Interesting story about the B-17. I have a first-hand
experience with Mr. Lockheed I would like to relate.
I attended the University of Arizona, College of Mines
1962-1966 and one of my classmates was Allan Lockheed. I remarked to him at
some point asking if he was related to THE Lockheed family. He replied
that, yes, that would be my dad. I asked where his dad lived and he said he
lives with his dad there in Tucson. I asked if I could meet him and Allan
said sure, he would check with his dad when it would be convenient for me to
come over. It may have been a couple of days later when Allan asked if I
wanted to come to his home to meet his father and I replied yes. We drove
to his home and went inside. It was a modest brick home in a residential
area, not pretentious or overly large or anything that might be expected
from a member of a prestigious family. I was somewhat skeptical that this
would be someone that had begun an airline manufacturing company.
When Allan and I entered the home, there was an older man
inside and Allan introduced me to him saying, this is my dad, XXX Lockheed.
I don't remember his first name, but he was a pleasant man, about 5'5" or
5'7", weighed maybe 130 pounds and was maybe 60 years old, maybe a bit
more. He said he was a real estate salesman now. We visited a short while
and I asked if he was the person responsible for the beginning of the
Lockheed Aircraft Company. He replied that he was and then took out a large
family photo album filled with pictures of family and lots of aircraft.
Some of the pictures were in front of a hangar with a large airplane and I
cannot remember if it was a two- or four-engine aircraft, but it seems that
it was a two-engine bomber-style airplane. All of the pictures that I saw
were taken in the 1920's & 1930's and he said that he had completed this
large airplane that we were looking at the photos of, and had the trials to
complete with the Army. The pictures were of this airplane and also showed
many uniformed military images. I think I remember him saying they were all
generals and colonels to witness the testing flight of the airplane. He
said the airplane took off and headed west over the coast, and that was the
last he ever saw of it. The pilot radioed that the aircraft was shaking
violently and he could not control it and the radio went silent.
When Mr. Lockheed told me this, I asked him what happened
then and he said he found out later that the airplane circled around out of
sight and landed at another airport. But at the time the pilot radioed he
was experiencing this violent shaking and then silence, the military men
were unwilling to wait for another airplane to be built and tested. Money
was due to the lenders and they took over the company and Mr. Lockheed was
out. He said they were in collusion to take his company, which they did. A
few months later, that same airplane flew and was just fine. We visited a
bit more and I left. I remember being there about an hour, maybe an hour
and a half. I always kept in contact with Allan during the school term and
he occasionally asked me to accompany him to the Marana Air Park where he
would fly his remote-controlled airplanes he had built, but I never did go
I graduated from the U of A Mines in 1966 and Allan might
have graduated a year earlier or later. I was a Navy veteran (Seabees) and
older than most of the students. The last contact I had with Allan was
about six or eight (maybe 10) years ago (2000 to 2004) when I contacted him
in Colorado. I don't remember the circumstances of this contact as it has
been quite a while. But the meeting and visit with his dad has always been
a memorable occasion for me and I remember it pretty well, even though it
has been almost 40 years.
Can you help?
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equipment, personnel, or other related historical data? Help restore memories.
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