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Information Technology (IT) Pioneers

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

People T-Z, Chapter 18

1. Topical Article Contributors

20 writers have written 55 articles or tidbits, these complement the 190+ submitted career summaries. 

  • Eric Taipale, Harvey Taipale, John Thalhuber, Todd J. Thomas, Tom Turba, and Glen Turner.
  • Willis Unke.
  • Tom Van Keuren and Earl M. Vraa.
  • Tom Webb, Cal Webster, Don Weidenbach, Paul Welshinger, Douglas C. Wendall Jr., John Westergren, Manfred Wiese, Gerry Williams, Lou Wilson, Harry Wise, and Mike Wold.

2. Career Summaries - T:

2.1 Ed Tilford Sr., 1967 – 1992;

My History Line

  • Vandenberg AFB - Guidance Equations Development, Trajectory Design & Analysis
  • Eagan, MN ATC - IR&D
  • Knoxville, TN - Voice Advisory System Implementation & Testing
  • Eagan, MN - Collision Avoidance System Software Design
  • Sudbury, MA - Division Liaison to Sperry Research Center
  • Atlantic City, NJ - Terminal ATC Systems Development & Testing
  • Eagan, MN - Software Engineering Resource Management
  • Montreal Canada - Management of On-Site Canadian Patrol Frigate Software Development
  • Eagan, MN - Management of Software Engineering

   I graduated from Kansas State University in 1960 with a dual major in mathematics and physics. I graduated from the University of Missouri in 1962 with an MA in pure mathematics. My first job was with General Dynamics in San Diego. My next job, because of a change of prime contractor, was with Lockheed in Sunnyvale. All of my work with both companies was in the area of trajectory design and guidance equations development for reconnaissance “Corona” satellites. I moved to Sperry Univac at Vandenberg AFB in 1967, again to develop trajectory mathematics and guidance equations for Corona satellites.
   Even though my college training was technical, what left a lasting impression on me were the people I worked with. Sure, we had a lot of tough technical problems to resolve, but there were even more relationship problems and successes. One particular project in the late 1960’s illustrates this quite well. The project was called HAP for High Altitude nuclear readiness to test Project. From CIA intelligence the United States learned that the Chinese were getting ready to resume high altitude nuclear testing. The U.S. assembled a very small team to beat them to first test with the hope that our demonstration would discourage them from testing. The team was sent to Johnston Island in the Pacific and given a very short schedule for getting up and demonstrating a first test. At one point there was serious thought given to actually detonating a nuclear device. Thankfully clearer heads prevailed and we decided to use a very bright non-nuclear device. We worked at night getting the launch vehicle, guidance system and trajectory design completed. The trajectory had a very high apogee and low perigee. During the countdown we picked up on radar a Russian trawler parked right under the path of the vehicle. If we had to blow the missile, we were concerned we would hit the trawler. We tried to communicate with the Russians but got no response. Being young and naive I suggested that we stop communicating in Russian and communicate in English and, if they would move to a position we specified, we would hand over to them a complete copy of all telemetry data from the launch. The Admiral in charge of the project said, “go for it!” I got on the radio and made the proposal. After a few minutes of silence, very clearly over the COM system, in English we heard, “you are on.” They moved, we launched and I was given the task of hand delivering the telemetry tapes. It turns out that the captain and his first officer were University of California and Cal Tech graduates. We had vodka and some conversation about all the very interesting “fishing” equipment they had on board and I departed. Until now I have never given out details of this story. While researching for this write-up I went to a Web site: and other Web sites and discovered that the project had been declassified.

From capturing satellites to Air Traffic Control Systems to the Canadian Patrol Frigate, I was a witness to greatness because of the people I worked with!

2.2 Joel Tofteland, 1973-

   I started employment with UNIVAC on May 16, 1973, as a Logistics Analyst providing Provisioning Technical Documentation on AN/UYK-7(V) computers delivered to the Navy. This time-consuming task required a lot of manual intervention of gathering data from engineering bill of material listings and associated hard copy drawings to build a top down assembly listing of the modules and piece parts that made up a particular configuration of the delivered computer. Data reports were built from 80 column Electronic Counting Machine (EAM) cards containing data formatted to U.S. government MIL-STD format. The EAM cards were run through a UNIVAC card processor to print deliverable lists submitted to customer under contract letter—a far cry from today’s fully electronic data collection and submittal process in specified customer electronic files.
   I branched out a year later to the supply support function of coordinating the first UNIVAC contracted depot level repair program for the Navy Aviation Control Office (ASO) in Philadelphia, PA, in June 1974. The Navy program centered on providing dedicated repair and transportation to re-supply designated P-3 CP-901 computer modules that UNIVAC designed and built. The whole effort was mandated through the use of NAVAIR’s Closed Loop Aeronautical Management Program (CLAMP) that monitored and controlled repairable assets and rotatable spares through the entire retrograde, repair and return to use supply effort. This program introduced the first dedicated transportation plan in May 1975 with the contracting of a young upstart airfreight company named Federal Express that would guarantee 24- to 48-hour shipment of program assets from Navy user facilities to the UNIVAC depot repair facility in St. Paul, MN. Repaired assets were then shipped back to Navy supply centers or directly to the NAVAIR user facility via Federal Express shipment.

What is truly historical is that the P-3 CLAMP Program was the first Government contract Federal Express had landed for dedicated handling and shipment of material. The two Air Force Viet Nam fighter pilots who started Federal Express had conceived the idea upon separation from the service in the early 1970’s but could not put it in place without the collateral afforded by their first Government contract. This primitive start of establishing a central air freight hub in Memphis, TN, with dedicated air and ground delivery systems became the giant FEDEX Company we know today. I was fortunate in personally witnessing this leading edge technology company as it grew from a national to an international company.

   All of this activity was monitored and controlled through the use of a real-time data base established by Dynamics Research Corporation of Boston, MA for NAVAIR. All CLAMP contractors had to utilize prescribed data reporting formats loaded to a front end processor in Philadelphia on TWX paper tape feed transmission. Although time-consuming it did prove that asset management could be accomplished effectively to meet program requirements. This effort went through a series of evolutions with the use of the first IBM desktop computers and eventually a Web-based program for managing resources. The early program proved so successful that NAVAIR added the S-3A program in 1976, and the Canadian Department of Defence in Ottawa joined in 1978 with support of their CP-140 avionics computer. I coordinated the data management, depot repair activity, field service support, contracts and site visit efforts for all three programs from 1974 through 1984.
   Desiring a change in program activity I got involved in 1985 with the U.S. Air Force Wild Weasel aircraft program managed out of Hill AFB in Ogden, Utah. Sperry UNIVAC at the time provided an avionics computer that required ILS documentation and depot repair support. That program continued for two years, and at the same time I got involved with supporting CP-140 depot level repairs performed in the Sperry UNIVAC facility in Salt Lake City, UT. I coordinated repairs and spares management along with depot reporting requirements back to the Canadian Department of Defence.
When the Salt Lake facility became self-sufficient in 1990 I transferred to the Trident II program by again supporting repairs and documentation through now the Loral facilities in both St. Paul, MN, and Long Island, NY.

   In 1994 I took on repair/supply support effort for the B-2 Bomber program managed through the prime contractor Northrop Grumman located in Oklahoma City, OK. I managed the B-2 Interim Contractor Support (ICS) Program for depot level repairs through calendar year 2005. In that timeframe Northrop Grumman awarded Lockheed Martin a commendation in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom for outstanding repair support to deployed aircraft in March 2003 and Supplier of the Year award in 2004.
   In 2005 I joined the JSF program by supporting repair and retrofit requirements located in Eagan, MN, and various team member sites. In the same timeframe I also picked Q-70 project lead responsibility for ILS product deliveries. That is the position I am in now.
   Over the past 34.5 years this has been an interesting journey in Logistics Support by supporting the evolution of the various products our company has delivered to various government customers. Processes and requirements changed all along the way but lasting friendships have not.  

