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Dr. George Carruthers:  Developed The 1st Moon-Based Space Observatory Used In The Apollo 16 Space Mission

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

GEORGEcarruthers
George Carruthers (1939 – )

 

George Carruthers (1939 – ) was born in Cincinnati, OH.  His father was a civil engineer with the U.S. Army Air Corp.  He was the oldest of four children.  His father encouraged his interest in science.  At the age of 10, Carruthers built his first telescope with cardboard tubing and a mail-order lens with money he earned as a delivery boy.  Carruthers was not an especially strong student in math and physics as a child.  Still he won awards at several science competitions.

His father died when he was 12 years old.  Carruther’s mother, relocated the family to her hometown of Chicago, IL where she began working for the U.S. Postal Service.  Carruthers graduated from Englewood High School and then enrolled in the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.  There he earned a bachelor of science degree in aeronautical engineering in 1961, a master’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1962 and a doctorate in aeronautical and astronautical engineering in 1964.  Continue reading “Dr. George Carruthers:  Developed The 1st Moon-Based Space Observatory Used In The Apollo 16 Space Mission”

95th Engineer Battalion Unit: Key Force in Building The Alaska/Canada Highway

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

95th Engineer Battalion - Public Domain Image
95th Engineer Battalion – Public Domain Image

95th Engineer Army Battalion Unit: Major Force in Building The Alaska/Canada Highway

The African American 95th Engineer Army Battalion unit was formed in April 1941 at Fort Belvoir, Virginia initially in preparation for World War II. The unit was sent to Alaska and Canada in 1942 to assist with building the Alcan (Alaska/Canada) Highway. The need for the highway was identified in the 1930’s but World War II was the catalyst that started construction. The construction process was compared to building the Panama Canal. The 95th Engineers joined forces with two other back units already working in Alaska as well as 4 white units. All the unit was almost exclusively African American the officers were white. The unit was no stranger to discrimination while working on the project. They were discouraged from interacting with local towns people and their unit accomplishments were largely ignored by the press. Despite the challenges, the 95th Engineers developed a reputation for excellence. The unit was noted in particular for their skill in bridge building. The unit completed the construction project a year ahead of schedule in 1943.

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