Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ralph 'Dixie' Donnell 1921-1967

Ralph H. Donnell was from Greensboro, NC (thus his nickname Dixie),. He earned a degree in Aeronautical Engineering from NC State, and was hired by Grumman as an engineer. During WW2 he flew P-51 Mustangs, crashing into debris from a Luftwaffe fighter that he had just shot down over Munich. His wing was severed and he bailed out, only to be captured and interned in Stalag Luft 3 for the remainder of the war. Following his discharge, Dixie was rehired by Grumman, but as a Test Pilot. He made the first flight of the Grumman YAO-1AF Mohawk on 14 April 1959 and the first flight of the F-111B flight on the 18th May 1965 alongside Ernie Von Der Heyden