InfoAge Wall of Honor – 2012
When Charles Blair retired from Government service in 1974, he held two positions in the Army’s Communications and Electronic Command Electronic Warfare Laboratory; that of Associate Technical Director of EWL, and Chief of the Systems and Engineering Development Technical Area.
Under Charles’s leadership, EWL made significant advances in multiple, highly technical areas that greatly enhanced the Army’s capabilities in Signals Intelligence and Electronic Countermeasures. All of the work was highly classified, but the fruits of his labors can be found in the impressive array of fielded systems the Army has managed over the past two decades.
During the Viet Nam Conflict, it became evident that the Army was lacking critical operational intelligence assets to meet the evolving threat. Many deficiencies existed in sensors, direction finding, receiver sensitivity, signal identification, and data transmission.
Charles Blair was instrumental in guiding dedicated engineers and scientists in meeting the goals and objectives of the military intelligence establishment. In fact, he was able to lend his considerable skills to the other services and unnamed Government agencies. When the Air Force embarked on a program of Stealth Technology, much of the groundwork had been done by the Army under Charles Blair.
Charles, and his brother Thomas, were associated with Fort Monmouth since the 1920s. They grew up in Red Bank, and lived in Oceanport in 1930, when their father, famous Col. William Blair, the father of Army Radar, returned to Fort Monmouth to command the Signal Corps Laboratory. During WWII, the Radar work was moved to Camp Evans, and the Countermeasures Division was then created.
Charles Blair always commanded the respect of his peers. His professional demeanor impressed everyone he met. Charles received both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in engineering from Harvard University; and he completed the course requirements for a PhD in Physics from the University of Chicago.
Charles married Patricia Watkins, had three sons, Charles Jr., William, and Thomas, and a daughter Sarah. His wife currently resides in Red Bank.
Posted April 4, 2017