Lisa Ann Prologue  

Joseph T. Cleary

The Prologue to the Story of Lisa Ann begins in the late 1950s-early 1960s.

At that time the US and the Soviet Union were each jockeying to stay ahead of the other as technology advanced. Learning what the Soviets had accomplished was mandatory to any US attempt to stay ahead. The Department of Defense ( Research and Development ) was ordered to assess Soviet technology and come up with counters to it.

Foremost in this effort were 2 individuals at DoD : Dr. Eugene Fubini, and Mr. F.E. (Effie) O'Rear. Dr Fubini was an immigrant from Italy , a thinker, a visionary, an expert in advances in technology, and a well educated man. Mr O'Rear was equally qualified and the two were to work together to achieve what was later to be known as "Lisa Ann". How that happened and why certain decisions were made is another story to which this writer was not accredited.

What subsequently happened is here viewed from the perspective of those at Headquarters , Strategic Air Command, who were given the job of monitoring the modification of a well used C135B aircraft belonging to the Military Air Command.

The aircraft was to be modified at the Ling-Temco-Vought (LTV) facilitary at Greenville, Texas under the auspices of the Big Safari Program, then a part of Air Force Logistics Command (AFLC), and assigned to the AFLC liaison office at LTV, known as AFLC-LOT.

It was the responsibility of AFLC-LOT to monitor the modification from start to finish, including the Test Flights , to insure that the modified aircraft met all objectives before being turned over to SAC. The effort was to be a joint one with the Hughes Aircraft Corp, since the main system was to be a Phased Array Radar, previously installed by Hughes aboard the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise which had to be "miniaturized" in order to fit inside the C135B aircraft.

This was to prove a daunting task since many of the original parts of the radar did not work when made smaller. It became a matter of trying. If it worked, move on. If it did not work, redesign it, test it, and then install it in the system. This took many months of effort and was almost the undoing of the project.

The Hughes Aircraft Corp signed a contract to do the job in August 1963. At the same time SAC assigned responsibility for monitoring the modification to the Director of Operations. He in turn assigned it to the Requirements Division (DORQX), commanded by Col Frank Witry who appointed Captain (later Major) Joseph T. Cleary as the SAC Project Officer for what was by then being called "Lisa Ann".

At this point it is interesting to refer to Effie O'Rear. He had 3 daughters named Nancy Rae, Wanda Belle, and Lisa Ann. By a mind boggling coincidence 2 of the aircraft assigned to Det 1, 6th Strategic Wing located at Shemya Air Force Station were name Nancy Rae ( later to be renamed Wanda Belle ), and Lisa Ann. So much for coincidence !!!!

Kingdon R. Hawes (Webmaster)
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