James Parrish Trant Jr., a Newport News native, passed away on August 14, 2019 at the age of 95. Jim was a member of the United States Army Air Force during World War II. After the war he returned to school and graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He continued his education at the University of Virginia where he earned a Master’s Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He spent his career working as an engineer at NACA Langley and later at Fort Eustis. Jim was among the aeronautical engineers who moved from NACA Langley to AVLABS to support Army Aviation Research. Jim was a member of the AVLABS preliminary design team and was an early advocate for the use of high speed digital computer systems to perform comprehensive studies of tradeoffs for the preliminary design of helicopters.
Webmaster’s Note: Despite Jim’s attendance at the University of Virginia, he was a stalwart Virginia Tech Hokie. After he retired, he invariably wore his Virginia Tech baseball cap on his daily walks around his neighborhood and, in cooler weather, his Virginia Tech jacket.
John Edmond Yeates Jr. died August 18,2019 at Mary Immaculate Hospital. In 1941 John joined the US Army Air Corps. In 1942 he graduated from Flight School as a 2nd Lieutenant and received his Wings. He served as a Pilot during World War Two in the European Theatre where he participated in several Airborne Missions, Including Holland, Southern France, and Bastogne towing gliders and dropping paratroops. He was awarded the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the Presidential Unit citation with two Oak Leaf Clusters, the European Theatre Ribbon with three Battle Stars the American Defense Ribbon and the World War Two Victory Medal. After he was released from the Army, he attended The University of Alabama, graduating in 1947.
Following graduation, he was employed by NACA in Hampton, Virginia, working in the Flight Division for 11 years. In 1958 he moved to the US Army Aviation Materials Laboratory (AVLABS) at Ft. Eustis, Virginia, where he worked in the area of Aeromechanics and Helicopter Research for nearly 20 years. In 1978 he retired as Group Leader of the Aeromechanics Group after 35 years of military and civilian service.
Note: He was your webmaster’s first supervisor when he joined AVLABS in 1971.