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Donald D. Engen. Photograph by Carolyn Russo. Courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution (#99-15320).

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Engen, Donald Davenport (28 May 1924–13 July 1999), naval officer, test pilot, public servant, was born in Pomona, California, the son of Sydney M. Engen, a stockbroker and later an Internal Revenue Service employee, and Dorothy Davenport Engen. Engen spent his childhood years in southern California, principally in Pasadena. When he was in fourth grade, he decided that he wanted to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, and become a naval officer....

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Parsons, Edwin Charles (24 September 1892–02 May 1968), World War I combat pilot and U.S. naval officer, was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the son of Franklin D. Parsons, an insurance executive in Springfield, Massachusetts, and Grace Steele. Edwin, called “Ted” throughout his life, graduated from Phillips Exeter Academy in 1910 and, at his father’s urging, attended the University of Pennsylvania briefly. After declining his father’s invitation to learn the insurance business, Parsons traveled to southern California in about 1911....

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Rosendahl, Charles Emery (15 May 1892–14 May 1977), aviator, was born in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Charles Oscar Rosendahl and Hannah Johnson. Rosendahl attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, graduating with a B.S. in engineering in 1914. He followed a fairly routine career in the navy for the next nine years, serving as a line officer on destroyers and cruisers and seeing duty in the European theater during World War I. During 1921–1923 Rosendahl served as an instructor in engineering at the Naval Academy....