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Information Technology Pioneers

Retirees and former employees of Unisys, Lockheed Martin, and their predecessor companies

In this Chapter

  1. Introduction [left]
  2.  Canada
  3.  Europe
    1. Bad Godesberg
    2. Paris
  4.  Pacific Rim
    1. Johnston Island
    2. Australia
  5.  Africa
  6.  Asia

 

International Locations Chapter

A Legacy of People Engineering Computers and Systems at Twin Cities Locations and throughout the World. 

1. Introduction

Although the primary threads of the LEGACY are in St. Paul Minnesota, teams worked at customer sites and our own leased sites in a several international locations. Most prevalent of these was the AN/UYK-502 manufacturing facility in Winnipeg, Canada. 

     The longest standing facility has been the marketing and program support office in Bad Gödesberg, Germany - closed by Lockheed Martin in 2013 after 46+ years of operations reporting to the Defense part of UNIVAC/UNISYS/Loral/LMCO in St. Paul.
     We've put teams into customer facilities for software and system developments; Wilhelmshaven Germany for Patrol Frigate, Hengelo Holland for Schnell Boot, ..., . Alice Springs Australia, [lab]

Our marketing organization has had offices in Paris France, Bad Godesberg Germany, Tokyo Japan, and Toronto Canada. 
Pierre Iskos was a one person marketing office in Athens for many years. Also there was a short marketing presence/office in Tehran in 1978/79 by Joe Howard when we were pursuing the Iranian Frigate program, reference the team info.

And in Australia; our marketing guy, John Willliams (?), shared an office with Sperry UNIVAC/Unisys Commercial in Canberra for a number of years. [Keith Myhre]

 Our field service organizations have provided on-site maintenance and/or training personnel at many customer facilities.

2. Canada

Winnipeg was open for over two decades, Glen Johnson and Dave Saxerud have written 'Our Winnipeg Story, also see the Winnipeg Operations sub-tab. 

Ottawa was home to many systems and software personnel as we were a co-prime contractor for the Patrol Frigate program.

Toronto had a Sperry-UNIVAC site (managed by Sperry on Long Island) in the 70's as a modern 'city street' traffic control facility was developed. [LABenson]

UNIVAC developed a hydro-electric control system at a lock and dam site on the St. Laurence Seaway.  I remember being told about this during one of my visits to Long Island.  However, I don't recall the specific place. [lab]

3. Europe

3.1 Bonn-Bad Godesberg, Germany

This town on the Rhine River west bank just south of Bonn was the location of LMCO and predecessor organization offices since circa 1968.  Lockheed Martin announced in 2013 that they would be closing this facility, ending a 46+ year presence there.  Manfred Wiese had sent the Legacy committee a slide presentation in 2011.   Shown on these six slides are the 'company' history in Germany as well as the various projects that were supported over the years. {Editor's note:  According to the PowerPoint BN-WHV.ppt file properties, these slides were created in 2003 with an update in 2008.} Bad Godesberg is illustrated by this painting, named for the small medival castle in the left center of the depiction, it is now a museum.  During most of the years there, the offices were located in the downtown area just below and to the right of the old castle.  The machines that had been delivered had an excellent lack-of-failure record that stimulated the staff to develope a 6-minute 'May Tag Repairman' parody video.  My personal bit is that I worked here in the early 70's as part of the F-143 Schnell Boat (Fast Patrol Boat) program.  [lab]

At the December 2019 Old Timers' gathering Keith Myhre asked: "Who was the Bad Godesberg director before Lee Dominic?" Although Dick Lundgren, Ernie Lantto, and Lowell Benson had worked and lived in Germany in the early 70s, they didn't know.  Some prior data from Lyle Franklin and Jim Rapinac was that Gary Holthusen, Lee Dominic, and Gary Humfelt had been marketing people in Germany, but no specific timeline for when. Reporting to the Bonn office at various times were engineering/programming personnel working at the Wilhelmshaven Navy base in Wilhelmshaven and at Hollandse Signaal Apparat (HSA) development in Hengelo, Holland.   So, Lowell sent an email to a few former Sperry/UNISYS contacts seeking their recollections:

