Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I learned about a hard-driving, genial style
by Norman B.

When I employed at Lockheed in Sunnyvale, California, Gene Root was president of the missile division. In 1962, Gene also was president of the Institute of Aeronautical Sciences (IAS), the vintage professional organization for airplane flight. He and William Pickering of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and president of the American Rocket Society agreed the two organizations should merge to become the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).

When Gene was president of IAS, I served as chair of the San Francisco section. When it became evident that Gene was leading the merger effort on behalf of IAS personally, my council members were asked to start “talking -it-up.” Council members thought the merger should occur, and readily agreed to start immediately informing section members why the merger should occur.

Soon after this promotional council meeting, Gene got to me personally with the request that our section should promote the merger. “Already started,” he was told. Gene said, “You are the first person to give me what I wanted before I asked for it!” My reply was “Gene I didn’t want you stepping on my heels.” His retort was, “Norm, you have not had your heels stepped on until you have had them stepped on by Dan Haughton.” Mr. Haughton was president of Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. I’ll never forget that conversation!

Lockheed:1953 to 1963

We were proud to support Air Force One
by William McA.

I worked at Lockheed during an exciting decade (1953 to 1963). Not only was the work interesting, but we certainly had a bunch of great people working there. Lockheed’s aircraft maintenance operations supported several different companies. Among the airline customers were Avianca, Lufthansa, Iberia and Seaboard & Western. I worked in the planning area. We also specialized in revamping Air Force One to satisfy the administration that was in office at that time. I remember working in a special space set up in one of the hangars when President Kennedy was in office. He needed a special desk and chair where he could work, but because of problems with his back, he needed a specialized desk set-up. A few changes were made for Mrs. Kennedy as well. Once President Johnson came into office in 1963, we did other types of work. It was interesting working in the program office because we were attached to many different types of contracts. Of course, back in around 1954, we went on strike and that wasn't pleasant.

JFK and Air Force One

Greetings to My Lockheed Martin Friends

I helped develop the Titan missile
by John Van A.

It’s interesting to note that the history of Lockheed Martin began just a few years before 1920, the year in which I was born. I enjoyed an exciting career helping to develop the Titan I, II and III on four test stands, even before their activation. I helped mainly on D, where we performed the original tests. Then I went on to vertical tests for quality inspection and Titan II retest and tooling for tooling layouts. The special event was on Pad 41 in Florida, when the first Titan III was tested with success. I enjoyed 16 years of continuing excitement, and seldom was there a dull day. Probably as a result of my love for aerospace, my son has been a pilot for United Airlines for nearly 27 years. May your success continue for many future years!

Monday, April 29, 2013

Continuing the Legacy

Working at Lockheed Martin spans many generations
by Mary G.

We are a Lockheed Martin family! My son, Tom, went to work at Lockheed right out of the Navy. At the time, I lived in Redwood City, California, and there were layoffs at the electronics company where I worked. Tom urged me to apply at the plant in Sunnyvale in 1986 when the Challenger exploded. I was with the company until 1998, when I retired. My son is now head manager of the submarine division at Sunnyvale. His son, Ryan, is a submariner also he was also an officer! They work in the same buildings. Tom’s daughter, Marissa, is a buyer at Lockheed Martin in Orlando. The company has been very good to our family, especially when the young ones were in college!

Lulu Belle

We helped usher in the “jet age”
by Jim A.

I am 93 years old, and my wife is 88. We met at Lockheed’s Burbank Factory B-1. We were high school grads, working to help build the old Hudson Bombers. I had hired into Lockheed in 1940, and my wife (Phyllis) was hired in 1942. I retired from Lockheed Skunk Works in 1974, having by then earned my Master of Science. Phyllis worked many years at Lockheed, off and on, but did not formally retire from the company. She, too, had earned her master's degree. One more rather interesting fact is years later, we both ended up going back into the workforce working for the Martin Marietta before the merger with Lockheed. We finally retired from Martin in 1987.

I wanted to share some lesser-known facts regarding Skunk Works and the development of the XP-80 (Lulu Belle) jet fighter plane in 1943. It was the start of Skunk Works.When Kelly Johnson received the contract for the XP-80 jet fighter, there was no available space to manufacture a new airplane. Finally, in desperation, it was decided to place the design group in the model shop and to construct a very heavy tent connecting to the model shop for the fabrication of the aircraft. This had one advantage, as it was located at the extreme end of the B-1 complex, thus few people were in this area.

Security was very tight. To enter the facility, personnel had first to be checked by an Air Force guard, then checked by a Lockheed guard. During manufacture, outside parts such as electric motors and cockpit control gauges were delivered to private homes. The name Lockheed never appeared on purchase orders. I was young, newly married, and my wife, Phyllis, working in the plant had no idea what I was involved in after I entered the large tent. We employees kept our mouths shut, period.

You may have heard how the Skunk Works got its name, but I will retell it for those who may not know. In the 1940s, there was a very popular comic strip by AI Capp featuring Li’l Abner, his girlfriend and some rough scroungy individuals, living in a cave called "Skunk Works," where they made whiskey that was named "Joy Juice." Well, one of the young Skunk Works design engineers answered the phone during Kelly Johnson's absence and said, "Skunk Works, we are all out of Joy Juice," and it cracked up the whole design group. So every time Kelly was gone and the phone rang it was answered "Skunk Works." Kelly did not like the name Skunk Works at all, but somehow it stuck, and it became the name for the secrete development shop.

It is interesting our small group designed and built Lulu Belle in 143 days (seven days under what Kelly had promised the Air Force he would deliver the aircraft). Normally it took one to two years to develop a new model aircraft. Of course, we had complete freedom to proceed without the customer looking over our shoulder; no detail customer inspection during construction, no company formal change orders, no formal design reviews, no shop orders, no waiting for approved blueprints for the shop. The shop built parts and assemblies right from the design Vellum. If the shop had a problem in fabrication to the Vellum, the drawing design engineer would be called out to the shop and in most cases, he would mark change corrections on the Vellum, sign his initials on the Vellum, and that was our change order. The design group and shop worked hand in glove together.

