The old adage "Build it and they will come" has proven apt in our efforts to illuminate the interesting history of my father, George Vernon Russell, during his involvement in WWII, designing and managing the huge air force base at Langford Lodge near Belfast, Northern Ireland as an employee of Lockheed Aircraft. We previously posted a brief piece (see below) on an unusual assignment during his nearly 4-year stint there, that of the design of the mobile war room and sleeping trailers used by General Dwight D. Eisenhower in the planning and execution of the Normandy Invasion. I was contacted recently by Mr. Clive Moore, an author from Belfast, who is writing a book about the history of the base and had come across our blog and the illustrations of the trailer interiors. These were originally done by George in black and white pastel, and we digitally enhanced them to illustrate the true colors and materials of the luxurious interiors.
Clive kindly forwarded some information previously unknown to me, consisting of photos of my dad in action with his cohorts, and a press article on the trailers and how they were employed. As the article states, the General was in direct telephone contact with other Allied leaders, and even hosted Mr. Churchill and General Smuts there just after the invasion.
At 6'-3", 250 lbs with a large black moustache, George was hard to miss. These are the first photos I've seen of his actual involvement at LLAFB, and are to me an invaluable addition to my understanding of the situation in which he found himself at the time. I have to thank Lockheed for giving my father this assignment, without which I would not be here to tell the tale. On one of his first trips to London to debrief the Lockheed brass he met my mother, Mary Adelaide Younie, a young Scottish beauty working for the British Government in the war effort. They fell madly in love, and were married a year later. After the war they returned to my father's native California and started a family.