Walter P. Jones was a research pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics' High- Speed Flight Research Station (predecessor of NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, Calif.) from September 1950 until August 1952. During that time, he made five research flights in the Douglas D-558-1 Skystreak, seven flights in the Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket, fourteen flights in the Northrop X-4, and eight flights in the Bell X-5. In addition, he was copilot on the B-29 launch aircraft.
After leaving the High-Speed Flight Research Station, he joined Northrop as an engineering test pilot in August 1952 and was assigned to Edwards Air Force Base to perform flight testing on Northrop's F-89. He was killed in a crash of the YF-89D all-rocket-armed, twin-jet, all-weather interceptor on October 20, 1953.
Jones was born on August 24, 1924, in Struthers, Ohio. He entered the Army Air Forces on December 8, 1942, and served until August 18, 1946. He earned bachelor and masters of science degrees in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University and was employed for a time by Douglas Aircraft of Santa Monica as a flight test analyst.
Besides the aircraft listed above, he flew the NC-45, the P-47, F-80, F-81, F-84, the Beech Bonanza, and the Lockheed Lodestar.