Introduction: No Short Climb (01:18)
Scientists and technicians helped build new technologies. African Americans integrated the defense industries and became involved in all facets of research and development.
Depression Blues (06:06)
Thomas Baldwin states that African Americans experienced economic depression from 1890 until the Great Depression. Walter McAfee, Constance Wright, Baldwin, Jess Jetter, and William Jones discuss their education paths that eventually led to working in defense research and development. Civil Service jobs become integrated.
Making the Grade (06:01)
Jones compares the number of good people to the number of racists he encountered. Harold Tate, William Townes. and Baldwin share their experiences with discrimination and obtaining jobs at the Signal Corps Laboratories. Baldwin joins the Air Force in 1944.
Wanted Women War Workers (08:04)
Constance Wright recalls joining the radio direction finding branch, working on wave guides, and continuing her education. Jones recalls joining the loop course, testing SCR-268 radio position finders, and becoming the liaison with MIT; he begins seeing more Black professionals. McAfee discusses working in the Theoretical Studies Unit.
Onward and Upward (07:49)
Jetter discusses hand-writing modules for radars and teaching new hires. Townes shares a typical problem in the radar receiver group which necessitated the creation of a calibration device for radar sets. He recalls Japanese planes spotted outside Pearl Harbor but the warnings were ignored.
Working at Signal Corps and NACA (04:37)
Wright talks about the working conditions at Signal Corps and the weather station launching balloons. Baldwin discusses training flight personnel and being the first Black technically trained employee at NACA. After the war, the laboratory was renamed NASA.
Missiles and the Moon (07:39)
Jones recalls testing ballistic missiles from the air; rogue frequencies from caused signal jams. McAfee talks about Project Diana; he did not receive proper credit for the invention. Mary Tate discusses her career path, gaining the title of Mathematician, and working on a nuclear testing project.
Moving On (04:37)
Jones discusses traveling for work during the time of segregation and racism in the Joint Chiefs of Staff work environment. Jones recalls how he was accused of allowing the praise of Communism and fired without trial in the McCarthy era.
Post-War Career Paths (08:47)
McAfee and Wright discuss their career paths and the lack of racial acceptance in the post-war era. Townes discusses becoming a spec writer, the impact of the McCarthy era, and how the roles of women were reduced after the war.
Credits: No Short Climb (01:38)
Credits: No Short Climb
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