Jack Lousma

Jack Lousma

Jack Lousma, of Ann Arbor, Michigan, was born in Pontiac, Michigan in 1935. He graduated from Pioneer High School in 1954, BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1959, master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering from the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School in 1965. Jack earned his aviator “Wings of Gold” in 1960 and Navy Astronaut Wings in 1974. Lousma served as an attack pilot with VMA-224, 2nd Marine Air craft Wing and the 1st MAW at Marine Corps Air Station in Iwakuni, Japan. He was a reconnaissance pilot assigned to VMCJ-2, 2nd MAW, MCAS Cherry Point, North Carolina. Jack was NASA Captain in Command for Apollo 13 receiving the “Houston, we’ve had a problem” communication in 1970, Pilot for Skylab 3 in 1973 and Backup Docking Module Pilot for the U.S. crew for Apollo-Soyuz Test Project Mission of 1975.

Col. Lousma retired from the Marine Corps in November of 1983 and had been awarded the Department of Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two NASA Distinguished Service Medals, Navy Distinguished Service Medal and the NASA Space Flight Medal. He accumulated 7,100 hours of flight time including 700 hours in general aviation, 1,620 hours in space, 4,400 hours in jet aircraft, 250 hours in helicopters, 700 in a Cessna 310R and 125 hours in single-engine prop aircraft. Several of his many awards has included the “Collier Trophy”, City of Chicago Gold Medal, “Goddard Memorial Trophy” and the Michigan Business Aviation Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Jack received the UM Department of Aerospace Engineering Alumni Award in 2001. Lousma was inducted into the International Space Hall of Fame in 1982 and Michigan Aviation Hall of Fame in 1988. He served as President, Michigan Columbia Corporation 1985-2014; Director, Republic Bank of Ann Arbor 1987-2002; President and CEO, Consortium for International Earth Science Information Network 1989-1993; Director, Newcor 1991-2001; Board Chairman, Marketing and Sales, AeroSport 1993-1994; Director, Avtek 1994-2006 and Director, Association of Space Explorers, U.S. Chapter 1994-1997

“He was a common boy then and still is.”

Frank W. Kline, Pioneer High School Math Teacher, Football Coach when Lousma played, recalled the star player’s dedication to whatever he was doing and leadership he displayed even as a young man.