Ten Years Ago

February 25, 2014

Ten Years Ago We Lost Our Dear Father, Paul William DeCamp. 

Hard to believe it's been 10 years today that my dad passed away. Journalist, electronic intelligence analyst. Served in WWII and Korean War, fought the Cold War and saw tremendous societal changes during his lifespan. Social liberal, defense hawk, married to a beautiful woman named Rita Marie Stransky, father of 8, hopeless romantic. I put together a slide show of his life to commemorate his passing.  He loved Ravel, so that is the soundtrack.

Here is his Obit:

Paul DeCamp Sr. WASHINGTON, D.C. #45;- Paul W. DeCamp Sr., 81, died Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2004, in Washington D.C. Memorial services were held Feb. 28. Burial will be at 1 p.m. April 14, at Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors. Mr. DeCamp was born Feb. 5, 1923, in Muscatine. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in engineering and journalism, University of Dayton with a degree in physics, the USAAF Communications Officer School at Yale University, and technical and tactical Air Force radio countermeasures schools. He was one of the pioneers of modern American electronics intelligence and warfare programs. Serving at Fifteenth Air Force Headquarters in Italy during the latter part of World War II, he was one of a band of officers directing the attack on German air defense equipment, principally the infamous 'Small Wurzburg' anti-aircraft gunlaying radar. This effort, along with a parallel program in the Eighth Air Force in England, is widely credited with saving many B-17 and B-24 strategic bombers and their crews. After a four-year postwar stint with the Iowa City Press-Citizen as a feature and technical writer, he was recalled to active duty as an ELINT (Electronics Intelligence) officer in the Korean War. Based in Japan through 1951, he flew a tour of combat ELINT collection missions over Communist areas in an ERB-29 'laboratory ferret', capturing high-priority threat signals, sometimes under enemy fire. A notable accomplishment was his acquisition of vital detail on target enemy signals by high-speed state-of-the art pulse-to-pulse photography of radar intercepts. He received numerous commendations and medals for his service, including the Air Medal with two Oak Leaf clusters. For the next 30 years, he was a technical ELINT analyst and manager on the national level for Headquarters USAF and the National Security Agency. For most of this time he served on the U.S. national electronics intelligence committee and predecessor bodies. For three years he was the committee's chairman and an influential figure in Allied programs worldwide. For 10 years within the Defense Department he was functionally the U.S. chief technical ELINT analyst, frequently leading American delegations at Allied conferences guiding ELINT programs against Communist countries during the Cold War. For six years following retirement from government, he was an ELINT engineer and consultant for BDM Corporation. He was a senior member of the Association of Old Crows, the international electronics warfare body, also a contributor to and one of the subjects of 'The History of U.S. Electronic Warfare'. He was a member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Silver Spring, Md., for 40 years. Survivors include his wife of 56 years, Rita Stransky DeCamp; eight children, Susan M. DeCamp, Paul W. DeCamp Jr., John M. DeCamp, James L. DeCamp, and Karen M. DeCamp, all of the Washington, D.C. area, Mary DeCamp Cuthbertson of Lexington, S.C., Dr. Ann DeCamp of Scotch Plains, N.J., and Joseph S. DeCamp of Highland Park, Ill.; 13 grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews, including Mary Ann Tooman, Frank Nelson and Ronald Schmarje, all of Muscatine. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earl and Addie Lindley DeCamp; twin sisters, Dorothea Nelson and Doris Schmarje; and a brother, Edwin DeCamp.

 


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