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.