  • From Elwood 'Woody' Knight: In the November 1968 I was the Manager of Navy Contracts in St Paul; Don Blattie was being groomed to go to Germany. He had made a few preliminary visits to the office in Bad Godesberg, but at Thanksgiving 1968 he and his family decided that moving to Germany was not acceptable. So, the day after Thanksgiving I got the full compliment of shots (required at that time), stopped in Chicago for emergency passport documents, then proceeded to what ever lay ahead with out any preparation. The only directions I received from St. Paul Management was to get over there, set up the office under German laws and regulations, perform Controller functions, negotiate contracts, and as the St Paul DSD Controller so aptly put it, "control management spending."  At that time the Bonn-Bad Godesberg office was strictly a marketing office being just an extension of DSD. {Editor's note: Our St. Paul General Manager at that time was Gerald Probst. Most old timers referred to our company name as DSD: from 1962 to 1967 St. Paul Operations were Remington Rand UNIVAC, Defense Systems Division; from 1968 to 1973 we were Sperry Rand UNIVAC, Federal Systems Division; then from 1974 to '79, Sperry UNIVAC, Defense Systems Division.} 
       My biggest challenge was to find a way to understand all the German laws and regulations for office and for negotiations per government rules and regulations. Upon my arrival, the main German emphasis was apparently a Status of Forces or Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case contract status. So, the Germans were totally dependant upon US Navy procurement assistance, with very little actual contact or direct contact with US Contractors. So, it was the German objective to wean away from FMS contracts and do business directly with US corporations. This obviously introduced a tremendous learning and education process on both sides. The German Procurement Laws and Regulations were not available in the English language and the Germans had no understanding of the (ASPR) FAR US regulations governing procurement. It took a great bit of give and take and just plain concentrated effort to get to a position where we could properly conduct negotiations and firm up responsibilities for each. So, being one of the first US/DSD/MSD Contractors to fully negotiate a direct contract with BWB, and perform as a German Company, was a major accomplishment. {Polyglot Bob Kissling was quite helpful.}
       Now, let me regress, and address your question. As stated, in 1968 the Bonn-Bad Godesberg office, to my knowledge, was basically a marketing operation. Lee had just recently arrived to assume the Directorship of MSD. Prior to that time I am not aware that any person performed any real Director function, as the operation was like a satellite office of DSD and Mr. Holthusen performed as an "Office Manager" function. At that time Gary Holthusen, George Workman, Bob Kissling and Dominic were 'on board' along with a couple of German secretaries. There was no actual DSD structure as such, as before mentioned, all functions were funneled back to St. Paul. It is my observation that Dominic rounded up various personnel either in Germany on "status of forces" or otherwise and formed what became MSD. This was all undertaken in office space located in downtown Bad Godesberg, later to be moved to a separate facility on Kennedy Allee. I am not sure just when marketing support managers Phil Powers and Guy Pinter came on board.
       The bottom line is that MSD became a German Division complying with all German Laws and Regulations of operation and able to perform all Contract negotiations and communications directly with the German BWB. Woody
  • From Don Blattie: You are testing my memory (which is not too good lately). I believe Mr. Dominic was the first “director”. Bob Fischer was in France in a support/liaison function and then Gary Holthusen moved to Bad Godesberg. The office was on Theatreplatz (across the square from an apothecary) and was basically a marketing function before Dominic. Gary and his family were already living there before Lee Dominic moved from the states. I know this because Dominic and his wife were living in the Insel Hotel where I stayed when I was there. I believe Bob Kissling and a couple German secretaries were also in the office with Holthusen.  Don
  • From Bill Geiger: I was in Germany during the period from late May to early September, 1969. My closest contact with Univac representatives there was with Lee Dominic but my time was spent primarily in Stuttgart working on a proposal for a German frigate. I had no real knowledge of the official status of the Bonn office nor Lee's role.  Wish my memory was a little better; further, I wish I had kept a journal of my entire Univac/Unisys career.
  • From Dennis Christ: I arrived in Germany in November 1971.  Lee Dominic was the Director.  The office was on Kennedyallee at that time. Lee and wife, Tiny, lived in the top floor apartment. When Lee departed in ‘73 or early ‘74, Ernie Lantto and family moved into that apartment.  Roland Britton became Director at that time and the  office moved to city center of Bad Godesberg, Michaelshof 4b.  In the summer of ‘75 Roland was sent to Iran to open an office in Tehran and Gary Holthusen, who was responsible for the MSD office from Eagan appointed Gary Humfelt as Director.  That turned out to be a pretty bad decision and in the summer of ‘76 Chuck Hammond, an Air Force retiree, took over as Director.  I returned to the Eagan office and supported programs from there until ‘80 when I went back as Sales Manager working for Chuck.  In the fall of ‘81 I went back to Eagan and Manfred Wiese was hired to run Sales. At some point after that, not sure of date, Chuck moved back to the states to the D.C office and Manfred took over as Director.  He then ran the office through the transition to Lockheed.
  • Ernie Lantto's oral comments to Dick Lundgren: Mentally I can visualize a face of who was there before Lee but can't recall his name.  He had managed documentation on the AN/USQ-20 development when I, Ernie, started at Univac in 1958.  He spoke French.  {Editor's note: it may have been Bob Fischer whom Ernie had quite likely worked with as had I worked with Bob before he moved to Paris in 1963.}
  • From Dieter Hoffmann: Manfred Wiese was the Managing Director following Chuck Hammond and Al Bettis until his early retirement in 2007.  The next Managing Director was Marco Eimuth, starting 1st July, 2008 until the LMG business was closed down on 30th June, 2013.  In the time between fall of 2007 and July 2008, Rick Schliesing and I ran the business there for Lockheed MartinI.
    During the early days of the Bonn office (do not ask from when, since I was hired July 1, 1978) the secretaries were f.e. Heidi Buchmann and Irene Teutrin, two good ladies so we might mention at least their first names).
    Between Chuck and Manfred, Mr. Al Bettis was the Managing Director. Manfred, who had left the company, was hired by Chuck to become the new MD until his retirement in 2007.
     
