Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Richard L. "Dix" Loesch 1918-2007

Richard L. "Dix" Loesch was a combat seasoned fighter pilot when he came to the squadron VF-6 having also served in the "Cactus Air Force" from Henderson field defending Guadalcanal. He had shot down one enemy plane and had been wounded.
Shortly after checking in to the squadron he was loaned out and flew from the USS Nassau (CVE-16) during the invasion of Attu in the Aleutians.
Back in the squadron in the summer of '43, he was the first Navy pilot to be credited with shooting down an enemy aircraft in both the F4F Wildcat and the F6F-3 Hellcat.
He participated in the 21 plane Memorial Flight of Hellcats back to Barber's Point on Dec 26, 1943.
After the war "Dix", (holding a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aeronautics), became the lead test pilot of Boeing Aircraft and helped develop several of the jet transport aircraft in service today. On July 15, 1954, Chief Test Pilot Tex Johnston, along with co-pilot Richard L. "Dix" Loesch, took the Dash 80 on its first flight. He later became the Chief of Flight Test during the development and first flights of the 727, 737 and 747. Before retiring, he received the Elmer Sperry Award for the advancement of aviation transportation.