Fred.C. Bretcher 1920-2004
From left to right: Max Stanley, Fred Bretcher, and O. H. Douglas
Fred Bretcher enlisted in the Army Air Corps in May 1941 as a Flying Cadet. He was in the first class to graduate from flight training (42A) after
Upon his return to Wright Field in 1944, Bretcher was assigned to the B-29 and then the B-32 program. He was promoted at that time to the rank of Major and became the Chief of the Bomber Flight Test Section. He also did quite a bit of test work at Muroc Army Airfield (now known as Edwards AFB). While there, he had his first experience flying the jet powered YP-59, YP-80A and the N9-M Flying Wing.
Bretcher joined Northrop as a test pilot in 1946 and built up his experience in the cockpit of the N9-M. He flew as co-pilot on the first flight of the XB-35, as pilot or co-pilot on the next two B-35's, as co-pilot on the first flight of the YB-49 and pilot of the first flight of the YRB-49 (with J.J. Quinn as co-pilot). He flew the first flight and Phase I tests of the XF-89 Scorpion and was co-pilot on the first flights of the N-23 and YC-125.
In 1950, he was transferred to Holloman AFB,