    The German Navy Fast Patrol Boat Class A143 Program was named “Albatros-Class”. This included the 10 FPB boats P 6111, S 61 “Albatros” to P 6120, S 70 “Kormoran”, in service between 1976 until 2005. A second batch of 10 Fast Patrol Boat Class A143A Program was named “Gepard-Class”. This included the FPB boats P 6121, S 71 “Gepard” to P 6130, S 80 “Hyäne”, in service between 1982 until 2016. There where two computers 1830's each with one type 1840 mag tape, and other Sperry Univac equipment, on board each boat, and two land based sites. One at the KdoMFüSys at Wilhelmshaven which was used for programming and training, and the Technical Training Site near Kappeln, used for maintenance training. The Fire Control Section was called “Automatisiertes Gefechts- und Informationssystem für Schnellboote (AGIS).

  • History tidbits from Lowell: In early 1969, I was on a marketing support trip from St. Paul to Bad Godesberg and Henglo Holland, don't remember who the marketing person was, it may have ben George Workman.  The German Navy was developing a new coastal patrol boat and needed a Combat Information Center that would be compatible with their 'NATO' 642B systems.  Telefunken was to be the prime contractor with displays, radars, etc. with integration by Hollandse Signal Apparat (HSA) a subsiderary of Philips. HSA wanted to use their 24-bit computer because it had an interface compatible with their data-acquisition equipment and had more modern integrated circuits compared to the 'older' 642B transistor logic cards.  Sperry had gotten US Navy permission to export the CP-901 (type 1830A) if technical problems could be overcome, i.e. 1) Mil-E-16400 shipboard environment versus Mil-E-5400 airborne environment, 2) interfacing with the HSA peripherals interface, and 3) interfacing with other NTDS equipment.  We would have proposed the UYK-7 but it wasn't cleared for export. 
       Thus was born the 1830B.  A mechanical variation of the AN/UYK-7 frame to house the processor and memory drawers along with a new I/O adapter design (Howie Hanson was the ME.)  Since the CP-901 only had the DS-4772 +3V I/O and NTDS used either the Mil-Std-1397 -15V or -3V interfaces, I planned to adapt AN/UYK-7 driver/receiver cards into the redesigned I/O adapter box (30 bits versus 32 bits was easy.)  The HSA 24-bit interface was a bit tricker, in addition to the 24 data bits, HSA had 6 address bits to determine which peripheral was communicating.  The initial CP-901 design had I/O features that hadn't been used, i.e. Externally Specified Addressing (ESA) and Externally Specified Indexing (ESI).  This had some similarities to the IBM byte serial interface, i.e. separate address and data lines - I convinced HSA and the Germany Navy that if they used our defined Integrated Circuit (IC) differential receivers and IC drivers that the 1830B ANEW +3V interface would function electrically.  And by mapping their 6 device addressing bits onto the already designed-in ESI bits, they could have seperate I/O buffer addresses for multiple devices on one channel.  They believed my technical descriptions, it worked when we did the integration in Hengelo! 
       The 'Dutch HSA management' had told the German Navy that one of their computers could do the job but it would take two Sperry computers.  The German Navy replied that they'd rather have two reliable Sperry machines.  HSA told us that they used an external clock to synchronize all system devices - running at 100khz.  The CP901 and NTDS systems used internal 1khz real time clocks and all peripheral comunications were asynchronous.  The CP-901 had an external clock connector in the brochures.  Some would say no big deal, just hook it up.  What wasn't in the brochures was that the real time clock (RTC) logic design used a 'memory cycle steal' method - i.e. the RTC was just a memory address and four memory cycles were used to update the RTC and Count Down Clock.  With the machine's 2 microsecond cycle time, this was just 0.8% of the system time.  After dinner that evening, I told the marketing people that if we connected the 100 khz external clock; 80% of the system time would be taken up resulting in operations being slower than an abaccus!  We did not reveal this potential problem to HSA nor the customer at that time. 
    After returning to St. Paul and later being informed that we had the contract, we as engineers had to find a solution.  We looked at two approaches - one was to redo the processor design to incorporate a control film memory for I/O buffer control words and the RTC/CDC (like the 642B's and the UYK-8 designs.)  The other was to put a new function into the redesigned I/O chassis, independent up and down 30-bit counters then monitor the memory access lines and whenever address 160 or 161 was requested we'd intercept the core memory access request and provide the data from counter cards in the I/O chassis.  There were some card types available from the ICKCMX unit that we could adapt. This was the less expensive 're-design' approach.  {In hindsight, the AN/UYK-8 could have been a better approach BUT ...}     
        Anyway, in September 1970 Ernie Lantto as site manager and I as installation engineer went to Hengelo Holland to set up the software development center.  Programmer Jim Gannon and Maintence Engineer Al Rudman were with us.  Dick Lundgren came a month later along with Dick Denison and Ron Trowbridge as instructors.  We also installed an 1840M mag tape controller with transports S/N #1 and #2 from Salt Lake City; had to solve a couple problems with those - this got some bugs out before the US Navy assigned nomenclature of RD-358 for those tape units - that story is in this anthology, section 5.3 of http://vipclubmn.org/peripherals.html#MagneticTapes
        In April 1971, Ernie, Jim Gannon, and I with our families moved to Bad Godesberg as the initial HSA contract support had ended.  Then in January 1972 we installed a single 1830B into the Wilhelmshaven software devlopment center, Dick Lundgren and I conducted training, etc.  There were several software engineers/programmers, training instructors, and a maintenance person at both Hengelo and Wilhelmshaven.  Pierre Iskos came from the states to be the on-site maintenance engineer at Wilhelmshaven.   Programmers at Wilhelmshaven that I remember were Bill Rogers, Tom Kratz, Jim Gannon, and Dennis Christ.  In August 1972, I came home to become supervisor of the 1616 features developments, reporting to Bob Oulicky.   

