|Center:||Langley Research Center|
|Historic Eligibility:||National Register Eligible|
|Back To 1148|
An interesting side note on the Structures and Materials Research Facility centers around war bonds, the Minuteman Flag, and Col. Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy.
The first clue in identifying this photo is the name “Langley Memorial Aeronautical Laboratory” at the bottom of the photo. Langley’s name was shortened to “Langley Aeronautical Laboratory” in late 1948, so this fact dates the photo prior to 1948.
An article on the front page of the April 5, 1943 issue of the LMAL Bulletin. The Minute Man Flag was issued for 90 percent participation and 10 percent of gross pay invested in War Bonds. Other interesting articles on the continued War Bond Program at NACA were from the August 1943 Bulletin, the January 1944 Bulletin, and the April 1946 Air Scoop. (Although not at NACA, an interesting video is on the Treasury Department site.)
This photo was taken at the Structures Research Laboratory on November 4, 1943 during a visit by Frank Knox, Secretary of the Navy. Knox praised the Langley contributions to the war effort, especially the technology for the Navy dive bomber which had won the Battle of Midway in the previous year. He spoke to about 1,500 NACA employees from the rostrum shown in the background. Other items include a Minuteman bond flag, which Langley had won earlier in 1943, and the U.S. flag of the period. The visit was summarized in the LMAL Bulletin, the in-house newspaper.
The photo was taken after Knox spoke and several notable Langley researchers are in the picture, including these five shown by numbers in this photo.
- 5- Famous Langley researcher/manager Francis Rogallo, who died fall 2009 at the age of 97. He entered service at Langley in 1936.
- 7- The tall individual in the middle is John "Jack" Paulson, who was a noted researcher at the 12-ft Free-Flight Tunnel in the East Area and later became Assistant Branch Head at the Full Scale Tunnel.
- 8- The shorter, partially hidden person to the right of Paulson is John P. Campbell, who was Head of the Free-Flight Tunnel in the 1940s and later became one of the world's outstanding authorities on vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.
- 10- Don Baals, the legendary Langley expert on wind tunnels.
- 11- John Becker, the father of hypersonic aerodynamics and the X-15.
We also have identified the people with arm bands (from other pictures of this event) as guards for the Knox visit. The individual with a bow tie and arm band (fourth from the right on the first row) appears to be John J. Bird, who was Head of the Stability Tunnel.
We wonder what the test article at the right rear of the photo was used for? Looks like a semispan of a wing of a WWII fighter set up for loads testing.
War Bonds continued to be a part of the NASA tradition at least through 1972. (See May 1972 photo.) The center received another Minute Man Flag in 1952 which was presented by US Tresaury Secretary Georgia Clark. A wonderful video captured part of the center tour she was given, as well as the ceremony. Unfortunately, the video is silent. For more on her visit, and portions of her speech, see May 1952 issue of the Air Scoop.