Another interesting item in the development of the XP-80, was the collapse of the inside of the air intake ducts and the damage to the jet engine. At this time period, the United States had no jet engines, and jet aircraft was unheard of in our country, although Germany and England were involved in jet aircraft development. The XP-80 was designed around the British de Havilland H-1-B turbojet engine. When the engine arrived in California, along with the English jet engineers, they were concerned about the sheet metal structure on the inside of the air intake ducts that furnished compressed air to the jet engine. Lockheed engineers felt the ducts were designed and constructed strong enough to withstand the impelled suction of the compressed air as it passes on to the engine.

At California Muroc Restricted Air Base, the aircraft with, the British jet engine installed, started static power run-ups at 10 percent intervals and as 70 percent power was reached, the inside of the air intake ducts collapsed sending sheet metal fragments and rivets into the engine impeller. Close inspection of the jet engine impeller revealed the damage was severe and a new engine would be required. By the time a new English engine arrived and the intake ducts were redesigned and fabricated, we had lost two months’ time, and the first flight was the early morning of January 8, 1944, by Chief Test Pilot Milo Burcham.

The XP-80 is now in the Smithsonian Museum, and I have visited it on two occasions and touched the ailerons and wing tips, the assemblies I personally made from flat metal to final installation. The aircraft is like an old friend to me.

'Thanks Old Friend!

Three Generations Strong

Working at Lockheed is a family institution
by Curtis B.

Both my father and grandfather worked at Lockheed. My grandfather worked for Vega Aircraft Corporation in the 1930s, as a shipping and receiving clerk. My father, “Tex,” worked at Lockheed from 1940 to 1970. He started in the maintenance department and advanced to P-38 production to flight line supervisor on the “Connie Tri-Tail.” In the late 1950s, my father joined Kelly Johnson’s “Skunk works.” There, he worked on the U-2 and SR-71 programs, and was the final assembly department manager on the SR-71 program. I worked at Lockheed from 1966 to 1995 on the SST, U-2, SR-71, L-1011, C-130 and F-117 programs. I also worked at the Helendale Radar Cross Section Facility. Thank you!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bonny Doon

I am grateful for the lasting friendships
by Patricia D.

I worked for Lockheed Martin in Santa Cruz (Bonny Doon) for 19 years. What I value the most from this experience are some very special friendships that will last forever—wonderful people I shared so much of my life with. There are many other things for which I am grateful, but the most valuable are these life-long friends!

A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

I worked on remarkable aircraft
by Angelo P.

In 1956, I had the opportunity to work for Lockheed. During the years of my employment, I worked on several aircraft—the L-1049 Super Constellation, the L-1649 Starliner, the L-188 Electra, the L-1011 TriStar, the C-5 Galaxy, the SR-71 Blackbird, the F-117 Nighthawk and the U-2. I also worked on the Polaris missile program. I retired from Skunk Works in 1994 as a tool and die maker. I was very happy and enjoyed my years of 36 years of working for Lockheed.

Turning the Page

I learned mid-life offered a new beginning
by Ruth O.

At age 45, I went to work at Martin Marietta Materials Company. It was my first job outside the home. I had been a homemaker and mother of five. I worked at a company that let me move all over the plant and was exposed to all kinds of new jobs and experiences. I learned many life lessons from everyone–including supervisors who were very nice to answer all kinds of questions.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

New Worlds, New Horizons

Palo Alto was the perfect place for an astronomer
By Hugh J.

Congratulations on your 100th! I lead a simple life—without email! I correspond via handwritten letters. As an introduction, I received doctorate in astronomy from the University of Chicago in 1953. I was employed at the Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory (LPARL) from 1963 to 1986. I believe I was the first of several astronomers who worked there. Some of my time was intended for profit, especially toward winning the Hubble Space Telescope assembly contract. I accompanied one or more Sunnyvale employees on trips to several NASA centers, where I made presentations for the company. (My presence was mainly to “add couth,” according to one of the group travelers.)

Lockheed treated me extraordinarily by permitting me to do research of entirely my own conception and to travel to astronomical observatories and conferences. Of course, I had to submit plans for LPARL approval and dig up some of the costs. I published about 135 papers, mostly in the first-rank Astrophysical Journal, mostly alone, and almost never with another LPARL employee.

I married my dear wife, Jeanette Ringstad, in 1951. We have traveled to about 35 countries, mostly for astronomy and with no Lockheed funding for her. Retirement is tolerable, except for old age!

It Was in the “Stars”

Working with Lockheed aircraft took me to new heights
by Vero A.

From October 1964 to September 1983, I was a Lockheed employee at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. We had sixty F-104G Starfighter jets that trained German student pilots. I worked in the supply section, and my job was to order the replacement aircraft and engine parts needed to keep the aircraft flying. It is hard to believe, but I ordered, on average, $2,500 in parts each working day. The difficult part of my job was getting the right part for the F-104G, our model, when we shipped the aircraft at the end of contract to Taiwan, Republic of China. We had parts without paperwork and paperwork without parts. My job was to combine the two!

However, my Lockheed Martin story began decades before. Serving in the military, I worked on Lockheed’s first jet plane, the P/F-80 Shooting Star, in 1948 at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona. I was stationed there as a mechanic. I was chief on Aircraft #280 of the highest “in the air” record (950 hours) for jets. I was moved to Aircraft #279 to fly in the “acrobatic jet” demonstration (air show) team. We went to Miami, Florida, for an air show in November 1949, where my pilot flew in the fourth rear position. I had to increase the engine speed from 100 percent to 105 percent, and it was approved by our Lockheed representative. I took the jet out and adjusted it. The pilot was happy!

My other association with Lockheed while in the Air Force was with the Lockheed T-33 aircraft. At Williams Air Force Base, I rode with the test pilot in front seat. I also road in rear seat at Luke Air Force Base, with the pilot in front, pulling a target behind with a cable in the Barry M. Goldwater Gunnery Range. The F-82 pilot didn’t show up, and to burn fuel for landing, we did lazy eights over Sun City, Arizona, for a half-hour. Wow! The experience of this test hop pilot diving down to a mountain top, and then going toward the sun, with your head getting darker (three times the head weight) was unforgettable. Our commander also had a test plane and joined us. Both planes checked, and then came the "horse play," creating the jet stream the other had to fly through. It felt as if we were in a car and hit a ditch, and then we were in the air!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Middle River Ingenuity

We were awarded a patent for an underwater ramjet
by Harold O.

