Daily Reporter Staff Writer

INDIANAPOLIS — A statue honoring a former Hancock County resident was unveiled recently at the Indianapolis International Airport.

A statue of H. Weir Cook, who was born in Hancock County more than 100 years ago, was unveiled earlier this month in the center entrance of the ticketing hall.

Cook, a pilot, was the first manager of the airport at its original location, and the airport formerly bore his name.

The statue, which was unveiled before a large crowd of family, friends and supporters, is a 7-foot bronze likeness of Cook in his World War II military uniform.

Terre Haute artist Bill Wolfe was the creator of the $80,000 statue, which was funded with private contributions by the Military Veterans Coalition of Indiana, with Rolls Royce North America being a major contributor.

Cook was born in Wilkinson in 1892. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Air Service. Cook was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross twice for his bravery in battle.

After the war, Cook would become one of the first transcontinental airmail pilots, serving as an officer in the Indiana Air National Guard.

In 1929, he was a member of the group that selected the location for the Indianapolis airport, and he became its first manager in 1931. He would serve in this capacity until 1941, the nation’s entry into World War II.