The Descriptive Finding Guide for the Joseph H. Famme Personal Papers SDASM.SC.10045

Robert E. Johnston
San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
2001 Pan American Plaza, Balboa Park
San Diego 92101

Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: San Diego Air and Space Museum Library and Archives
Title: The Joseph H. Famme Personal Papers
creator: Famme, Joseph H. (Joe)
Identifier/Call Number: SDASM.SC.10045
Physical Description: 1.2 Cubic Feet 6 manuscript boxes
Date (inclusive): 1935-1999
Date (bulk): bulk
Abstract: Joseph H. Famme was a prominent contributor to the growth of the aerospace industry, especially in San Diego. The collection consists of engineering proposals, reports, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, as well as other documents related to the design of major Convair aircraft
Language of Material: English

Biographical / Historical

Joseph H. Famme, a native of Baltimore, Maryland, born February 16, 1911, was a prominent contributor to the growth of the aerospace industry, especially in San Diego. He was an engineer and manufacturing executive, helping develop a wide variety of military and commercial aircraft for the Convair Division of General Dynamics and its predecessor organizations, first joining the company in 1936. His many contributions spanned the period from just before the critical World War II years into the age of jet powered flight.
He studied engineering at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute and the Johns Hopkins Anniversary, and worked at Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corporation at Hagerstown, Maryland, Sikorsky Aircraft Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut, as well the Glen L. Martin Company, Baltimore, Maryland. He joined Consolidated in San Diego as a draftsman in 1936, quickly advancing to positions of higher responsibility. In 1940, he was named an Assistant Project Engineer on the LB-30 program, advancing to Project Engineer for the LB-30 and B-24 in 1942. From 1943 to 1945 he was Chief Project Engineer for all B-24 aircraft. During this time he was also called to active duty as an officer in the Air Corps, where he served as an advisor to General Doolittle, supporting the outfitting and repair of B-24s planned for use in D-Day and related operations.
He was appointed Assistant Chief Engineer in 1954, guiding Convair during the transition to turbo-prop and jet engine aircraft, including the XB-46 bomber, XP-5Y and R3Y-1/2 seaplanes, and F-102 and F-106 fighter interceptors, the backbone of U.S. air defense systems during the early Cold War years. He was Project Works Manager for the F-102 and F-106 production, and also headed the Convair production flight test facility at Palmdale, California. In 1961 he was named Vice President, Operations at Convair, and, later that year was named President of the Convair Division of General Dynamics. Mr. Famme retired from General Dynamics in 1966, joining Rohr as Vice President of Engineering, eventually retiring from Rohr in 1971.
He became a general contractor, developing commercial buildings. In semi-retirement he was particularly active supporting various community and philanthropic organizations, including significant service with the Grossmont School District Board of Directors and St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, and, he founded the Home for Guiding Hands in Lakeside, California. He also maintained his many professional affiliations, including the Society of Automotive Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Navy League, Air Force Association, Association of the United States Army, and the American Ordnance Association. He was honored with a lifetime Achievement Award by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 2004. Mr. Famme died in Rancho San Diego, California on October 23, 2004.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open to researchers by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use

Some copyright may be reserved. Consult with the library director for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This extensive collection of both personal records and published works was donated to the San Diego Air & Space Museum in April 2006. The collection has been fully processed and is open for research.

Preferred Citation

[Item], [Collection], Archives, San Diego Air & Space Museum

Separated Materials

Transferred from Collection
Consolidator, January 1941
Convairiety, 1948-1959 (Consolidated/Convair Bi-Weekly Newsletter – Incomplete)
Convair Traveler (Model 240), Volume IV, Number 3 (July 1952)
Interceptor Service News (F-102), Volume II, Number 2, 1957
CS-61-047, Convair 880/990 Jet Airliners (1961)
General Dynamics News – Volumes 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 21, 22 (1961-1969), Includes Astronautics, Fort Worth, Pomona and San Diego Division Editions - Incomplete
General aircraft system information manual, with sections previously published as articles for the “Convair Traveler”
CS-58-010-1/2/3/4/5, Convair 880 Service Training Study Guide, Volumes 1/2/3/4/5
General Dynamics Convair Research and Development Laboratories (1961), (Atlas ICBM) Base Activation Manual (Undated)
General Dynamics World, Volume 2, Number 1 (1972); Volume 17, Number 6 (1987); Volume 19, Number 10 (1989); Volume 21, Number 4 (1991); Volume 22, Numbers 1-3 (1992); Volume 23, Numbers 1-2 (1993)
General Dynamics Convair Weekly Log (Blue Sheet), 1984-1994 (Incomplete)
CRA Balance Sheet, 1987-1994 (Incomplete)
Briefing, Journal of the International B-24 Liberator Club, Numbers 39 (1988), 61-69 (1997-1999), 80 and 82- 83 (2002)
QA Today (Newsletter), Convair Division (1992)
USAIR Flight Operations Monthly (April, 1992)
Take Notice, 1992 (Incomplete)
Daily News Summary, 1992 (Incomplete)