It has been 40 years since I left Martin Marietta in Middle River, Maryland. where I had spent 18 years (from 1955 to 1973). I worked with two wonderful bosses during those years—William (Bill) Grey and Charlie Schell. Bill was my supervisor during the time I worked as an engineer performing jet engine performance calculations. At the time, Martin was competing on a contract with the Air Force for a new fighter/bomber. The company’s unique approach was to use water injection to increase thrust. Right after the announcement that we won, all the workers on the project were on a “high.” We were invited to a celebration party. Soon after this party the plant went on a short holiday, and when we returned we got the bad news that the contract had been cancelled. What a disappointment!

I was transferred to R&D where I worked on two interesting projects. They were calculating the heat transfer for the lunar drill, the drill that was used on the Moon and the research for an underwater ramjet, which I named “Marjet.” Charlie and l were awarded a patent (3171379 Hydro-Pneumatic Ramjet). Martin was awarded a Navy contract.

I left Martin Marietta in 1973 and went to work for Naval Air System Command (NASC) in Washington, D. C. At nearly 90, I am happily pursuing my hobby of coin collecting and keeping active by trying to help my bowling team (Hawks) win.

1951, the Year of the YC-130

I started my Lockheed career at 18 years old
by Mary Frances C.

I started at Lockheed-Georgia on September 17, 1951. I was 18 and just out of high school. At the time, I worked on the top mezzanine, where there was no air conditioning. Needless to say, we got extremely warm. One of the ladies in my department went to the B-2 Building and got to see Jimmy Carmichael (the first general manager of Lockheed-Georgia) to tell him we needed air. He sent over fans for us to use.

At the time, we had 24,000 people there. The traffic was horrible and leaving at 3:30 with thousands of people was a challenge, but we made it just fine.

I worked in 17 different departments at Lockheed, including the employment office on Peachtree Street in Atlanta, across from Crawford Long Hospital and the Tower Theater. I worked in several departments on the line, and I worked on the C-5 proposal. That was an amazing effort, and I worked seven days a week, 12 hours a day!

My husband started working at Lockheed in 1953 when he got out of the Army, and he stayed until 1990 when he retired. I had to leave in 1975 due to sickness and the death of my father.

Of all the places I have worked in my life, Lockheed was definitely my favorite. That was one job I didn’t mind going to everyday. We had good wages and excellent benefits. If I could have stayed at Lockheed Martin and could still be working, I would be starting my 62nd year!

My Gift Was Teaching Others

In the 1960s, we were only beginning to harness the power of the computer
by Mary Martin C.

I went to work at Martin Marietta on June 6, 1961. My work, for the most part, was good. I had to learn how to defend myself. I knew my job and did it well, even if some of the supervisors might have taken credit for a job well done. When I was in accounts payable, I was the clerk selected to help out our department on the computer and to teach the remaining clerks how to do their jobs on the computer. I had the responsibility to teach all new clerks for the remainder of my years at the company.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Lockheed Memories

We were hired to design, build and fly the world’s most advanced aircraft
by Maurice Orville "Moe" E.

Lockheed Aircraft Company, so prominent in the late 1930s and early 1940s, employed the top engineers of all the aircraft companies. They were hired to design, build and fly the premier airplanes used in the war effort, as World War II became imminent. There were some amazingly talented people responsible for creating, manufacturing and preparing the planes for test flight. Safety was paramount, but the planes needed to be completed on schedule and ready for delivery as ordered. It took a carefully structured organization to successfully meet the high military standards and demand for product placed on the thousands of dedicated workers working for Lockheed Aircraft Company housed in Burbank, California. I am proud that I was one of those hired to meet the needs of my country. I joined Lockheed in 1940 and was active on projects including P-2Vs through P-2V7 and P-3V. I managed the building of the Cheyenne helicopter, the refurbishing of the U-2, the larger “R” model and the L-1011 aircraft. I also had the pleasure of keeping Kelly Johnson’s aircraft 329J ready to fly, often on short notice. I retired in 1975, and I recall with great fondness the opportunities I enjoyed during my 39 years of service with the Lockheed.

Powering American Manufacturing

I am proud to be part of Lockheed Martin’s heritage
by Hazel R.

I was employed in the personnel department at Harvey Aluminum, a Lockheed Martin heritage company. I enjoyed all my years there and look back on them with fond memories. I worked at Harvey for 25 years, and I retired in 1977, quite a long time ago! Our department processed people in and out of the company. It was an enjoyable meeting with people and lending a hand when possible. Mr. Metzger was our boss, and he was such a good manager. I remember giving out the service awards each year. What a good time was had by all! There is nothing more satisfying than love what you do, and I enjoyed my job to the limit. I am so thankful for all the benefits awarded to me now. Best regards!

A Cadre of Safety and Quality

I was honored to be the “A” Inspector
by Earl M.

After retiring from the United States Marine Corps in 1974, I was looking for a job! I started working for truck tanker lines and attended Delgado Community College when things were real slow. I applied at Michoud. I started to try out for machine shop, but the boss thought I did not qualify, so I started working in the sheet metal shop. My bosses were Mr. Uhener and Mr. Peters. After a while, I became Inspector “B.” About a year later, I became Inspector “A,” which was much better. I was responsible for moving tanks into various positions, including barge loading of the tank for shipment to Florida. I was very committed to my job and quality. I am very proud of that. I retired in 1991.

Aviation Was My “Calling”

I started at Lockheed in 1945
by Hunter L.

I worked for Lockheed from 1945 to 1970 at the airport in New York, just after I was released from the Air Force. I was an aircraft mechanic and later supervisor of the inspection department. We performed aircraft inspection and maintenance on several type aircraft. We even did the United States presidential aircraft inspection and repair as required. After Lockheed, I left New York and went to work for the Federal Aviation Administration.

A Special Trust

We performed testing on the world’s most prestigious aircraft
by George B.
I joined Lockheed in 1958 to manage its newly formed non-destructive testing group in the engineering department of LAS-NY at Idlewild Airport, later rededicated as the John F. Kennedy International Airport in Jamaica, New York. We performed ultrasonic and radiographic non-destructive testing services for commercial and private aircraft, as well as military Constellation-type aircraft.

