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  Dale W. Cox, Jr. Mercury Finalist (1920-2013)

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Author Topic:   Dale W. Cox, Jr. Mercury Finalist (1920-2013)
ColinBurgess
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From: Sydney, Australia
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posted 08-03-2013 02:43 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Those of you who attended Spacefest IV in Tucson in 2012 will remember that one special guest was Dale W. Cox, Jr., one of the surviving 32 finalists for Group 1 (Mercury) selection. Dale was also the principal character in my book "Selecting the Mercury Seven: The Search for America's First Astronauts." I regret to advise that Dale - the oldest of the 32 candidates - passed away in his Palos Verdes, CA home on 25 June 2013, aged 92.

Dale led a truly extraordinary life, and it was a wonderful experience and priviliege meeting him and putting together his story for the book. I know he absolutely loved attending what would be his first and only Spacefest event in 2012 along with his son, Brian.

KSCartist
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From: Titusville, FL USA
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posted 08-03-2013 03:58 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for KSCartist   Click Here to Email KSCartist     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
He can now visit the stars he sought to explore. Godspeed Mr. Cox.

MSS
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From: Kolo, Poland
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posted 08-03-2013 04:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for MSS     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dale William Cox, Jr. was born on December 17, 1920 in Spokane, WA.

RIP...

jasonelam
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posted 08-03-2013 04:40 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for jasonelam   Click Here to Email jasonelam     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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GACspaceguy
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Delta7
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randy
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posted 08-03-2013 10:39 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for randy   Click Here to Email randy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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413 is in
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sts205cdr
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mach3valkyrie
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posted 08-03-2013 01:53 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for mach3valkyrie   Click Here to Email mach3valkyrie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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DChudwin
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posted 08-03-2013 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for DChudwin   Click Here to Email DChudwin     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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(It was a pleasure to meet him and his son at Spacefest in 2012.)

ejectr
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posted 08-03-2013 08:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ejectr   Click Here to Email ejectr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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bwhite1976
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Gilbert
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posted 08-04-2013 09:02 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gilbert   Click Here to Email Gilbert     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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dss65
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Kite
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Paul78zephyr
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East-Frisian
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history in miniature
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Grounded!
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David Carey
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Lou Chinal
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astro-nut
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ColinBurgess
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posted 08-12-2013 06:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for ColinBurgess   Click Here to Email ColinBurgess     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Dale Cox's son Brian has contacted me, saying he wanted to thank everyone associated with getting his father to Spacefest V (2012), which he said his father found to be "enjoyable but tiring." Brian also sent an obituary of his father.
Dale William Cox Jr. '43

Captain Dale W. Cox Jr., USN (Ret.), passed away on 25 June 2013 at his Palos Verdes, CA, home with his family at his side.

Born on 17 December 1920 in Spokane, WA, he attended Beverly Hills High School and then the U.S. Naval Academy. In 1942, shortly after being crowned NCAA gymnastics champion, he graduated and was ordered to St. Louis (CL-49).

After installation of radars, the ship departed for the Pacific, arriving in December 1942 to join the Battle of Guadalcanal. In 1943, St. Louis was torpedoed at Kolumbangara. Repaired at Mare Island, St. Louis returned to the Pacific supporting the 3rd Marine Division's landing on Bougainville Island. There, the ship was hit by Japanese dive bombers, killing 26.

In March 1944, he was ordered to the new carrier, Shangri-La (CV-38). After shakedown, the carrier was in the Pacific in early 1945. On 25 April, Shangri-La's air group led an attack on islands south of Okinawa. In early June, Shangri-La and three other carriers made a three-day sustained attack on Tokyo.

Two days after Hiroshima, he was transferred via high-line to a destroyer and was dumped on Iwo Jima. Captain Tyrone Powers, USMC, piloted the plane that took him and a USO troupe, including Maureen O'Hara, to Saipan. From there, he flew to flight training at Texas, receiving his Wings in December 1946.

In 1949, he received orders to postgraduate school and graduated from Cal Tech in 1952. He was then ordered to a squadron at Barbers Point, HI. Deployed to Kadena AFB on Okinawa during the Korean War, he piloted a photo-recon plane for the CIA.

Returning to Hawaii in 1954, he received orders to Test Pilot School at Patuxent River, MD.

In 1957, he piloted a A3D to two Federation Aeronautique Internationale transcontinental speed records, LA-NY-LA and NY-LA.

In 1959, he was one of 32 candidates for the Mercury astronaut program.

In 1961, as naval test director at Mercury, NV, he was ordered to personally take possession of a nuclear weapon and "expand same" ("Johnnie Boy" event).

He retired from the Navy in 1962 and went to work for the CIA. In 1970, he started his own company, Western Magnum. Retiring in 2009, he took up writing and finished three books.

He is survived by his loving wife of 67 years, Patricia; three sons, Brian, Dale III and Gary; daughter, Penelope; and six grandchildren.

fredtrav
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albatron
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posted 08-13-2013 08:58 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for albatron   Click Here to Email albatron     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks to Colin for working out his attendance at Spacefest. A true honor to meet him. — Al

Mike Isbell
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From: Silver Spring, Maryland USA
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posted 08-14-2013 03:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Mike Isbell     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
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