 The Bonn DIRECTOR sequence from the above data is: Lee Dominic, Roland Britton, Gary Humfelt, Chuck Hammond, Al Bettis, Manfred Weise, and Marco Eimuth.  Gary Holthusen, Dennis Christ, et al' were resident in Bad Godesberg at various other times as marketing personnel.  [lab] 

Side note 1: When the US Navy contracted with Boeing for development of hydrofoil coastal patrol boats - they needed a small ships' Combat Information Center thus asked to import the Greman Navy's Schnell Boat System.  The first Navy ship, the Pegasus, used the German Navy's system before they did a UYK-7 system for follow on hydrofoil ship.  See http://vipclubmn.org/CP30bit.html#1830B for the rest of that story. [lab]

Side note 2:  The real heros and heroines of these stories were the spouses and children of employees who moved into a 'foreign' country.  They had to shop for food and maintain households living in the economy of the country.  Education of the children was also a challenge as they had started in US schools then had to adapt to what-ever was available. 

3.2 Paris, France

When the French Navy Computer Center was opened to merge NATO systems with NTDS, Bob Fischer was the site manager for 5-years.  When it was successfully operating, Bob returned to St. Paul and was replaced by Ray Costello who reported into the marketing department. After Bob Fischer's five years in Paris, he became part of Sid Green's Plans and Policies Group reporting to Gerry Probst who was VP of Engineering in St. Paul at that time. [Lyle Franklin & LAB]

