Friday, March 29, 2013

Rising through the Ranks

My story begins just after World War II
by Gerald S.

My story may be unique. I started my career working for the Glenn L. Martin Company in Essex, Maryland (C Building basement) in the fall of 1948 as a junior laboratory technician. I earned $1.45 per hour and was part of a group that designed one of the first United States electronic missile guidance systems. It was called the Oriol project. I left after two years to pursue my professional career.
About 10 years later, in 1961, I joined Lockheed Missile and Space Company as an engineering manager on the Agena program. Two years later, I was promoted and transferred to run a division of Lockheed Electronics Company. In 1969, I was again promoted to become president of the Lockheed Electronics Company and a corporate vice president of Lockheed.
What is unique is that I started with Martin, one member of the merged companies, at the bottom of the ladder. Twenty years later, I became a vice president of Lockheed, the other member of the merged companies.
One career path that involved two companies that in turn became one, gives me a strong sense of loyalty and pride in Lockheed Martin.

Examining a Cold War Artifact

Corona’s parachute and capsule are on now on permanent display
by Bruce J.

The first successful recovery of the film capsule of a Corona (spy satellite) capsule was made on August 15, 1960, south of Oahu, Hawaii. The parachute and capsule were flown to Lockheed Missiles and Space Company, Sunnyvale, California. Fellow engineer Matts Lindgren and I were tasked to "damage chart" the parachute. We had no parachute table, so we were sequestered (to protect against souvenir seekers) in the executive conference room in Building 104. Utilizing the long conference table, we completed the analysis, and the parachute and capsule were immediately flown to the White House for President Eisenhower's inspection. This parachute and capsule are now in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

Winning the Technology Race

Little did we know that our engineering would make history
by Charles S.

I was a structures engineer in the 540 Engineering Department. In 1957, I was assigned to the Vanguard program. As a rather small sized program, the engineering staff was located in the "C" Building manufacturing area on a balcony above the shop blueprint files.
It was a typical hot, muggy summer on the balcony. Of course, at the time the building was not air conditioned. One of our innovative people suggested the management should help the situation by cooling off the roof directly above our “engineering” area.
Someone called the plant fire department. Before we knew, it the hoses were spraying the roof. It was a great idea, but the roof leaked like crazy. It was cooler, then a bit warmer as we scurried to protect the drawings that were on the boards!
I have wonderful memories of the Vanguard program. I contributed to the design of the Vanguard launch pad. I did the complex (mundane) tasks, including the telemeter mast, which we borrowed from the Matador program, and the canvass umbilical arresting pad on the side of the mast.
None of us realized that we racing against Sputnik. It was fabulous to have been a part of the many history-making programs Lockheed Martin has provided. Best to all!
We answered the call during the Cold War !

Enjoying Every Minute

My father and I worked at Lockheed for over 50 years
by Robert F.

I worked for Lockheed, off and on, for nearly 25 years, and my dad worked at Lockheed for almost 30. I worked on everything from the P-2V, P-3, L-1011, S-3, SR-71, F-117, Cheyenne and YF-22. I worked in assembly, quality assurance, quality control and product support (field service). 
I enjoyed every minute there!

Fourth-Generation Lockheed Martin Family

Our history here begins in 1928
by William K.

Our family has a combined 74-year four-generation history! In 1928, my grandfather, Robert, immigrated to the United States from Germany. He was a skilled machinist and he found work at the Glenn L. Martin Aircraft Company in Baltimore, Maryland. He worked there until his retirement in 1951. His son, my father (William O.), immigrated to the United States the year after my grandfather. He worked for Martin throughout World War II as a tool and die maker.
In 1969, I received a doctorate in electronic physics from Boston College and started my career at the Light Military Electronics Department at GE in Utica, New York. I had a variety of challenging and interesting research and development projects. I stayed at Utica for 22 years through the sales to Martin Marietta and Lockheed Martin. (We were encouraged to call them “mergers!”) In 1992, I took a “temporary” assignment at Naval Systems (an RCA heritage Company) in Moorestown, New Jersey.  This assignment stretched out to be 12 years. I took early retirement in 2004 after amassing 600,000 miles during my commutes. My only regret is that the nature of my work precluded publishing results and applying for patents.
Meanwhile, my daughter, Melissa, is now a senior software engineer. Her husband, Wayne, is  a software engineering manager. Both work at Lockheed Martin.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Navy Hero

Born in 1925, he enlisted in the Navy at 17

Raoul David Broussard was born on July 2, 1925, in Louisiana. At age 17, he enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve. That was on June 20, 1943, in San Antonio, Texas. He went through boot camp in Corpus Christi, Texas; ARM “A” School, in Millington, Tennessee; gunnery school, in Hollywood, Florida; and operational training, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He served with Torpedo Squadron 85 (USS Shangri-La) from June 1944 to September 1945. Mr. Broussard received an Air Medal and Gold Star in lieu of second Air Medal for combat missions from April to September 1945 over Okinawa and Japan. Mr. Broussard retired after 20 years’ active duty on December 31, 1963 as Senior Chief Aviation Electronics Technician.
After leaving the Navy, Mr. Broussard worked in many varied fields of electronics. His work included the Saturn V program that put men on the moon, SupShip 8th Naval District as a quality assurance electronics inspector, NAVELEX Calibration Lab, test procedure writer for Avondale Shipyards, test engineer for Litton Systems and, finally, as systems test engineer for the external booster tank for the Space Shuttle at Lockheed Martin. Mr. Broussard fully retired August 1989.
He has been married to Patricia Auenson since October 1944. They have five children, eight grandchildren and nine great grandchildren.


The aircraft performed flawlessly
by Ralph E.

