HAKOMAKI, Raymond I.

Is a retired aeronautical engineer, born in 1921 in Gilbert, Minnesota. He studied on the University of Minnesota, and worked there with Jean Piccard. In 1949 he entered in the mechanical division of General Mills Inc. and became an integral part of the research carried out at the company in the development of balloon technology for manned flights and for cosmic ray studies.

Among other devices, he designed the machine to make the pillow balloons used to carry leaflets in the early 50's over Eastern Europe as part of the propaganda efforts of the Radio Free Europe commitee. During those years he took part on several launch campaigns carried out from West Germany, launching leaflets into Hungary and other countries.

Years later, still while in General Mills, he helped in the development and sell of the design of which will leater become the ALVIN submarine to the Office of Naval Research. An upgraded version of the sub is still active for deep ocean research at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

After a career nearing 40 years, he retired from general Mills in 1989.

During his life he was one of the University of Minnesota's greatest swimmers. For that reason he was inducted into the Aquatics Hall of Fame of the University in 1987. Nowadays Ray lives in Roseville, Minnesota with his wife Mildred. They have four children, and two grandchildren.

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