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If you are interested in volunteering to help the 390th SMWMA, please contact Dick Kampa at the contact info above or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Col. Edgar Northrup (Ret.)
Ed Northrup and Pat Green
It is with great sadness to inform our members that Colonel Edgar (Ed) Northrup passed away June 22, 2020 in San Diego. Colonel Northrup was a fighter pilot early in his career but became a Missilleer with assignments in the Pentagon; as the Wing Commander of the 390 SMW (Titan II) at Davis-Monthan AFB (Dec 1971-Jan 1973); and as XPM at SAC Headquarters (SAC missile planning). Many of the improvement in missile systems were instituted under Col Northrup’s direction! After retirement in 1980, he became a Vice President at Titan Systems, Inc in San Diego. He continued working on missile system improvement in support of General Electric in Framingham, MA focusing on weapon system basing and deployment. Rest in Peace Ed.
A tribute to a great man - by Mike Kanalakis
In late fall 1972 I reported in to the 390th as a young Lt. fresh out of Titan training from Sheppard AFB and eager to get started with my new assignment. I recall reporting in to the old 390th SMW HQ building to check in and told to have a seat and wait for Wing Commander to see me. I was petrified. I thought all I was going to do was hand my orders over to someone and told to move on to my other stops. This was, at first, somewhat unsettling. As I sat there wondering what awaited I was called in to his office and offered a crisp salute with my best military bearing. “Lt. Kanalakis reporting for duty, sir.”
“Sit down son” the Col. Said, tell me about yourself. And so I told him all about me and Mary and our infant son John. That we were staying in the BOQ until I could find housing and how excited I was to begin work. I remember vividly the Col. Had a stack of papers on his desk and the cleanest sharpest 1505’s I had seen since arriving on base. He was a no-nonsense officer who you just knew was a natural leader. Within minutes he had me at ease and welcomed aboard. But to me there was something very interesting and familiar about him. Being a Star Trek junkie the Col. struck me as a true to life Captain James T. Kirk. Anything he said you just knew you had confidence in.
But the kicker came at the end of our 15 minute meeting when he told me “I take care of my people.” He took my orders and a Red Marker and drew a large red “N” on it and circled the “N.” Handing back my orders he said “ go take care of your business son, I’m assigning you to the 570th. And if anyone gives you a problem on this base just show them that. I was blown away. When I told Mary about it she was just as impressed. Never used it but what an impression it left on me.
On another occasion I ran into the Col. months later at the trainer and he asked me how I was doing and if my sponsor did a good job of getting us settled. He actually remembered who I
was. I told him everything was working out great and he cracked a smile. He said, I know everything that goes on at this base. Another indelible impression on me.
But the best story I have is the day I got promoted to MCCC. As you all remember it required an EWO certification briefing before the Wing Commander and his staff. The week prior I had been
promoted to Captain and was ready to take over my own crew. I had studied up like preparing for a final exam and felt confident it would go well.
I could hardly sleep the night before and was nervous as hell but confident that I had it all down. That morning I had just dozed off when the alarm went off at zero dark thirty. Not wanting to disturb Mary or the baby I got dressed in the dark with the fresh blue uniform I had laid out the night before. I was ready to nail it.
Driving into the Wing HQ I kept wondering which crew will they assign me to? Can’t wait to go on alert with my own crew. (Yawn) It was dark and early, but my excitement kept me pumped up. I recall the briefing room being dark with the staff officers sitting on one side of a large conference table and a large screen behind me as I faced the panel with Col. Northup in the center. As I went through the EWO briefing my confidence soared as it appeared I had their full attention. And as I came to the end of the briefing I knew I had just nailed it. “Are there any questions?” I proudly asked. In the dark briefing room Col. Northup looked side to side at the other staff officers and asked “ Do any of you have any questions?” They all shook their heads and I knew that was it as I started relax.
Thinking it was over and starting to head towards the door as the lights came on Col. Northup said in a booming voice “ I have a question.” Stunned I looked at him and said Yes sir? He said “ Weren’t you promoted to captain?” “Yes I was sir, last week.” “Well then, check your collar insignia,” As my stomach sank to the floor and that feeling of dread grew over me I looked down and sure enough I was wearing First Lt. cloth insignia. Good grief! How could that have happened? And the Col. said “Get that fixed.” “Good Job Captain.” And I slithered out the door as the room chuckled.
To this day and from time to time I think about him and wish I had known him better. His influence on my time in the Air Force and later civilian life was more than he would ever know. In some ways I tried to emulate his leadership style in my rise through the ranks of the Sheriff’s Office to ultimately becoming Sheriff. And it wasn’t until I became aware of the 390th SMW memorial association that I heard anything about him. In one of the old postings on the old guest book he made a comment. There was discussion of a past reunion and Col. Northup chimed in with this: “When is the after action report going to be ready?” That was so like him and it made me ponder how his life turned out.
There are great men and there are great men. What sets them apart as leaders is their ability to inspire and instill confidence. Col. Northup had the right stuff and the world is a better place because of him. I will never forget him. May he rest in Peace and may his memory be eternal.
Titan II Museum Room Naming Rights!!
The Titan Missile Museum has offered the 390th SMW Memorial Association an opportunity to continue to have our 390th identity perpetuated by purchasing the Naming Rights to the old Briefing Room. Normally this honor requires a donation of $25,000. The 390th SMWMA Board of Directors is in favor of the purchase as it will afford the 390th SMW recognition by all the visitors who use this room as part of their tour of the site. The Naming Rights is a separate endeavor and the Museum has offered it to us for a mere $10,000 as consideration of our past and continuing support. See the graph at left for current status of donations!
For more information click "HERE"
WE MET OUR COMMITMENT!
Thanks to all who have donated to the room naming rights!
Pictures of the dedication can be found in the Reunion page and on our Facebook page.
Due to more then 200 spam messages (porno, fake Viagra, etc.) a day posted to the Guestbook and hackers using a flaw in the last Guestbook to take over the site. A Guestbook will not be available until one can be found that will filter spam and can not be hacked.
to view the old guestbook.
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