2.3 Harvey Taipale - [1966-2007]

Harvey started work at Univac (on the defense side) in 1966, as a fresh college grad, lived through all the company name changes and sales and retired from Lockheed Martin in 2007.  His early career was engineering and project management.  His later career was in business development, primarily Navy but also internationally.  He worked on Navy, FAA, and Air Force programs, was involved with many of the company's various facilities and customers in Japan, Germany, Korea, and Australia. He is presently the 2022 VIP Club President.

3. Career Summaries - V

3.1 Roy Valentini, 1967-2004.

Over thirty-seven years of experience in Navy weapons, information management, command and control, and communications systems. Experience spanned design/development, test/integration, production and life cycle support. Experience gained in Anti-Air Warfare (AAW), Surface Warfare (SUW), Strike Warfare, and Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW). In the 37 years at Lockheed Martin [formerly Loral/Unisys/Sperry], held various positions, both technical and management. These positions were Acting Vice President of Business Development, Director of C3 Systems Business Development, Director of Naval Systems Business Development, Director of Defense Information Systems (DIS) Business Development, Director of Navy and International System Engineering, Director of Undersea Systems Business Area, Director of Undersea Program Management, Program Manager of Undersea and ASW Programs, System Engineering Manager, and various system and project engineering positions.

Anti-Submarine Warfare - System Integration/Test
Anti-Air Warfare - Business Development
SUW - Acquisition Management
Strike Warfare - Program Management
Over-The-Horizon Targeting - Engineering Management
Submarine/Surface Combat Systems - Proposal Management
Information Management Systems - Strategic Planning
Command and Control Systems - Operations Planning
C4I Systems - Program Planning
Weapon Systems - Program Development
Hardware/Software - Risk Management
System Engineering - Life Cycle Management

Director, C3 Systems Business Development, 2000 - 2004
Responsible for business development, marketing and sales for Communications Systems for shipboard, air and land platforms and land based Air Defense Command and Control Systems. The responsibilities were for both domestic and international systems. Responsibilities included managing sales/marketing managers, discretionary resources, program qualification and proposal development with orders of $100M per year and budget responsibility for $4M. The domestic marketing efforts were to the Surface and Submarine Navies, the Naval codes of NAVSEA and SPAWAR, all the Navy labs, Air Force Systems Commands, and a multitude of Platform/System Primes. The foreign Navies covered were Germany, Spain, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia.
Acting VP, 6/2001 - 12/2001
Business development, marketing and sales for Lockheed Martin Tactical Systems. The responsibilities were for both domestic and international systems. Responsibilities included managing sales/marketing directors, discretionary resources, program qualification and proposal development with orders of $625M per year and budget responsibility for $100M.
Director, DIS Business Development, 1991 - 1996
Responsible for the business development, marketing, and sales to both U.S. and foreign Defense Agencies/Services. Responsibilities included managing 8 sales/marketing managers, discretionary resources, and proposal development with orders of $250M per year. The domestic marketing efforts were to the Surface and Submarine Navies, the Naval codes of NAVSEA and SPAWAR, all the Navy labs, Air Force Systems Commands, and a multitude of Platform/System Primes. The foreign Navies covered were Germany, Spain, Greece, Egypt, Turkey, Italy, Japan, Taiwan, Australia, and Canada.
Director, Navy & International System Engineering, 1989 - 1990
Responsible for the system engineering, project management, and technical development of all Navy and International systems programs. Directed a project team of 60 direct report engineers and over 700 matrix engineers. The Navy programs consisted of SQQ-89 Basic/Improved, AN/BSY -1/2 Combat Systems, CCS MK-l/2 Combat Systems, Trident Engineering and Integration, ASWOC Midterm, NAVMACS, Surveillance Direction System, Ship Systems, TEAMS, Combat Direction System Simulation, Automatic Direction Finder, and Over-The-Horizon Targeting. The International programs consisted of Greek, Egyptian, Turkish, and Israeli Submarine programs, German F123 Frigate, Canadian Patrol Frigate, Canadian Tribal Class Modernization Program, and Thailand, Egyptian, and Turkish Coastal Defense Systems.
Director, Undersea Systems, 1985 - 1988
Responsible for all technical and financial [orders, revenue, gross margin and profit] aspects for the Underseas Business Area with direct control of Program Management, Engineering, Financial Control and Marketing. Responsible for Underseas programs for both the SSN Attack Class and SSBN Trident Class submarines which included hardware/software systems, test/integration and ILS efforts. Had control of contract values in excess of $200M with over $50M of revenue per year. Was chairman of the Underseas Business Area team whose responsibility was to pursue new business.
Director, Undersea Program Management, 1984
Responsible for the management of the Undersea Program Management organization reporting to the director of Underseas Systems. Control of ten program managers with accountability for $40M of revenue.
Program Manager, ASW/Undersea Programs, 1979 - 1983
Program Manager for the Combat Control System MK-1, SUBACS and Over- The-Horizon Targeting programs with contract values in excess of $100M and over $20M of revenue per year. Directed the development, production, test/integration and delivery of hardware and software systems for the SSN 594/637/688 Attack Class Submarines. Also, responsible for all proposals for these programs.
Manager, System Engineering, 1974 - 1978
Held several System Engineering Manager positions in various disciplines including hardware and software design/development, system engineering, system test and integration, and quality assurance/configuration management. Directed organizations varying in size from 15 to 40 people for Navy projects including Trident, SSN Combat Systems (ASW), Surface Ship Command and Control Systems (AAW, SUW), Moored Surveillance System, SOSUS, TFCC, NAVMACS, and SSN ELINT.
System Engineer, 1967 - 1973
Held several engineering positions including System Engineer, Project Engineer, Applications Analyst, Scientific/System Programmer. These positions were on Navy projects in ASW, Submarine Combat Systems, Surface Ship Command and Control Systems, and International programs.
BS Mathematics, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN - 1966
Several post graduate courses in Business, Management, Finance, technical subjects, and proposals. 

4. Career Summaries - W

4.1 Sam Walzer, 1954-1994.

I worked for ERA from June 1954 until I retired from UNISYS in January of 1994. My responsibilities varied in all those years starting from "SORTING and Validating" ferrite cores for the memories of various systems. I spent three different tours on Kwajalein Island; one month in 1964, three months in 1965, and then 49 months from July of 1968 through August of 1972. All three tours consisted of operating and maintaining the Target Intercept Computer system. Also, during my assignment to ISRAEL I worked on a hybrid communications system, I'm not sure of the project ID number.
If I can be of any additional help, don't hesitate to ask. Sam   

