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Posted by 38Lightning | Jun 10, 2009 @ 11:59 AM | 2,168 Views
My father was born just before the beginning of the Great Depression. He was going to be a Dentist but as the economy fell, his parents couldn't afford his tuition. He began to follow his interest in the new field of Aviation. He began flying and working on aircraft. At the outbreak of WWII, he knew he would be dead if he enlisted and a Masonic acquittance, suggested that Lockheed Aircraft was in need of field engineers. He was hired and shipped of the South Pacific and began fixing the problems of the newly introduced P-38 Lightning. Through those years he made many of the changes that would bring that plane to it's full potential. During his tour he met Charles Lindberg. They would spend many a night in his tent, going over specs, so Lindberg could teach the pilots how to maximize it's capability and range. He greeting him and shot some film, the day Lindberg shot down his one Zero kill, while on a training mission.
After the War he moved back to Burbank and continued to work for Lockheed. He got to know Clarence "Kelly" Johnson and began working on the Constellations. At that point in time, Hughes Aircraft and Lockheed were almost joined at the hip. Engineers would often cross over and from his stories, he must have got to know Howard Hughes quite well. At that time he met my Mother who was working for Eddie Rickenbacker and Eastern Airlines.
At the beginning of the Jet Era, he spent most of his time at Muroc Dry Lake, which is now Edwards AFB/ NASA Dryden....Continue Reading