In the 1960s, I was a production test pilot and had a month's tour in Alaska with Lockheed's Hercules, on lease to Alaska Airlines. The prop-jet airlifter performed flawlessly! I wrote my observations in our company newsletter, the Lockheed Southern Star. Here’s an excerpt:
"If only that bird could talk! That fabulous "Herky-Bird, N-1130E, that is. It would puff up with pride, and ask each of you to share with it its pride of accomplishment during the Alaskan Lease.
It would speak of being stuffed with all degrees of bulk and weight that man could imagine, and yet lifting lightly and gracefully in the air.
It would tell of flights through the dance of the Northern Lights, of high above the snowy mountains that defy description, or yet through the Arctic "whiteout" when the horizon completely disappears. It would describe landing on a frozen lake, or a gravel road bed, and through drifting snow a foot or more deep. It would talk of ice crystals blowing horizontally. Of snow and icy wings.
It would talk of storied places like Nome and Point Barrow, Fairbanks, Anchorage and many more.
It would brag of doing it all, day and night, never missing a flight for maintenance.
You designed and built it to do such good work. You may be justly proud."
Our C-130 triumphed in Alaska!
Alaska, 1965

I Am a "Product" of Lockheed Martin

As a small boy, I yearned to follow in my dad’s footsteps
by Floyd C., Jr.

My father, Floyd Sr., started working for Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia, in 1951. He was a manufacturing planner. I was still a little boy, and I was so proud for us to be part of the Lockheed family. When I graduated from high school, I joined the Navy. Of course, went into the Naval aviation program. I became an aircraft electrician, working on all electrical systems related to jet aircraft. 
Later, after serving four years, I was blessed to follow my father’s footsteps and became a proud member of Lockheed as a flight line electrician. I worked on the C-141 and C-5A flight test and production programs. I rose to become a flight manager there, and had the honor working with the best group of people ever assembled. I have always thought that indeed it does take a village to raise a child, and I feel I am a product of the Lockheed Martin family.

A Lockheed Martin Family

Dad’s love of aircraft rubbed off on me
by Beatrice E.

I grew up in the 1950s and have fond memories of Dad taking us to Lockheed for Christmas. We peered in awe at the giant elves that stood near the front entrance to the plant. We got all kinds of toys and candy and waited for a chance to sit on Santa's lap. During the summer, he took us to the air shows and open house where we toured the aircraft in person. Dad went to work there when it was Bell Helicopter, and his love of aircraft continued on until he retired from Lockheed-Georgia. His love for aircraft rubbed off on me, and I later became an employee of Lockheed for over 17 years. I have a brother-in-law who loves aerospace and is currently employed at Lockheed Martin in Sunnyvale, California. Guess you could say we are definitely a Lockheed Martin family!

Forty Years in Aerospace

My career began in 1959 with the Martin Company
by Donald B.

Right after graduating from college in 1959, my first job was at the Martin Company in Denver, Colorado, working in systems integration on the Titan I and II missiles. Time passed, and I eventually ended up at Skunk Works in Burbank. I was a project engineer on a classified underwater vehicle system, which, I think, eventually led the Sea Stealth vehicle.
After this program ended, I went to work in systems safety working for Tony Isles (now deceased) focusing primarily on the S-3A and P-3 Orion airplanes. Part of my job was to set up and maintain files of all reportable accidents and incidents to identify and correct potential problems with these aircraft before they occurred.
When Lockheed decided to move the offices to Mississippi and close the Burbank plant, I was offered a job there. However, I decided I did not want to leave my home and family here in California so I took the offered buy out and went to work for Rockwell in Anaheim, again working on underwater vehicles.
I retired in 1999 and have been doing a lot of travelling and doing volunteer work here in Orange County. 

Bringing Satellite Communications to Africa

It was an honor and a privilege that I will never forget
by Howard B.

I was privileged to assist in ceremonies inaugurating earth stations, bringing satellite communications to the African continent. I met President Mobutu Sésé Seko on two occasions, with the last visit for dedication of the earth station in Zaire. Later, at the ceremony for inauguration of the station in Morocco, it had been prearranged that King Hassan II would speak with President Nixon. I spoke briefly with the president before passing the call to the king. Later, I spoke with President F. W. de Klerk during the ceremony dedicating the beginning of satellite communications to the Republic of South Africa. I shall always remember these ceremonies and my years of travelling to African countries to improve communications to the United States.

Discovering True “Success” at Lake Success

Lockheed Martin taught me what no school ever could
by Randall B.

For 22 years, I worked at Sperry Gyroscope, Unisys, Lockheed Martin in Lake Success, New York. I started as a test engineer and finally became an engineering section head in the quality organization. Around my 18th or 19th year, I was urged to return to school. I eventually attended New York Theological Seminary and received a Masters of Divinity degree. I am currently serving as the pastor of the Oceanside Presbyterian Church on Long Island. My career at Lockheed Martin prepared me for my future and current career as no school would ever have been able. Thank you and God bless!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Worthy of the Smithsonian

We advanced computing and information technology
by Marshall S.

I managed a group of analysts who supported the computing systems and information technology needs for the factory. One of the analysts, Kenneth Hutchison, led a team of staff who automated the discrepancy process. We innovated the process from a five-ply form to an immediate response system that documented discrepancies, mainly the quality assurance report (QAR). The system is named the Quality Assurance Document System (QADS). The five-ply form is no longer, as is the need for text data processing and salaried personnel verifying the discrepancy form prior to having TDPs enter the data into a system. The QADS system was on display in Chicago, which led to it being nominated for submission at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Breaking the Glass Ceiling

I am forever grateful for the opportunity to improve myself
by Sharon M.

I started working at Lockheed in August 1959. I was hired in as a general clerk typist. I typed 200 wpm on a manual typewriter—before electric typewriters were common. I typed test procedures for the Polaris missile, which got to be so familiar, I could almost write them myself. I worked with Vicki Thornell, Bill Davis and Bill Cannon. I requested a transfer to salary administration with Sam Groover. I became an administer’s clerk for Joe Cusick and met Clare Voyce, who later introduced me to my husband-to-be, Jerry.
I then went to work for Joe Szep. He saw something in me and gave me a chance to become a drafter. He later assigned me to work on the C-5A drawings, which Lockheed Missiles and Space Company did for Lockheed-Georgia. He also sent me to a class to become a value engineer—the first lady in Lockheed Missiles and Space Company to complete the course. From there I went to work on the Agena. Finally, I worked in ocean systems until I “retired” (very pregnant) in 1967 to raise a family.
I am forever grateful for the opportunity to improve myself which Lockheed offered, and for the great people who helped me along the way.