4.2 Don Weidenbach, 1946-1976.

   I graduated as an electrical engineer from South Dakota State in June, 1943. Shortly thereafter, I reported for duty to the Army Signal Corps where I served as a Communications Officer. Upon completion of training I spent 38 months in the Philippine Islands. After discharge in the fall of 1946, I came to the Twin Cities looking for work. The State Employment Office listed a new company in St. Paul that was hiring engineers for classified military work. I was interviewed and hired by Engineering Research Associates (ERA) in November of that year. The company was less than a year old and had about 100 employees.
   My first assignment was on a communications project for the Navy. My job was to design a ring counter using miniature thyratron vacuum tubes. It was my introduction to digital circuitry and to gas tubes. I was on the project for about a year. After the design was completed it went into production and over 100 units were built. That was a big job for ERA in those days.
   My first computer project was a special purpose machine for the Navy, Demon I. The project was headed by Jack Hill. Some of the engineers I worked with were Frank Mullaney, Emmet Quady, Warren Burrell, and Ward Lund. My assignment again was ring counters, but these were much faster, using 6J6 dual triode vacuum tubes. It was a crash project. Much of the circuit and memory design [magnetic drum] had been done on an earlier project. We had only six months to do the job, so long hours were the norm, but we made the schedule. A few months later I was called to the front office by Ralph Meader and asked if I would go to Washington D.C. for six months to “baby sit” a computer [Goldberg] that had been shipped earlier and had some problems. I agreed to go and was asked if I could leave the next day! As I was single that was no problem. After three months and some design changes to the drum memory system the machine was working well and I was able to return to St. Paul.
   I was next assigned to Jack Hill's memory development group. My first job was to design a new magnetic read/write head which had ferrite core material rather than steel laminations used in earlier heads. It also involved designing new read/write circuits. These heads were used on most new projects that used magnetic storage drums and were a big improvement in cost and performance over the earlier models. The writing circuits were now able to record continuously rather than writing one cell per drum revolution as was done previously.
   In 1952 ERA became part of Remington Rand. We thought that now that we were no longer a small struggling company we could take on the big boys---IBM, NCR, you name it. We could even put Eckert Mauchly in their proper place, wherever that was! Control Data and Cray Research didn't exist yet, but Seymour was down the hall busily working on the 1103. A friend of mine who was working on the instruction manual for the 1103 often complained at lunch that Seymour wouldn't take time to talk to him so how could he write the manual! Somehow he got it done.
   In 1953 the company won a small contract [$50K] from a Chicago mail order house, John Plain, to design and build an inventory control system. John Plain was using IBM punched card tabulating equipment which we were now going to replace with modern electronic equipment! I was appointed Project Engineer and the machine was called Speed Tally. To keep costs down and shorten delivery time we used Univac 1103 hardware wherever we could. The down side was that the manufacturing cost of this hardware was not cheap. We had a considerable overrun before the system even shipped! An interesting and challenging task was modifying a Remington Rand 10 key adding machine so it would have electrical readout. Ten of these were used as input/output terminals to the computer. John Plain used the machine for over a year and then went back to their old card system which was eventually replaced with an IBM 650. We did not replace IBM, but we gained some valuable experience in working in a commercial environment.
   Our next attempt was the Univac File Computer. I was assigned to this program at its start in 1955. Robert 'Bob' Erickson was the head of the project. There were four principal designers: Gerry Williams [magnetic storage], Bob Wesslund [arithmetic unit], Jim Wright [control], and me [input/output]. We were known as the 4 W's. {Editor's note: Shown at the right in a 2009 photo are Gerry, Jim, and Don. Bob had passed away in 2008.}
   My job was to design the interface for the Remington Rand 90 column punched card unit. This proved to be a challenge in many ways, one of which was the reliability of the card unit. Later other I/O devices were added to the computer. One interesting thing about the File computer was that it started out as vacuum tube machine but before the design was completed transistors were used in the newer parts of the machine. Transistors were still not very reliable, so we had our share of problems with them. Two models of the File Computer were designed and over 180 systems were built. The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) used them at major airports for air traffic control. This was the beginning of a long series of contracts with the FAA that went on for many years. Northwest Airlines used File Computers for airline ticket reservations, a pioneer in this application. Douglas Aircraft used them in a number of their plants for inventory control. I spent several months at their DC-8 plant in Long Beach, California during the installation and checkout of the first computer. All of their data was stored on 90 column punched cards, so we got a lot of experience reading cards. I also helped install systems at First National City Bank in New York, Eastern Airlines in New York, and Northwestern National Life Insurance in Minneapolis.
   In 1959 I was assigned as Manager of the Athena project reporting to Arnie Hendrickson. Athena was the ground guidance computer for the Titan I ICBM. At the time I joined the project, the first unit had been delivered to Cape Canaveral for testing with the BTL/Western Electric radar and the Martin missile. Shortly after joining the project, Arnie and I took a trip to Florida to meet our field engineers and programmers and observe the system during a test shot. I remember two things quite vividly about that trip. First, it was raining very hard when we landed so we stopped at the first gas station/convenience store and bought rain coats. We used them quite a bit while we were there. Secondly, missiles were not very reliable in those days, so we went through several days of countdowns and scrubs before we saw the live test. In the meantime we saw another missile blown up shortly after launch on an adjacent pad. It was an exciting time and nice to see our equipment function without error. While I was on the project we designed a second model, and built computers for all of Titan missile sites. Athena was the first transistorized computer that Univac delivered to the field. It had extremely high reliability standards and considering that transistors were so new it really was a challenge to achieve these goals. The system had an unblemished record of over 150 launches without a malfunction. Our group also did the programming of the computer, including satellite launches from Cape Canaveral and Vandenberg AFB. Included were the Echo passive balloon, Telestar, the first communications satellite and Tiros, the first weather satellite. During the early part of the program our Air Force technical liaison officer was Captain Gerald Probst, who later joined the company and eventually became the CEO of Sperry Rand.
   The group's next assignment was to design and built the prototype ADD missile borne guidance computer for the Titan II missile. This unit occupied less than two cubic feet of space yet had to do the same job as our Athena computer. It was a new experience for us, as we had only done ground based equipment up to that time. Using discrete components [there were no integrated circuits yet] we crammed the parts into cordwood encapsulated blocks about the size of a small eraser. The component leads were cut off and then spot welded to miniature printed circuit boards. The computer had a thin film main memory. We built several of these prototypes, gaining much experience in high density packaging.
   In 1962 I was assigned as Manager of the Nike Zeus project. This was a ground based computer which controlled the Nike Zeus anti-missile missile. We were a sub-contractor to BTL/Western Electric who had the prime contract with the Army. The first model, the TIC (Target Intercept Computer) was built from foam encapsulated building blocks, about two inches square in size. The blocks were assembled on a flat pan like chassis and then connected by machine wire wrap, a new technique which had just been developed. Later we designed a second computer called GPDC and built a number of them for test sites at Bell Labs, White Sands Proving Grounds and Kwajalein Island.
   In 1963 my group was tasked to design the computer for the Nike X Anti Ballistic Missile. This system used many cutting edge technologies, including the very fast Sprint missile guided by a phased array radar [no moving dish, electronically steered beam], and a high speed multi-processor computer with 200 nanosecond thin film memory. We completed the first computer in 1967 and continued on with this project until the SALT agreement shut down ABM activity in 1969.
   In 1970 I became Manager of Systems Design in the Engineering Development Lab in Plant 8, Eagan, reporting to Carl Glewwe. I worked at that location until my retirement in December 1976, having completed thirty years with the company. It was a great time to be in the computer business and I remember fondly the many great people that I was associated with.{Editor's note: Don was given the desk mount shown here at his retirement party. It has an Athena module, an Athena vacuum tube, a Nike X sticker, and ERA sticker - partly peeled off.}   

