Tech Reps in the pacific

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Maxrobot1, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    I am starting a short story about the South Pacific war and was thinking of having a Tech Rep from Douglas or some other company as a character. Did the reps, being civilians, have any restrictions? Did they stay and mess with officers?
    I know things were pretty loose in the SWP, especially in the early days, 1942-3, and the reps were involved in many of the field modifications and even major repairs.
    Could Navy and Army officers boss them around?
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    Charles Lindberg, who was involved in the Pacific theater as a rep for United Aircraft and did a great deal of hands-on projects, like teaching how to bomb with the F4U, maximizing fuel economy in the P-38 and also flew bombing missions (over 50) as a civilian pilot against Japanese targets.
     
  3. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    #3 GregP, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015
    Lindbergh wasn't under the direct command of the service, but had to take direction if he wanted to fly their airplanes. Tommy McGuire used to sort of send him on errands and, since Lindbergh wanted to maintain relations, he did them. I am not aware of the exact status or privileges the the reps had, but they were there to interact with the active service commanders and personnel.

    When I was in the USAF (mid-seventies), we could not tell the tech reps what to DO ... but we could certainly tell them what NOT to do. After all, the property was ours, not theirs. I pretty much left them alone because we were all there to get something done, but I knew guys who would mess with them ... and got away with it.

    Perhaps it was the same in WWII, but I don't know for sure.
     
  4. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    I've worked as a tech rep and right now interface directly with USAF personnel. Ditto Greg's comment however both parties are held to a contract. Anytime air force personnel start telling us what to do and if it's not within the scope of our contract, we start billing. $$$$$
     
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  5. Maxrobot1

    Maxrobot1 Member

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    I used to have to test instruments in front of customer reps for acceptance. Tech Reps in peacetime are not the same as in the chaos of the SWP an '42. Pappy Gunn is perhaps the best known as he worked with General Kinney on B-25s. There were reps from lots of other companies and I was thinking about a lower level one. Would they travel on space available?
     
  6. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Sometimes they would get orders cut and travel just like the rest of the personnel.
     
  7. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    Pappy Gunn wasn't a tech-rep, he was a colonel in the USAAF.
    Retired from the Navy in 1939, ran a civilian air freight company, I think in the Philippines, until the war started in the Pacific, commissioned directly into the USAAF a little after Pearl Harbor.
     
  8. soulezoo

    soulezoo Active Member

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    ^^^^ This. Being a flightline Pro-Super (USAF) and spending a lot of time with Boeing tech reps I can concur with these statements. On offshore deployments, the tech reps will eat at our facilities and have their own billeting or tents. But otherwise it is a job for them and take their cues from their employers and not necessarily us. Although we elevate a request if the tech rep is less than cooperative and then it works its way back down to the tech rep. We have to work in concert together and for the most part it is respectful and helpful.
     
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  9. varsity07840

    varsity07840 Member

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    Jack Fox was the NAA tech rep that worked with Gunn.
     
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