Dreaming and Creating the Future

I worked in a cradle of innovation
by Clay W.

Working at the Rye Canyon Research and Development Center from 1966 to 1976, I lived our motto, "You make it, we break it." We received materials, components and complete aircraft to test for their structural ability to fulfill flight designs. We tested many new materials, which at the time could only be imagined, but are now part of our fleet of stealth aircraft. We tested advanced designs that are yet to be built.
It was a decade of dreaming and creating the future. The aircraft we saw included the F-104, U-2, YF-12A, S3A, L-1011, P-3, C-5 and the Cheyenne Helicopter. We also performed structural tests for Rockwell International on the B-1 and Space Shuttle. I know Lockheed and Hughes were tightly coupled, as some of us went there to help with the Apache Attack Helicopter, I as a structural flight-test engineer. We were a close-knit organization, dedicated to good work and proud of what we and Lockheed had accomplished.

An Electrifying Experience

It was primitive, fast, fun engineering
by Jacob M.

In the spring of 1991, I was given an opportunity to prove we could build power supplies in SEM-E format. I borrowed a low-speed saw from the failure analysis lab and cut a 3019 pot core down to a 3008. Jim Rockwell, then a technician, cut 48 inches of 2 mil Nomex® and 2 mil copper tape holding 0.005 inch tolerance with nothing but a straight edge and a utility knife. We stuck the transformer in a lash-up bread board that Jim put together in half-a-day and started easing up the load. 
Somehow, I misunderstood the current sense coefficient. Instead of easing the load up to 280 watts, I eased it up to 560. I wanted to make sure it would go to 120 percent, so I was leaning over to watch the oscilloscope. Justin Fong was standing on his toes, leaning over my shoulder. Somewhere over 600 watts, it started spitting molten silicon. I backed up so suddenly, I carried Justin about 10 feet draped over my shoulder. Justin said he thought he had been hit with a new kind of kung fu. It was primitive, fast, fun engineering. With the right team, it was the best kind!

Training the World’s Best Pilots

My career spanned Vietnam era planes to the latest fighters
by Leo R.

I joined the Fort Worth location in 1979 (then General Dynamics) and worked in the training equipment group. At that time, the group was just beginning to support the F-16 with new designs, as well as managing some subcontractors in the development of F-16 trainers. In addition we still were updating the 128 F-111 trainers previously delivered. As a device designer in love with aircraft, I got to learn how all the various subsystems integrated into the aircraft as I did my design.

As an example, the F-16 gun system trainer involved the gun system, its hydraulics and electrical system, airframe, cockpit controls, computers and the ground support equipment for loading and boresighting the gun. The Air Force wanted to be able to teach maintainers all gun functions in the classroom, so the resultant trainer encompassed all of the items mentioned. Ultimately, we created and delivered over $140 million in maintenance training devices for the F-16.

I was later able to work the beginnings of the F-22 pilot and maintainer training systems with our partners at Boeing. It was special to be in the auditorium the day Randy Kent announced the F-22 win.

My career spanned Vietnam era planes to the latest in fighters. Over that time, I was able to work with some Air Force people that are still friends to this day, as well as many great folks at Lockheed Martin.

Living My Creative Dream

I am forever grateful to Lockheed Martin
by Ken B.

Lockheed Martin made a huge impact in the lives of my family. My father, George, and four of my brothers (Dwight, Hoyt, Weyman and Klevin) all worked at Lockheed at some point in their career. At 23 years old, I started working as a structural assembler. During the next 17 years, I worked my way up to dispatcher in office and technical. In 1985, I moved to Nashville to pursue my music career. Using the skills I acquired at Lockheed, I secured a job at the Nashville division of another aerospace company. At night, I worked at my “day job,” allowing me to build my music companies during the day.
In the early 1980s, my music partners and I signed The Chuck Wagon Gang to our Copperfield Records label. With the success of The Gang, Copperfield Records signed other country and gospel artists and became home to The Northems, The Ruppes and Naomi & The Segos.  The label also released packages by superstars Oak Ridge Boys and J. D. Sumner.
Our music publishing companies have had songs cut by LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Montgomery Gentry, Kenny Rogers, Linda Davis, Steve Holy, Craig Morgan, Jeff Carson and Loretta Lynn. Copperfield’s biggest single was Montgomery Gentry’s, Daddy Won’t Sell the Farm.
It has been many years since I worked at Lockheed Martin. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have worked there because it gave me the ability to support my family while I pursued my creative dreams.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Our Family "Dynasty"

Nearly all of us had lifelong careers at Lockheed Martin
by Raymond B.

During the World War II, my mother and her sister, Connie, worked at the Burbank plant. The woman in the back row of the photo below is my mother, Winifred, at what she called the silk screen or poster shop at the Lockheed Burbank plant during World War II. Mom met my father, Raymond, a young engineer, there. Both my grandfathers (one was an FAA official) and my Uncle Steve (a young engineer) worked at the Burbank plant. In 1958, my father and Grandfather Lee and their families moved to Sunnyvale to work at the Sunnyvale plant.
My entire family had life-long careers at Lockheed Martin, except my mother and aunt who returned to the home after the war. I am now in my 28th year at Lockheed Martin at the Advanced Technology Center in Palo Alto. My sister never worked at Lockheed Martin, but she was the "Lockheed Rodeo Princess" in the late 1960s.
I'm proud to carry on Mom's legacy (she's standing in the back row)!

Cogent Advice

I’m glad I made Lockheed Martin my career choice
By Ted D.

I began at Lockheed in 1958 at the Missiles and Space Company. Thermodynamics was my interest, and I worked creating analytical models for the behavior of heat shields on re-entry bodies. In 1968, I transferred to a new business unit, and we won a contract to fly some experimental re-entry vehicles with various heat shields.