4.3 Eldon Weinhold, 1967-200x

   I have had a long and varied career starting with UNIVAC, Sperry UNIVAC, Sperry, UNISYS, Paramax, UNISYS, Loral, and Lockheed Martin.
   I graduated from Iowa State University in November, 1967. I was hired by Joe Graham at Univac to become a Field Engineer in Building #6 on University Ave., St. Paul. I spend almost 7 years in Field Engineering working for Joe, Gerry Grosse, and George Fedor. I started out working in the Military Equipment Test Center (METC) at Plant #2, attending Univac training classes [the training department was in the guard building at Plant #2], worked on the checkout floor in Plant #3, and Eslingers after work. The first phase of the Eagan facility [Plant #8] had just opened and there were maps drawn on how to find it from the Midway Area.
   My first field engineering trip was to Bath, Maine - the Bath Iron Works to work on an IDAC and OSI on the West German DDG SATIRE Ship Program. I had never seen an IDAC or OSI before and Joe gave me manuals to read on the airplane. I was to be in Bath for 2 weeks and ended up staying 22 months. I worked on three West German DDGs and then went on to the DLG-16 Class NTDS Modernization program working on the DLG-17, DLG-21, and DLG-24. Besides working the installations on each ship, I rode each ship up to three consecutive days at a time on both builder’s sea trials and Navy sea trials in the North Atlantic. Weather in the North Atlantic can get quite rough in the winter and I have seen operators with seat belts on in Command Information Center (CIC) because of the extreme pitch and roll. I left Bath in May 1970 because the shipyard went on strike and the Navy sent all field service people home.
   Next in 1970-71, I worked on a large communication switching system, the SSQ-59. There were only 2 systems built, and both were checked out on the floor in Plant #5. The system included about 18 large switching cabinets, a 1218 computer, 2 operator control consoles, and a 1004 card reader/printer as the load device. Yes, the operational system actually loaded from two boxes of punched cards. I worked both system installations: the Mt Whitney, LCC-19, in Newport News, VA then the Blue Ridge, LCC-20, in Philadelphia, PA then went on Navy sea trials on the Mt. Whitney. The project engineer was John Fritz.
   I went on-site for almost 3 years at the RCA facilities [now the LM-MS2 facilities] in Moorestown, NJ in March of 1971 to work on the initial development of the AEGIS program. I had three very early S/N AN/UYK-7 computers and installed every 3-level wire-wrap field change that was put in the AN/UYK-7 until the whole CPU and IOC chassis were replaced. The system also had the 1840 vacuum chamber magnetic tape units. The first software development system lab also had a CRPI (Card Reader, Punch, and Interpreter). I trained many RCA field service personnel and went with them to Long Beach and Oxnard, CA in early 1974 to work the first AGEIS installation aboard the USS Norton Sound.
   My last field engineering trip in 1974 was also a unique trip. I was set to transfer out of field engineering the next week and there was a request for engineering services at a commercial site in Baltimore, MD. Since I was the only one in town, I was asked to go out on Thursday night, work Friday and come home. I went to Baltimore and on Friday, was told that the people couldn’t support me until Saturday. By Friday afternoon, I had received a call from St. Paul saying that they needed someone to checkout a AN/UYK-7 in a MATCALS shelter at Patuxent (PAX) River on Monday morning. I bought some extra clothes, worked Saturday in Baltimore and went to PAX River on Sunday. The PAX installation went smoothly. The shelter was right beside an aircraft carrier practice runway and I got to watch aircraft fly in and snag the wire as if they were doing a carrier landing.
   In 1974 I transitioned to a System Engineering role on a new NAVELEX program called NAVMACS (Navy Modular Automated Communications System) that Sperry won by responding to an RFP with a proposal written by a small number of individuals. It was a follow-on system to an earlier system development called BSS (Broadcast Screening System). NAVMACS was an automated message processing system for Navy ship communication systems. The communication circuits processed were four Fleet Broadcast channels, four Full Period Termination channels and a CUDIXS channel. The program ran for about 15 years and NAVMACS became a family of different sized systems using one, two, or three computers depending on the size of the ship and number of remote terminals required. NAVMACS was the biggest user of AN/UYK-20, AN/UYK-20A, AN/UYK-44, and AN/USQ-69s - and was the first user of the serial interface cards in those computers. It was a large software development program for Sperry as well as the hardware sales. My last trip on the NAVMACS program was another great experience. I flew on a COD flight from North Island, San Diego about 150 miles out in the Pacific and landed on the carrier USS Enterprise. I rode the carrier ship for 4 days and was catapulted off on a COD flight back to San Diego. Various NAVMACS Program Managers included Dave Kolling, Bob Jacobsen, and Bill Rogers. Bill Kailey was the first Project Engineer.

   Next I spent 3 years as a System Engineer on a classified program called CP-256 in Camarillo, CA. The program moved back to Eagan at the end and was cancelled by our customer.
   I transitioned to Maritime Surveillance in 1994 and worked communication system engineering on the Navy P-3C AIP program and a similar system called UIP for the four Norwegian P-3C aircraft. Tasks included the integration of a new ICS, a new UHF SATCOM DAMA radio system, a four-antenna combiner system and a new Tactical Data Processor called the OASIS. This project has meant many trips to PAX River, MD; Greenville, SC; and Clearwater, FL; many vendor sites and even one trip to Bahrain in the Middle-East.
   I am working now on the design and integration of Link-16/ITP and new architecture into the AIP system. It is now 2007, I am still working AIP and the final aircraft, aircraft #72, is in production in Greenville, SC. This program has been challenging in that the military has changed over the years and now there is very little mil-spec hardware. Everything is Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) because the Navy wants the latest technology all the time. Obsolete hardware is one of the biggest problems on the program. Many subsystems have been redesigned and replaced during the program because of the long program duration and the advance of technology.
   I have seen so many changes over my years at work. Starting on 642-B and 1218 computers and now working on chassis that have many single board computers in one unit. One of the biggest changes was the introduction of the Personal Computer. I don’t know how work got done before without them. 

4.4 John Westergren, 1972-2012

   My career with Lockheed Martin and its heritage company, Sperry Univac started shortly after I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1966. Little did I know that when I was fortunate enough to be assigned to Basic Electronics School and then offered to extend my active duty commitment to a total of six years for something called “computers”, would it provide me my future career: as my lovely wife has always said “I’m more lucky than good”.
   I ended up receiving training on the Univac CP-808 at the Plant 2, W. Minnehaha facility and for the next five years maintaining the system in California and Okinawa. I was hired into the Field Engineering department in 1972 through the recommendation of Dale Reizweitz and Jim Sprecher, working for Paul Hove and Jerry Gross and with some of the best troubleshooters in the world like Dan Gebhart, Mike Mullen, and Roger Engel. The next four years I worked and played with this team providing world wide technical support for any and all Univac computers and peripherals. For a twenty-something kid, this was the most fantastic job a person could want; traveling on full expenses all over the world working with/for some of the legends of that time: Rip Anderson, Lowell Benson, Lew Carlson, Jack Lavers, John Markfelder, Ole Olson, Don Vizanko, just to name a few. Is it any wonder why I am what I am today with mentorship like that.
   This also provided me the opportunity to work on the companies leading edge products like the AN/UYK-15, this first “mini computer”; AN/UYK-23, one of the first tactical airborne computers; the AN/UYK-20, the Navy’s first standard mini-computer; and systems where these computers are used like NAVMACS, the Navy’s first digital message processing system; counter artillery/counter mortar system; SURTASS, the Navy’s passive submarine listening system; and CATTCAIR, the Navy’s first automated landing system for aircraft carriers – just to name a few. Because of this excellent background in how our computers were utilized in systems, I joined Design Engineering as the Project Engineer for the AN/UYK-20 working for Bob Jablonski and working day-to-day with our customer NAVELEX 570, CAPT Chuck Hager, Al Smyne, and Ron Goodling along with the Univac Program Management team of John Johnson and Manny Block. These individuals and all of the other named and unnamed men and women on these programs were instrumental in allowing me to grow in the knowledge of the business of providing the best products to the finest military in the world. This is also where I started gaining a great appreciation for our ability and difficulty with manufacturing products for use within the military and maritime environments.
   As I gained more experience working with customers, I started taking field assignments like Field Engineering Supervisor in San Diego, System Engineering representative for the 6977 Telecommunications Project for the Israeli Air Force in Tel Aviv, Israel and Canadian Operations Engineering Manger at our Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada manufacturing facility. This was a growth period for Canadian Operations and I was extremely fortunate to work for Gerry Smith, Glen E. Johnson and Ron Guimond while having some of the best engineering talent in the world working for me: Ken Buchler, Ed Pogorzelec, Albert Cerqueira, and Neil Williams. I was also extremely proud to hire some of first female engineers in Sperry, Joan Coughlin and Kaye Tsang. This group became a highly respected, extremely capable group of Engineers that I’m very proud to have been associated with. Working at one of the manufacturing locations also started exposing me to the likes of Bob Faust, Myron Lecy, and Gordy Erickson -just to name a few of the manufacturing elite of the company. They taught me never to think too much of myself, but learning that when working together as a Team, there probably isn’t anything you can’t accomplish.
   Returning back to the Twin Cities to start working on the newly won AN/UYK-43 project with the responsibility for transitioning that design to the factory, I was able to work with another great Design Engineering Team with folks like Tom Krocheski, Dave Kaminski, Gary Hokenson, and Paul Richardson. I was also able to work with the group on the “other side of the wall” lead by John Sundstrom and Art Tearington while all of this was watched over by Mike Snodgrass: not a crowd for the faint of heart, but extremely rewarding. This experience also provided the next opportunity of leading the AN/ UYK-44 Embedded Engineering Team where traveling with Mike Meyer and Ed Spiess let me hone my skills playing cribbage on those long flights by winning large sums of money (that’s the way I remember it). I would be extremely neglect if I didn’t mention that it was during this time when I was lucky (remember) enough to settle down and marry my lovely wife, Pat Mansur, who was also a Sperry employee. All of the individuals, following and previously, mentioned have subsequently expressed their surprise and condolences to her on my luck and her choice.
It was on one of the aforementioned trips that Don Dunn offered me the opportunity to enter the dark world of Program Management for the UYK-43 program: I’ve only fondly looked back. Here again was a tremendous opportunity to learn from Jerry Nickell and Harry Morrison the subtleties of customer intimacy, organizational mediation, and ability to stand in front of senior management with a straight face and unwavering voice proclaiming that “there is no problem!” I was also fortunate enough to work with some great finance wizards like Jeff Herman and Lee Meyer who taught me to add/subtract, never to use the same number twice and that you can explain a $150M program on one sheet of paper (size 16 font) along with guys in Quality Assurance like Jim Kzaley and Chuck Proshek who never let me forget that Quality (in everything you do) is #1.
   There was a three year hiatus working away from the company with Wayne Culbreth and Keith Myhre on the new technology of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) and then Emmett Johnson as a Manufactures Representative; just long enough to start the vacation clock over again. At the request of Clyde Allen, I was the first employee hired by Loral in Eagan to be the UYQ-70 Program Manager. This was a tough act to follow, but the Team started by Tom Erickson and Paul Thierry was reinventing the way we developed products and did business with the Navy. This continues to be extremely rewarding. This Team has taken a program, that in it infancy, was only going to be a small, couple million dollars a year program to the largest single program in the history of our “division”; it keeps the lights on and pays the bills. It is one of a long line of successful, profitable programs that we are recognized for throughout the corporation. It started with folks like Harvey Taipale, Steve Palmer and continues with the next generation with individuals like Allison Hernandez, George Kaniamos, and Jeremy Sommer. The company is in intelligent and capable hands.
   As you might be able to tell, sure it’s the job, the opportunities, and the products, but much more so, it’s the people: the customers I worked for and all the other UNIVAC/Sperry/UNISYS/Loral/Lockheed Martin employees that I was extremely fortunate to work with. Today, Lockheed Martin is practicing the principles and attributes of Full Spectrum Leadership; an excellent and worthwhile approach to business. These attributes were alive and vibrant throughout my entire career with each of the individuals mentioned and many more. People make an organization great; people challenge other people to grow and be better; simply said, “It’s the people!” and I’ve been one of the most fortunate and lucky people I know: I agree with my wife.  

