Missiles, the 747, the SST, and NASA and Space 1958 to 1970

There is an online pamphlet that had a very detailed timeline for the Boeing Company at this link:


I wanted to know what aircraft and military projects Boeing was working on from 1952 to 1970 when my Dad was there working.  Here is just a few items of interest from the very detailed time line above.

In 1958 the Air Force selected Boeing to assemble and test the Minuteman Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM).  

Dec 15, 1961 Boeing starts work on the Saturn V first-state booster for the Apollo Program

Nov 3, 1963 A Boeing 727 completes a 76,000 mile world tour to 26 countries. 

April 1964 Boeing and Lockheed are selected to design the SST. 

April 13, 1966 Boeing announces it will build a 490 passenger 747 transport. Construction will begin in June at a new plant to build the huge jets in Everett, Wash.

Dec 31, 1966 Boeing wins the competition to design the supersonic transport (SST). 

Nov 9, 1967 First unmanned Saturn V is launched from Kennedy Space Center, Fla..combined resources of Boeing, McDonnell Douglas and North American. 

Feb 9, 1969 The Boeing 747-100 makes its first flight.

July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 makes the first successful moon landing on the lunar Sea of Tranquility…

Sept 23, 1969 President R. Nixon approves the construction of two SST prototypes by Boeing. 

Jan 21, 1970 The Boeing 747 makes it first commercial flight from New York to London for Pan American. 

There was a position description among his papers, with the number BO-705 dated June 19, 1962.  It had the title General Commodities Quality Control Specialist.  The organization location was listed as Seattle, WA – Fabrication, sub-assembly & receiving section, Material Quality Branch, Minuteman Division, AFPR – The Boeing Company.

It contained an introduction, duties and responsibilities, and controls over the work. Here is a little part of that position description for General Commodities Quality Control Specialist:

Position Description

Position Description

On July 22, 1962 he received a Notification of Personnel Action. It had “promotion” written on it. It read from Aircraft Quality Control Inspector, promoted to General Commodity Quality Control Representative. Duty station Seattle.

That following June 23, 1963 he was removed from the above position and reassigned to Mechanical Equipment Quality Control Representative.  A couple of months later on November 10, 1963 he is attached to the Dyna-Soar Project but remains with the same title.


Oh dear, the program was cancelled on December 10, 1963.

This sounds interesting, he receives a certificate from the George C. Marshall Space Flight Center for completing a course in “Precision Measurements & Analysis RQA/M10,” for a total of 80 hours.  The Certificate was issued on November 6, 1964.

Certificate of Training

Certificate of Training

His record of training describes the course as follows: MSFC Inspection philosophy, Documentation, Function and operation of precision measuring equipment, x-ray film reading, methods and procedures for inspection of common welds, Dye penetrant and Zyglo inspection.  Added comment: Demonstration of desirable skills in all areas.

He went to Huntsville, Alabama for this course. He sent home a postcard of the Chicago Airport:

Postcard from Alabama

Postcard from Alabama show Chicago’s O’Hare Airport – The Aviation Crossroads of the World!

He writes: 7:40 The assitant driver found this place OK. Saw my gang on the Sea/Tac roof. It’s as flat as the picture. Too warm for this polar creature. Arrived at Huntsville in the dark. Where’s North? Im glad Johnson is here... This was the second time Keith flew somewhere to take a course or some training.  The first time was about 1956-1958.  It was very odd for my father to go anywhere.  I am glad he got to fly in a big plane.

The Department of the Air Force gave Keith a Certificate for his 30 years of Federal Service on November 21, 1964.

Certificate for 30 years of Federal Service

Certificate for 30 years of Federal Service

The AFPRO Boeing Company in Seattle received a Presidential Citation on 30 November, 1964. Apparently Keith was included in what looks like a group citation.

