Obituary Notices and Memorials

 
 

DANA, William H
DANA, William H. Nov. 3, 1930 - May 6, 2014 Dana, one of the nations most respected aerospace pioneers, has passed away. His illustrious career at NASAs Armstrong Flight Research Center spanned more than 48 years, during which Dana logged more than 8,000 hours in over 60 different aircraft. Most notably, he was a project pilot on the hypersonic X-15 research aircraft, flying the rocket-powered vehicle 16 times, reaching a top speed of 3,897 and a peak altitude of 307,000 feet (nearly 59 miles high). Dana piloted the X-15s final (199th) flight. He later served as chief engineer at Armstrong from 1993 until his retirement in 1998. Dana was awarded astronaut wings in 2005 in recognition of two of his flights that exceeded 50 miles altitude. He was born in Pasadena, Calif., and graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1948 and the U.S. Military Academy in 1952, followed by a four-year tour as a U.S. Air Force pilot. He joined NASA on Oct. 1, 1958, NASAs first day of existence, after receiving his Masters degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1958. Dana is survived by his wife of 52 years, Judi Miller Dana; his four children, Sidney Sparks, Matt Dana (Krista), Jan Sieving (Mark), and Leslie Dana-Kirby (Shawn); his seven grandchildren; and his sister, Toni Dunrud (Rich). Funeral services will be held at 10am, May 20, 2014, at the Lancaster United Methodist Church. Donations can be made to the Parkinsons Disease Foundation www.pdf.org.

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