4.5 Tom Widenkopf, 1964-1991; My Work Experience.

In 1964 I joined the new commercial division of Univac in Roseville MN as a hardware engineer. The technology was discrete components such as diodes, transistors & resistors. Our first personal workstations were 8-bit Tandy Radio Shack TRS-80s.
My first major job was in the development of the 418-III communications computer in the late 1960s. It featured a large maintenance panel that displayed, via many ribbon cables to big selector switches, most of the registers in the machine.

In the 1970s & early 1980s I supervised the unique development or modification of peripherals such as disk subsystems & array processors for specific customers. This required travel to their sites in North America, Western Europe & Tokyo. It was not boring as the technology improved rapidly, but I found satisfaction in working closely with each customer. Often there were several small concurrent projects at various stages of development, from planning, design, build, test & site installation. I took lots of management training classes & received an Excellence Award.
For several years I visited my alma mater the University of Illinois 2 or 3 times per year to interview students, award scholarships, etc. In one gratifying case we hired a very bright intern who had 14 other job offers.
As a project manager in the late 1980s my group was challenged to develop an equipment that would operate continuously for at least ten years, even though components failed & were replaced. Called a Record Lock Processor, it functioned as a traffic cop for shared files on disk subsystems in multi-computer transaction systems. After elaborate testing it was delivered on schedule & within budget to an airline customer in Japan.
I accepted an offer for early retirement during the Halloween snowstorm of 1991. In review, I cannot think of a more dynamic work experience! I worked with many highly motivated people. All development is self development. If it is to be, it is up to me. Wow!  Tom W.

4.6 Monte Widdoss,

 The USS Los Angeles is moored at the SEAFAC static site as part of ESCAPEX 2006. Photo courtesy of U.S. Navy by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Cynthia Clark. There are two things about this photo in a 2006 SAIC article that were of interest to me:
This was the first exercise in over 40 years to test how well crew members could escape from a crippled submarine submerged at depth, and the first time ever from a nuclear submarine. The submarine, USS Los Angeles SSN 688, [the hull number] was very important to me in my early career [circa 1973] working with the submarine community of the US Navy when Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW) was very important to this nation then facing a major Soviet submarine threat. I led a team at what used to be Sperry Univac to a highly competitive, large contract to develop an integrated Combat Control System for the lead ship (USS Los Angeles) of the SSN 688 Class of submarines. [The Navy refers to all the ships built to the design of the lead ship to be in that "class".] The result was a group at Sperry Univac [now part of Lockheed Martin] that continues today to support the current versions of submarine combat control systems some 30+ years and over $800M later. Damn! Am I old. Monte  

4.7 Mike Wold, 1970-74 & 1984-1997.

   I started my career at Sperry Univac in June of 1970 after serving in the Navy as the head “pork chop” on an oiler as a member of the Tonkin Gulf Yacht club. I interviewed at IBM and Honeywell but really liked the “tennis shoes and T shirt” culture at Univac. I felt honored to be working with these very informal and often humorous people who were the founders of the computer industry in the country. I spent a few months in Navy Systems in their tracking group and then a number of us were transferred to the expanding Air Traffic Control group. We had won an R&D contract from the FAA called the ARTS Enhancement Program and I got a chance to work with some really smart people who were developing advanced air traffic control technology, e.g., conflict prediction, radar tracking, etc. What I remember about those days was the “work hard, play hard” culture in the ATC group. It was not unusual to work all night long at the test bed at the airport and then come in for a full day of work the next day. It was also not unusual for us to gather on Friday afternoon at the Valley Lounge [also called “The Open” since they did not take down their “Now Open” sign for a couple of years after they opened]. We not only worked together but we spent a lot of time playing sports together – I remember being on a softball team, a tennis team, a bowling team, and a volleyball team. This togetherness in work and play created a great culture of teamwork. There was nothing we would not do for one another. There was a great tradition of stopping everything we were doing if someone stopped by with a question – and I remember having a lot of questions. In fact I remember telling my wife that I was not sure I could make it at Univac because I could not understand the thousands of acronyms. Of course after a couple of months I could talk in acronym language and confuse all the new people just like everyone else.
   One of my favorite memories from those days was when we were challenged by our arch nemesis, Hughes Aircraft, on the effectiveness of our tracking algorithms. In typical Hughes fashion they had gone to the FAA and told them that they were the tracking experts and why are you working with those Midwestern farmers for your tracking technologies. [What they did not know is that we had very smart farmers at Univac!] The FAA felt forced to listen to Hughes so several of us went out to the Hughes site in California with the FAA for a “showdown”. Unfortunately for Hughes their demo was a big flop and ours went perfectly. Not only that but instead of being good hosts they went out of their way to insult us. They picked up the FAA representatives who were staying at the same hotel and never invited us along. The next day we had a meeting and I remember when their big honcho came in the room all the Hughes people actually stood up. It reminded me of when some dictator graces the room with his presence and all his stooges salute. The executive apologized for the poor demo and explained it was just a minor problem. Then he asked, “Well, what is the next step for us to be able to work for the FAA on tracking?” All of us Univac folks just about bit our lips to keep from laughing when the head of the FAA delegation said, “I assume that you know that Univac is our prime contractor for all our R&D work so you will have to meet with them if you want to get on the program”. Needless to say we saw no more of Hughes on the ARTS Enhancement Program! To this day, the Eagan operation is known in the FAA for their tracking expertise, which actually originated in the great work that the engineers did on the NTDS program.
   I left Univac with mixed emotions in 1974 since I really liked the people and our bosses. We had gotten about 5 years ahead of the FAA in our technology and I decided to try out my wings with a systems consulting company called Intech. I later ended up at the State of Minnesota and in 1984, 10 years later, I came back to what was then called Sperry. One of the great cultural features of the company was the way they welcomed former employees back with open arms. Some companies look at an employee who leaves as a disloyal person and burn the bridge as they leave. This was never the case with our company and I was welcomed back with open arms. I heard that this cultural value originated back when so many people left in the 1960’s to go to Control Data and other emerging computer companies. Our company decided to welcome back anyone who left and if fact would reinstate their benefits if they came back within 2 years – unheard of in the industry.
   I felt I had learned a lot when I was gone, especially about commercial information systems, information systems design, leadership and management and was anxious to dig in. After working some R&D on military air traffic control systems, I took a chance and volunteered to be the proposal manager for a U. S. Marine radar and tracking system – the MATCALS ATCS (Marine Air Traffic Control and Landing System Air Traffic Control Subsystem). We were subbing to Sperry Great Neck and there were a number of challenges including when the engineers at Great Neck went out on strike during the middle of the proposal and a couple of use had to go out there and go through the picket lines and write much of their proposal. I remember when we won, it was one of the happiest days of my career. We had not won a lot of proposals and this one, although relatively small was important at the time. We delivered our parts of the system on time [I remember sitting in the back of a pickup truck with snow coming down as we drove Serial 1 up to Shepard Road for testing just before Christmas.] That brings up another important cultural value for the company. We would kill ourselves making sure that we never let a customer down. I can’t remember in all of my time at the company ever hearing about a system where we did not eventually deliver to the customer. [Some were so over-run that perhaps it would have been a better business decision to drop it, but that simply was never an option and I believe our customers knew it.]

