Sherman "Sherm" P. Booen, B-17/24 Test Pilot, USMCR, & World of Aviation

Sherm Booen's "World Of Aviation" was one of the region's longest-running television programs. (credit: MGN)
(Above) Sherm Booen being thanked by Major General John R. Dolny at awards dinner.
Sherman "Sherm" Booen was born on a farm near Glenville, Minnesota. He was a B-17 civilian test pilot during World War II and moved to Richfield with his wife and daughter after the war. He then worked in radio and television, was in the Marine Corps during the Korean War, and published the World of Aviation and his magazine The Minnesota Flyer from his Richfield home. WCCO TV showed his World of Aviation TV show Sunday mornings. Retired Colonel, Marine Corps Resreves, Minneapolis.
Sherman P. Booen (W0RHT) passed away Monday, 4-4-11 in Richfield, MN age 97
Sherm was also a well known amateur radio operator.

From CBS News WCCO TV  (below) The Link has video of Sherm on WCCO TV and the report on TV of his passing.

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A former WCCO-TV personality and aviation specialist who hosted the world’s only regularly scheduled aviation television program has died. Sherm Booen started hosted “World of Aviation” in 1952. The show eventually ran for 28 years. Booen died Monday night at a nursing home in the Twin Cities. He began his broadcasting career in 1936, working in a number of radio stations throughout the region. He served during World War II, flying missions in a B-17, and retired as a colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Booen was inducted into the Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2002

Sherm Booen remembered
Posted By Ed Shannon On April 7, 2011 (9:35 am) In News, Picture Flipper, RSS Twitter
A famous former Albert Lean, Sherman “Sherm” Booen of Richfield, died on Monday at the age of 97. His death serves as a reminder of his connections with local history seven decades ago.

Sherman BooenHis was the first voice heard on radio station KATE when it started broadcasting on Oct. 27, 1937. However, it was his public service during the Armistice Day Blizzard that started on Nov. 11, 1940, that became his greatest contribution to local life.
At that time he was the radio station’s announcer-engineer and started to broadcast public service announcements. The station was supposed to sign off at sundown. He kept the station on the air and continued to broadcast personal messages so stranded people in the area could reassure their friends and families they were safe. Before long the roads and railroads became blocked by deep snowdrifts and utility poles and telephone and telegraph lines outside the city came down. Albert Lea was soon isolated from the rest of the nation — except for KATE radio.
His communications activities also continued with his amateur radio station. For several days this short-wave station at his home, W9RHT, was on the air with operators in other localities to help provide the railroad companies, power firms, police, and families with essential communication services.
Booen was one of the major contributors to the 1985 book, “All Hell Broke Loose,” by William A. Hull of Edina that’s based on the Armistice Day Blizzard.
His other interest was aviation. After graduating from Albert Lea High School in 1931, Booen took initial pilot training at the local airport.
During World War II Booen served as a technical representative with the U.S. Army Air Corps in Europe. He became an officer in the Marine Corps Reserve in 1946 and served on active duty in Asia during the Korean War.
Booen, who retired from the Marine Corps Reserve with the rank of colonel in 1974, was one of 24 contributors to the 2007 book “Marine Wings.”
After World War II, Booen continued his announcing career with radio station WDGY in the Twin Cities and later with WCCO-TV. His television program, “World of Aviation” was on WCCO-TV for 28 years. He was also the founder (in 1960) and editor/publisher of the “Minnesota Flyer” magazine. Booen has also been elected to both the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame and the Minnesota Broadcasting Hall of Fame.
Article taken from The Albert Lea Tribune -
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Gill Brothers Funeral Home Announcement

