Toms River Regional Schools Hall of Fame

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William Alfred Skillman

William Alfred Skillman was born January 22, 1928, in Lakehurst, New Jersey. He attended Toms River Schools, graduating from Toms River Elementary School in 1942 and eventually Toms River High School in 1946. He claims, "I received a great education from grades 1 - 12 and a foundation in math from Kushnick and in physics from Goodman." While living in Lakehurst in the 1930's, he witnessed one of the most horrifying as well as significant events in American History in 1937. William Alfred Skillman witnessed the explosion of the Hindenberg.

Upon graduating high school, William passed the "Eddy Test" which qualified him to attend the U. S. Navy's Radar School in Corpus Christi, Texas, and Memphis, Tennessee. From 1946-48, he was an Aviation Electronic Technicians Mate, 2nd class.

William then married his high school sweetheart, Anne, in 1948 and then attended Lehigh University, graduating in 1952 with a B.S. in Engineering Physics and then attended the University of Rochester, graduating in 1954 with an M.S. in Physics.

In 1954, he got a job with Westinghouse Electric Corporation (now a part of Northrup-Grumman) in Baltimore, Maryland, where he worked until he retired in 1993 (39 years). He had significant experience as an employee developing advanced radars for the F-4 fighter, the BOMARC missile, a doppler radar, and the AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control System).

The AWACS contract was won by Westinghouse with severe competition from Hughes. The system is used extensively by the USAF (United States Air Force) , NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization), Great Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, and Japan. An appropriate quote about the significance of this system comes from Drew Middleton, former military analyst for the New York Times: "They used to send in the Marines - now they send in AWACS."

William Alfred Skillman has contributed many publications with titles such as "Digital Simulation of Pulse Doppler Track - While Scan Radar," "Interceptor Radar Selection," "AWACS Brassboard Radar," and the IEEE 1995 Pioneer Award paper, "Development of the Airborne Warning and Control System (AWACS) Radar".

He won an award in 1995 for his extensive work in engineering. Paul won another award in 2003. He won the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers) Dennis J. Picard medal for Radar Technologies and Applications for pioneering work in pulse Doppler radar design and its ulitization for Airborne Early Warning Radar Systems. Finally, in 2004, Paul was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for Excellence in Engineering and Technology from Northrup Grumman Electronic Systems.

His wife of approximately 59 years is Anne Skillman, who wrote columns for the Maryland Gazette (the oldest newspaper in America - 1727). He has a daughter and son-in-law with two grandchildren in Granite, Maryland, two step-grandchildren and four step-grandchildren in New York, and a son in Baltimore, Maryland.

Finally, William Alfred Skillman is a 7Ih great-grandson of Thomas Skillman, who came to America in 1664 with the Duke of York's expedition, which forced the Dutch to surrender New Amsterdam to the English, who promptly renamed it New York. He was rewarded with land in New York, married, and raised a family. Virtually all Skillman's in America were descended from Thomas. In 1906-08, William's 4th cousin, three times removed, William Jones Skillman (1835-1914), published the descendants of Thomas in a genealogy quarterly.

We are proud to induct William Alfred Skillman into the Toms River Schools Hall of Fame for the year 2007.


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