Related Materials

Convair/Consolidated Collection
Selected digitized images from this collection.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of engineering proposals, reports, correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, as well as other documents related to the design of major Convair aircraft such as the B-24, B-32, XB-46, F-102, F-106, 240/340/440 Convair Liners, and the Convair 880 four engine jet transport. The collection has been fully processed and is open for research.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Bennington (Gunboat No. 4)
William Tell (Competition)
General Dynamics Corporation. Convair Division
Convair B-36 Peacemaker
Convair 240 Convair-Liner
Consolidated B-24 Liberator Family
Rohr Corporation
Famme, Joseph H. (Joe)


Box 01 Correspondence and Miscellaneous Papers

Physical Description: 1. B-24 Letters, Articles and General Information 2. Model 8 (F-102/F-106) Miscellaneous 3. Correspondence: Famme Promotion (1961) 4. Atlas/Astronautics General Historical Information 5. Correspondence: Famme Retires at General Dynamics and Joins Rohr (1966) 6. Rohr Staff Reduction Memorandum (1971) 7. State of California Aerospace Employment Issues (1971-1973) 8. California Space Shuttle Task Force (1973) 9. B-24 First Flight 50th and 60th Anniversary Proceedings (1989/1999) 10. Miscellaneous IAM Strike Information (1945 and 1987) 11. Famme Convair History Remarks (1982) 12. Famme Convair History Remarks (circa 1990s) 13. Convair Cartoons 14. Miscellaneous Papers/Thoughts 15. Grossmont School District/Other Public Service Recognition and Awards 16. Joe Famme Biographical Information 17. Personal Papers/Photographs 18. Original Famme SDASM Collection Inventory 19. Donations to CAA Restoration Newspaper Articles 20. XF-92A – San Diego Union (November, 1952) 21. Consairways Articles 22. Miscellaneous Famme Articles (1952-1956) 23. Convair 50th Birthday (1973) 24. Howard Hughes Dealings with Convair (1976) 25. Demise of Convair San Diego Facilities (1992-1993) 26. David Grinnell, B-24 Pilot, Daily Mail (1997)

Box 02

Physical Description: 1. The Tribune-Sun, Consolidated Dedication Day, 17 October 1941 (Complete Issue) Periodicals/Publications 2. Consolidated Aircraft Corporation, Rules for Employees (1940) 3. Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation Agreement with IAM Lodge 1125 (1941) 4. Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation Agreement with IAM Lodge 1125 (1949) 5. Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Corporation, Factory Wage and Salary Classifications/ Labor Grades/Hourly Rates, circa 1949 6. New Cockpit Instrument Panel Design (1956) 7. Our American Government, History and Function (1963) 8. General Dynamics News - J. Famme Retirement Issue (February 1966) 9. Rohr News – Famme Joins Rohr (February, 1966) 10. Convair Management Club – 25th Anniversary Booklet (1967) 11. General Dynamics Hourly Employee Group Insurance Certificate (1970) 12. General Dynamics Shareholder Reports (1971-1972) 13. California Professional Resources Development Center, Final Report (1972) 14. General Dynamics, QAR Pocket Guide, Quality Assurance Reporting (July, 1974) 15. Convair Division Hourly Personnel Policies (Circa 1980) 16. Security Is Your Job – General Dynamics (Undated – Likely 1980s) 17. Flying Barn (B-24), Motor Home Magazine (Undated) 18. Keeping Convair Jobs Alive, DC-10 Barge Shipments, Los Angeles Times