Sherman P. Booen

Monday, April 4, 2011

Col.Sherman P. Booen age 97 of Richfield flew to the heavens on April 4, 2011. Preceded in death by parents Ralph & Gae Booen, brother Shirley Booen, wife Mavis and daughter Boni Roberts. Survivied by granddaughter D'Ette Mullinix (Jeff) son-in-law Bill Roberts, sister Mary Leone Sonksen of Albert Lea, nieces- Carla, Joanie, Jackie, Jeannie, Janice, Beverly & nephew Maurice, and many other relatives & friends including special friends
Patty & Mike Steuck. Formerly of Glenville & Albert Lea, Sherm earned his broadcast license in 1934 and worked at KWTN in South Dakota and KATE in Albert Lea.  In 1940 he learned to fly and joined the U.S. Army Air Corps where he trained aircrews in the operation of the C-1 autopilot in B-17 & B-24 bombers in WW2. As a Marine in Korea he was an air traffic controller and then to Tokyo as the Operations Officer of the Armed Forces Radio - Far East Command. In 1953 he produced a television program on WCCO-TV called "World of Aviation" which ran for 28 years. In addition to his television work, he published an aviation magazine called "Minnesota Flyer" with the help of wife Mavis and daughter Boni. He was inducted into the "Aviation Hall of Fame" in 1995 and the "Broadcasting Hall of Fame" in 2002. Sherm flew a 1938 Taylorcraft and then his Beechcraft Bonanza (N758B) for 20 years, he flew until age 90 and earned the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. He was an avid radio buff (W0RHT) since 1934. He was loved and will be missed. Memorial Service on Friday, April 15th at 1pm at Richfield United Methodist Church, 5835 Lyndale Ave. S. Memorials preferred to NC Little Hospice, Edina.

GILL BROTHERS   Minneapolis Chapel 612861-6088


Sherm Booen, 'Mr. Minnesota Aviation'

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 13, 2011 - 10:04 PM

He loved being in the air and on the air, and combined the two with his TV show, "The World of Aviation."

Richfield pilot Sherm Booen, whose weekly WCCO television show, "The World of Aviation,'' inspired generations of Minnesotans to look to the skies, died April 4. He was 97.

"He was simply Mr. Minnesota Aviation," said Noel Allard of Park Rapids, Minn., a longtime friend and director of the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame. "He got up every day and did something for aviation in Minnesota. There is no one before or after him that exemplified Minnesota aviation better."

Booen was a teenager in rural Glenville, Minn., when Minnesota native Charles Lindbergh captivated the world with his solo transatlantic flight. There were only a couple of airplanes in his small town, but growing up during the aviation boom cemented in him a love for flying that never faded.

"His interest in flight was intense," Allard said. "It never let up."

Eight years after his first plane ride, Booen learned to fly on a field near Albert Lea, Minn., where he worked at KATE radio. He continued his passion for flying and radio in 1942 when he served in the U.S. Army Air Forces as a radar technician and later with the Marine Air Reserve in Korea and Japan.

When he returned to Minnesota in 1952, Booen worked in radio at WDGY, then WCCO, and flew around the state to gather news. He then created "The World of Aviation," which lasted nearly three decades.

"It was ahead of its time," said a friend, Jim Bunker. "And it was purely his [show]."

Friends say Booen's love for flying was contagious, thanks to the TV show and a magazine, Minnesota Flyer, that he launched in 1960 and ran for 26 years. He also emceed hundreds of air shows, narrating with his rich, melodious voice.

"He was a man of all things and he was very much a celebrity," Allard said. "He basked in that and served the industry well."

Booen was inducted to the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Pavek Museum of Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2002. He served as director of the Minnesota Aviation Trades Association for 30-plus years.

"His efforts helped create an awareness about general aviation beyond people who fly," longtime friend Al Lange said.

When Booen wasn't on the air, he was in the air, flying his Beechcraft Bonanza. His sole grandchild, D'Ette Mullinix of Minneapolis, remembered traveling with him to fly-in breakfasts throughout her childhood. "It was a big part of our family's life," she said.

He was preceded in death by wife Mavis, daughter Boni Roberts and brother Shirley. Survivors include sister Mary Leone Sonksen of Albert Lea. Services are at 1 p.m. Friday at Richfield United Methodist Church.

Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141