Aviation's early contributors with induction into the Order of St. Michael June 18 at the U.S. Army Aviation Museum.
Retired Maj. Roy Howell was chosen as a recipient of the Order of St. Michael Bronze Award after a career in which he helped pioneer Army Aviation's evolving role in day-to-day operations.
The Order of St. Michael recognizes individuals who have contributed significantly to the promotion of Army Aviation in ways that stand out in the eyes of the recipient's seniors, subordinates and peers, according to AAAA officials.
"[Howell] contributed significantly to the advancement of Army Aviation throughout his service," said Col. Kevin Christensen, commander of the 110th Aviation Brigade and president of the Fort Rucker chapter of AAAA.
Entering service as an enlisted Soldier Jan. 9, 1946, Howell initially served with the Medical Service Corps and became a noncommissioned officer during the Korean War. He was awarded a bronze star for his involvement in combat operations.
Soon after returning to the U.S., Howell was selected for Officer Candidate School, which he completed at Fort Benning, Ga. He earned a commission as a second lieutenant, completing flight training and launching a career in Aviation. He became rated in several rotary wing aircraft, including the H-13, H-21, and H-37, as well as fixed wing aircraft including the Mohawk, Beaver and Otter.
Howell completed his career in Aviation as a flight instructor and test pilot at Fort Rucker, teaching students of both fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft.
"Many of his students went on to serve in the Vietnam War and owe their professional Aviation skills to his exceptional Aviation skills and teaching abilities," said Christensen.
"Not bad for a farm boy from Missouri who dropped out of high school, found his home and his niche in the Army, and made everyone in his Family extremely proud," the colonel added.
It was during his tenure at Fort Benning that Howell would make a contribution that would help shape Army Aviation for future generations.
"[Howell] was part of the original Howze Board maneuvers at Fort Benning and a part of the 10th Aviation Brigade," said Sgt. Maj. John Chandler, referring to the Tactical Mobility Requirements Board commissioned by then-Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara which popularized the idea of Army air mobility in 1962. "Today, the 110th Aviation Brigade lineage is drawn from [the 10th Avn. Brigade]."
Howell retired from the Army as a major in 1966 and currently resides in Ozark. After his retirement in 1966, he worked as a flight instructor with Ross Aviation of Ozark.