   After some proposal work on mobile air traffic control I was elated to be selected to be the director of systems engineering. I had always viewed myself as a system engineer and it was great to be able to work with a couple hundred very talented people in areas such as system design, system analysis, testing, reliability, and testing. The biggest challenge during this time was the “debarment” that occurred and kept us from getting any new work for I believe it was 6 months. During that time we worked as a team to keep from having to lay off people since we knew that eventually we would need their expertise. We leveraged every tool we had including paid and unpaid vacations and made it through keeping our capability intact when the cloud was lifted. What I remember about those dark days is how supportive our customers were. They did all they could to keep us alive during this time. During this time we created the support systems and processes for a very professional system engineering capability and this foundation was useful for many years to come, even after the group was disbanded and went to the various business units.

   My next assignment was perhaps the most challenging and exciting of my whole career. I was appointed as the B-2 Program Manager. By that time we were Unisys Defense Systems and we had a number of avionics computers on the aircraft. At the time I came on the program it was still a black program and we lived in a “tank” in the basement. What was great is that my predecessors had taken the opportunity to create a culture behind the two cipher locks that was really unique. It was a small high performance team of really talented people. Since to top management was not “read in” to the program they could not come into our space and they could not be told what we were doing. This gave us a lot of freedom and it was great environment to work in. The biggest challenge was a technical one. The mission of the B-2 had been changed after the initial designs for the computers had already been done and the costs estimated. The new mission required significantly higher vibration and temperature profiles and we were failing the Reliability Development Growth Test (RDGT) while burning up money like it was hay. With the support of our management I decided to stop the testing and take a time out to analyze and fix the problem. The day I announced this to the customer at Northrop Grumman all h--- broke lose. I got a call from an Air Force Colonel who threatened me with nasty things if I did not resume testing. We held our ground and our sharp mechanicals modeled the system and came up with a fix. We also worked with a lab in Maryland and they proved that the stress scenario that the Northrop engineers had created had major errors in it since they had not taken into account the combination of temperature and vibration done simultaneously. Between the redesign and the change in testing we made it through with flying colors. Since we were the first box through the testing on the whole aircraft and because Congress was trying to kill the program, Unisys became a poster child for good performance at Northrop and we won their supplier of the year award. I remember getting calls from program managers from other Northrop subs thanking me and our great mechanicals for proving that the stress scenario was in error. I felt we saved the B-2 program millions of dollars because of our engineering expertise.

   After getting a chance to work as a program director for some very interesting programs including Trident, Nexrad, and several others, I was appointed the director of the air traffic control engineering group. I can’t tell you how honored I was to be able to come back to lead this great group of people. A consultant for the FAA once referred to this group at “a national treasure” because of their long history of outstanding performance. There were two big challenges at that time – completing the Common ARTS System for Southern California [the largest metro-plex system in the world at the time] and competing for the $1 billion STARS System which was to replace all the Terminal ATC systems in the U.S. Well, we lost the STARS to Raytheon and this was a sickening blow to us. We had to downsize in a hurry but we were able to transfer a lot of people to other Eagan groups, then we focused on completing the Common ARTS. The folks in ATC worked their tails off as usual and we sold off this system, eventually winning the FAA Contractor of the Year Award. Meanwhile Raytheon fumbled the ball and experienced major delays. This gave us a chance to sell the Common ARTS to the FAA for several more metro-plexes, thereby shutting out Raytheon from ever taking our market for the metro-plexes like Chicago, Northern California, Dallas-Ft. Worth, etc.

   In 1997, again with mixed emotions, I left my friends at what was now Lockheed Martin, but I will always be grateful that I was provided the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and dedicated people in the industry [or perhaps any industry].  