President Citation

President Citation

Reading this explanation was very interesting:

Citation Explanation

Citation Explanation

This citation mentions the C/KC-135 Program, the Dyna Soar Program, the Minuteman Weapon System. The C/Kc-135 was Boeing’s Stratotanker airplane. The National Park Service has a park called the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota:


Saturn V project:


On July 4, 1965 he is reassigned from Mechanical Equipment Quality Control Representative to  Space Systems Quality Control Assistant.  Location: AFSC, AFCMD, Dept. 09, AF Plant Representative, The Boeing Co., Space Systems Division, Materiel Quality Branch (Saturn Section), Seattle, Washington. There was a warning at the bottom: this position has been designated sensitive…..There is a huge stamp: NASA REIMBURSEMENT.  There is another Position Description in his files describing his duties in this new Space Systems position.

Boeing News is a newspaper by the company and Keith had saved several issues of this paper.  This issue was Vol. 25, N0. 39 dated September 29, 1966.  It was the premiere of the Advanced SST. This was one fancy plane.

The SST is a very controversial airplane and I am not sure its story is over yet.


SST Premieres

SST Premieres

The following August of 1969 they awarded Keith and probably others the Commemorative Apollo 8 Medallon.

Apollo Medallion

Apollo Medallion


I remember watching the landing on the moon for Apollo 11 in July of 1969 with my Dad. We sat together in our Rec room watching the TV and probably eating popcorn. The big arm-chair was reserved for him to sit in place right in front of the TV.

Awe yes, The Man Who Lived and Loved Airplanes was dreaming of SPACE.


In February of 1969 the Boeing 747 goes on its first flight as found in the Boeing News, this aircraft was built out of the Everett plant so he really didn’t get involved from a work stand point but you never know. There were many other airplanes that he may have worked on that Boeing was rolling out in the 1960’s per the above timeline I found.

747's first flight

747’s first flight

In May of 1969 Keith’s personnel form reads: From Space Systems Quality Control Assistant to Missile Quality Control Assistant. Location: Seattle. This position has been designated sensitive. Administrative Reassignment due to reorganization. Again he has a position description form and this time the subject is Missile Quality Control Assistant which is very detailed.

From January to May of 1969 my Dad wrote to me at college here are some of his comments about his work from these letters and it is best seen in his handwriting. He talks about Plant I and Plant II.  Apparently wind tunnels are not fun to be near and he mentions the 747.  You can click on each to get a better view.


April1969 work comments work comments work comments work comments

I had no idea that his work led him to missiles, and the Space program.  I guess he took the message seriously as being sensitive and didn’t talk about his work much.  Of course, there is no way to really know exactly what the focus was in his work during that time in 1960’s unless I could sit down with him and chat about his last years at Boeing.

Apparently Boeing used this wind tunnel my Dad refers to for a long time.  With the tearing down of Plant II it is gone but Boeing still uses them to test the planes.  Try putting wind tunnel and Boeing in the Google search engine and you will find some interesting articles and images but you will have to dig.

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Boats, hydrofoils and more trailers….

Keith may have had several boats but the one I remember is the one he built in the basement of wood and some plastic resin/polymer he coated it with. The name of the polymer escapes me at the moment.  It made the boat heavy but it was waterproof. The room would become the Rec room soon.

Dad and his boat in the some to become rec room

Dad and his boat in the some to become rec room

In the photo below is the boat.  The piece on the side was for a wheel attachment with a shaft.  He would put two on so he could roll the boat around.  The boat was painted with paint from his collection. The interior was gray, the top was yellow, the sides were green and blue or red. He put whatever color where he needed it. He would chuckle when people would argue about the colors.

It did float...

It did float…

Did he name this boat, of course, but it is really long and silly. It started with the name Tony and that was his dog when he was young. He then added my name and the name of his sisters make-believe friend….It was very long for a name, something like the Tony Misuk, McBonnie…..  See Tony in the photo below, he was a beautiful dog.  I finally know what he looked like after all these years.