In the summer of 1971, the French Navy's Computer Center's had sent their 642B film memory drawer to St. Paul for refurbishment.  The French Navy was 'up in arms' because the drawer didn't work when they re-installed it back into their computer.  At that time Ernie Lantto was in Bad Godesberg Germany as Director of Engineering - he told engineer Lowell Benson that in response to Paris marketing man, Ray Costello, we were going to Paris to take a look before shipping the drawer back to St. Paul.  I had never worked on a 642B machine - had operated a type 1206 (642A) in 1963-65.  When we got there the door was open, I asked for an oscilliscope and a set of prints.  The first problem was that the prints used 'bubble logic' symbols and the logic levels were 0 and -4.5 volts whereas my previous hands on machines had had 0 and +2 volt logic levels.  After plugging a couple of instructions into memory from the console, I was able to verify that a few things worked BUT the bootstrap function to load diagnostic or operational programs from Mag-tape or paper-tape did not function.  As I found out, the bootstrap card was a plane attached to the top of the film memory stack.  When the unit had been refurbished and test in St. Paul, they'd used a test bootstrap.  When the drawer came back to Paris, technicians re-attached their bootstrap card.  I did a partial dis-assembly, noticed that their bootstrap card had a couple of chipped land areas where an addressing connection should have been.  I had a couple of flat-pack chips in my kit - cut two leads off, soldered them and glued onto the French bootstrap card.  Re-installed the card onto the film memory chassis, slid it into the cabinet and turned power on.  It worked!  Ray took Ernie and me to dinner and a show, we'd saved the company a lot of money by avoiding a shipment back to the states. [lab]  

4. Pacific Rim

4.1 Johnston Atoll

By Lyle Franklin - It's 50 square miles with an air strip. Way back in the mid-sixties I reported to Arnie Hendrickson. We had a cadre supporting missile launches on the atoll. I believe Bob Rude was also there. Charlie Gardner came to Arnie with a problem - He needed a secretary on the atoll for two to four weeks per year to clean up and type reports. As we couldn't send a woman and the data was classified, Charlie had a problem. One of the people in my group was in the reserve. His classification was orderly room associated - He could type. His name, Pete Uyehara. Pete is a native Hawaiian who had joined the service in Hawaii. He was sent to the US for training. As he jokes he didn't even get overseas pay. Pete had not been back to Hawaii since enlisting in 1946. If he could have a layover in Hawaii he would go to Johnston Island. Thus Pete did make two support trips there. [Lyle Franklin]

By Don Neumann
I was a UNIVAC field engineer on Johnston Island for 2 years. I was later the Systems Engineer/Manager for 20 years on the RTS program. This is just one of many pictures and which I have that shows what our systems and field engineers witnessed on the atoll.

By Vern Sandusky: I found these while cleaning old boxes of Univac "stuff". Many Univac folks were connected with Johnston Island (JI) [correctly known as Johnston Atoll] during the early years of the creation of Ground Guidance Stations 1 & 2 (GGS1 &2) and with the High Altitude Program known as HAP [see the career histories of Dick Kistler & Ed Tilford].

During August of 1972 hurricane Celeste did a pretty good job of damaging many of the buildings on JI including GGS1 & GGS2. The Air Force [10th ADS] asked for help from Univac in assessing the damage. You can see a lot of the history of JI at http://www.johnstonmemories.com/ and more details about hurricane Celeste at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1972_Pacific_hurricane_season
I went to Johnston Atoll in August/September of 1972 with Paul Castrodale of St. Paul Reliability Engineering to assess the damage. That report is attached. Note that the ready use of chemicals such as Freon which would not be permitted today. Also, note that at the time, Johnston Island was the repository of much of the nation's nerve gas known as VX and also mustard gas and agent orange. Every person on the island was required to carry a gas mask with them at all times - just in case. The required safety briefing was a bit scary.

Later on in October of 1972, two teams of field engineers visited the island. I was either the second of the two teams and have attached the trip report from that effort. Note the bubble logic symbols in the drawing of the modification made to the RTD in the attached drawing to the trip report. I have some hand written notes from the first repair party including notes by Darrell Lindemann, but unfortunately do not have a copy of the trip report that the first team must have made. Note also the update history of the troublesome 15 pin inverter cards known as types 2011, 2012 and 2013.

See Systems, Missiles for more information. [LAB]

4.2 Australia

We had numerous tracking stations in Australia and occasionally had personnel at the Combat Data Systems Centre {31 are listed in the booklet.} This booklet is a snapshot of events and people collected over the 30+ years of the Centre. Thanks to the author David ‘Ginge’ Wellings Booth, a civilian working for the maintenance support contractor at CDSC and who was the longest continuously serving person at CDSC, accepted the unenviable task of collecting the material for this book and being its main author. The pdf was originally saved by Lowell June 18, 2009 as this site was under development.  Although not recorded, I'm guessing that the file came from Bruce Grewenow who is mentioned in the document.  Bruce's Australia summary is in our Systems, International chapter.

Bruce's career summary is at http://vipclubmn.org/PeopleGH.html#Grewenow.

5. Africa

See Glen Hambleton's career summary John Booher's article about the Egyption Navy, and Dick Lundgren's summary of Africa business. [LAB]

6. Asia

Iran. - Roland Britten [Lyle Franklin]