Joseph Raymond Desch

Joseph Raymond Desch

Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA
Death 3 Aug 1987 (aged 80)
Kettering, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA
Burial Kettering, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA
Plot 31_X_94_6
Memorial ID 80644217 · View Source
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The Desch family arrived in Mercer County, Ohio in the early 1830s. Joseph Anthony Desch came to Dayton in the late 1860s to work as a wagon-maker. Son Edward passed these skills to Joseph, born 1907 in Edgemont on the west side of Dayton.

Joe was hired at the National Cash Register Company in 1938. In the summer of 1940 he was asked to aid in the development of electronic counters for war, capable for very high speed counting.

The US Navy had picked the NCR lab to develop and build an American version of the British "Bombe," a machine used to analyze the German Naval code Enigma. The first American Bombes were delivered in 1943 and for the next two years machines were delivered on a regular basis to the Navy on Nebraska Avenue in Washington, D.C.

In the next 20 years, Joe Desch had many accomplishments including development of command and control aircraft equipment, thermal printers (including equipment on the Apollo space flights), radio rescue beacons for downed pilots. Joe retired from NCR in January 1972, shortly after the death of his wife Dorothy.

Joseph Desch received the Presidential Medal for Merit in July, 1946. The nomination for his Medal was written by Admiral DeWitt Clinton Ramsey. It read in part:

"The work of Mr. Desch was of vital importance to the solution of problems and the design of equipment which were absolutely necessary to the success of many operations. His exceptional brilliance in the design of a particular type of analytical equipment was largely responsible for the successful operation of this equipment which played a major role in the battle of the Atlantic, the Mediterranean campaigns and the Normandy landing."

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  • Maintained by: D. Anderson
  • Originally Created by: Bonecollector
  • Added: 18 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 80644217
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Joseph Raymond Desch (23 May 1907–3 Aug 1987), Find A Grave Memorial no. 80644217, citing Calvary Cemetery, Kettering, Montgomery County, Ohio, USA ; Maintained by D. Anderson (contributor 47786924) .