Remembering Roscoe Morton
IAC No. 11
By Mike Heuer, IAC 4
Over the past 30 years, there has scarcely been a person who has attended the EAA Oshkosh fly-in (now known as AirVenture) who has not heard the voice of Roscoe Morton, also known as the "Voice of Oshkosh," over the public address system. Over the years, he announced hundreds of air show performances and interviewed countless aviation personalities during the course of his service to EAA - both at Oshkosh and Sun 'n Fun at Lakeland, Florida, and many other aviation events. We are sad to announce that Roscoe passed away on Saturday, June 15, at his home in Frostproof, Florida, at the age of 81.
What many International Aerobatic Club members do not know is that Roscoe was IAC No. 11 and was instrumental in the revival of aerobatic competition in the 1960s as well as the IAC's foundation and development in the early 1970s. This author first met him in 1965 at a small aerobatic contest in Ottumwa, Iowa, held in conjunction with the Antique Airplane Association Fly-In.
Roscoe always had a deep love of aerobatics, and this was the same time America was becoming more involved in international competition. This piqued Roscoe's interest, and his support of U.S. participation at the World Aerobatic Championships culminated in his becoming U.S. Team captain at the WAC in 1968, 1970, and 1972. His knowledge of judging and the new Aresti System became well known, as many of us consulted with him and sought his help in understanding it all.
In 1970, after IAC was formed, he was one of the first people that IAC President Bob Heuer met with when the rules for our first contest season were written. Because of his help, he was presented IAC membership No. 11. His input was enormously helpful, and he remained a friend to aerobatics throughout the years.
In 1972, he and team manager Frank Christensen worked with the team in turning out one of its best performances in aerobatic history. The U.S. Team swept the seventh FAI World Aerobatic Championships in Salon de Provence, France. Charlie Hillard won the World Aerobatic Champion title, Mary Gaffaney became Women's World Aerobatic Champion, and the U.S. Team captured the Nesterov Trophy. It was a record of which Roscoe was very proud.
After leaving the team, Roscoe turned his attention to air show announcing, and later, the "interview circle" at Oshkosh. Though a quiet man in private, he had a deep love of people and aviation that made his interviews both interesting and comfortable for those who shared the microphones. These talks provided hundreds of hours of education and entertainment for aviation enthusiasts.