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Leroy R. Grumman

Aero Engineer, Industrialist

Born Huntington, New York

January 4, 1895 - October 4, 1982

Leroy Randle Grumman received a Science Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Cornell University in 1916. He became a U.S. Navy pilot in September 1918, serving as a flight instructor at Pensacola and test pilot at the Naval Aircraft factory. From 1920, until he left to form his own company in 1930, he served as General Manager of the Loening Aeronautical Corporation.

The Grumman Engineering Corporation began operations at Bethpage, New York repairing Loening amphibians and constructing aircraft. The F-3F biplane fighter produced for the U.S. Navy presented a new concept for naval aviation—retractable landing gear and enclosed cockpits—and began an association with the Navy which has endured for seven decades and through four wars,

Grumman developed an advanced naval fighter with the first practical folding wing mechanism, the F-4 Wildcat, thereby permitting the stowage of greater numbers of planes on aircraft carriers. This rugged aircraft was the backbone of the Naval and Marine Corp fighters until the introduction of the fabled F-6F Hellcat in 1942. The Grumman TBF Avenger torpedo bomber also played a major role in the naval campaigns of the Pacific Theater. His company produced 31,376 aircraft during the war.

In the postwar years, his genius produced the F-7F Tigercat twin engine naval fighter, the F-8F Bearcat fighter, the Navy's first combat jet fighter the F-9F Panther; and the SA-16 Albatross amphibian widely used throughout the world for search and rescue operations—all of which saw service in the Korean War of 1950-52. Although he stepped down as President of his company in 1946, he remained active as its Chairman of the Board until 1966.

Invested 1973 in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame

From "These We Honor," The International Hall of Fame; The San Diego Aerospace Museum, San Diego, CA. 1984


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Updated: March 12, 2004