What the public did not know was that we all provided these services on the presidential fleet of Lockheed Constellation aircraft, which were undergoing service and modification work in our separate and secure private hangar at the airport. The Air Force provided 24-hour surveillance inside the hangar and inside the aircraft using video cameras and Air Force guards. We had to obtain individual Top-Secret security clearances for our work with ultrasonic and x-ray testing personnel. We had to sign in at the hangar entrance and sign in at the aircraft entrance door to work inside the aircraft. The FBI investigated all of us by contacting out neighbors and people who would know us personally to grant us this clearance.

Idlewild Airport

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

An Amazing Era for Aviation

Middle River was the place to be
by Stephen T.

I was employed at Middle River in Baltimore, beginning in the late 1950s, when aircraft were still vital there. I met and interacted with several aeronautical experts imported from Germany—unlike the more well-known examples of imported rocket experts in Alabama. No unpleasant hints from the past ever arose. For the record, they were Hans Multhopp, Peter Jordan, Fritz Vandrey and Ingeborg Ginzel.

Mr. Multhopp probably made the biggest impact as a designer, since he brought proven skills and experience from German fighters. Notable was the use of T-tails. These now made their appearance in innovative military aircraft built in Baltimore, but were never bought.

I saw a wood mock-up of a proposed close-ground support flying tank. The production contract went elsewhere. Today, the Maryland National Guard flies essentially the same aircraft from the Middle River Airport. It is known as the Warthog.

My Journey Began in Iowa

As a child, we walked seven miles to see World War I aircraft
by Donald N.

I grew up in Iowa. As a child early in the Great Depression, my friends and I would often walk seven miles from Sioux City to Sergeant Bluff to see the airplanes used during World War I. I served in the Air Corps in World War II, and was trained as an airplane electrician. I served in the Pacific Theater from New Guinea to Ie Shima. After the War, I earned a degree at Northrop University, followed with 37 enjoyable years with Lockheed as a senior design specialist.

Aviation Powerhouse

We are part of Lockheed Martin’s high-flying heritage
by R.B. P.

I had a long career in aerospace, and I retired from heritage General Dynamics in 1992.  I live in Texas and enjoy my retirement. Congratulations on your anniversary!

Monday, April 22, 2013

October 19, 1938

I remember my first day of my career
by Carl S.

As a lover of airplanes, I can remember my first day of employment at the Glenn L. Martin Company. It was on October 19, 1938, in the surface and floating department in “A” Building on the B-10 Bomber for the Dutch East Indies. From there, it was onto the PBM seaplane in “B” Building. During the War, the outer wing was subcontracted to Fairchild Aircraft in Hagerstown. I had the pleasure to help instruct the fabrication of these wings. After the War, I came back to work on the 2-0-2, which was a passenger plane. When the aircraft was discontinued, I had the pleasure to work on the Pershing missile. Then onto the short order department and scheduling. It was such an experience to have such a variety of jobs. I loved them all meeting so many nice people. My dreams were fulfilled.
B-10 Bomber

“Miracle Man”

My story begins just before World War II
by Elmer S.

I was born on October 14, 1921. I was employed at the Glenn L. Martin Company on August 23, 1940, as a riveter and assembler. Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941. In June 1942, I tried to join the Navy. I was rejected because I was colorblind.

I continued to work at Martin until my deferment expired in 1944. I was called to my Draft Board. My first test was x-ray and the last test was the colorblind test. I wanted to go into the service and I was the fourth man in line designated for the Navy. I was far enough back that I could memorize the colorblind cards on the table from the other men. I passed. I was directed to the bleacher with the other approximately 25 men. We were told to bring a toothbrush, towel and a couple dollars. To my dismay, I was called from the bleacher by a Navy doctor who told me I was rejected due to a spot on my lung. I was very disappointed, especially when I was classified 4F.

I worked at Martin until 1960 when I was laid off. I then went to Boeing to build helicopters for three years. I was called back to Martin to work on the RC-135 fuel cell replacement. In January 1982, I retired from Martin Marietta at age 62. I have enjoyed my retirement.

At age 70, I had a hernia and was scheduled to enter the hospital. I was to have a physical exam prior to the surgery. I told the doctor the only problem I had was a spot on my lung. To my surprise, the X-ray of my lungs was clear. There was no spot. Did he get my X-ray mixed up with others? Then, at age 79, I fell on the ice and thought I had broken my ribs. I checked in at Franklin Square Hospital for X-rays. The doctor in emergency said "no broken ribs." I asked her if she saw a spot on my lung. She said she would check the X-ray again. She returned and said there was no spot on my lung. I began to think, "Where was the spot on my lung. Had it cleared up?"

 For 37 years, I lived with the thought of having TB, thinking I would not be living a long life. After having thought about my problem, I am convinced the spot on my lung was Zinc Chromate paint that I had breathed while working in the aircraft with the spray painters. Zinc is a metal, and chrome is a metal. I am a healthy person who still enjoys hunting, fishing, boating and horseback riding. This is my true story.

Quality Was Our Mantra

Over the course of three decades, I was an eyewitness to a technology revolution
by Charles F.

I was hired by the Glenn L. Martin Company in 1956. My badge was 337. I inspected most of the metals and raw material for quality receiving inspection. I worked at the Clay Street facility until the inventory and factory buildings were finished. In 1979, I was sent to Pueblo with 12 others. There, we hired about 250 people and built the tooling and mirrors for solar systems that produced electricity for Barstow, California, and Madera, Spain. I came back to Denver as a quality engineer. I received one of 13 medallions for work on the Peacekeeper. About the last four years, I worked at training in receiving inspection, material review board, source inspection and engineering drawing release approval for quality. I also worked on the small ICBM and Titan II refurb programs during this time. I retired in 1987.

Working All Fronts

From deep space to deep sea, I enjoyed my career
by Emery F.