After that, I worked in systems engineering in the Missile Systems Division on the Trident and Poseidon re-entry bodies. During that time, Vice President Herschel Brown retired, and he distributed a paper from his retirement speech which contained some cogent advice, “Make Lockheed your career.” I said to myself, “Why not?”

In 1980, I decided to move from the Missile Systems Division to the Space Systems Division, and see what opportunities lay there. I was fortunate to land a position on the Hubble Space Telescope in systems engineering.  Next, I worked on the International Space Station in systems engineering for the remainder of my Lockheed Martin career. I thank Mr. Brown for those inspiring words.

A Legacy Project

I taught mechanical maintenance to teenage students
by William B.

I was part of instructor training in mechanical maintenance at the plant for young eleventh and twelfth grade students from St. Croix Central High School. The greatest feeling, up until now, was seeing those guys receiving the keys to their first tool box, with which they would become journeymen and become a great asset to the company while supporting their families!

Unparalleled Opportunity

I saw new places and worked with many different people
by J.L. J.

I joined Lockheed in 1989, and I worked in software quality assurance on the P-7A, F-117, F-35, F-22, C-130H, C-130J, C-141, P-3, C-5M, JPAT and F-16. I also worked on other proposals and during the years I worked with Lockheed Martin, I had the opportunity to support suppliers all over the United States and Europe. My career provided me with the chance to see new places and work with many different people. There were great opportunities. All these experiences have enhanced my life. It was a wonderful corporation to work for, and I retired in 2010.

A "Tactical" Turn of Events

I don’t regret a single day
by Edward S.

In 1966, while stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska, I decided four years as a clerk typist was enough and applied for cross-training. My application was approved, and I found myself on the way to Lowry Air Force Base, in Denver, Colorado, to train as a launch crew member for the Mace B missile, manufactured by the Glenn L. Martin Company.

This career path deviation in the Air Force had a significant effect on my life, even to this date. I spent the remaining 18 years in the Air Force working in missile-related career fields while stationed at Bitburg Air Base Germany; Kadena Air Base Okinawa; Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota; Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota; Vandenberg Air Force Base, California; and, finally, SAC Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska. Additionally, I had many temporary duty assignments to all the other Minuteman and Titan military installations, as well as to associated aerospace contractor facilities. In 1984, when I was selected for promotion to Chief Master Sergeant, I explored my opportunities in the Air Force, as well as in private industry. After several interviews and job offers and considerations, I elected to turn down the E9 stripe and join the Martin Marietta team in Littleton, Colorado. This was one of the best decisions I ever made. Having retired from both the Air Force and Lockheed Martin, I believe I had the opportunity to work for two of the most ethical organizations, and I don't regret one single day of it. 

The Story of a Patent

We integrated telecommunications and informatics
by Claude C.

It was the mid-1990s, and there was an opportunity for our team to work with the United States Post Office. Along with two other engineers, I travelled to the Philadelphia postal distribution center to learn about its objectives. It was clear they were about to embark on a major effort to acquire technology that would allow them to offer electronically certified mail and advanced material handling system to speed up sorting, transport and delivery. It would provide route management, vehicle data and operator safety for the delivery fleet.

I was tasked to provide the program R&D. I helped design a small handheld computer with bar code reader, and I integrated it with radio and GPS. We also developed software. I acquired a micro cellular station, FCC license, and we operated over an area of five miles around the plant as if we were a cellular company. A master console in the lab displayed a map showing vehicle location in real time. We could select the vehicle and send two-way messages. Sensors on the system can detect an emergency.

I wrote the invention disclosure for the Vehicle Information and Safety Control System, which was granted in 2000 as US 6,154,658. Many people refer to it as the ‘On-Star’ patent for its ability to sense an emergency and send an automated voice or data message. It has become the basis of the telematics field and is referenced by 250 other patents. 

The patent was granted in 2000.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

I Turned 98 on November 8, 2012

My memories include the Hudson Bomber and the day after Pearl Harbor
by William E.

I hired in as a riveter in April 1939 for the P-38 at Department B-1 until they opened Plant A-1. I later became a machinist. When working on the Hudson Bomber. they immediately shipped each one out to England, many flown by women ferry pilots.

One time they ran out of certain parts on the engine for the P-38s and had to store the planes all over the airfield at the B-1 Plant until the parts came in.

After December 7, 1941, we finished our shifts on a Friday afternoon. When we returned on Monday morning, they had completely camouflaged the facility. Employees from Warner Brothers Studios did it. The camouflage remained for many years.

I spent most of my career working as a lead man in Department 15-42. One time, I made a special fixture for the wings of the P2V Neptune Patrol Bomber which had a faulty part. Two of us received special commendations.

In the 1950s, I taught an apprentice class at the Burbank Adult Education. I had several apprentices that came to me later in their career to thank me for my teaching.

Another great memory was when the Constellation was finished, and we were given a ride out over the ocean.

I retired at the age of 59 in 1974. It was sad for me to see Lockheed move out of Burbank to Palmdale. I had a great career at Lockheed!

Here I am at Burbank Adult Education in the 1950s.

The Martin P5M Marlin to the F-117 Nighthawk

I was fresh out of the Air Force in 1951
by Bernard B.

In 1951, fresh out of the Air Force, I was hired by the Glenn L. Martin Company. I worked on the P5M Marlin, the P6M SeaMaster and on tooling for the C-5A Galaxy, as Martin had a subcontract with Lockheed for wing tools. I left Martin and went to work for a long list of airlines and aerospace companies. Many of them no longer exist.

Later, I went to work for Lockheed in 1970. I worked as a flight line mechanic on the SR-71 Blackbird at Site 2. I also worked on the L-1011 flight line. I made templates for the CP-140 Aurora, Have Blue and the F-117 Nighthawk. I spent the last 10 years with Lockheed as a liaison engineer, working the F-117 final assembly line in Buildings 309/310 and 351. When the assembly line shut down, I retired. I belong to Star Dusters, because it keeps me connected to my Lockheed Martin experience.

