George Spangenberg spent his entire professional career in naval aviation, particularly in the acquisition of naval aircraft. He established the design basis and directed the procurement of many aircraft still in the fleet today in addition to serving as an outspoken advocate of Naval Aviation.
A “work in progress” at the time of his death was his oral history; a project initially started in 1989 under the auspices of the Naval Museum in Pensacola, Florida.
Those that knew of the oral history project were particularly concerned that his edited version not be lost. As one of his daughters, I found it in a battered briefcase replete with “Fly Navy” and “F-14” stickers. I inserted his edits, and then in a fit of sheer madness decided that I should also get all of the “exhibits” into electronic form. Dad had decided it was more efficient to just reference various papers and memos — labeling them “exhibits”. Much of the detail of the oral history does come from these exhibits; most were in pretty sad shape physically. The exhibits, to me, represent history in the making, and are an integral part of the oral history. One doesn’t have to delve into all the graphs and tables included to appreciate the verbiage of the exhibits.
The original of the oral history with Dad’s edits, along with other papers that were in his files will be kept at the Naval Archives, in Washington, D.C. They were unable to read my word processor electronic version, so I converted the papers to Adobe PDF format. They, and other museums will have the papers in this format.
I had thought as long as I knew the basics of web sites, I could easily make his works available to his colleagues and the general public. Of course, nothing is easy, and the original pdf files were far too large for the website. I created a “skinny” version of the exhibits, yet some people had trouble with the size. Now the files have been broken up into web pages, and hopefully will be accessible to all. As the pdf format maintains formatting so well, that format is offered for those that can use it. Please see my help section for more information on all this happy stuff.
The website was originally on my personal web pages, but enough people were using it that I decided that it would be best to have a url of its own. If you got here via word of mouth and a transfer from the old site, please tell others of the change of address. This new site will provide stability for years to come.
For those not familiar with the work of Spangenberg, I have included a small biography of Dad which was written after he died. Included in that is a larger picture of him taken at his grandaughter’s graduation ceremony. So many people asked about photographs, I have included some photographs that I found among his collection. I will continue adding to these as I find more. So far, the only actual aircraft photographs I have found are of the F-14.
My thanks to Hal Andrews for helping me interpret the “unreadables” (you will see that neither of us could figure out some of them), catching errors in my typing, organizing Dad’s files, and in general actively supporting this whole project. Also, VAdm. Jerry Miller was instrumental as he was able to obtain the diskettes that had the electronic copy from which Dad was editing. Please see the “Help” page for information about the photographs used as navigation buttons.
Happy reading, and be patient with the loads of the files. Please contact me if you have any problems or questions that you need answered.