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MAJOR GENERAL JOSEPH O. MAUBORGNE - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/18/1939 - HFSID 313676

As the US Army's Chief Signal Officer on the eve of World War II, he writes a letter of reminiscences to an old friend. Mauborgne, the first to install a radio on an airplane, was also co-inventor of the one-time pad. An extremely rare and touching correspondence between two old friends.

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Reg. $575.00

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GENERAL JOSEPH MAUBORGNE
As the US Army's Chief Signal Officer on the eve of World War II, he writes a letter of reminiscences to an old friend. Mauborgne, the first to install a radio on an airplane, was also co-inventor of the one-time pad. An extremely rare and touching correspondence between two old friends.
Typed Letter signed: "J. O. Mauborgne", 2 pages (front and verso), 7x8¾. Included is the original mailing envelope. War Department, Office of the Chief Signal Officer, Washington, 1939 May 18. To Harry B. Kirtland, Spitzer Building, Toledo, Ohio, in full: "Twelve years is a long time for any two people not to contact each other, even if that last time was over the telephone. I was greatly pleased to get your letter of May 15th congratulating me upon my promotion and also bringing me up-to-date with reference to your own personal history. Time certainly marches on! I didn't realize that you were sixty-two years old. I would have said you were nearer my own age, but here I have you down in writing so guess I shall have to believe it. It seems ten thousand years since we were altogether at Leavenworth and I have come a long way since that time and have had a wide variety of experiences, radio, however, remaining as my principal interest until I flopped into this seat as Chief Signal Officer. I, too, still listen in every once in a while on short wave stuff just to hear what the world is saying, and I have often thought of you coming up to my house and holding your breath in order to copy the Navy station in the Panama Canal Zone. I always envied you as an operator and wondered if you were really ever doing anything with it. As for the flying business, I had quite a period of that sort at Wright Field, where I had charge of the Aircraft Radio Laboratory of the Signal Corps for about sixteen months, during which time I was in the air testing apparatus and on long distance flights practically every day that was good flying weather. To me it is a great exhilaration to be up in the air, but since I have been on my present job, for about a year and a half, I have not set foot in a plane. Well, Harry, I didn't intend to write you a letter, but it certainly was good to hear from you and to receive your congratulations. Kath joins me in best regards to you and your new wife, whom we hope to meet on some future occasion. Sincerely yours". Joseph Mauborgne (1881-1971) joined the US Army in 1903, and attended the Army Signal School at Fort Leavenworth (1909-1910), as referenced in this letter. In 1912, Mauborgne installed the first radio on an airplane, with which future Air Force commander Henry "Hap" Arnold sent the first radio message from the air to Mauborgne on the ground. Two years later, Mauborgne, this time aloft, conducted the first two-way radio communication with a ground station (December 16, 1914). In 1919, Mauborgne and Gilbert Vernon of Bell Laboratories invented the one-time pad, a code technique which still cannot be broken if used properly. As Chief of Signal (1939-1941), Mauborgne pressed the first mass production of radar. He retired on September 30, 1941, less than 6 weeks before Pearl Harbor. He is enshrined in the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame. Normal mailing folds. Toned. Fine condition.

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