Dad with his dog Tony and brother Gordon

Dad with his dog Tony and brother Gordon

It didn’t stop there, Keith added an extension:

See the extension

See the extension

This might be easier to see the extension

This might make it easier to see the extension

Then he added hydrofoils to the sides and tested it out on Lake Washington. It is the wooden thing in the picture below. Unfortunately, I cannot show you how it looked unless I pulled out his videos of the boat being tested out on the water.

He did write to the Seattle Times in March of 1961 about his Back-Yard Hydrofoil, Almost works; 1 end rising:

The Hydrofoils

The Hydrofoils

The idea was to make a boat fly like an airplane.  Click on the article and then hit your back button to return.

Backyard Hydrofoil article

Backyard Hydrofoil article

Now he needed something to house the boat in so he designed a new trailer.  This trailer he could raise and lower the top.  He could house his boat in the trailer and take it to the lake.  In the second picture he was pulling the trailer with the Dreamboat.

New Trailer with boat and boat extension

New Trailer with boat and boat extension

Dreamboat and new trailer

Dreamboat and new trailer for camping

Well he didn’t stop there, he bought a 1955 Cadillac and cut it in half behind the front seat, put an extension on the frame of the Caddie so he could add the trailer to the Cad part and make himself a car trailer combo. He called this the “Freek.”

Caddie with trailer attached

Caddie with trailer attached

Raising the ceiling

Sadly all these creations were sold in the 1970’s and who knows what happened to them.

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Keith’s camping trailer creations….more inventions!

Camping was a big part of our family life. My Dad, Keith, would religiously take off three weeks in August and off we would go to some interesting place to spend the three weeks exploring, swimming, fishing, hiking, or even horse back riding.  I have my horseshoe I found back then up on the wall of my car port area for luck.

It says Hurricane Ridge 1955?

It is labeled Hurricane Ridge 1955?

Below are some entries from his car log that I have featured in a past post. I have read through this log and was able to find some of the trips we took in the 1950’s.

Most of my memories of our trips would be of scenic’s or impressions of places but where that place was I don’t remember. I know that we pretty much went to every nook and cranny of Washington State. I do remember Alta Lake because of the flash flood and the bees on my pancakes and syrup in the morning. Dad put me in the trailer to keep me from getting wet so I looked over and watched the water flow by while the other campers with tents were yelling and racing about. I felt bad for them and also thought it was funny. I know we went to Glacier Park in Montana and I remember a lake with tall hills on each side and I think it was this park?  I mentioned horse backing riding but I have no idea where that was?  I just remember being in pain because the horse was too big for me.

Curlew probably included a trip to Coulee Dam. Yes there are BIG engines (turbines) running a dam. He liked museums and interesting places to visit. My memories of Yellowstone were Old Faithful of course, and the mud pots which to me were funny…glup glup and I know we went to see the Tetons. There was a big trip to California and very tall trees and several you could drive through:  http://redwoods.info/showrecord.asp?id=2464.

Munchkin alert...I wonder who is was.

Munchkin alert…I wonder who this was. Hurricane Ridge

I remember caverns that we visited. The Oregon Coast was always a must. The Olympic Peninsula was Hurricane Ridge before the highway. Many times we camped at Olympic Hot Springs Campground on the way to the Ridge. This campground does not exist anymore. Crater Lake because Dad heard a rattle snake curled up under a tumbleweed. Sun Lakes for the water and the fishing. I know we were in British Columbia. I think we visited every salmon hatchery that ever existed. We probably camped by a lake because he liked to fish. We really didn’t hike, we did walks long walks.

Lake Wenatchee picnic

Lake Wenatchee picnic, McD’s around the picnic tables…

The trips to Yakima or Spokane would be family visits to his sisters.  Sometimes they would come to the area we were camping at for a visit or were already there camping. My Dad was sort of a gypsy and so we would go just about anywhere. My aunts were expert picnic packers.