I worked at Librascope and was hired in May 1959 as a design draftsman. I was assigned to the Atlas-Centaur missile program to design the circuit boards and related parts for the Centaur computer. This Atlas device is still active. I was promoted to senior designer, production and liaison engineer, program manager, supervisor of estimating, then manager of customer service, spares and repairs. I was also a project coordinator on the Seawolf submarine program. After retiring 28 years later, I was hired by the Defense Contract Administration Services as an industrial specialist, because of my experience in manufacturing and engineering.
I am now 83 years young! I am married, with three children and four grandchildren. I am still a member of the Lockheed Martin Credit Union. Thank you!

Decades Have Passed

My Lockheed memories still remain strong
by Ward K.
I am retired and just turned 92. Many moons have pass since my Lockheed days. I have worked as a Sears outside salesman, and I built a home in Groville, California, in 1985.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Designing the First Air-to-Air Guided Missile

It was 1950, and the Cold War was just beginning
by James S.

Just out of college, I joined the Glenn L. Martin Company in 1950, as a junior electronic engineer in the electronics department. My first assignment was as a designer on an air-to-air guided air missile when none existed. It was the Oriole missile. I subsequently worked on a wide range of guided missiles and was co-inventor of a unique guidance system for a Marine Corps surface-to-surface missile. I was one of the approximately 250 people who transferred to Denver to start the Titan ICBM program. I was in the systems engineering organization. We built the Titan program to over ten thousand at its peak. I resigned from Martin in 1961. My time with Martin was very interesting, rewarding and fun!

Four Companies, One Location

At 83, I can say I wholeheartedly enjoyed my career
by Benjamin S.

I worked for four different companies while remaining at the same location—RCA, GE, Lockheed and Lockheed Martin. I am now retired and am 83 years old. I enjoyed working for each of the companies.

Lockheed’s AH-56 Cheyenne

It was a honor to test pilot this advanced rotary-wing aircraft
by Dave S.

I was privileged to be one of the Lockheed-California Company’s AH-56 Cheyenne compound helicopter test pilots, and I enjoyed every minute of that experience. In fact, I had a very unique opportunity to be in engineering during the preliminary design and detail design, then test flying, and then teaching others to fly the Cheyenne. Many people won’t even remember that Lockheed was in the rotary-wing business, and that we built the most advanced rotary-wing aircraft to this day. The Cheyenne was designed and developed in the mid-1960s to the mid-1970s and included a very effective and sophisticated day/night weapons suite. It was way ahead of its time!

Lockheed also built several smaller helicopters to prove and demonstrate the rigid rotor concept. Other companies had tried to build a rigid rotor and failed, but Lockheed engineering didn’t know that you could not successfully build a rigid rotor, so they did it. The Lockheed rigid rotor helicopters were extremely maneuverable. Many known aviation personalities were flown in these aircraft, including Willie Messerschmitt, Jackie Cochran, a number of astronauts, as well as a few politicians and movie stars. Another little known fact was that Lloyd Stearman (yes, the Lloyd Stearman) worked in the Lockheed rotary-wing preliminary design department during the Cheyenne design/development period and enjoyed it. There are so many stories from this period that were so interesting, and I hope others contribute other memories to record this piece of Lockheed Martin’s history.

The Cheyenne in Flight

From the California Desert to the Baikonaur Cosmodrome

I loved “setting the stage” for technological innovation
by Lawrence S.

I was responsible for scheduling the Titan rocket launches at the Space Launch Complex IV and NRO Operations Center at Vandenberg Air Force Base, California. I loved this job! I was the integration scheduler for American and Russian launches in the Baikonur Cosmodrome, the world's first and largest operational space launch facility. It is located in the desert steppes of Kazakhstan. I was also the scheduling manager for Western Test Range Software Development, Santa Maria, California, and lead scheduler for the U-2 program in Palmdale, California.

My life has been a wonderful adventure!

Swords, Plowshares and Engineering

I was awestruck by an innovative collaboration
by Arnold G.

In 1997, Lockheed Martin had just awarded a contract to Energomash, the Russian rocket engine manufacturer, to supply rocket engines for Lockheed Martin's next generation expendable launch vehicle, the Atlas V. I was sent to Moscow as part of a small group of engineers with the task of sitting down with counterparts from Energomash to work out details of integrating their engine with our rocket structure, propellant systems, avionics and other subsystems.

As we sat in offices that dated back to the Soviet era, I couldn't help but be struck by the poignancy of the occasion. Our counterparts had no doubt spent their careers working on programs that would have meant destruction for our way of life, just as I had worked on projects that would have destroyed theirs. Thankfully, those "swords" remained sheathed and our mutual expertise was now being put to use in a peaceful "plowshare" collaboration.

As a result of that initiative, one of the first Atlas V missions launched the Helass Sat II communications satellite which provided live coverage of the 2004 Athens Olympic Games for the enjoyment of people around the world.
Helass Sat II

Readying for Takeoff

Working in aviation has been a family affair
by Katherine P.

I was fortunate to have known Kelly Johnson and Ben Rich and many great people. Lockheed was the best employer I ever had and part of my family history for decades.

I worked for Lockheed twice, from 1966 to 1968 at ADP, and then from 1979 to 1991 at A-1 and ADP. I worked for engineering services as an Ozalid operator and document control clerk. I worked on the U-2, SR-71, L-1011, the supersonic passenger jet proposal and the F-117.

A few of my family members also worked at Lockheed. My grandfather, Ivan W Bowen, worked at Lockheed in the 1940s. My father, Francis Shanks, worked there in 1941. My uncle, Ed Shanks, was head of engineering at A-1 from the 1940s through the 1980s. My aunt, Marjory Crowder, worked from 1951 to 1981 at ADP. My mother, Frances M. Eldridge, worked at Lockheed for over a decade. My brother (James R. Shanks) and my cousin (Barbara Shanks) worked there as well!

At Amazing Speed and Temperature

I led test programs for the F-22 and the C-130J
by Robert T.

I had the extreme pleasure of leading two unique test programs in the mid- to late-1990s. I’d like to share about two of them. We ran escape system tests (canopy jettison and ejection seat) on the F-22 at 600 knots on the rocket sled track at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. The test covered about seven miles of the track, and the dummy survived. We also ran extreme temperature tests on the C-130J at the climatic lab at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. We tested cold to -65 degrees Fahrenheit and hot to +120 degrees Fahrenheit with solar added. Mechanics changed a fuel pump in the wing at -40 degrees and thought it was warm! By the way, flight testing C-130Js, C-5s and P-3s wasn't too shabby either!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

A Step Back in Time

What wonderful memories from the late 1950s
by Robert V.

