Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Story of Lockheed and Martin Marietta

My work took me from sea to shining sea
by John D’A.

I am 89 years young! My story is about Lockheed and Martin Marietta. It begins in the year 1956. I brought my wife, Mary, and our four children to St. Petersburg, Florida. That year, I left Airborne Instrument Company in Mineola, New York, to work at Hamilton Standard Division of United Aircraft at its new location in Bayboro Harbor. After six weeks of training in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, I came to Hamilton as a dimensional analyst. Unfortunately, Hamilton closed that location, and I returned to Windsor Locks. In 1958, I went to work at Sperry Microwave in Oldsmar, Florida.

In 1966, I went to work at ECI, right in my neighborhood. In 1967, I packed up my family—now I had six children—and trekked all the way to California. I arrived in Palo Alto on July 4, 1967, on my way to Lockheed in Sunnyvale. I worked there for almost one year, but was caught up in a massive layoff. In 1968, I went for another company, and in 1978 returned to Florida. Now I was the proud father of seven! I purchased a nursery business, which ended up being a very bad decision. I then went back to work for Sperry Microwave in Clearwater. From there, I joined Martin Marietta in Orlando, Florida, in 1980. I worked for there until the Pershing missile project folded. Luckily, I was in the age 55 and five-year service group, and have received benefits, including Aetna coverage, ever since. Thank you so much Lockheed Martin!

Even before joining Martin Marietta, I was a collector of flying boat history. Martin provided me with much history, especially on the three China Clippers. My total collection consists of two large binders, crammed full of flying boat photographs, flight covers, postcards, stamps and more! One large scrapbook is filled with pictures, covers of magazine ads, books and magazines. I have been nurturing this collection since about 1980, and love every new piece of material.

This letter was handwritten under the magnification of my Optelec machine. I have been legally blind since 1991, and this is my way of written communication. Thank you so much from a well-satisfied retiree!

The China Clipper