Here are some car log entries that were of interest to me.  I cannot vouch for his spelling in the outline below which makes it hard to figure out what he meant?

Trips written in the booklet:
July 9, 1949 Seattle to Yakima, back to Ellensburg,
July 24, So. Tacoma
August 6 Seattle to Yakima.
Nov 25 – Yakima, Thanksgiving, Nov. 27 Yak to Seattle
May 26, 1950 Yakima
July 2, 1950 Whidbey – Ferry $1.37
June 20, 1951 Vacation -3281 miles? Nisqually, Anacortes
July 7 Stevens Pass, Wenatchee Park
July 12, 1952 Lake Cushman, Ferry to Bremerton,
June 21, 1953 Lake Wenatchee St. Park, Lke Chelan, Entiat Gas, Spokane Greger fld – Fairchild, Greenacres Spokane Lake Rowan, Clarksfork.  (Was he looking for work?)
Lake Rown most July 6, 1957, Glacier Nat Prk, Dayton Mont. Kalaspill, Coeur D’Alene, Greenacres (sister Vivians home), Spokane, Cheney, Ritzville, Ellensburg, Seattle. 1561.4 miles.
July 20, 1952 – Lake Kachess, North Bend, Upper Katchess to M. Baker Easton, Rustic Inn.
Aug 1, 1952 Lk Rossinger, Camano Camp Lagoon,
Aug 17 Sunday Paradise, Mt. Rainier,
Aug 29, 1952 – _________Mukilteo, Camp Boat, via Deception Pass.

Ellensburg April about July 27, 1953 Pass Closed – Wenatchee, Everett
Aug. 15, 1953 – pg. 41 Ale…..can’t read, Portland, Madreas, Oregon, Chimult, Diamond Lake, Crater Lake, Kalamath, Medford, Ore., Calif., Mt. Shasta, Red Bluff, CA, Alameda?, Park & San Jose, Hayward, CA, Hayward Motel $8, August 21. Hayward to Frisco, San Rafel, Lakeport, Uriah, Aug 26 Eureka, Arcata, CA, Trees of Mystery, Cresent City, OR, Oregon Cave Junction, Oregon Caves Aug. 27, Umpqua OR. Eugene, Toledo, WA, Rainier, WA Home Friday Aug _______. (He might have been looking for work in California).

Feb 22, 1954 – Concrete, Burlington
May 29, Saturday to Westport – mentions State Park but not the name.
June 27, 1954 Lodgepole, Larabee. (This is up near Bellingham).
July 5, Wenber, Jasbree to Wendberg final via Wenburg and Nodnville?
July 6, Norma Beach
Sept 4 to Monte Cristo

Oct 19, 1954 100,000 miles 7514 24 NE at 5:35 pm missed by 1.7 miles in garage at 100,000.2  – (He liked to mark the mileage of his cars)

July 2, 1955 Sun Lake, Leavenworth to Seattle 472.3 miles.
August 11, 1955 Vacation Olympics, Port Angeles, Clallum Bay.
September 2, 1955 – Mt. Baker via Darrington, Concrete, Baker Lake, Baker to Thompson Home via Everett. 
May 16, 1956 Westport Trip
October 21, 1956 Roslyn Locker Beef
April 20, 1957 Mt. Si.
May 25, 1957 Norma Beach
March 22, 1959 Stevens Ski
October 2, 1959 another Westport Trip.

Nov. 17, 1967 E. Anderson of Seattle bought the old 1940 Chevy – Lumberwagon. The END.  He might have regretting selling it at some point.

In order to support all this camping, Keith turned to creating his own camping trailers much like the tent trailers of today but he would use aluminum. Remember that in his military experience he worked a lot with airplane bodies. Now Keith was an inventor but not necessarily a designer. Apparently there were several incarnations of what he called the Calamity Wagon.