When Glenn L. Martin Company first came to Orlando, Florida, G.T. Willey would stand up on a table in the middle of large office rooms and inside factory assembly areas and loudly address employees with news and plans. Before year-end plant shutdown, we exchanged gifts and sweets, and we visited and watched for a particular CEO to come in and start kissing the pretty girls he could catch, but some ran and hid! What memories!

Learning from a Gentle Giant

My perceptions changed dramatically on that day
by Charles C.
I worked at Michoud from July 1981 through December 2009 on the Space Shuttle external tank project. Lockheed Martin is a fantastic company. I saw dedicated and intelligent people working every day, and am proud of its mission.

My story, however, is about a particular event in the early 1980s. I was in charge of the performance analysis quality trending, and was the presenter at the monthly meetings with quality and production management. Most meetings were fairly routine, with general cause and corrective action comments and explanations of performance. Most in the audience just wanted the meeting to be finished.
One month, however, an elderly, tall gentleman came in and started asking questions, one after the other, about quality and production issues relative to the data being presented. Although I knew the questions were not really directed at me to answer, but rather to production and quality managers, it started to get on my nerves a bit. I finally asked the gentleman, something to the effect of “You ask a lot of questions. Who are you?” Well, half the room burst out in laughter, and the other half were like me, not knowing who he was. His response was “I am George Rodney, and I should probably come to these meetings more often.” It turned out he was Director of Mission Success at the time, and he was located in another building. Needless to say, I became aware of who he was, and his history with Martin. He was quite a man, as described in the book Raise Heaven and Earth.
The moral of the story is to know your audience. That lesson will remain with me always!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Year Was 1943

It marked the beginning of an “illustrious” career
by Homer W.

My first contact with Lockheed Aircraft Corporation at Burbank was in 1943, when I applied for employment as an engineering draftsman. As a 19 year-old and subject to the World War II draft, I was not considered. However, at that time, I did experience the sight of the Lockheed plant hidden under a camouflage netting to guard against attack by Japanese aircraft!
My second contact with Lockheed was in 1949 during the Korean War build-up when I was hired by George Flower as a technical illustrator at the rate of $1.25 per hour. I was given five cents more per hour because of previous experience as an illustrator.

Of particular note, during those years at Burbank, I and another artist, Eldon Kaeding, and several engineers working in preliminary design under the leadership of Chief Engineer Irv Culver, prepared the new business proposals that led to the establishment of Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (LMSC) at Van Nuys.
A few years later, LMSC moved to buildings on Hanover Street at Palo Alto and then to the new plant being built at Sunnyvale. At that point, I transferred from the plant at Burbank to LMSC. Under Ed Lawton and supervisors Eldon Kaeding, Paul Szarvas and Clete Nelson, I spent the next 21 years as an art coordinator and supervisor working in Space Systems Division (SSD) Technical Publications on such projects as the Agena, Space Shuttle and Hubble Space Telescope.
Thanks Lockheed Martin for a great career! Happy 100th!

Recognizing Talent Is Our Greatest Asset

We realized onboarding was an underpinning of JSF’s success
by Mark H.

In 1986, I began my employment with General Dynamics as a technical instructor. During my 25-year career, I enjoyed varied experiences, traveled quite a bit and, over time and was promoted to management. The high point of that journey was when I was assigned a special project for the JSF program. When JSF was in its early stages, we realized a need to effectively bring new people onto the program. In 2001, I was privileged to lead a team to develop an innovative process for orienting and assimilating new employees. That new process was launched in Ft. Worth in October 2001, and the JSF program at that location saw a growth of roughly 1,000 percent in just a couple of years. My team and I were asked to expand the process to all programs and all sites. Over the next few months, the process was modified, facilities were acquired and staff was increased. In June and July 2002, the onboarding process was expanded to include Marietta and Palmdale. Not too many years later, the process was again expanded to include the six smaller Lockheed Martin Aeronautics sites. It was noted as a Lockheed Martin Best Practice and became the foundation for the current onboarding process used across the enterprise. Those last 10 years at Lockheed Martin were the best. I got great fulfillment in seeing our efforts provided the best onboarding orientation experience possible and new employees excited about starting their careers at Lockheed Martin.

An Invitation to Succeed

Martin Marietta offered an amazing opportunity to a single woman with kids
by Georgia E.
When I arrived in Denver in 1959, with my two preschool children, I was hired as a typist at the very bottom of the pay scale. I didn't even know what aerospace was. Within three months, as the company expanded, I was promoted to “planner.” I obtained Top Secret Clearance and eventually set up control rooms in several United States Air Force bases. Once a new site manager, touring the control room facilities, asked, “What is that woman doing in my control room?” My boss replied, “She's a planner, like everyone else assigned here.” Ten years later, I was the only woman being transferred among the sites as we installed the Titan missiles. After 13 years, our firm completed the contract and I resigned.

A few years later, the company had new contracts to land on the Moon. I was called back to work by a former boss. During this time, I was in charge of outgoing contractual correspondence and worked with that same site manager of years ago! I completed 12 years' service as we put the Viking lander on the Moon.
Martin Marietta gave me, a single mom, with two young children, the opportunity to achieve a successful career in aerospace that my family and I am very proud of. My career was a very rewarding experience.

A Stellar Opportunity

My career was an engineer’s dream
by Thomas D.

After graduating from City College of New York in 1961, as an electrical engineer, I left the East Coast to join Lockheed Missiles and Space Company in Sunnyvale, California, just after a hiring freeze was lifted. I began as an instrumentation engineer and became a responsible equipment engineer shortly thereafter. This was my opportunity to work in Area 40, an engineer's dream, with an assembly line of Agena spacecraft. Through the early years, I moved to positions in subsystem engineering, design integration and systems engineering. I was then assigned to work on major special programs subcontracts and then to program management on the Hubble Space Telescope, Lunar Prospector, IKONUS, SBIRS and SIRTF programs. In my final years with Lockheed Martin, I served as vice president of NASA programs and, subsequently, defensive systems. I will always be thankful for the opportunity to experience such an exciting career. I attribute my success on all the programs to very talented technical, management, program controls and support personnel who worked side-by-side with me as a team. I have many cherished memories, among which was being awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, several Lockheed Martin NOVA and Team Awards, and the Outstanding Career Award. I retired back to the East Coast in 2004 after more than 42 years of service to both Lockheed Martin and our country's important satellite programs.