5. Career Summaries - Y

5.1 Dr. Steve Yahr, 1979-

   When I came to the training department at Sperry Univac in June 1979 right from UW-Stout, the training department was in the basement of Plant 8, MS U0H23. The junior instructor staff was housed 6-person cubes and the senior staff was in one person cubes. The managers Dan Newton, Ken Boehm -hardware, and Jerry Engelke - software had offices. I was in a cube with Duane Domeier, Paul Braden, Jerry Lundberg and Denny Koewler, all hardware instructors.
   One of the more unforgettable characters in the group was Steve Kloner. Steve [a software instructor] has a very active sense of humor and assigned each of us a nick name, mine being Extra Crispy, tracing to my being a hardware instructor and thus, in Steve’s book, addicted to fast food, in my case Kentucky Fried Chicken [I actually prefer Original Recipe!!!] One time he came into work after a routine physical. A single, female instructor, LaJean Wenzel, asked him how it went. Steve replied “well, my cholesterol is a little high, but the doctor thinks I can cure it by spending more time with the ladies.” LaJean cocked an eye, looked at him and said matter-of-factly, “well, you’re gonna die”. Sorry Steve!!! Another time Steve taught a class at Cold Lake Alberta in the dead of winter. The drill called for a flight to Edmonton, change planes and then fly to Cold Lake. Now Cold Lake is both at the edge of a military test range and our oil drilling area so the local population is an eclectic mix of locals, military and rough-necks, and they like their entertainment. On this day the weather was so bad that the flight from Edmonton to Cold Lake was cancelled and Steve had to get to his destination on a Greyhound like bus.
   I soon learned that this group was very self motivated when it came to meeting customer needs. This is because we interacted while teaching directly with customers and could see how our efforts made customer lives better. Management gave us pretty free rein when it came to meeting customer needs, and we worked hard on the road to meet all reasonable requests. It was an exhilarating experience to be given that much latitude and responsibility – but we thrived on it. Between classes was “prep” time which was sort of a down time while you prepared for the next class. During this time if we needed to fix typos in a student study guide, add an information sheet or a lab, we did it, anything to help the students better understand the material. These days of living in a cube where you might not see a customer for years, and you spend your days constantly revising documents, changing “happy” to “glad” it is hard to replicate the excitement.
   In those days the President and General Manager here, Dick Seaberg, would come around at Christmas, personally shake everybody’s hand thanking them for their efforts during the year and wishing them a Merry Christmas. That hasn’t happened in many years and I think we are worse off for loosing that sense of connection between the top and bottom of the organization.
   The first piece of equipment I learned to teach was the AN/UYK-20. While I had been a TV technician and was very sharp on analog electronics this was the first in depth study of the world digital electronics and Boolean algebra. The first UYK-20 course I attended was a standard 13 day Operation & Maintenance course taught by Jerry Lundberg. Thru the first year I learned all the different pieces of a digital computer and by February of 1980 was on the road in San Diego teaching by myself. The life of an instructor was busy, lots of time on the road. The managers kept the schedule on the “magic slate” a 17” x 22” quad-ruled desk pad. It was called the “magic slate” because then, like now, funny things kept happening to the schedule, as if by magic. Thru the guidance of the seasoned instructors (Jerry, Steve Kloner, Pete Dress) I learned lots and really enjoyed life on the road [fill’er up, it’s on Mr. Engelke!!] Travel was to Dahlgren VA, San Diego CA, Oxnard CA, Fullerton CA, Baltimore MD, Washington DC, Newport News, VA, Bremerton WA, Great Lakes IL, and numerous in-house courses. In those days we got cash advances to pay for our travel expenses. It was common to draw $100.00 in travelers checks for each day on the road, this would pay for hotel, rental car, and meals and we would have a little money left over. These days if you can find a hotel for under $100.00 per night it is quite a thing, let alone the extra cost of meals, car, gas, etc. We taught two and three week courses, always staying over on the weekends. With hotel, food, and car paid for, we had opportunities to go exploring. Thus, I was able to take in a multitude of sights, Washington DC, Civil War battlefields, the USS Missouri [BB 63], air museums and such as part of business travel, and it was wonderful. During one trip to the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard I drove to Boeing Field one fine Saturday for an air show. Planes of all sizes and descriptions were on display including a FedEx 727, [we got to sit in the cockpit, and, well – they really had to pry me out!] During the show some F-14 Tomcat fighters flew in. One pilot’s name was C. J. “Heater” Heatley, whose aerial photography from F-14 cockpits was one of the inspirations for the movie “Top Gun” – look for his name in the credits.
   Part of the “prepping” ritual for each class was getting all the books we needed for a class. This was no small task as the operations and maintenance technical manual set for the UYK-20 was seven volumes and a student study guide. All these books had to be gathered, boxed and shipped before we could leave on a trip. For years the contact at the warehouse where all this was stored was Marty Christenson, a really good guy. The boxing / packing was done by Brad Kowalke and later by Geoff Harms. Normally we would ship all this stuff to the base we were teaching at, but sometimes had to ship it to our hotel and ask them to hold it till we could get there. If the class was in town, part of the end of class routine was getting boxes for students to ship their stuff home – no easy chore. Now the software staff had fewer books for their classes, so they would take them along with on the flight to the destination, paying for excess baggage if necessary. Poor Steve Kloner was forever “schlepping” boxes of books here and there.
   A favorite noon-time activity for some of the staff was playing bridge. I had heard of the game but never tried it. Under the tutelage of Cliff Totten, Gary Hagen, Bob Vogel, Floyd Pratt, Al Stoye and others, I was soon able to play the game at a level good enough to be invited to the noon-time
   Others of our staff, mainly Duane Domeier, were more into exercise. It was Duane’s mission to take a walk every noon, especially on the hottest and coldest days of the year. Only thunderstorms stopped us. In retrospect the walking was a good way to get away from the desk for a while and get some fresh air. In the late summer and fall we substituted target shooting with our bows & arrows for walking. Denny Koewhler would join in this activity. We had a favorite little area tucked behind the Corporate Square warehouse [Building E] that straddled the train tracks. We would set up a target on one side of the tracks against a hill and shoot from the other side of the tracks. Given that this was a little used spur, not much disturbed our shooting. One day, however, as we were practicing we could hear the distinctive chug, chug, chug of a locomotive. The look on the engineers face as he came around the corner and saw three guys with bows and arrows watching him was, as the TV commercials say, priceless!!

   Another memorable moment was during the teaching of a UYK-20 course at Hughes Aircraft in Fullerton CA. I was there over my 25th birthday, which fell on a Saturday that year, and celebrated by visiting Disney Land [thank you Mr. Engelke!!]
   In August of 1981 I took a nine-month leave of absence to return to UW-Stout to get a Master’s degree in Education. It was obvious that the amount of time we spent on the road would make part-time school difficult, and given the car was paid for, no house, wife or kids, this was the time to do it. It was during this time that I met my wife Susan. Given that Menomonie WI is not far from Eagan I kept touch with the department and we were invited to the department Christmas party. All the way to the party I kept telling her that these people had very active senses of humor, they were not like people she had previously met. We arrived at the party [at the Lost Spur] and descended the stairs to find Pete Dress. I introduced Susan to Pete who, displaying impeccable manners, smiled and helped her off with her coat. He then hung her coat over my head, put a quarter in my hand and said “OK, you can go park the car chump”. He then took her by the arm and started heading for the party. As I got the coat off my head I saw her eyes were about twice their normal size and she had an indescribable look on her face as this guy she has never met [not her date] is leading her to a party. I just looked at her and reminded her that “I told you this group has an active sense of humor”. Later, when Susan and I got married quite a contingent from the training department turned out. Jerry Lundberg, a confirmed bachelor, wanted to see if: a) I would actually do it, and b) if I would sweat. Pete Dress showed up towards the end of the pre-wedding photo shooting, stood in the back of the church and called “don’t do it Susan”, “you’ll be sorry”, “I’m still available!!” It also turns out that Pete had gone to high school with our pastor, leading to more jokes and good times.
   After the wedding, as sort of a wedding present, I got to teach the only “in-house” UYK-20 class ever taught at the factory in Clearwater FL, so we had a working three weeks in Florida. Naturally students far preferred to go to Florida in January for training as opposed to coming to Minnesota and we had a wonderful time. We went to Disney World on the weekends, stood in the parking lot to watch the space shuttle launch and later to watch it return [a glowing spec in the sky with no sound, but we saw it!!!]
   In May of 1982 with a brand-new Master’s Degree I returned to the training department just in time for the UYK 43 and 44 to come into production. For the next several years we were busy writing curriculum and teaching courses on these boxes. In the mean time, the older equipment kept on working and working so I had a chance to the CP-642 A/B computer and the 1540 magnetic tape unit at PSNS in Bremerton WA. I also did quite a bit of teaching on the UYK-44 during this time. One memorable trip was to San Diego, CA for two weeks in July of 1993 with fellow instructor and car pooler Glenn Blanchard. We were constantly on the go when not in class, visiting Mt. Polomar and the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena where we got a “back stage” tour from one of our field engineers [yes, we taught the class too!!]. We even found a John Deere dealership in the middle of the desert [I am a John Deere fanatic], stopped and took a photo.
   During this time we lived in Hudson WI and I commuted with Rich Rust [who lived in Menomonie, WI] and Marius Procopie [who lived in Hammond, WI]. Rich was a quiet fellow, but Marius had a lively sense of humor. He had grown up in Romania and come to the US at the age of 18 to drive a cab in New York City. He made his way to the training department via an Applied Math degree from UE-Stout. After his wife got caught by surprise labor and delivered their first child in the bathroom of their apartment his nickname became “Miseur La Physician” [the long version] or just plain “Doc” for short.
   Over time I had grown bored with teaching individual equipments and was looking forward for a new challenge. It just so happened that there was an opening in the Underseas Systems training group working for Cliff Totten and later for Capt. Bob McCabe. This happy bunch [Rich Halbleib, Dan Rogers, Doug Jones, Dave Burgwald, Bill Wylde, Pete Dress, and later Glenn Hashizumi] spent most of their waking hours at SUBSCHOL in Groton CT teaching the operation and maintenance of fire control systems [including one Thanksgiving]. It was nothing for us to spend 16 to 20 weeks per year in Groton, always staying at the Ramada in Mystic CT. Due to the amount of time we spent there, the staff at the Ramada Mystic got to know us quite well. On time when checking in the lady at the counter looked up, saw me, and said “Hi Steve, I saw you were coming and saved your room for you”. This is when I knew we had been on the road maybe a bit to much!! A favorite place to eat was Mystic Pizza, later featured in a movie staring Julia Roberts [but they did not film it in this Mystic Pizza!!]
   Before I joined the group, one of the Underseas instructors was a gentleman named Ernest Kanning. Now Ernest was very, very bright. While conducting on class in Newport RI, Ernest was sitting in the back of the room one day looking thru a dictionary while Pete Dress was teaching. On this day Ernest found a misspelled word in the dictionary. He informed Pete of his discovery and offered that if Pete told the publisher he could get a free dictionary. “Why would I want a free dictionary with misspelled words when I have access to you!!” came the reply.
   Burgie also made the most wonderful slo-cook chili and it was customary for us to have a chili feed sometime during the winter – many smelled our fine cuisine but only a few got to partake!! We were writing curriculum and teaching Operation/Maintenance course on the CCS Mk 1, Mod 1 (ADCAP torpedo) and Mod 2 (VLS) equipment suites. Not having had the privilege of serving in the military I had to “qualify” to be accepted into submarines. Dave Burgwald made up a “Hackers Qual Card” with all kinds of wonderful submarine sailor things for me to do [like visit the Nautilus museum, close a bar, visit Bank Street, etc.] or I would be a “dink” and a “non-qual puke”. I got all the quality items finished on time and was awarded a plaque identifying me as an “Honorary Submariner” which sits in a place of honor on my desk to this day. Beyond the fun involved it was a wonderful introduction to the group and a real motivation to learn about submarines as quickly as possible. It was also during this time that Tom Clancy was a rising star in the book business, writing many books involving the military. It was also during this time that my youngest daughter Lisa was born. It just so happened that Tom Clancy was going to be at a mall close to SUBSCHOL on August 16 signing copies of “Clear & Present Danger”. Lisa was born in the late afternoon and by the time it got home it was 11PM. With the adrenalin still pumping I remembered that Pete Dress was doing instructor advisory duty on 3rd shift at SUBSCHOL and so picked up the phone and the next thing I heard was “CCS Mk 1 instructor office, Petty Officer Heyse here on an unsecured line, how can I help you”. I said “hi” to Ray and asked if Pete was there as I had some good news. After telling Pete all the good news about my new little girl he went to work and I went to sleep. When Pete got back to the office after his trip he handed me a copy of “Clear and Present Danger” and said to check the autograph. Apparently Tom Clancy had just wanted to sign his name in the book but Pete told him about the new addition to my family, so inside my copy of “Clear and Present Danger” it says: To Steve, Congrats Dad, Tom Clancy. What a wonderful thing!!!
   During each of the classes we taught at SUBSCHOL, if we had sailors in class from a boat moored down on the river we would always ask for a tour. We learned something from each tour, and the sailors loved showing off their boats. As a way of thanking the sailors for the tour, we would always buy a hat, coffee cup, belt buckle, or shirt from the boat. The proceeds from these sales go to the ship’s welfare and recreation fund, so in buying, for example, a hat, we were also funding recreational activities for the crew. I came away from my years at SUBSCHOL with a deep respect for submarine sailors. They are bright, dedicated and wonderful to work with, thanks for the memories guys!