Trailer - Hurricane Ridge 1955

Trailer – Hurricane Ridge 1955

It would start out looking like just a trailer with sides

It would start out looking like just a trailer with sides

Improving the design

Improving the design

The C Wagon was the trailer on the left with a canvas awning

The C Wagon was the trailer on the left with a canvas awning

So it would start out looking like a trailer with sides, then open up into what you see above. He would add a canvas awning to the front where he could place cots for sleeping. The girls got to sleep in the trailer part while the boys got the canvas part. The cots; however, were metal legs with a frame, with canvas stretched across and tied to the metal through holes or hooks and they might have been his design? The rain would make a great sound pattering on the roof.

There was a camp light with the cloth filter and kerosene pump which you started with a match. The camp stove was also kerosene with a pump. I never learned although he tried to teach me how to use them.  These items would make interesting noises.

We also had lawn chairs the type with canvas and wood as well as canvas and wood camp stools. The food would go into these aluminum boxes he made with covers to lock them from the animals because back then you had to be very careful. Sometime we would put the food up in a tree.  If there wasn’t a table well we had an aluminum one that would fold in half, lock and had a handle.  We all had our own fishing poles. It was the best fun.

Considering that we went everywhere there are not a lot of photographs of our camping trips and ones that are labeled identifying the location. I think he was more inclined to us his Bell and Howell movie camera to record the event. Maybe someday I will get those movies broken down into pieces. I did move them from 8mm to DVD at one time.

This was not the only camping trailer design, there would be another he called the Freek.

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Jet Engines, Airframes, Electronic and Missile Familiarization…

Keith believed an encouraged all he knew to be serious about education. We have seen that he enrolled in many courses furthering his craft over the years. He continued to do that in the 1950’s.

He had taken a course in Jet Engines about 10 years before but he enrolled again in course titled Aircraft Jet Engine Mechanics Course and received his certificate on 4 December, 1956.

1956 Jet mechanic course

1956 Jet mechanic course

In the photo below Keith is the man on the far right holding his hat and frowning into the sun.

Keith and Others

Keith and Others

On the back of the photo the names are written: Silas Collier, John Strohschein, Earl N. Johnson, Ralph W. [Harrier], K.B. MacDonald

Names on the back of the picture

Names on the back of the above picture

In 1958 he received another certificate. This time from the Air University, United States Air Force Extension Course Institute. He graduated and received his certificate on February 13, 1958 in their Airframe Repairman Course. This Air University was out of  Gunter Air Force Base in Alabama.  It is still around this Air University:  http://www.au.af.mil/au/barnes/afcda/

Air Frames Course 1958

Air Frames Course 1958

Both of these certificates were signed by D.C. Strother.

He took courses again from the Edison Technical School in Seattle in 1959. He did a 48 hr course on Electronics Familiarization, his Certificate of Attendance is dated 26 March, 1959.  He then did a 36 hour course on Missile Familiarization and received his Certificate of attendance on 7 May, 1959.  Then in November he received another Air University Certificate referring to the course titled: Fundamental Principles of Guided Missiles, Nov. 6, 1959.

Certificate on Fund of Guided Missiles

Certificate on Fund of Guided Missiles

Keith is the one on the far left sitting down and holding his certificate.  He looks tired. There are no names on the back of this photo which would have been a big job if all those people were in the class.  Do you notice only one woman is seated.

Keith with Others

Keith with Others no names on the back this time.

There is a trend going on here with Keith’s career. He is still at Boeing working as an U.S. Air Force Inspector but the Air Force and Boeing are changing rapidly.

Among his possessions are two wallet sized green cards.

One card was dated 18 Nov, 1960 Expires INDEFINITELY, his name, USAF – AFPR: Need to know for access to Minuteman Controlled Areas and Security Clearances Verified.  He has another dated Sept 6, 1962.

In the photos presented above, I don’t know exactly when they happened but I do remember that my Dad left home on several occasions to go to a location in the middle of the country to attend classes.  Once was in the late 1950’s and then in the mid 1960’s.

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