Five people were inducted into the Air Force Communications and Information Hall of Fame. The new members will be recognized at a ceremony and dinner Sept. 27 at Falls Church, Va. Hall of Fame members are recognized for service in the public and private sectors, and for their vision in helping to deliver world-class communications and information capabilities to the Air Force.
The new members are Brig. Gen. Haskell E. Neal, Maj. Gen. Daniel C. Doubleday, Lt. Gen. Gordon A. Blake, Maj. Gen. Jack B. Robbins, and Gen. Robert T. Herres.
Brig. Gen. Haskell E. Neal
Serving from March 1928 to June 1964, Neal was first an enlisted communicator in the Army Air Corps/Army Air Forces. He received a direct commission during the early days of World War II. From 1951 to 1957, he was associated with the buildup of the newly-created Air Defense Command into a modern fighting force charged with responsibility for the air defense of the North American continent. As director of communications and electronics, he was responsible for development and implementation of U.S. and Canada's warning and surveillance networks, a modern surveillance and detection system that grew to an integrated system?Distant Early Warning, or DEW line?with hundreds of permanent radar stations. He was also the first Ground Electronics Engineering Installation Agency, or GEEIA, commander. He established an organizational structure that GEEIA followed throughout its existence (1958-1970). GEEIA was charged with the engineering and installation of the Air Force's entire worldwide ground communication systems and facilities. Neal died in 1981.
Maj. Gen. Daniel C. Doubleday
Doubleday served in a variety of Air Force assignments during his career from June 1929 to November 1963. He died in 2001. He was twice commander of Rome Air Development Center at Griffiss AFB, N.Y., and last commander of Airways and Air Communications Service, or AACS, Scott AFB, Ill., just before it became Air Force Communications Service. In 1943 he spearheaded the introduction of VHF communications in the United Kingdom and North Africa theater. In his early days at Selfridge AFB, Mich., and Wright Patterson AFB, Ohio, he progressed from a pursuit pilot to participation in the development of aviation communications and navigation equipment, including the first use of command radio sets in fighter aircraft, the first instrument landing systems, aircraft bombing radars, automatic radio compass, and many other forerunners of today's standard equipment.
Lt. Gen. Gordon A. Blake
Blake, whose career spanned from June 1931 to May 1965, died in 1997. He commanded Army Airways Communications System forces in the Pacific through most of World War II (1942-1945). He was in the Hickam Field control tower on Dec. 7, 1941, and directed a flight of B-17s to safe landings all over the Hawaiian Islands between waves of Japanese attacks. An Air Force aircraft save award was named in his honor. While serving as Air Force director of communications from 1953 to 1956, he led innovative changes to the Air Force global communications and navigation system, including pioneering operational circuits using tropospheric scatter communications.
Maj. Gen. Jack B. Robbins
General Robbins received early Air Force Computer System and Data Automation assignments and served from March 1943 to June 1975. From 1961 to 1965, he was assigned to the Systems Command SPO for the SAC Command and Control System. From 1970 to 1971, he was Chief of Staff, HQ Air Force Communications Service, at Richards-Gebaur AFB, Mo., and was a prime mover in the transition of AFCS from a tenant to landlord. From 1971 to 1975, he was Director of Data Automation, HQ USAF, and was the first officer to recognize convergence of telecommunication and computer disciplines, and a key proponent of organizational merger. He was instrumental in forming HQ USAF/KR (assistant chief of staff for computer and communications resources), the first organizational attempt to merge management of the two disciplines, and assign to it cognizance of weapons systems automation.
Gen. Robert T. Herres
Herres' career spanned from June 1954 to February 1990. He oversaw realignment of major communications organizations and communications-electronics acquisition programs, resulting in improved management of Air Force communications activities while saving 1,700 manpower authorizations. He commanded AFCC from June 1979 to July 1981 and was later director, Command, Control and Communications Systems, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Washington, D.C., from October 1982 to July 1984. His last assignment was as vice chairman, JCS, from 1987 to 1990. After retiring from the Air Force, he served as chief executive officer of the United Services Automobile Association and later became chairman of the board.