About Dave Loda. A former US military officer, CDR Dave Loda USNR (RET) enlisted as a private in the Connecticut Army National Guard, serving as an armored cavalry tank driver and scout. Receiving his commission as a Second Lieutenant (Armor) while still an undergraduate at the University of Connecticut, he was selected for the newly formed Aviation Branch and left for active duty upon graduation, training as an Army pilot in the UH-1H Huey and UH-60A Black Hawk. He was then assigned to the elite 101st Airborne Division at Ft Campbell KY. After completing his tour of active duty he transferred to the Navy Reserve and went back on active duty for Navy pilot training, returning to fly the SH-2F Sea Sprite helicopter at NAS South Weymouth, MA. Later in his career he served with the USS John F Kennedy, then spent the next seven years at the US Naval War College in Newport Rhode Island in the War Gaming Department as staff. His last assignment was to the new Naval Warfare Development Command where he helped coordinate airborne experimentation for major fleet battle experiments, logged pilot time in the F-18 Hornet, P-3 Orion, and was the first Navy pilot to fly the USAF JOINT Stars, a Boeing 707.
In his civilian occupations he has been a long time innovator and serial entrepreneur. He worked for ten years at United Technologies Corporation and its Pratt & Whitney division and has been awarded 11 US and multiple foreign patents. In recent years he has been an innovation consultant, having worked for NASA and the FAA and served on an FAA advisory committee in Washington DC helping to architect the network infrastructure for the future Air Transportation System.
Dave became involved in Living History and reenacting shortly after retiring from the military, as he missed the fellowship and company of his comrades along with the challenge of flying new aircraft and war gaming at the US Naval War College. Learning to ride a horse in mid-life has provided this challenge, and he met his new best friend and inseparable partner, Huckleberry Finn McCool, shortly thereafter. And the rest, they say, is history…….
About Huckleberry Finn McCool. Born on an early 18th century horse farm in Bolton Connecticut, Huckleberry is a registered Morgan horse whose ancestry dates back to Figure, the original Morgan foaled in 1789 and whose famous sire was True Briton, owned by Loyalist Col James DeLancey. He is a 10 year old dark chestnut gelding who is great with people and a veteran of many reenactment battles, from Gettysburg 150th to Monmouth, Lexington/Concord, Ft Ticonderoga and other venues, including the annual Hartford Veterans Day and New Haven St Patrick’s Day parades.