Presented to: Edward H. Sharkey (Awarded Posthumously)
Citation: In recognition of continuing contributions to the art and science of navigation sustained over a 50-year period devoted to the advancement of airborne navigation and weapons delivery systems, techniques, and procedures integrated in a seamless operation.
Mr. Edward H. Sharkey had a lengthy career with the Bell Laboratories from 1942 to 1959, during which time he had duties with the U.S. Army Air Forces in the Pacific dealing with airborne radar equipment that extended to a close affiliation with the U.S. Air Force Strategic Air Command on integrated navigation and radar bombing methods. During his early professional career at Bell Lab(during WWII), he flight tested the first airborne radar system, the APO-5, used for search and bombing in antiship operations and the APQ-15 for attacking Japanese oil refineries. He devised measures that merged navigation to the target area with location of the aiming point. He first refined APQ-24 radar procedures for B-50 and some B-36 aircraft, devising a radar reference point fixing procedure that utilized the computer "Distance Run"dials, progressively updated to aid in finding the target. A variant of this integrated navigation and bombing technique was adapted to the K-System in B-36s, B-47s, and B-52s and became known as "Sharkeying."
As a RAND employee from 1958 to 1979, he was assigned to the Air Staff in the Pentagon where he dealt with the B-70, among other projects, and was a special advisor to the Tactical Air Command. As the Air Staff representative to RAND, he saw to the installation of the first side-looking APQ-56 radar in the RB-47, which led to the design of the system for the B-70. He developed requirements for and modifications to all-weather navigation and attack systems for TAC aircraft. He designed and tested a laser ranging system that led to current laser designated "smart bombing," and designed a high resolution radar for all-weather precision navigation and air-drop.
He worked for the Northrop Corporation from 1980 to 1988 on the B-2 subsystems where he contributed to the development of the B-2 stellar-inertial and radar navigation and sighting system, to which GPS was later added, making it the most flexible, high-precision navigation weapons delivery system in existence. He later performed reentry vehicle impact analysis on the MX Peacekeeper missile. His retired in 1988 after 50 years of involvement in some form of aerial navigation and weapons delivery equipment. He died in 1994.