Chandler, Herman R.
CHANDLER, WELHOUSEN, DAUGHERTY
Posted By: Ken Baker (email)
Date: 10/11/2021 at 09:37:22
Obituary of Herman R Chandler
He was the only child of Oy and Frank Chandler, born on a farm near Kellerton in Ringgold County, Iowa.
He rode to school on a horse and his family bred livestock, especially sheep and draft horses shown all over the country.
After graduation from high school he set up a business in a gas station on the road by the family farm. This grew into a car and appliance business serving all of southern Iowa. He met his future wife, Ruth Mareta Welhousen from Titonka, Iowa, when she came to teach school in Kellerton. As World War II approached he passed a test allowing him to train as an engineer for Boeing but was drafted. He trained as a pilot in Wichita, Kansas after which he reported for duty at Fort Sill, Oklahoma where he was assigned to the cavalry and started his career cleaning horse stalls along with the other pilot engineers. He was able to transfer to Randolph Field for more advanced training and shared command of the first 500 pilot draftees into what was to become the Army Air Corps and then the United States Air Force. They flew special assignments until he accepted and engineering assignment at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. He was assigned to the Prop Lab where he participated in research on propeller feathering and ice accumulation which caused the bombers to crash on return flights over the North Atlantic. This research led him to Alaska for the cold weather to perform test flights. Because Alaska was a combat zone, he helped with logistics for the battles fought for the Aleutian Islands against the Japanese and was involved in one air battle. He lost his crew to a crash during a test flight. He received a silver star for this work. The research was concluded in Hartford, Connecticut in collaboration with MIT. There he married Ruth Mareta Welhousen December 6, 1944. They had been married for 69 years when she passed away April 4, 2014. They returned to Dayton where he joined the Aircraft Lab as a civilian engineer working on aircraft wheels and brakes, contributing substantially to the development of major design elements eventually used on many commercial aircraft. After retirement he completed a Bachelors Degree at Cedarville College. He and Ruth travelled extensively in their R.V. He was involved with Experimental Aircraft Association. He continued to work on several inventions and held patents for practical items, most importantly a specialized seal and equipment related to its manufacture.
During his career he rubbed shoulders with many historical figures to include Orville Wright, Charles Lindberg and Howard Hughes. He witnessed the ending of World War I, the Great Depression, and flight advances from biplanes to jets, ending in his last assignment before retirement as a consultant on the first Space Shuttle. His prediction of tire failure and unstable attachment of insulation tiles proved correct. He is known by his many friends for his stories of this long life spanning a remarkable century, his kindness, his quiet courage and gentle humor.
He is survived by his daughter, Cynthia Oy Chandler Daugherty and his son, Douglas Frank Chandler, as well as six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Ringgold Obituaries maintained by Tony Mercer.
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