February 17, 2020 by NVVF

“Moon Shots”

Glanval (Glenn) Brown was born November 4, 1933 in Houston, Texas.

He was the third oldest of nine children born to Herman and Verniece Brown. His sisters are Caroline and Eileen and brothers are Herman, Leon, Norman, Ray, and Arthur.

When he was 10-years old, Glenn’s parents moved to West Temple, Los Angeles, California. He graduated from High School in 1951. He was seventeen and wanted to join the Navy, but his mother refused to sign for him. Four days after he turned eighteen, he visited with an Air Force Recruiter and joined the service.

Glenn was sent to Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas for basic training. He was then transferred to Keesler Air Base in Biloxi, Mississippi for advanced training in Radio and Radar Operations. He always sent his pay allotment to his mother to help her keep the family fed and clothed. After completion of advanced training he was transferred to Darmstadt Air Force Base, Germany and was assigned as an airborne radio operator on a B-29. The mission of his unit was to fly over European countries locating potential sites for radio stations that would provide the strongest signals for monitoring activity in Communist nations.

In July 1952, the second party conference of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany took place in East Berlin. General Secretary Walter Ulbricht announced that there was to be the “systematic implementation of Socialism”. It was decided that the process of Sovietization should be intensified, and the importance of the state expanded. The Party was acting on demands made by Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin. Farmers who owned land and small business owners/tradesmen were being forced to give up their independence through raised charges. This decision was made amid the background of the catastrophic economic situation in the country.

The Soviet Union ordered an entire armored division of its troops into government protesters. Nearly a million East Germans joined the protest and began rioting across hundreds of cities and towns. The Soviet assault set a precedent for later interventions into Hungary in 1956 and Czechoslovakia in 1968.

The United States Air Force, including Glenn’s unit, monitored the East German rebellion and the Soviet troop movements to keep American and Allied Forces informed about any threats from the Soviets and East Germans to World Peace.

Glenn completed his service obligation in September 1955 and returned to Los Angeles. He went to work for General Motors in Burbank, California, building Oldsmobile’s. He stayed in touch with some Air Force buddies who lived in Brooklyn, New York. He visited with them and decided to stay. He stayed for 35 years. With his military background in radio and communications he was hired by RCA Global Communications, a division of Radio Corporation of America (RCA). RCA was originally a wholly owned subsidiary of General Electric (GE), however in 1932 GE was required to divest its control as part of the settlement of an antitrust suit. At its height as an independent company, RCA was the dominant communications firm in the United States.

Glenn’s division was responsible for generating signals through transatlantic cables for high-speed data and voice from the United States to Europe using Standard 1000 cycles between equalizers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Later he was assigned to satellite support and the “moon-shots” where RCA was responsible for uplink communications while NASA had responsibility for downlink communications.

Glen retired from RCA as a communications supervisor after 25-years. He moved to Las Vegas with his wife Leola, a former beauty queen, and they both worked for Pottery Barn. After twelve years they moved to Elk Grove, California to be closer to their son Eric and his wife Catherine. Eric had graduated from Syracuse University in New York as an Industrial Designer. He designs robots for certain functions. Leola died November 27, 2012. Glenn and Leola were married for 48 years

GLANVAL (GLENN) L. BROWN was last modified: October 9th, 2020 by NVVF

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