Advancing the Impact of New Technologies

One of my decades-old inventions is in use today
by Joseph K.

As chief of manufacturing research, I was instrumental in initiating the advanced manufacturing technology operation at Martin Marietta. I retired in 1977 after 20 years. Today, all major corporations follow Martin Marietta’s model by creating their own advanced manufacturing technology groups.
During my employment, Martin Marietta held seven Honors Night celebrations. I was honored three of the seven times—in June 1963, in June 1964 and in June 1967. I was recognized for my publications and patents. One of my inventions (3,726,007 April 10, 1973)—surface mount technology—was used in the 1972 Moon landing and is still used in modern computers, cell phones and electronic games. I also received the Best Paper of the Year Award from the NEP/CON Society and the Best Paper of the Year Award from the Surface Mount Society, a distinction awarded twice in consecutive years.

At Martin Marietta, I worked with Dr. Wernher von Braun on the Pershing missile. I was responsible for resolving issues with the reliability of its electrical inter-connections, ultimately creating a glass-filament wound motor case and more reliable soldering processes. For the latter, I was awarded the United States National Reliable Award in January 1964, in Washington, D.C., at the Ninth National Symposium on Reliability and Quality Control. I also co-authored an article with Dr. von Braun during the 1962 Missile-Rocket Convention, at the Henry Hudson Hotel in New York City, concerning the main issues with the Pershing missile—its propulsion and the reliability of its electrical connections.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I Worked on the P-38 Assembly Line

My Lockheed Martin career began at age 16
by Robert La R.

I worked at the Lockheed Burbank plant in1943 when I was 16 years old. I participated in a plan whereby you worked for four weeks and then went to school for four weeks. I worked on the P-38 assembly line until April of 1944, when I joined the Navy. When I was discharged in 1946, I worked a variety of jobs mostly in the aerospace industry. I retired from a division of Xerox called Electro-Optical Systems, which was later sold to Loral and then eventually to Lockheed Martin. Lockheed was the first job I ever had, and I ended up receiving a small pension from Lockheed Martin due to company sales and mergers.

From Apprentice to Manager

From the beginning, I was awestruck by the people
by Ivan B.

I joined Lockheed as an apprentice at age 17, right out of high school. I was awestruck at the enormity of Plant B-1. Over the years, I held many job classifications, from a jig and fixture builder to department manager. I worked on the F-104, Constellation, P-3, T-33, C-5A, C-130, SR-71, TR-1, L-1011, S-3A and F-117. I met and worked with many fine people. Lockheed isn't a place of buildings, but a place of people, many of whom I shall never forget. I was at Lockheed over 37 years before I retired, three of those years I served my country in the Army. I have a large collection of model Lockheed airplanes. I have many fond memories of being at Lockheed, the programs that I worked on and the people whom I met. I am very proud of being a part of the Lockheed Martin family!

The Best Lineup in Sports and Aerospace

The Martin Bombers carried us forward
by Donald P.

My story is about the Martin Bomber sports teams in Baltimore in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Glenn L Martin was a very sports-minded person. He sponsored nationally competitive baseball, basketball and softball teams in Baltimore. Mr. Martin hired athletes to play, and they established careers with the company. Several players eventually assumed significant managerial positions, including baseball pitcher Dick Weber, who became a vice president of industrial relations, and basketball player and coach, Don Parsons, who became a director of human resources. Many others were respected contributors in a variety of departments. 

Dr. George McLaren and close confidant of Mr. Martin, headed all Bomber activities, as well as intra-company leagues, company picnics and an annual family day at one of the local theme parks.
The baseball Bombers consisted of a number of ex-minor league players, such as Charlie Johnson, from the Detroit Tiger organization, and Irv Hall, from the Philadelphia Athletics farm system. They competed throughout Maryland against other amateur teams and annually participated in the AAABA (All American Amateur Baseball Association) Tournament in Zanesville, Ohio, winning it several times.

The basketball Bombers recruited several college players, beat most industrial teams on the East Coast when industrial basketball was second only to the fledgling NBA. Only military camps, loaded with ex-pro and college stars, (Ft. Meade, Quantico Marine Base, Bainbridge Naval Station).

It was a culture that no longer exists, one which provided pleasure and opportunity to many!

Inmarsat-3: Covering the Globe

I was fortunate to travel to three launch facilities
by Howard M.

I worked as an electronic engineering technician in Astro Space Division of Lockheed Martin. I was assigned to work in the Inmarsat-3 program. The assembly and testing of the satellite was at the Lockheed Martin facility in East Windsor, New Jersey. After testing, I was fortunate to be able to go to the launch location for final testing. I went to all three launch facilities—Cape Canaveral (Florida), Guiana Space Center (French Guiana) and Baikonur (Kazakhstan).

Innovation in Space: Inmarsat-3

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Drafted into Skunk Works

What an amazing experience for a young engineer
by Bob R.

My first job out of college (I graduated from UCLA in 1960) was with Lockheed in Burbank, California. As an aero engineer, I supported the Electra (Model 288) transport's flight test program. Within about a year, I was "drafted" into Skunk Works, and assigned to Area 51, flight testing the prototype A-12 and YF-12A Mach 3+ aircraft. The aircraft broke several world records while flying out of Edwards Air Force Base.

I love to share my wonderful memories!

Success Starts at the Top

Thank you, Lockheed Martin, for teaching me to lead
by Thomas D.

I hired in on in May 1960, right out of high school. I worked in Department 4111 as a stock clerk. From there, I was accepted into management and had the honor to work with Jim Gilliam in the Navy closed area. I also worked in the closed areas in Building 104 to support space projects. I was able to manage an assembly line with dysfunctional employees. That experience truly opened my eyes to what can be done with a little help from management. Lockheed sent me to school to learn more about industrial management. That changed my life! The company also taught me basic electronics, which I have used to further my employment after I left the company in 1971. I can't tell you how much the chance to work on the cutting edge during the Silicon Valley evolution did for me. I want to thank all of the managers and employees I worked with during that time.

