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Passing at Lockheed

January 12, 1991

Like many employees in the local aerospace industry, I was saddened to hear of the passing of one of the foremost aircraft designers in aviation history, Kelly Johnson.

Like him, both my wife and I are ex-Lockheed employees.

This year we were both laid off after 23 years of combined service.

The passing of Mr. Johnson is a symbolic indication that Lockheed has just about ceased to exist in Southern California as an aircraft manufacturer.

What makes me so angry is the current upper management of Lockheed steered the company on a course which shut down all manufacturing in this state, moving the remainder to the Georgia facilities.

The official line of the company is "we moved," but in reality Lockheed "shut down," putting thousands out of work.

I could accept that Lockheed had to take steps to keep itself in business, but what I cannot accept is the way many of us were lied to.

Many Lockheed employees moved to Palmdale expecting that if a major move was to happen, Lockheed would put all of its facilities in Palmdale.

Bob Gross, former CEO of Lockheed, built an empire in this state with recognized talent such as Kelly Johnson.

At least now, as the wrecking ball starts hitting the older buildings in Burbank, Mr. Gross will have company as he and Kelly both turn over in their graves.



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