|Birth: ||Dec. 31, 1915|
New York, USA
|Death: ||Sep. 30, 2011|
age: 95 yrs 8 mos 29 days
Lee Davenport, a physicist who developed a radar device that helped U.S. and allied troops win key battles in World War II, has died. He was 95.
He died Friday of cancer in Greenwich, his daughter, Carol Davenport, said Tuesday.
Dr. Lee L. Davenport, 95, a pioneering radar physicist who has been credited for helping to bring an end to World War II, died on Sept. 30, 2011 of cancer at the Nathaniel Witherell Nursing Center. He was a 51-year resident of Greenwich.
Davenport was born on Dec. 31, 1915, in Schenectady, N.Y. the son of Harry and Faith Davenport.
He received a BS from Union College in 1937 where he was a member of Sigma Chi. He received an MS from the U. of Pittsburgh in 1940, and his PhD in Physics in 1946. From 1940 to the end of World War II Davenport was a research fellow at the secret Radiation Laboratory at MIT, developing the revolutionary antiaircraft system - known as microwave radar or SCR-584 (Signal Corp Radio #584) that helped save England from the V1 buzz bombs. The SCR-584 went on to play an important part on the battlefields of both the European and Pacific theaters.
After the war Davenport received his doctorate for his design to remote control a missile over a radar beam without being taken over by an enemy that was effectively the first guided missile, and mother of today's drones.
From 1946-1950 Davenport served as research fellow at Harvard University with responsibility for the nuclear lab and building of a 92-inch cyclotron that was then the second largest atom smasher in the world. Harvard's previous cyclotron was removed to Los Alamos, New Mexico for the building of the atomic bomb. Davenport also taught physics at Radcliffe College during his time at Harvard.
In 1950, Davenport became executive vice president of Perkin-Elmer Corp. in Norwalk, assigned to build a bombsight within the new B-47 bomber. Under his seven year leadership Perkin-Elmer was moved from Stamford to Norwalk and grew from 100 employees to 1,000. Davenport next ran the research laboratories of Sylvania Corning Nuclear Corp. in Bayside, L.I. from 1957-60, then served as vice president of planning for Sylvania Electric Production, Inc. in New York City from 1960-1962.
Davenport joined GTE Labs, Inc. in Stamford as president from 1962-1977, then vice president and chief scientist from 1977-1980. He retired in 1980. He was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 1973 for his original contribution to the development of radar, infrared analytical instrumentation, and his leadership in the development of communications technology.
He was also a member of the American Physics Society. He was a trustee of Union College, a member of the Cosmos Club, Washington, D.C., and of the Harvard Club of New York. As a member of the Retired Men's Association he twice gave presentations on the early years of radar and his development of the cyclotron at Harvard University. He was also a passionate collector of antique cars and former president of the Classic Car Association.
In 2008, an oral history of Davenport's contributions to radar development in WWII was conducted by the Greenwich Library Oral History Project for the Library of Congress.
Davenport is survived by his wife, Doris Moss.
His former wife Anne S. Davenport who he married in 1944 predeceased him in 2004, as did one of their two daughters, Jeanne Treder of Grand Saline, TX.
He is survived by his daughter Carol Davenport of Cos Cob, and three grandchildren, Nico Wada and Alexander Wada of Cos Cob and Samantha Treder of Tyler, TX. He is also survived by his stepsons, Craig and wife Pam Moss, and Clark and wife Regina Moss, both of Westport; and five step-grandchildren: Wyatt, Hannah, Grant, Shannon and Jackson Moss.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Dr. Lee Davenport will be held on October 22, 2011 at 2 p.m. at the First Congregational Church, 108 Sound Beach Avenue in Old Greenwich, CT 06870. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Congregational Church or to The Nathaniel Witherell Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, 70 Parsonage Road, Greenwich, CT 06830. Funeral arrangements are by Fred D Knapp & Son Funeral Home.
Published in GreenwichTime
from October 1 to October 2, 2011
Created by: Marilyn
Record added: Oct 05, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 77641120