Quesada, Elwood

Quesada, Elwood (Richard)

(1904–93) aviator; born in Washington, D.C. He enlisted in the army in 1924 and received a commission after completing flight training the following year. Among other assignments in the 1930s, he flew as chief pilot on the New York-Cleveland airmail run. During World War II, he commanded the Ninth Fighter Command in England (1943), and, as head of the Ninth Tactical Air Command, he directed thousands of sorties in preparation for the Allied landings in Normandy of June 6, 1944. Quesada retired from the service in 1951. In 1959 he became the first head of the newly formed Federal Aviation Administration, and from 1961 to 1962 he was president of the company that owned the Washington Senators baseball team.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.