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In Memoriam - John Robert Dille

June 17, 2019

In Memoriam - John Robert Dille

AsMA staff were saddened to hear of the death of J. Robert “Bob” Dille, M.D., Past President and Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association (AsMA).

   A native of Pennsylvania, Dr. Dille earned a B.S. from Waynesburg College in 1952, then his M.D. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1956. He graduated from the USAF Primary Course in Aviation Medicine at Randolph AFB, TX, in 1957. He spent the next 2 years as Chief of the Aviation Medicine Section at the USAF Hospital in Loring AFB, ME. From 1959–1961, he attended Harvard University, where he earned an M.I.H. degree in 1960, and received training to become a USAF Flight Surgeon. He became Program Advisory Officer at the Civil Aeromedical Research Institute, OK, in 1961. Until 1965, he also served as Acting Chief of the Aeromedical Clinical Services Division, Acting Director of the Aeronautical Center Medical Clinic, and Regional Flight Surgeon for the FAA's Western Region. He returned to Oklahoma City to become Manager of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA's) Civil Aeromedical Institute. He retired from the FAA in 1987. 
    Dr. Dille was commissioned in the U.S. Army National Guard in 1976 as a flight surgeon and served as State Surgeon from 1990–1991, retiring as a Colonel in 1991. He was Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma from 1961–1998, Director of Residency in Aerospace Medicine from 1967–1972, Medical Director of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections from 1990–1993, a part-time clinician there from 1993–2002, a Physician at the Cleveland Co. Jail in Norman, OK, from 1994–2002, and a Surveyor for the National Commission on Correctional Health Care from 2000–2004.
    Dr. Dille was Board-Certified in Aviation Medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine, and his honors included the USAF Commendation Medal, the U.S. Army Meritorious Service Medal, the Oklahoma Distinguished Service Medal, the Army National Guard’s Flight Surgeon of the Year award, and being named Master Flight Surgeon by the Army National Guard. He was a member of the International Academy of Aviation and Space Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Preventive Medicine. He was awarded AsMA's 1978 Theodore C. Lyster Award, 1987 Harry G. Moseley Award, and 2008 Marie Marvingt Award, and had served as Chair of AsMA's History and Archives Committee, as President of AsMA (1992–1993), and gave the Harry G. Armstrong Lecture in 1997. He was also awarded the Society of U.S. Army Flight Surgeons Order of Aeromedical Merit. 
    Dr. Dille published over 225 papers, book chapters, and articles, including the history chapter in Fundamentals of Aerospace Medicine. For over two decades, he lectured regularly to airmen, flight instructors, accident investigators, and aviation medical examiners on the subjects of aircraft accident investigations, aviation toxicology, and aviation physiology. He was involved in establishing physiological training programs for civilian pilots at the FAA, U.S. Air Force, U.S. Army, U.S. Navy, and NASA, and had developed and built 85 portable Barany-type chairs and trained accident prevention specialists in their use. Additionally, he held a private pilot license and piloted hot air balloons.