This BIT Cache is located at the S J Wittman State Historical Marker.
If you are a fan of aviation, you are sure to know the name Wittman Field. This is where the annual AirVenture airshow is hosted by the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association.) Every year, thousands of enthusiasts flock to the shores of Lake Winnebago to endulge their hobbies and passions involving airplanes of all shapes and sizes.
This historical marker is dedicated a man that was a dominating force in the aviation field.
Sylvester (Steve) Joseph Wittman was born in Byron in 1904. A childhood infection caused him to lose most of the sight in one of his eyes. Because of this, he focused his early life on designing aircraft instead of flying them professionally.
Despite his handicap, he learned to fly in 1924. The next year, he learned of a waiver for his condition. He visited a doctor and was given the all clear. At that time, he recieved his pilot certificate (signed by none other than Wilbur Wright!)
Throught his life, racing was a huge part of who he was. In fact, Wittman competed in and placed or won in more closed course races than anyone else in the history of air racing. He designed and raced many planes, including Chief Oshkosh, Bonzo, Buster (now in the Smithsonian), Buttercup, Bix X and Witt's V.
In 1931, he became the manager of the Oshkosh airport. He held that position until 1969.
In 1953 Steve attended a meeting for the Experimental Aircraft Association in Milwaukee. In 1956, he convinced EAA's President to hold the 1956 aircraft convention at the Oshkosh Airport. The rest is history.