I was born in Erie, Pa in 1927, but graduated from Wheat Ridge High School, just west of Denver, on 1 Jun 1946. I enlisted in the Marine Corps the next day. I was given a Convenience of the Commandant Discharge from The Marine Corps on 13 July 1947 and entered the Naval Academy the next day. I graduated from USNA on 1 June 1951 with a BS in Engineering - as a Second Lt, USAF. I was assigned to the Electronic Warfare School at Keesler AFB, Miss, graduating in May 1952.
I was assigned to a three year tour in Germany; first in an AC&W Squadron, quickly followed by my remaining tour in Hqs 12th Air Force, Intelligence Division, in Landsberg, followed by two years in Ramstein. From 1955 to 1957, I attended AFIT, earning an MSEE in March 1957. I was assigned to the 4750th Test Sq, (T&AE) at Vincent AFB, Yuma, and then Tyndall AFB Fl, as Chief, Electronic Test from April 1957 through Dec 1962. I flew the F-89D, H and J, The F-101B, TF-102, F-104B and F-106B. We tested every interceptor, missile, rocket, drone and scoring system in the ADC inventory.
I was assigned to the Advanced Air Defense Systems SPO on 3 Jan 1963 and became the Deputy Director, Test and Deployment, YF-12A and entered the black operations at Area 51. We flew the initial AIM 47 missile launches over Point Mugu and then Holloman from a bailed B-58 out of Edwards, followed by YF-12A launches at Mach 3 over the PMR. On 28 Feb 1964, President Johnson announced our existence and we departed the Area for Edwards. I then became Deputy for Test and Deployment of the SR-71 as well, running both test programs until mid 1968. I flew with Daryl Greenamyer and got my Mach 3 pin in Jan 1969. Best job I have ever had!
I was assigned to the Pentagon in DDR&E, as Avionics Manager, F-15, in late January 1969. As one of my aside duties, I negotiated the loan of the two YF-12A's to NASA in the summer of 1969. I retired as an 0-5 on 31 July 1970 and joined the Defense Industry for the next 27 years.
1970 - 1976 - Project Manager, Electronic Warfare Department - Westinghouse. Program manager for AN/ALO-119 and AN/ALO-101 (V)-8 EW Pods to the USAF, UK, Germany and Iran. Developed and ran the AN/ALO-119 Pod update Program. Resigned in May 1976 to join Lockheed Aircraft Service Company, Ontario, California.
1976 - 1983 - Staff Engineer, Department manager, Deputy Director Advanced Programs, Lockheed Aircraft Service Company, Ontario, California. Created and led the team that invented and fielded Compass Call, the first Airborne Communications Jamming system. (In use today)
1983 - 1989 - Director Advanced Programs, Interstate Electronics Corporation. Product lines included Signal Intelligence Systems, Plasma Displays, Anti Submarine Warfare Analysis Systems, and a Special ASW Recording System.
1989 - 1997 - Director Advanced Programs - Lockheed-Martin Skunkworks. Developed EW Self Protection Systems for a variety of C-130 platforms: USAF Combat Talons, MAC cargo lifters, then series of 36 C-130 platforms for the UK SAS, France, Sweden, Norway, Belgium, and Australia.
1997 - Date - Consultant - Aerospace. On contract with Department of Justice on a "Whistle Blower" case against Northrop Grumman for four years. Currently President, NAMI Arizona (National Alliance on mental Health) and President, Yavapai County Chapter, NAMI.
Posted Thornton D. BarnesBy Thornton D. Barnes Google