HISTORIAN'S CORNER - January, 2005

BY: Matt Grogan

While writing the article about the Martin B-1 0 (Fall'04 MARS STAR), I became curious about the other Collier Trophy awards connected with Lockheed Martin. The Collier Trophy is a national award honoring those who have made significant achievements in the advancement of aviation since 1929. Lockheed Martin, it's legacy companies, and employees have received a total of eight Collier trophies over the past 75 years, more than any other non-government entity. The President of the United States presents this award each year, and the 525 lb trophy is on permanent display at the National Aeronautics and Space Museum. The eight Lockheed Martin recipients are:

1932 - Glenn L. Martin, for development of an outstanding multi-engined, high-speed, weight-carrying airplane (B- 10).

1958 - USAF and industry team, for development of the F- 1 04--Clarence L. Johnson for design of the airframe; Neil Burgess and Gerhard Neumann of General Electric Co. for development of the J79 engine; Maj. Howard C. Johnson, for world land plane altitude record; Capt. Walter W. Irwin, USAF, for world land plane speed record.

1963 - Clarence L. "Kelly" Johnson, for designing and directing the development of the A-1 1 Mach-3 aircraft.

1975 - David S. Lewis, General Dynamics Corp, and USAF F-16 team, for significant advancements leading to innovative fighter aircraft effectiveness.

1981 - NASA, Rockwell International Corp, Martin Marietta Corp, Thiokol Corp, with special recognition to the crew of Columbia - Capt. Robert L. Crippen, USN, Col. Joe H. Engle, USAF, Capt. Richard H. Truly, USN, and John W. Young - for proving the concept of manned reusable spacecraft.

1984 - NASA and Martin Marietta Corp. with special recognition to astronaut Capt. Bruce McCandless 11, USN, Charles E. Whitsett Jr. of NASA, and Walter W. Bollendonk of Martin Marietta Co., for development of the manned maneuvering units and NASA team that rescued three disabled satellites.

1989 - Ben R. Rich and the Lockheed-USAF team, for production of the F-1 17A Stealth.,

1998 - U-2S/ER-2 aircraft and Lockheed Martin and its partners, General Electric, NASA, USAF Air Combat Command, and Defense Intelligence Agency.

The B-1 0 bomber was the first "modern" bomber acquired by the US Army Air Corps in 1932. TheF-104 aircraft, developed in the Lockheed Skunk Works, was the first aircraft to hold simultaneous official world records for speed, altitude and time-to-climb. The A-1 1 Mach 3 aircraft was the predecessor of the SR-71 Blackbird, the revolutionary high altitude reconnaissance aircraft. The F-16 aircraft first flew in December 1976 and was deployed in 1979. The F-1 6's maneuverability and combat radius (distance it can fly to enter air combat, stay, fight and return) exceed that of all potential threat fighter aircraft. Martin Marietta's participation in the 1981 award was for the External Tank part of the Space Shuttle System, partly developed in Denver and manufactured in Michoud. The MMU (1984) was also developed in Denver under the leadership of Bill Bollendonk (now retired), first tested by Bruce McCandless (now with Lockheed Martin in Denver), and was used in the rescue of the three unmanned spacecraft noted in the citation whose rocket engines did not function in space after being deployed by the Shuttle. The F-1 17 Stealth aircraft was first used operationally by the USAF in Operation Just Cause, the invasion of Panama (December 19, 1989), and was also developed in the Lockheed Skunk Works. The U-2S/ER-2, first flown in October 1994, is derived from the original smaller U-2 version that made its first flight in August 1955.

The above list represents impressive achievements and there is a technical and human story behind each of the awards. I found a variety of web sites for each item mentioned above (using Google), but I'm sure there are some retirees out there who have first hand knowledge of these stories. Please contact me if you would like to share this knowledge with your fellow retirees. I think we can also say that if the past is any guide, Lockheed Martin and its employees will be on the receiving end of more Collier Trophies in the future.