“Deep-Dive” Research

No challenge was too difficult
by Paul J.

I worked in the Palo Alto Research Laboratory (LPARL) during the 1970s and 1980s developing computational analysis software for solving engineering problems. It was a great environment for study, publishing research and having products used by the engineering divisions to solve tough problems.

From the Sea to the Sky

My father and I share the heritage
by Thomas O’B.

My father, Kenneth, originally started with the Glenn L. Martin Company in the 1940s, I believe. He graduated from college with an aeronautical engineering degree, and worked on the seaplanes in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1959, he was transferred to the Waterton facility in Colorado and started working on the Titan rockets. He ultimately was asked to take an early retirement in 1975 after completing Mission Success work on the Viking program that went to the planet Mars. I worked for Martin Marietta in the procurement department until I was laid off in 1990, before the company became Lockheed Martin. I would love to somehow come back and work my last working days at Lockheed Martin.

A Chip off the Old Block

I followed in my father’s footsteps
by James W.

My dad worked for Consolidated Aircraft Corporation circa 1943. I still have his Kennedy toolbox with a placard that reads, “Dub Warriner, Consolidated Aircraft Corporation.” Fortunately, I have been able to keep all the vintage tools that he worked with in the wood fab wing department. I started working for General Dynamics in February 1988. I worked in the F-16 sheet metal wing dept. drilling and assembling spars and ribs in the wing frame.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Safeguarding Our Nation

At Lockheed, I was able to continue to serve
by Louis M.

I retired from the United States Air Force as a master sergeant on July 7, 1988, in the area of Special Intelligence and was immediately hired by Lockheed as Special Security Representative in Special Security. Part of my job was in special security processing personnel for special access, physical security, computer security and access controls for various special programs. These were great years. l retired in 1999, after 11 years with a great company. Hats off to all Lockheed Martin employees!

I Worked the Swing Shift

In high school, I had a very important job
by Bascom P.

As a high school senior living in Norcross, Georgia, I worked on the swing shift at the Marietta plant. This was during World War II. My job was to put sealant around the antennas on the top of the aircraft fuselage. I told my story to Channel 30, our local PBS station.

I Had the Best Job in the World

My career began just after high school
by Richard D.

I started working at Martin Marietta September 1960, right out of high school, as a courier. I then moved to the data processing area, and finally to the computer operations group. While there, I received my top security level and ran top security jobs. The group I worked for rewarded me with a trip to Orlando to watch a Titan missile launch. That was the trip of a lifetime for me, and I really enjoyed the experience. I retired after 31 years, and really enjoyed the years spent there. It's the best company I ever worked for—congratulations on your Centennial!

I enjoyed my Martin Marietta years!

Poetry in Motion

The International Space Station is visible in the night sky
by Al G.

The last 10 years of my engineering career were spent at Lockheed Sunnyvale, working on solar power for the International Space Station. Our team designed, built and tested the solar arrays, which are easily seen in clear skies at dawn and dusk. Though I now live in Poulsbo, Washington, I’m able to see the results of my Lockheed efforts without leaving home. Poetry expresses it best.

Night Passage
Twenty degrees up from west-northwest
the light appears,
as setting sun in Hilo
catches solar sails above me
here in Poulsbo's summer sky,
then races east
for seven glorious minutes,
winking out in Earthen shadow.

I, two hundred miles below,
can feel those silicon chips once more
in my gloved hand,
testing, checking,
making sure they'll do their job,
each three-inch square
a perfect piece among the many thousands
giving light and life to occupants
within the speeding Station's walls...
I smile.

My Career Began with the Starfire

I had just returned home from the Korean War
by Albert V.

In July of 1952, after serving in the Korean War, I was hired by Lockheed in Burbank, California. In 1996, 44 years later, at the age of 65, I retired from Skunks Works in Palmdale.
In 1952, the Gross brothers, early owners of the company, were still alive. They were very much in touch with the workers. I remember every Christmas they would come into the factory and talk with us and give us Christmas greetings and reports of the progress of the company.
I was involved with many different projects. The first airplane I worked on was the F-94C Starfire. Some of the other projects were President Eisenhower’s Air Force One Super Connie, the F-104 Starfighter, the CIA A-12, U-2, F-117A, C-130, S-3A, P-3C, C-5A and many others. I got to work at George Air Force Base in Apple Valley, California, during the Berlin crisis upgrading the F-104. I also worked at the Edwards Air Force Base on the SR-71.
Probably the saddest day of the 44 years that I spent at Lockheed was when I and a small group of workers closed the last plant in Burbank, Plant B6 and moved to Palmdale. I still follow Lockheed Martin through the Star Dusters newsletter and am so very proud of the many years of service.
The Lockheed F-94C

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I Was a Riveter at “Boy’s Town”

I still have my first pay envelope
by George S.

I started work as a riveter on March 25, 1941, at the Glenn L. Martin Company in Middle River, Maryland, at 50 cents an hour. The company was affectionately called “Boy’s Town” due to the youth of the men working in this new field of aviation. I still have my first pay envelope, in which cash was the method of weekly payment. I worked on the first B-26 Marauders (except for a short break in the United States Army). I met Glenn L. and his mother, Minta, when she christened the “Martin Mars” flying boat in November 1942. Mr. Martin, an avid sports fan, built a baseball field in front of the engineering building and would watch as other employees and I played baseball. After my release from the service, I again worked on the B-26B and, later, the B-57 Canberra Bomber. I was promoted to supervision during this time. In 1960, I transferred to the Denver division. After many years working on Titan missiles, Skylab projects, and supporting launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base and in Florida, I retired in 1988. Now age 90, I’ve enjoyed 25 years of retirement, and retain fond memories of my experiences with the company. I have enjoyed many travels with my wife of 64 years, in great part due to the benefits provided by the company. My wife passed on in 2010, but I continue to enjoy sharing my memories with others. I could not have selected a better company for which to work. Many thanks.

A World War II Recruiting Poster