By Jim Eckles
In early January, the White Sands Missile Range Historical Foundation received a remarkable surprise in the form of a check for $337,912. The donation was from the Paul and Joy Arthur estate and is intended to support the construction of a new building for the missile range’s museum – to replace the temporary buildings now used for the exhibit hall.
The co-trustees for the “Rear Admiral Paul K. Arthur, Ret. and Joy L. Arthur Living Trust” are daughter Lia F. Brodnax and son Gregory V. Arthur. According to Lia, the money clearly demonstrates the love the Arthurs had for White Sands Missile Range. She added that the greatest thanks they could receive would be to see the money used for the museum soon.
Paul and Joy spent entire careers at the missile range and were always involved in its activities as well as trying to preserve the incredible history found at White Sands. Their vision is to showcase the hard work of so many over the decades in a modern facility that is enjoyable and informative to visit.
The Foundation plans to add the money to the half million dollars already generously donated by numerous businesses and individuals. This year, the money will be put to work as the Foundation will work with leaders at White Sands to start the process of building a new museum building.
Both Paul and Joy were elected to the missile range’s Hall of Fame in 2005, the first husband and wife to be so honored. Joy’s title for the hall of fame is “Research Electronic Engineer” while Paul’s is “Tester-Director-Mentor.”
The write-ups for their induction speak for themselves and are reprinted below.
Joy Arthur was born in Manila, Philippines, on Dec. 2, 1935. She earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1956. She began working at WSMR in May 1958 developing instrumentation and was the first female engineer to work at White Sands.
In 1962, she transferred to what is now known as the Army Research Laboratory Survivability and Lethality Analysis Directorate, Information Electronic Protection Division. There, she evolved as a national leader in supporting Army systems to determine their vulnerabilities to electronic warfare countermeasures.
Joy innovated techniques to increase the dispersion efficiency of chaff and demonstrated absorbing chaff, environmentally degradable chaff, illuminated chaff, chaff rockets and rounds.
She designed, developed and demonstrated jamming technology. This included a missile-borne X-band jammer with a hydrazine-driven power supply and a multi-spectral jammer using explosively detonated inert gasses.
Her numerous other projects included determining the vulnerabilities of Army weapons such as the Patriot and MLRS, protecting against frequency-agile laser threats, developing non-lethal weaponry, creating radio-frequency decoys that simulate helicopters and detecting the unintentional radiated emissions from electronic systems and underground facilities.
Joy retired in February 2005 after 46 years of inventive and proactive service to the country.
Paul Arthur was born in Kansas City, Mo., on Jan. 14, 1931. He graduated from Lafayette High School, Ohio, in 1948 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy. After four years, he left active duty and began a lifetime in the Naval Reserve, where he rose to the rank of rear admiral and mentored generations of sailors and leaders.
Paul earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University in 1956 and began working that year as an electronics engineer in the WSMR Missile Flight Safety Office. He transferred to the Army Materiel Test and Evaluation Directorate in 1962.
Strong leadership abilities and a willingness to accept increasingly challenging roles pushed Paul up the ladder of hierarchy at WSMR. He served as Chief of the High Altitude Air Defense Projects Branch, Chief of the Air Defense Test Division, Deputy Director and Director of the Materiel Test Directorate and Deputy Commander and Commander of the White Sands Test Center. Paul inevitably rose to the highest civilian position at WSMR, Technical Director and Deputy to the Commanding General, from which he retired in October 2004 after an incredible 55 years of service to the United States.
Paul’s service was characterized by his customer focus and exceeding mission requirements. He was known for his relentless drive to ensure the installation’s ability to meet the nation’s future test-and-evaluation demands. In this quest, he became a statesman, meeting with legislators and working with the Range Commanders Council, the Bureau of Land Management, the New Mexico State Land Office and the New Mexico Space Commission.