Our Products Were Built with Pride

What a great place to work
by Jim F.

My career began at Ford Aerospace, a heritage company, and I retired from Lockheed Martin. I worked on a number of contracts, mainly in missile defense, starting with SDI and finally with the Missile Defense Agency’s Ground-Based Midcourse Defense system.

Over the years, there were many friends, mentors and co-workers with whom I truly enjoyed working.  The attitude of getting the best job possible done with success, built pride into our products. Lockheed Martin was a great place to work and I enjoyed my career.

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

My husband and son worked at Martin Marietta
by Mrs. William B.

My husband, William, started work at Martin Marietta on April 1, 1959. He worked full time and luckily was never laid off.  He worked on Bull Pup for Joe Martin and worked in shipping for Joe Wheatley. He also worked in the remote area to pack explosives for the Patriot and Copperhead missiles. He was transferred to PNVS for the Apache. Our son, Michael, also worked at Martin Marietta for over seven years. William made many good friends while there. He retired in 1988.

The Combat Talon

My hat goes off to this incredible workhorse
by David P.

My second Air Force assignment was as a navigator was in Special Operations MC-130Es in the Philippines. In 1983, I was one of the navigators on an air-land infiltration of an SAS team during exercise Kangaroo/Westwind 83 in Australia. Upon landing on the dirt runway, the airplane bogged down, buried up to the landing gear doors. We were so near the beach that the ocean and tides apparently affected the runway's firmness. We burned off excess fuel through the night and after clearing around the landing gear and trenching back to good surface, we attempted to taxi out. It took several attempts, but after nearly two days of trying we were able to get on solid enough ground to take off and return to our exercise base near Port Hedland. My hat is off to one of Lockheed Martin’s workhorses, 63-7785, which held together through everything and got us back home safely!

Ningaloo, Western Australia, 1984

History in the Making

I was one of the first engineers in electrical power systems
by Herbert F.

My career was spent in the Satellite Systems Division in Sunnyvale, California. I was one of the first engineers in the electrical power systems. As such, I witnessed and participated in a brand new and mostly unknown endeavor for Lockheed. Although I cannot describe the programs I worked on, I believe I was a participant in many historical events.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

"Hands-On" Leadership

It was the trip of a lifetime
by Robert H.

In 1966, a machinists strike had crippled airline travel, mainly in the eastern part of the country, and I had to help solve a problem with one of our suppliers in New York. Space was made available on a company plane in Denver going to Baltimore.

We detoured to Albuquerque, picked up two passengers from Martin Nuclear, then went non-stop to Middle River. The pilot arranged for four of us (George Morgenthaler, two others and me) to share a room at a nearby motel they often used. Further, the pilot said that the plane was going to Orlando the next day, and I should be at the airport early and maybe I could get a detour ride to New York.

Well, it was J. Donald Rauth going to Orlando, and he agreed I could go. But I was surprised that he took over the controls! After takeoff, he flew over a residential area, buzzed what I believe was his house, and then flew to La Guardia. I was further surprised when he taxied to a waiting limo and said, “There’s your car, have a good trip.”

Well, it was a good trip, and I thought “What a wonderful company to work for.” But trying to get back to Denver was another story. Really!

The Hummingbird

We pushed state-of-the art engineering
by Walt W.

In 35 years in the business, the greatest job was in the late 1960s building the XV-4B Hummingbird VTOL at Lockheed in Marietta, Georgia. The design team was in one room, and the bird was built in the adjoining room. It was true hands-on engineering! We were pushing the state-of-the-art with analog fly-by-wire and stability augmentation. A lot of simulation was used to develop the system. It was a high-risk program and we only got 10 flights before we lost the plane (the pilot ejected safely), but it was a terrific experience for all involved.

Simulation was cutting-edge!

Mad about Metals

I had a wonderful job at a wonderful company
by William S.

In 1968, I went to work at Ford Aerospace, a heritage company, in Newport Beach, California. It was right after an eight-year stint in the Army Airborne and a few years at community college, where I had majored in metallurgy. I helped on a portion of the Trident missile and many other projects. I retired from Lockheed Martin after 35 years. It was a wonderful job and a wonderful company. Thank you, Lockheed Martin!

August 1954

Sharing a moment in aviation history with a true legend
by Larry F.

I was involved in the schedule of the YC-130 and knew when it would make its first flight. So I sneaked off my job and ran to the top of Building 66 and was just in time to see the first C-130 blast off and into the sky. Another man was standing not far away, and we both grinned and congratulated each other. He was Robert E. Gross. Later when I was involved in the providing technical assistance to Kawasaki and Mitsubishi for the manufacturing of the T-33 Shooting Star, P-2V Neptune and F-104 Starfighter, Mr. Gross was at a Mitsubishi cocktail party and I reminded him of the YC-130 flight many years before and many miles away. He said he did! I was very pleased.

Agility Matters

Optimism and hard work paid off 
by Kathleen M.

I worked for Ford Aerospace (purchased by Loral Aeronutronic and now owned by Lockheed Martin), in Newport Beach where, because of my petite size and agility, I was an inspector on military tanks. The work required a Secret Clearance. My job assignment was to guarantee every tank delivered to the customer complied with the engineering drawings, specifications and customer requirements. I accomplished this assignment professionally without intimidation from superiors or fellow workers, sometimes restricting the delivery of the product because it didn’t comply with all of the requirements. I was proud to win outstanding achievement awards from the company and the customer.

Chaparral Inspection Team (Kathleen is in front row)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Crowning Glory

We provided vital support for the Space Shuttle 
by Joe J.

Working at the Michoud Assembly Facility was one of the most interesting times of my life. I was the traffic and shipping supervisor and was responsible for getting the production material in and out, as well as direct support of the mission in Florida. We made the external tank for the Space Shuttle. There were many long hours spent in this effort. The crowning glory for this job was seeing the first Shuttle lift off and knowing that I had one small part in the success of that program.

Breathtaking View

It was the opportunity of a lifetime, and I was in awe
by David P.

