Sunday, January 20, 2013

Passing the Lockheed Martin Torch

For our family, the story began in 1941
by Joe H.

Both my parents worked in Burbank, California. My father was at CALAC, as Lockheed–California came to be known, having joined the company in April 1941 as a payroll clerk. My mother hired on at nearby subsidiary Vega Aircraft Company, and I still have her one-year employment pin. Mom left Vega when she was pregnant with me. I was born in December 1943. Dad departed shortly after the end of World War II. I still have a photo on my wall that includes my father with the aircraft assemblers on a bomber line. The photograph was taken to honor meeting a production goal. My Dad is the only person in the photo wearing a tie!
Dad rejoined CALAC as an employment interviewer in 1951. He transferred, first to Van Nuys and then to Sunnyvale, as part of the newly developing Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. He was an employment supervisor in 1968 when I ‘snuck in the back door’. I was hired by Sunnyvale by a technical publications organization, supporting the Polaris/Poseidon FBM programs. In the ensuing years, because of my skills for computerized technical publishing systems, I was loaned out to support leading-edge programs, including the Space Shuttle orbiter, the high- and low-temperature reusable service insulation (heat resistant tiles) programs and the Cruise Missile program, when that concept was merely a twinkle in the eyes of engineers.
The 38 years I spent at Lockheed Martin allowed me to feel that I was supporting the United States in the best way I could.