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Bill Bridgeman
Retired Air Force Test Pilot
  • General Info
General Information
William "Bill" Barton Bridgeman was an American test pilot who broke aviation records while working for the Douglas aircraft company testing experimental aircraft. In July 1951, the United States Navy announced that the Douglas Skyrocket piloted by Bridgeman had "attained the highest speed and altitude ever recorded by a piloted plane." On August 15 of the same year, he set a world record with a speed of Mach 1.88 and an unofficial record height of 79,494 feet. Bridgeman was born in Iowa. His father was a barnstormer and separated from his mother shortly after he was born. He was raised in Malibu, California by his paternal grandmother. He enlisted in the United States Navy to attend flight school at Pensacola. He graduated and was commissioned in 1941, and was sent to Pearl Harbor, where he experienced the Japanese attack on December 7. He flew PBY Catalina flying boats in the New Guinea/Australia sector, then four-engined PB4Y-2 Privateer patrol bombers on a tour of operations with VP/VPB-109 Squadron. 
1916 in Iowa  /  Died:   Sep 29th, 1968 - plane accident
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This celebrity has passed away
Date: Sep 29th, 1968 - plane accident
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