SaddleBrooke resident Art Walsh was one of the 67 WWII and Korean War veterans on board Honor Flight 23 that flew to Washington, D.C. on September 2 and returned on September 4. Art was born and reared in New York City. While 16 years of age, he and some high school friends decided to join the Army National Guard in the 69th Regiment of the 42nd (Rainbow) Division where he served from 1949 to 1951 as battalion scout. Tactics called for scouts to proceed ahead of the main body to ascertain enemy location and strength and were also employed as rear guard units.
When the Korean War broke out, Art transferred from the Army National Guard to the U.S. Air Force and served from 1951 to 1955. After basic training at Sampson Air Force base in upstate New York at Geneva, he was assigned to Keesler Air Force Base for training in electronics and radar maintenance schools for one year. Following that, he was appointed to The Air and Air Airways Communications Service in England at Royal Air Force Station, Wethersfield, Essex. This base was unused from 1945 to the end of 1950 when it was reactivated as the home of the U.S.A.F. 20th Fighter/Bomber Wing, flying F-84Gs. At this location, Art worked as a Ground Control Approach Radar technician from 1952 to 1955. During that period, he also attended an Advanced Radar School in Freising, Germany for six months. Housing on base was in WWII Quonset Huts. Wethersfield was 30 miles from London; ideal for off duty time.
Even though his service was in the Air Force, at that time all overseas movements were via troop ships (nine days over to the UK and 11 days return).
Art completed his military service as Staff Sergeant and was honorably discharged at Camp Kilmer, New Jersey in 1955.
After discharge, Art attended City College of New York where he earned a BS degree in Physics. Art and Laura have been married over 60 years and have six children and 14 grandchildren. They have been residents of SaddleBrooke TWO for 15 years.
In civilian life, Art spent most of his career in the Aerospace Industry and nearly all of that in connection with Simulation and Training Equipment. These occupations covered equipment for military and commercial aircraft, domestic and international customers. Highlights of those activities include Program Manager for the Lunar Module (LM) Mission Simulator while at Grumman Aircraft. This was the primary LM astronaut training device on the Apollo Program. Later Art was president of Burtek, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thompson – CSF, a large French Aerospace Company. He also founded The Essex Group, a management consulting company in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This outfit supported many Oklahoma aerospace companies and on one assignment, he ran a 20 aircraft cargo airline (CASI).