American Patriotic 10

William W. Griffiths Jr.

October 27, 1928 ~ April 1, 2019 (age 90)


William Worrall Griffiths, Jr. was born on October 27, 1928 in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, the eldest son of William Worrall Griffiths and Merle Etta Ryland Griffiths, who lived on Brushton Avenue in Greensburg. Mr. Griffiths graduated from Greensburg High School in June 1946. Then he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, graduated from the Navy Electronic Material School and served as an Electronic Technician at their Summit Radio Station in the Panama Canal Zone until July 1948. For the next four years Mr. Griffiths attended Carnegie Institute of Technology (now the Carnegie Mellon University) in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania graduating in 1952 with a B.S. degree in physics and a minor in electrical engineering. He also earned a M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1960 from the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland. In July 1950 he married Lois Prinzler who he met at Greenburg High School. They lived for two years on Bellefield Avenue in the Oakland section of Pittsburgh. They moved to Catonsville, Maryland in 1952. The Griffiths lived for fifteen years on Thackery Avenue and for twenty-six years on Oak Forest Avenue. Both the Griffiths were Elders at the Catonsville Presbyterian Church. The Griffiths had three Daughters, Susan Brandt born in 1953, Elizabeth Woodin born in 1956 and Kathryn George born in 1959. All three daughters are married with children. The Griffiths have twelve grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. Mr. Griffiths has a brother, Paul, living in Ohio and a sister Virginia, living in California. Mr. Griffiths started to work in 1952 as an electronics circuit design and systems engineer for the Avionics Division of Westinghouse Defense Center at their large facility adjacent to the Baltimore Washington International Airport. He helped to design and develop airborne, side looking, mapping radar systems used in eight types of Air Force, Navy, and other aircraft in the 1950’s. He was the engineering manager on the third and fourth generations of these radars. They were used for military and intelligence purposes. One was used to help search for new oil fields. Over the years they probably mapped half of the world. Griffiths developed a number of inventions including the Gain Switching Technique that greatly improved the shades if gray for those radar images. He also invented the Interferometer Technique to produce three dimensional radar maps. In the 1980’s he was the Westinghouse Project Manager for Multi-Senser Systems used in four different types of Custom Service, Coast Guard and other aircraft. Those systems enabled the U.S. Customs Service to stop drug smugglers from flying into Florida. Mr. Griffiths retired from Westinghouse in 1991. Mr. Griffiths bought a Siren Sailboat in 1973 and sailed it on Chesapeake Bay for twenty-two years with friends and relatives. He also cruised single-handed many times. The Griffiths moved to Punta Gorda in south-western Florida in 1995. They built a house, which they designed, in 1996. It survived Hurricane Charley on September 13, 2004 much better than most other houses. No wind, rain or debris blew inside their house. They joined the Burnt Store Presbyterian Church. Mr. Griffiths enjoyed researching, writing and publishing family history books and other papers during his retirement. The local newspapers published four of his columns about building houses to survive hurricanes.

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