Military Bios

Brigadier General George W. Goddard:

Military Branch:United States Airforce
Retired June 30, 1949.   Died Sep. 20, 1987.
George W. Goddard, director of reconnaissance for the Allied Air Forces of Central Europe, was presented the George W. Harris award by the Photographers' Association of America at its 61st annual national convention in Chicago. General Goddard received the award, highest single honor the profession of photographers can bestow, for his contributions to the art of aeria1 photography in supervising development of aerial cameras, equipment and techniques.
The 63-year old general, the Air Force's leading aeria1 photo expert, now directs headquarters in Fontainebleu, France, where he is working with Central European countries to develop unified standards in aerial photographic methods.
General Goddard retired three years ago from active service, but was recalled by General Hoyt Vandenberg, Air Force Chief, to take over his present command. He started his Army career as a buck private in 1917 at the U.S. Signal Corps ground school at Cornell University, became a pilot the next year and has since specialized in aerial photography. For 18 years he was chief of the Air Force's photographic research laboratory in Dayton, Ohio.
"Aerial photography has come a long way even since World War II, General Goddard said. "Present advances in cameras, equipment and particularly in night photography, have great1y restricted maneuvers of the enemy in Korea."
"Fast jets, traveling at 600 miles an hour and at either 3,000 or 40,000 feet, are able to take continuous film strips of miles of territory that are as clear as day-time pictures. They are so clear that on pictures taken from 40,000 feet, you can count the ties in a railroad track, or the rivets on the wings of an airplane.
"Efforts to camouflage installations also are detected by new electronic aerial photo equipment," the genera1 added.
General Goddard declared that advances in aerial photography have been greatly speeded by Congress' recognition of its value and its willingness to provide funds. Helpful, also, the general said, are the research experiments of three leading American universities. He referred to Boston University, Ohio State, and Wesleyan (Conn.) as contributing significant advances.
General Goddard personal1y developed and holds the patents on the Air Force's system for taking night pictures. Developed in 1926, the system, with improvements, is still in use.


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