At the end of my Air Force career, I was a mission planner in the U-2 community at Beale Air Force Base, California. I retired early and several years later was employed by Lockheed as a contract mission planner back at Beale. In 2004, I took a leave of absence from Lockheed Martin to go back on active duty for three years. As I approached my second Air Force retirement, I had the opportunity of a lifetime—a backseat ride in the U-2. I was grateful for the chance to see why pilots from every branch of the military are attracted to the Dragon Lady. From high atop the world of manned aircraft flight, I was awestruck by the blackness of space above and the beauty of the world below. What a perfect platform to exercise the 9th Reconnaissance Wing motto—In God We Trust, All Others We Monitor.

From up here, I gained a new perspective!

Exploring the Power of Innovation

I helped “rethink” engineering
by Paul P.

Decades ago, it took about four hours to set up for a vibration test. In 1962, Lockheed received government funding for automated equipment, which saved Lockheed over $1 million a year for tests on the Polaris receiving inspection. I was able to expand the control center to include the production area of Building 182. Later, management expanded it to control all vibration tests at Sunnyvale, California. 

In 1994, it was proposed that thermal cycling of black boxes during electronic tests be increased from 15 cycles to 30 cycles. NASA provided $50,000 of funding to do a complete study which proved that thermal cycling is not useful. Because of my efforts, I was named Lockheed’s “man of the year,” and received a cash prize for my efforts.

Lockheed received a multi-billion dollar contract for SBIRS, mainly due to an extensive study conducted by Steve Golly and me to discount enemy launches. We were able to reduce the size of the system by two satellites. Steve and I each received a cash prize from the program for our efforts. 

A computer program called GAP looks at the probability of failure for each satellite out to the design life of the satellite. I discovered that satellites last longer than their design life. Therefore, I developed a computer program to take this into consideration and saved over $1 billion dollars on just one program.  

The Connection Began in My Childhood

I have a lifetime of memories
by Stephen L.

As a kid growing up, I first learned about Lockheed by building model airplanes, including the P-38 and the Electra. I never thought I would be a Lockheed employee until one day in 1982.

I was working at a naval architecture firm in San Francisco, and Lockheed in Sunnyvale was just starting the design of the Sea Shadow.  They needed designers and engineers with marine expertise, and they contacted our company. I, along with a few others, was sent down as a temp to aid in the design of structures, HVAC, piping and electrical systems. Over approximately two years, we designed and built the first stealth ship for the United States Navy, all done in secrecy. Our job being complete, we headed back to San Francisco.

A few months later, my Lockheed supervisor for whom I had worked called and asked if I would like a permanent job, and I was hired in 1985. From then until my retirement in 2011, I worked on some very challenging and rewarding projects alongside some great people. For the last approximately 15 years of my career, we designed, built, operated and maintained S-band antennas for tracking Trident missile launches. These antennas were ground-based at remote locations, and aboard Navy ships. This required extensive travel all over the world and hands-on work. I had some amazing experiences.

I have a lifetime of great memories from my 25-plus years at Lockheed Martin, and feel fortunate to have been an employee.

We designed, built, operated and maintained S-band antennas.

No Boundaries

I saw our impressive global footprint
by Ronald S.

My career with Lockheed began in December 1981, and I was assigned to three main departments. In the customer training section, I taught foreign students avionics technology. Next, I was assigned to the field service department as a C-5 field service representative, serving in Germany and Spain. Here, I assisted United States Air Force technicians with difficult problems, aided in aircraft recovery and taught aircraft systems within Europe. My next, and final, assignment was with the maintainability and supportability department. Here, I wrote FIM/FRM for C-130 and C-5 aircraft, and inspection procedures for the C-5 aircraft. My final project was the FIM/FRM for the C-5 AMP program.

I would like to share one last item of interest. While on assignment in Spain, I obtained a copy of a 1943 Spanish Reader’s Digest, which contained a Lockheed advertisement. I have included a copy of the ad below. The headline reads, “There Are No Boundaries in the Skies.” (It could also be translated as, “The Sky Is the Limit.”) The copy translates as, “Man has always looked to the skies for help and inspiration, and he will also find his triumph and future there. Today, Lockheed is building large and powerful war planes … symbols of all the good that the Americas represent, and of the freedoms that we fight to defend today. Lockheed Aircraft Corporation, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, California, U.S.A.”

The tagline is translated as, “With Lockheed Always on the Leading Edge.” This statement holds true decades later. Happy 100th Anniversary!

These words are relevant even today.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

My Father and I Both Worked at Lockheed

From our front yard, I watched the B-47s overhead
by C.R. H.

My father went to work for Lockheed in 1951, and we moved to Smyrna, Georgia, that same year. From our front yard, I watched the arrival of the B-47s for modifications. My father was a long-time employee and worked in various aircraft inspection assignments. He retired in 1965.

After high school, I was hired by Lockheed as a template maker and worked on the mezzanine making templates and sample parts. I later worked in the business machines area doing the weekly payroll. My time with Lockheed was interrupted by Uncle Sam. I was drafted in December 1955 and returned to Lockheed some years later.

I worked in the GenPlan group developing programs to create the input to print the specifications and drawings of parts for the C-130, C-5, C-141 and F-22. I retired from Lockheed Martin about six months after the merger in July 1996. My years with the company were very enjoyable, and I have the satisfaction of knowing I have contributed to the success of Lockheed Martin.

The 1975 Viking Mars Lander

Recent events brought back vivid memories
by Joseph B.

The recent "soft landing" of the Viking Rover, brought back memories dating to the mid-1970s, of another Viking lander that was the first to crash land on the planet, gather photographic and scientific data and relay that information back to earth. Lockheed Electronics, Information Technology Division, in Plainfield, New Jersey, supplied the tape recorder. The recorder would survive the Earth-Mars transitory flight and hard landing on the planet’s surface and store the data being taken by the many payload instruments. Further, upon command from the lander's brain, the tape recorder would play and transmit this data back for use by scientific teams on earth.