  As CCS Mk 1 training wound down, and we lost the CCS Mk 2 contract to Raytheon it was time for something new. There was an opening for a software tester on Hellenic Navy Fire Control System (HNFCS) program so I became a software tester. My job was to write/execute the test procedures for the different torpedoes. Dave McDonald, Ken Vowles, and Jan Nitti were some of the other testers, we all worked for Gerry Kummer. Gerry and I hit it off when we discovered we both had a love for John Deere farm machinery. This resulted in many happy summer afternoons helping Gerry and his dad bale hay on the family farm between Coates and Hampton. Jan Nitti had responsibility for testing the Harpoon missile. For each of the weapons being tested we had a device that simulated the weapon hooked to the system. Early one winter morning [it was still very dark outside] Jan and I were in the lab which overlooked the north parking lot, busy checking out procedures. Jan had just “fired” a Harpoon when I noticed lots of activity in front of the High Sight apartment complex on Pilot Knob road across from the plant. I looked out the window to see that an MTC bus was in front of the complex with fire coming out of every wheel well and lots of fire trucks/police cars. I looked at Jan and said “nice shot Jan, you just sank a city bus!” She had no idea what I was talking about so came running to the window to see what the fuss was. We both had quite a laugh and the team was very respectful around her from then on, the lady who could sink a bus!!! When the HNFCS was delivered to the Greek Navy we switched hats from software testers to operation and maintenance instructors and went to the Greek Navy Base on the island of Solomina to teach the sailors all about their new system. The years in software test were wonderful course prep and we had lots of fun exploring Greece and teaching the course.
   After the HNFCS program was complete I joined the new UYQ-70 program as a Logistics Manager, responsible for managing different tasks on the program. UYQ-70 uses Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) components as building blocks to satisfy a variety of customer computing needs. The AEGIS program was an early customer, initially purchasing four variants, the ADS, C&D, EPS, and the NGP. An early requirement as to get these four variants through a complete set of environmental qualifications as well as a Maintainability Evaluation (M-Eval) and a Maintainability Demonstration (M-Demo). Mark Roline was responsible for the environmental qualification test and I did the M-Eval/M-Demo. We had a tight schedule to meet. Each week a government representative, Bruce, would meet with both Mark and me to see how we were doing against our schedule of activities. My cube was next the cube of Lee Holck, another prankster, and we were in the habit of tossing pennies over the cube wall at each other when we got bored. This was also the summer I broke three bones in my right foot playing softball and was sporting some plaster. One fine day Bruce is sitting in my cube going over the schedule, I’ve got my foot propped up and am drinking coffee. Lee decides to loft a few pennies over the wall, one lands directly in my cup. I casually kept drinking and Bruce leaves, convinced that Lee and I are completely nuts.
   Given that UYQ-70 was a billed as a common set of technology in a custom enclosure for each unique application, we did a lot of work for groups we had no previous experience with. One project I got involved with was the ASIS variant – to be installed in the back end of an E-2C Hawkeye. Given we had no recent experience with carrier aircraft we were full of questions. Our government representative had a wonderful idea. A select group could spend a few days with an E-2 squadron (VAW-121) at sea to see how our equipment would live and quickly give us lots of information. Tom French, Tom Laska, and I jumped on the opportunity. Before long we found ourselves walking aboard the USS George Washington (CVN 73) in Norfolk and heading out to sea. We had berths in 56 man compartment along with other technical representatives, ate in the various wardrooms, hung out with the squadron, participated in FOD walk-downs, got to be on deck during launches/recoveries and learned far more than we expected. We were given tours of the ship and saw everything from the anchor to Pri Fli where the Air Boss sits and directs traffic. We also briefed the squadron on our prospective design and got lots of valuable feedback. I have wonderful memories of walking out on the roof (flight deck) with my cranial and float coat during a launch. At first I was unhappy that this first class petty officer, younger than I, would take such physical custody of me, but after realizing all that was happening, and all the opportunities to get sucked into a jet engine, squashed by an airplane moving from one spot to another, blown over the side by jet exhaust, etc, I put my hand over his lest he loose his grip!!! When it came time to return to shore, we had to fill out forms in the Air Transportation Office (ATO) that not only included our names, ranks, etc, but a huge section for information on our “next of kin”. I looked at the Petty Officer behind the counter and asked if this was an indication that the whole process of being catapulted off the ship in an airplane was still in development – he just smiled. So on the appointed day we again reported to the ATO, luggage in hand and were eventually led to a C-2 Greyhound, the C-2 taxied to a catapult and away we went. In the end going to sea was a wonderful experience. The crew of the “GW” was extremely polite to us and to one another and I would jump at another opportunity to go to sea with the US Navy – thanks to one and all.
   There are many other stories I could tell here. As you can tell more than the projects the memories that stick are the people I’ve worked with over the years. Most of them have been dedicated and very professional – with a side of silliness for good measure. Thanks to all for your friendship and memories.  


In this Chapter

Topical Article contributors [left]

  1. Topical Article Contributors [left]
  2. Career Summaries - T: Ed Tilford, Joel Tofteland, and Harvey Taipale.
  3. Career Summaries - V: Roy Valentini,
  4. Career Summaries - W: Sam Walzer, Don Weidenbach, Eldon Weinhold, John Westergren, Tom Widenkopf, Monte Widdoss, Mike Wold,
  5. Career Summaries - Y: Dr. Steve Yahr

Chapter xx edited .