Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Nearly 70 Years Ago

My story begins in 1944, flying anti-submarine patrol in the Atlantic
By E.D. S.

My Lockheed Martin history doesn’t go back 100 years, but does go back nearly 70! My story begins in 1944 when I flew anti-submarine patrol in the Atlantic. We were on the PV-2 Harpoon, a two-engine patrol plane. In 1952, I was a flight crewmember on the R6V Constitution. It was the largest aircraft in the world with a 181-foot wingspan and four R-4360 engines. In November of that same year, we flew the aircraft to Litchfield Park, Arizona, for storage and mothballing. In 1953, I transferred-to a Navy squadron that-flew the Lockheed Super Constellation (1049 model). Our schedule was worldwide, and our motto was, "Anywhere, Anytime.” It was a flight engineer’s dream.

Years later in April 1960, I was employed by Lockheed Missile and Space Company (LMSC). In November of that year, I was sent to Hufford Manufacturing, in EI Segundo, California as a LMSC rep. They were developing a "Shear Form Machine" to manufacture liquid fuel tanks for use in space. Lockheed built an addition to Building 103 in which this machine was installed. Then, in August of 1964, I was transferred to Building 182 to work on the Polaris program. In 1965, I requested field service and transferred to the Lockheed office at Hercules Powder Company in Magna, Utah, to work on the Polaris, Trident and Poseidon programs.

A decade later, I was transferred to Uniroyal Rubber Company in Mishawaka, Indiana, which manufactured replacement components for the Polaris missile. Unfortunately, there was a strike. I was then assigned to Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, in Crane, Indiana. After two months, on a Friday, the LMSC Sunnyvale manager telephoned and told me to sell my house. He said that I was leaving. I had two options—the Submarine Base, in Silverdale, Washington or Thiokol Chemical, in Brigham City, Utah. Fortunately, it was the end of the school year, and we moved to Brigham City. I started work on the Trident missile program.

In June of 1983, I transferred to Hercules, in Clearfield, Utah, to work on the Trident program. I made many trips to the suppliers that supported the Fleet Ballistic Missile Program. The duration of trips was anywhere from one day to two months. My support area was Simsbury, Connecticut to Costa Mesa, California, and Alexandria, Minnesota, to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

I retired from Lockheed after 25 years, 11 months. It was 1986.

My Lockheed Martin story begins with the PV-2.