mcdonnell xf-85 goblin

Aerospace Community Mourns the Passing of McDonnell Douglas Engineer Les Eash

Lester E. Eash

Eash, Lester E. age 95, on Wednesday, April 16, 2014; preceded in death by his beloved wife of 57 years Daisy A. Eash, loving father of Susan (Roger) Stewart, Sally (Kent) McMillen, John (Marie) Eash, grandfather of 7, great-grandfather of 11, uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend to all he met. Born in 1919 in Jet, OK, Les moved to Goshen, IN at age 4. It was during that time working on his father’s farm that he saw the Akron dirigible and became fascinated with aviation. After high school, he moved to Wichita, KS to live with his brother and attend Friends University. While in school, he worked for Stearman Aircraft (now Boeing) and Coleman Stove as a draftsman. After leaving school, he worked for several companies and eventually moved to St. Louis to work for Curtiss-Wright when he met Daisy. After marriage and closure of Curtiss-Wright, he and Daisy spent a short time in Toledo, OH working for WillysOverland and then returned to St. Louis for a job opportunity at McDonnell Aircraft Co. in 1945. Les worked on various aircraft programs at McDonnell Aircraft including the Banshee, Voodoo, and Phantom. One of his most memorable assignments was the designer and operator of the trapeze mechanism for the XF-85 Goblin parasite strike fighter that was designed to be carried in the bomb bay of a B-29 bomber. His last assignment at then McDonnell Douglas was Project Engineer for the DC-10 wing subsystems. This assignment led to a transfer to the Douglas Co. location in Long Beach, CA in 1976. After retirement from McDonnell Douglas in 1978, he went to work for Parker Hannifan as a Program Manager and then fully retired in 1980. While in California, he received a patent for the Champopper, a device used to open and retain the cork from a champaign bottle. He and Daisy returned to St. Louis in 1987 to enjoy time with family and friends. Les enjoyed singing in his church choirs and barbershop choruses, bowling, golf, Dixieland jazz music, returning to Indiana for High School Reunions, leading volunteer groups and spending time with family and friends. Let his faith, friendship and rolling with the punches philosophy be an inspiration for us all. Services: Please join the family in celebrating Lester’s life by attending a memorial service at St. John’s United Church of Christ in St. Charles, MO on Friday, 9 May at 7:00 p.m. Lester donated his remains to the Washington University School of Medicine. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Johns United Church of Christ Music Program in his memory.
 
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Apr. 22, 2014

Mr. Eash participated in programs recognizing his work on the McDonnell Aircraft XF-85 Goblin parasite fighter test program sponsored by the Greater St. Louis Air and Space Museum and the Missouri Aviation Historical Society.  We encourage you to re-visit these stories featuring Mr. Eash:

Greater St. Louis Air & Space Museum

The Aero Experience