William Richard “Rick” Losey was born in Shreveport, LA in October 1945 to Geddes and Leo
Keith Losey. He graduated from C.E. Byrd High School in Shreveport in 1963. He attended
Louisiana State University where he was a member of Phi Gamma Delta and earned a Bachelor
of Arts degree in 1967. In the 1970’s he obtained a Masters in Public Administration from the
University of Southern California.
At the height of the Vietnam War, Rick entered the USAF and began active duty in 1968. He
was accepted into flight school and did his pilot training at Big Spring AFB, in Big Spring,
Texas. Thereafter, he was as an Aircraft Commander and Flight Instructor on the C-123, C-141
Starlifter, and the C-5A Galaxy. In 1979 he was honorably discharged from active duty as a
Captain. He then continued on with civil and military service full-time in the USAF Reserve for
another 18 years. During this period of time he was an Aircraft Commander and Flight Instructor
for both the KC-10 Extender, and the C-17 Globemaster III. Rick was honorably discharged and
retired as a Lieutenant Colonel after nearly 30 years of service.
Throughout his military career Rick flew in multiple theatres of operation such as Vietnam /
Southeast Asia, the Persian Gulf, and Kosovo. He participated in numerous other smaller actions
like the liberation of Grenada, the Panamanian invasion, and the humanitarian airlift for Somalia,
just to name a few. In addition to many awards and commendations for military service he was
also a member of the Order of Daedalians, the National Fraternity of Military Pilots.
After retiring from the military he went to work for Boeing for another 10 years as a C-17 flight
simulator instructor at Charleston, AFB, in Charleston, South Carolina.
He was never enamored with the more mundane aspects of being an Air Force pilot such as the
paperwork, the numerous rules and regulations, and the politics and the bureaucracy of the base--
- Rick was a true “aviator”. Throughout his career he had accrued tens of thousands of flight
hours across the various types of aircraft that he flew. Among his peers, he had an excellent
reputation, and was indeed regarded as a “pilots’ pilot”, who was passionate about flying, simply
for the sake of flying.
During his life Rick was loved by many, and loved many. He was married several times and is
survived by multiple children and grandchildren.
On March 2, 2023, Rick passed away at home with family. He has now –
Slipped the surly bonds of earth to dance the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward he climbs, his eager craft through footless halls of air, tumbling in the
sun-split clouds doing things he only dreamed of-- high in the sunlit silence.
Where never lark, or even eagle flew he’s high in the untrespassed sanctity of
space, only to put his hand out and touch God’s face.
An adaptation of “High Flight” by
John Gillespie Magee, Jr., RCAF
Godspeed my Pilot! We love and miss you dearly!
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