Box 03

Physical Description: 1. Newsletters, International Association of Machinists, Lodge 1125 (IAM), 1986-1992 (Incomplete) 2. Miscellaneous Internal Union “Unrest” Flyers 3. General Dynamics Heritage Chart (1987) 4. General Dynamics Safety Spotlight, circa 1989 5. General Dynamics World – Bill Anders Appointment (October 1989) 6. Orbiter (Newsletter), General Dynamics Space System Division (1991) 7. General Dynamics, Retirement Plan Booklet, Hourly Employees (1991) 8. Aerospace, Proposed MD-12 9. NMA Space Leader, March 1993, April 1993, December 1993 10. B-24 “All American” Brochure (not dated) 11. General Dynamics Manufacturing Services (not dated) 12. Atlas II Brochure (not dated) Photographs 13. Early Consolidated Aircraft Engineering Staff Picture (1935-1936) 14. J. Famme and Harvey Tafe at Consolidated Washington Office (1944) 15. Miscellaneous Joe Famme Photographs (1946-1960s) 16. J. Famme, F. Fink, E. Stout and Others with Unidentified Navy Officers (Ca. 1950) 17. J. Famme, Red Covington, Scotty Doig, Chuck McCabe 18. Final F-102 Delivery Ceremony – Joe Famme and Major General Jarred V. Crabb, Air Defense Command (1958) 19. Joe Famme in F-102 Flight Suit (with unidentified Air Force officer) 20. Convair 880 Roll Out Ceremony (1958) 21. Convair 880 Baggage Handing Exhibit - Joe Famme and Bernie Simons (circa 1959) 22. Convair Plant II Aerial Views 23. Convair Plant II Photographs (circa 1958) 24. Convair Plant II Interior Views (1959) 25. Convair Plant II Model 8 Final Assembly Line (F-102/F-106) 26. Hughes F-106 Avionics 27. F-106 Collins Electronics Replacement 28. F-106 Final Production Line, Building 307 (1959) 29. TF-102A – Joe Famme and Unidentified Air Force Pilot 30. Joe Famme and Numerical Controlled Machining Committee 31. Air Defense Command Ward Presentation – Joe Famme 32. U.S.S. Bennington (CVS 20) Ceremony – Joe Famme, Admiral Miller, R. Warden, P. Peterson, K. Smith and R. Loomis 33. Joe Famme in Factory Surroundings (1960-1962) 34. Japan Airlines Convair 880 Flight Crew (Undated) 35. Convair Service Pin Ceremony (Joe Famme, Sandy Coggan, Ralph Bayless and C. McDade) 36. General Kinnard, C.F. Horne, F.P. Kearns, Roger Lewis, E. Heinemann (likely Late 1960s) 37. William Tell Exercises Presentation – Joe Famme and Air Force (1961) 38. Martin Mariner with Vertical Floats Proposed as an ASW Platform in Rough Seas (1961) 39. J. Famme, Bill Dorrance, J. Wainwright, C.W. Frick, Bill Fox, D.C. Wilkins 40. San Diego Navy League (1975) 41. J. Famme and Ernie Kotnick 42. Joe Famme and Fred McLaughlin (1962) 43. Joe Famme, Admiral Max Reynolds, Charles F. Horn, Admiral Stroop (1962) 44. Japan Airlines Lines Convair 880 – Joe Famme and Japanese Navy Officers 45. Varig (Convair 990 Delivery) South American Trip (1963) 46. J. Famme and Frank Pace – American Airlines Convair 990 Astrojet 47. J. Famme at William Tell Exercises (F-106 Wins - 1964) 48. F-106B in Flight 49. A Better Future through Science and Engineering Meeting (Sparky Sebold, General Joseph T. McNarney, Frank Fink, Sandy Coggan and Others) 50. C-141 Empennage Contract Signing Ceremony - Joe Famme and Lockheed Georgia Company Executive (circa 1964) 51. Max Yale, Ralph Phillips, John Bergstrom and Departmental Party

Box 04

Physical Description: 1. Little Joe II Launch Vehicle in Experimental Shop (Joe Famme and General Thorlin) 2. Joe Famme at President’s Award Ceremony (1964) Books and Manuals 3. General Dynamics Telephone Directory (1974 4. A Convair History, Desk Calendar (1989) Technical Information 5. Davis Wing (B-24) Technical Notes and Patent 6. B-32 Engine Run and Test Procedure (1945) 7. B-32 Inboard Profile, General Layouts and Schematics (Three view drawing, general arrangement, electrical system, flight control system, flight control surfaces, brake control system, fuel system and engine oil system) 8. XB-46 Serial Number 5-59582 History 9. F-106A/B/C/D Comparative Performance Information (undated) Updated Information (Folders): 10. XP544 11. B-36 Papers and Information 12. F16 13. AF England Dinner Party Photos 14. Gen. Atomic News Article 15. Blue Prints 1 of 2 (Aircraft) 16. Blue Prints 2 of 2 (Aircraft) 17. Reps and 8th RF

Box 05

Physical Description: 1. Metropolitan Manual 2. Organization Charts 1954 3. B-24 Liberation 4. Model 31 Seaplane 5. F-102 6. Model 22, 880 Jet 7. 2 Engine Transports 8. 990 9. 990/880 Schedule Performance 10. Staff Recommendations 11. Financial Report 1962-64 12. B-24 Liberation 13. B-24 Liberation Press

Box 06

Physical Description: 1. Liberator Picture 2. General Dynamics Manuals 3. B-17&B-24 4. Cordova Hughes Aircraft Company 5. Convair Modification Center / Legal Battle 6. Letter 7. PB4 8. Xb*46 Book 9. 1963 Review Book 10. F16 Picture 11. Wing in Ground 1970 12. Engineers Ops 1944 13. ROHR News