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William H. Dana


11/03/1930 - 05/06/2014 Obituary
William H. Dana Obituary
William H. Dana, NASA test pilot, died peacefully in Phoenix on May 6, 2014 at age 83. Dana began his distinguished 40-year career at NASA on October 1, 1958, NASA's first day of existence. As a NASA test pilot, Dana was involved in some of the most significant aeronautical research programs carried out at NASA's Neil Armstrong Research Center, flying more than 60 different aircraft. Most famously, 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 mph and a peak altitude of 307,000 feet (nearly 59 miles high).
Dana was born on November 3, 1930 in Pasadena, California to Drexler Dana and the former Rose Jourdan. He graduated from Bakersfield High School in 1948 and the U.S. Military Academy in 1952, and earned his Master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1958. In 1962, he married Judi Miller.
They have four children; Sidney Sparks, Matt Dana (Krista), Jan Sieving (Mark), and Leslie Kirby (Shawn) and seven grandchildren; Eric, Lisa, Nick, Jenna, Devon, Kayla and Andrew. Dana is also survived by a sister, Toni Dunrud and her husband Rich.
Funeral services will be held May 20 at 10:00 a.m. at the Lancaster United Methodist Church. Donations can be made to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation www.pdf.org
Published in Bakersfield Californian on May 8, 2014
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