Richard Mitchell worked for William Randolph Hearst as an executive pilot. He worked for Consairway, Pan Am, and United. He
was inducted into the OX5 Aviation Hall of Fame in 1986.
Richard S. Mitchell was born in Woodstock, IL on February 19, 1910. He began flying at Culver City, CA in 1927. By 1932 he
was working for Western Air Express as a ground manager and, soon after, doubling up as a co-pilot and mechanic for Air Ferries
flying their Loening Air Yachts between San Francisco, Vallejo and Oakland. In 1933 he received his Air Transport ticket and
went to work for William Randolph Hearst as an executive pilot. In 1935 he went to work for United Airlines and American Export
Lines, and was eventually promoted to captain of large flying boats.
In 1941, San Diego’s Consolidated Aircraft hired him as one of the first experienced overwater captains to command delivery
and ferry aircraft for Consairway. Mitchell became the manager for the organization and received commendations for his efforts
from President Harry S. Truman and a number of prominent generals and aviation executives.
Mitchell worked for TACA International and Peruvian International for a few years after World War II before being offered
a management position by Juan Trippe with Pan American Airlines. In 1953, Mitchell was made vice president of Pan American
Airways Guided Missile Range Division. This was a distinct division of Pan American in 1950-1980 because it was the prime
contractor of the U.S. Air Force Eastern Test Range, based out of Patrick Air Force Base, Florida. It was responsible for
providing operations and maintenance for the Eastern Test Range, but subcontracted operation and maintenance of electronic
equipment, such as missile tracking radars on the test range tracking ships and stations to the Missile Test Project of RCA
In 1969 he was elevated to Sr. Vice President of transport services, and then promoted again to Executive Vice President and
Chief Operating Officer in 1970. He retired in 1971 and spent his remaining years with his wife Dorothy in Sarasota, FL. Mitchell
passed away on December 23, 1988.