Airway Pioneer Member
James E. "Jim" Hansen

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My initial electronics training was courtesy of the U.S. Army Air Corps. This occurred at an airbase at Boca Raton, Florida. I understand that it is now a high rent district. After completing that, I did my best to repair long-range radars in various places. On discharge, I was hired by Hughes Aircraft Co. as a tech rep on airborne fire control radar. Five years, two daughters, and several moves later, we decided to settle down in one place. I joined North American Aviation in Fresno, Ca. as a radar tech. While in Fresno, I decided to look into the CAA and went and talked to a fella name O.B. Cox. I'm sure many of you recognize that name. About a year later, North American closed down and we moved to Utah and I went to work for the Air Force there. Shortly after, I received and offer from the CAA as GS-9 at the Denver long-range radar. Unfortunately, by the time the offer was received, the deadline for reply had passed. I sent a quick letter to L.A. explaining, figuring my chance had passed. About a month later, they sent me an offer at GS-7 at the Denver short-range radar. That one didn't get away. The ARSR-1 was just being installed and a GS-9 vacancy was advertised. I bid on that one, and got it. After a really fun stay in Oklahoma City we returned to Denver and settled down for, hopefully, a long stay. About three years later, the FAA had signed a joint agreement with the Air Force to assume maintenance duties at long-range radars that were jointly used by the Air Force SAGE network and the FAA. A supervisory position was advertised at Mather AFB in Sacramento. Again I was lucky and got the job.

Nine years and many good memories later; the Sector Chief position opened at Paso Robles. I believe that my Sector Chief in Sacramento, George McCarthy, really was the push behind me getting that position. George was a really fine gentleman. Anyhow, we moved to Paso Robles and I assumed my new duties. Three years later, we had one of our periodic reorganizations and my job was abolished. Paso Robles became a sector field office under Fresno Sector. The Asst. Manager position at Oakland Sector was open and I was offered that or termination. After much thought, I decided to go ahead and accept that. Ken Willits was the Manager at that time. About one year later, Ken was moved to Sacramento and Jerry Long came to Oakland as the new manager. Jerry and I had eight great years there. (I mean really great). And finally I said goodbye to my second family and retired in 1984.

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