In order to crash land a payload on the surface of Mars and maintain the biological integrity of the planet, all instruments on the lander needed to be "sterilized." The payload components needed to survive numerous heat cycles of sterilization to eliminate any earth-generated microbes. There were several cycles of exposure of the lander to temperatures in excess of 140 degrees Centigrade or 284 degrees Fahrenheit.

Think about that for a few seconds! When was the last time you put a magnetic tape recorder in your oven at 284 degrees and were able to retrieve it in some recognizable and usable form?

This description is a gross oversimplification of the efforts that went into this project. Many sleepless nights and days of sacrifice were involved. In the end, it proved well worth it.


Lockheed changed my life
by Albert S.

I was only 22 in 1978 when I was hired. My whole life was changed because of Lockheed. The people I met and the projects I worked on helped shape me into the man I am today.

The Beginnings of Stealth Technology

These were exciting times
by Dale Ross S.

I am the Quiet Aircraft Association Founder and President Emeritus and a Lockheed Martin retiree. Most of my career was devoted to research and development at Lockheed Aircraft Services, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company and Lockheed Palo Alto Research Laboratory. I’d like to share two high points.

The first is the Lockheed YO-3A "Quiet Star" (circa 1968 to 1971), which established many aviation milestones, including quietest aircraft, the first use of a Wankel engine for primary power and the first integrated night vision sensor with a target designating laser.

The QT-2PC version is (arguably) the first “Stealth Aircraft,” and is the result of DARPA planning and support. “Janes” described one of them as the first aircraft to survive a hostile environment (Vietnam) by means of low-observables, now known as “stealth.”

Quiet Aircraft were later used in education (Linn State Technical College and the University of Illinois), law enforcement (Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the FBI) and science (NASA). QT-2PC #1 and YO-3A 69-18000 are “Permanent Historical Documents” at a U.S. military museum. They are two of only two in the museum—a distinctive honor indicating they will not be flown again.

I’ve already told some of that story, but you can learn more at, and

The second high point I’d like to share is the Lockheed MQM-105 Aquila (RPV-STD) (circa 1975 to 1979). This story must also be told. The aircraft also established many historic aviation milestones during its development. It was a sensational program. For me personally, the most exciting program of which I was a part.

Launching into the History Books

My team helped develop the Shuttle’s heat shield tiles
by Herbert A.

I was part of a pilot program in which we developed heat shield tiles for the Space Shuttle. These tiles could withstand the 2,500 degree temperature during re-entry to the Earth's atmosphere. This was back in the late 1960s to early 1970s. What a success for Lockheed Martin and our country’s space program! The rest is history as we know it.

Challenge and Perseverance

A “funny” thing happened on the way to my interview
by Andy S.

In 1986, a Lockheed Missiles and Space manager flew me to Denver to be interviewed for a position. En route from the airport to the office, my rental car inexplicably caught fire. As I was standing on the side of the highway watching the car burn, I fretted that I would be late for the interview (no cell phone back then). I flagged down a passing rancher who was driving a load of hay and I explained my situation. He kindly told me to climb aboard and drove me to the office. I arrived late, a bit disheveled, and explained the reason for my tardiness to the managers. They apparently admired my resourcefulness because a few days later I was offered the job. That introduction to Lockheed Martin led to a 13-year career in Colorado.

What a Wonderful Ride It’s Been

I was surrounded by technology, ethics and talent
by Joseph G.

My uncle, Carl Jenkins, worked directly for Glen L. Martin, obviously throughout World War II, and invented navigation-related technology. I followed in his footsteps. During the 1960s, I was one of the branch engineers for the Navy's Strategic Systems Projects Office, transitioning from Polaris to Poseidon to Trident. Lockheed, as one of the prime contractors, impressed me with technology, ethics and talent. In the mid-1980s, the Lockheed Marine Systems group offered me a position as Director of Business Development and Vice President of Lockport Marine. I left Lockheed, only to return in 1998 and retire 10 years later as the Corporate Director for Logistics under the CTO (having spent time at MS2). My two "stints" with this great corporation have too many events and amazing experiences to relate in 250 words. Suffice it to say, "what a ride" and what great people I had the opportunity to work with.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Lockheed Was the Lynchpin

For our family, it all started there
by Elaine Ann H.

I joined Lockheed in Burbank in 1961. I met my husband to be, fell in love and married while working there. I remember when the SST was built, and privacy of Skunks Works and the Lockheed pilot who broke the sound barrier. Awesome!

Unbeknownst to me, my future mother-in-law had worked for Lockheed in Burbank during World War II. We always referred to her as “Rosie the Riveter” after the real “Rosie” because she did many of the same things! My future husband sold newspapers outside the Lockheed gates as an eight-year-old boy. He always brags that he learned to make change because of Lockheed Martin. The kids today don't know how to make change. They rely on the machine they are operating.

I enjoyed working in the engineering personnel department. I have such fond memories of my years there. I still cherish my friendships with two of the employees with whom I worked. Those are friendships that have grown over the last 51 years. I feel so fortunate to have them in my life. When I left Lockheed in 1976, we moved to Bend, Oregon, to raise our three children in a smaller community. They are all grown and have kids of their own now. It all started at Lockheed! 

The Dark Side of the Moon

It was the dawn of space exploration
by Norma D.

I began my 37-year Lockheed Martin career at Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was 1959 and the dawn of space exploration. It was common practice to hide under our desks when missiles were launched. One just never knew where they would go! 

We finally got the hang of it, and on March 23, 1962, Ranger IV launched an Atlas Agena payload to the dark side of the moon, carrying brass plaques with the names of the team members, mine included, mounted inside the payload.

My relationship with the company has been a family affair! My husband had a Lockheed Martin career as well, as did our daughter. 

My name was "carried" into space!

Our Lockheed Past

It felt like community
by Chris D.

My grandfather worked at Lockheed before World War II as a crane operator (he owned the crane). My mother worked the swing shift when she was in high school. She started on the factory floor and worked her way up to an office position. In her last working years, she again worked at Lockheed and retired from the company (she is now 88). Oh, my dad had a hamburger stand across the street from the plant.

