Friday, March 28, 2008

Columbia University's IDA Jason Project 1960s Work--Part 11

By October 14, 1966, the initial equipment that the Jason East Project No. 2 group of Columbia’s IDA had developed, for the Pentagon’s electronic battlefield in Indochina, had been delivered to the U.S. Army Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth in New Jersey. The Jersey firm that produced and shipped the equipment that the Jason Division members had designed was Squires-Sanders, Inc.. MIT Professor Hill then wrote an Oct. 20, 1966 letter to Laurance Rockefeller (who also sat on the IDA board of trustees between Columbia University Trustee Burden and Columbia University President Grayson Kirk in the 1960s) which stated:

“Dear Laurance:
“This summer I was associated with a special IDA project operating in the Cambridge area and concerned with certain Southeast Asia problems. My particular piece of it seems to have been accepted, and some of the requisite hardware has already been fabricated.”

Coincidentally, an associate of former IDA Trustee Laurance Rockefeller, Randall P. Marston, sat on the board of directors of the Squires Sanders, Inc. firm that was awarded the initial $43,000 war contract to produce the initial hardware for the electronic battlefield project, that Jason East Project No. 2 of Columbia’s IDA was designing under MIT Professor Hill’s leadership.

In an Oct. 20, 1966 letter to Charles Fontaine, former IDA Vice-President and Director of Research Hill also reported that his Jason East Project No. 2 group had demonstrated the possibility of “a new type of military electronics operation.” Besides Hill, the Jason East Project No. 2 group then included Princeton University Professor Richard Leibler, George Wheeler and M. Paul Wilson of Bell Telephone Labs, Leonard Sheingold of Sylvania, Burton Bruno and Walter Hausz of General Electric and Bruno Augenstein of IDA.

Next: Columbia University’s IDA Jason Project 1960s Work—Part 12

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