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Colonel Robert B.Kleinman. By: Alberto Gonzalez Chad Anderson Chris Orsbun. Colonel Robert B. Kleinman was born on June 20, 1924 in Brooklyn New York.

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colonel robert b kleinman

Colonel Robert B.Kleinman

By: Alberto Gonzalez

Chad Anderson

Chris Orsbun


He graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1942. He then received a Bachelor of Aeronautical engineering in 1949 from Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn New York. In 1955 he received his Masters of Science in Engineering from the university of Michigan.


In 1942 he enlisted as an aviation cadet. In Feb.1942 he received his pilot wings and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, Air Corp At Spence field, Georgia.


Colonel Kleinmanserved in WWII, he was a pilot in the 436 th fighter squadron and the 479 fighter group stationed at Wattiss ham England. Roberts main responsibilitywas to Escort bombers over enemy territory to do bombing runs, after escorting bombers safely out of enemy lines he would return to enemy territory to destroy fuel stations, trains, and anything the Germans could use.


The military needed a plane that could make the long travel well over Germany and still make it back to England. The p-51mustang was the answer. This plane could be equipped with additional external fuel tanks, plus the six 50 caliber machine guns that made this plane a great missionchanger in the battles over Germany’s skies.


Colonel Robert flew 61 combat missions in the P-51,and he had over 300 hours of air combat time under his belt. He would complete his European tour and return to the United States in 1945.


After his WWII tour he returned to active duty in 1949 and was assigned to Keesler AFB, Mississippi for training in Atomic Energy and Electronics. Now we asked Colonel Robert if he knew at the time if his research was to eventually lead to the Atomic Bomb. He replied by telling us that they were told very little about what their research was for, because of the need to know basis.


During the Korean War he served as aRadar officer in an Aircraft Control and Warning Group atItazuki Japan. During this Korean conflict he was a Commander of a Ground Control Intercept Radar Station and an Early Warning Radar Site. Which meant that he would be the first to know if an attack was coming then he would radio to the main land of a possible attack.


After his tour in Korea Colonel Robert was selected to attend the Air Forces Guided Missile program at Horace RachamGraduate school, University of Michigan. He graduated in 1955 where he then went on to Holloman Air Development Center as chief, Missiles Counter measures Division. Where he developed early missile electronic vulnerability evaluation techniques for weapon systems.


The following two years he served an interservice tour with the Army Intergrated Range Mission White Sands Roving Ground, New Mexico. This was the end of his ballistic missile career but not the end of his Army career. He then entered a new career in space activity.


From 1959 to 1965 he worked as a system engineer for the “Midas” program and other Air Force programs. In teams Space System Division , Los Angeles, he helped pioneer early satellite system development.


From 1965 to 1969 he was assigned to the Air force Satellite Control Facility. During his tour at the facilityhe directed command control and communication efforts to conduct research and development space activities.


Successful command and control of a system in orbit facilitated accomplishment of mission objectives and return of data from orbit. Though having to do with space this program was separate from NASA. The effective management by the Field Test Force Directorof the world network provided the system tools to do the job.

Early satellite retrieval used to be done with an airplane and a hook far different from today's approach

On May 31, 1979 Colonel Robert retired from the U.S Air Force with 37 years of service. Some of the medals he received were the Legion of Merit with one oak leaf cluster. Also the Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal with one oak leaf cluster. The Air Medal with nine oak leaf clusters And the Air Force Commendation Medal with three oak leaf clusters


On a more personal background Colonel Robert is married to the former Catherine Frake of Brooklyn, New York. They had three children, LTC Craig Kleinman USAF Ret. Also Keith Kleinman of San Bernardino County Deputy Sherriff Ret. And their daughter Catherine.


Many years after his service to the military his service was recognized by the secretary of the Air force Special Projects in association between the Department Air Force and the National Reconnaissance Office. Colonel Robert Kleinman pioneered and revolutionized Global Space Reconnaissance.