Journey Back in Time

We worked to deter nuclear war
by Ricky N.

I began my career in August 1970, working on the second-floor factory at the Waterton campus. Titan III was the new kid on the block. I remember looking at the factory floor, in wide-eyed amazement, at the rockets in various stages of assembly everywhere you looked. I remember my first company Christmas potluck, right inside the J-H stockroom. Everyone brought a dish and a 'bottle' for sharing adult beverages, even the floor supervisors attended. We all left full and happy. This was well before ethics, diversity and the political correctness that followed much later. We were all a team no matter what! Yes, those were the days.

Big-City Boy Finds Success

Over five decades ago, I moved from New York to Orlando
by Frank W.

I started at Martin Marietta in 1961. I had moved with my wife and two young children to Orlando, Florida, from New York City. While living in New York, I worked for IBM in the printing department, and my wife wanted to leave the City and move closer to her parents who had retired in Orlando. When I first arrived, I found out that Orlando was a small town and employment was difficult to find. Fortunately, I learned about a company located 20 miles in the middle of nowhere that was hiring printers for its print shop. I will always feel lucky to have found this job with such a wonderful company as Martin Marietta.

I am now 89 years old and I think back to my time at Martin Marietta with fondness. I made wonderful friends and had a very fulfilling career that allowed me to save enough to buy my own home and send both my children to college. 

"One Team, One Fight"

My family helped bring the USS Nitze to life
by John S.

My story involves a Navy Destroyer, the USS Nitze, which features a Lockheed Martin Aegis weapons system. I was sent to Bath, Maine, to do some preliminary work on the Nitze. At the same time, my nephew was there as part of the original crew. My wife and family were guests and got to see the Nitze commissioned my nephew was a crew member. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend the ceremony. I was working on another ship in Hawaii. I did get to see the Nitze again when it sailed into Norfolk, Virginia, after the shakedown cruise for a round of updating.

USS Nitze

Monday, March 18, 2013

A Matter of Complex Interpretation

As a jig and fixture builder, I loved analyzing and designing
by Robert W.

I was hired in 1955 at the aircraft plant in Burbank as a jig and fixture builder to work on tooling for the F-104. In 1957, I started working at the Van Nuys facility where the missile and space division was just getting started, working on tooling and ground handling equipment for the Polaris and Corona programs. I was transferred to Sunnyvale in 1964, and I upgraded to tool designer.

I was the only tool designer who had a Top Secret clearance and was selected to be the designer of tooling and ground handling equipment for the KH spy satellites. I also worked on the Hubble Space Telescope and Space Shuttle programs. Those were the best years of my life. I retired in 1981.

Ahead of Our Time

Fifty years ago, we adapted leading-edge computer systems to non-defense work
by Robert W.

In the early 1960s, I was a member of an R&D team in Sunnyvale assigned to adapt our leading-edge computer systems' knowledge to non-defense work. Our focus was on hospital information systems. We teamed with El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, California, to be our Alpha Site. Our goal was to automate all possible manual information handling systems. At that time, almost all of these systems were labor intensive, paper-based and error prone.

I was an industrial engineer assigned to identify those manual systems that could be transferred to computer operation and, thus reduce hospital labor expenditures, communication errors and patient lengths of stay. These goals were achieved, with major cost savings results and improvement in patient care and safety.
The developed system was installed during the ensuing years in hospitals all over the United States and in Europe. My job was to perform cost benefits studies for potential customer hospitals to showing major savings.

The Lockheed system was many years ahead of its time. The Government is now calling for improved information systems in hospitals as a major way of reducing national health care costs.

A Memorable Character Story

We had a real jolt that day
by Barry P.

I was an engineer at Lockheed from 1964 until 1985. In 1968 and 1969, I was transferred from Marietta to Burbank to work on the L-1011. My boss was Gernot Hagganmacher, chief of the finite element analysis section of the stress department. One morning, an earthquake struck the area, and chairs and desks began to shake and move laterally across the floor. Since our group was working in a temporary building fabricated out of numerous house trailers bolted together, most people started heading for the exits. Hagganmacher, a Swiss native who had lived in Southern California for 25 years, poked his head out of his office, looked around, and exclaimed "Ah, 3½ maybe," and was estimating the Richter Scale number  as "no problem." Hagganmacher went back to work. "Do you think he knows what he is talking about?" asked the engineer at the desk next to mine. "Probably,” I replied. "I think I'll go out and get some fresh air all the same."

Stress took on a new meaning that day in Southern  California!

I Joined Lockheed at 18 Years of Age

I loved working on aircraft that Accelerated Tomorrow
by David L.

I joined Lockheed at the age of 18 in 1967. I hired in at $1.65 an hour to working on the C-5A Galaxy. Within a few months, I received my draft notice for the Vietnam War. I contacted Lockheed with the news and received my job back with top pay when I was released from the military. Since then, I have worked on the TR-1, the Blackbird, the P-3 Orion and the L-1011 TriStar passenger plane. I treasure all those years and relationships to this day.

The President’s Jet

I was a mechanic on Air Force One
by Edward S.

Thank you Lockheed Martin for the experience you gave me. I worked an aircraft hydraulic mechanic for Lockheed Aircraft Service International at Idlewild, now JFK Airport in New York, from 1956 through 1973. I loved my work and enjoyed my 17 years there! I was a mechanic on Air Force One and the Washington fleet during the 1960s when presidents Kennedy and Johnson were in office. I also flew on Air Force One for a test flight and sat in the president’s seat during the flight.

When the president or another high government official flew into New York, I was assigned to the arrival crew, and I parked and departed the plane. I saw the presidents numerous times when they departed and boarded the plane.

We did major work and modifications which took three months to complete each plane. I worked on Air Force One tail number 26000. The fleet’s other tail numbers were 970, 971 and 972.

I have lived in Ocala, Florida, now for the past 18 years. Congratulations on your Centennial!

I worked on this wonderful aircraft!