2 December 1925 – 20 December 2019
General Ben Partin was one of the most influential innovators in developing focused energy and precision guided weapons. He was a close friend of missionary to the communist world, Rev. Bill Bathman, a member of the Board of Frontline Fellowship and a very good friend of our family and Mission.
United States Air Force Scientist
General Partin was born in Lumberton, North Carolina. He entered active military service in the Aviation Cadet programme, January 1944. After World War 2, he returned to North Carolina State College, where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemical Engineering, graduating June 1949. As a Reserve Officers Training Corp Distinguished Military Graduate, he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force. August 1949, he was assigned to Strategic Air Command as Assistant Operations Officer, 91st Reconnaissance Technical Squadron at Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana. In March, 1950, he entered Pilot Training at Randolf Air Base, Texas and completed Advanced Flying Training at Vance Air Force Base, Oklahoma, by March 1951.
During the Korean War, after C-54 Training at Great Falls Air Force Base, Montana, he was assigned to 1263 Air Transport Squadron in the Military Air Transport Service at Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii. He flew in support of the Korean airlift and nuclear weapons tests and also served as Assistance Aircraft Maintenance Officer.
In September 1953, General Partin entered the Air Force Institute of Technology in the first graduate Air Ordinance programme, where he earned his Master of Science Degree in Aeronautical Engineering, by 1955.
In September 1955, he was assigned to the Ballistics Research Laboratories, Aberdene Proving Grounds, Maryland. There, as an Inter-service Exchange Project Engineer, he worked on a variety of armaments projects and developing warheads and fuses for both Air Force and Army missiles. July 1957, General Partin was assigned to the Air Weapons Directorate, Headquarters Air Research and Development Command, Baltimore, Maryland. He later moved with the Command headquarters to Andrews Air Force Base, MD.
There he was assistant for Advanced Weapons Concepts. During this assignment, he served as Technical Secretary to the Weapons Committee and joined the Committee on Limited Warfare in 1958. There he pioneered a Coherent Optical Frequency Generator, which generated the acronym: LASER (Light Amplification Stimulation Emission Radiation).
Research and Development
From 1959, General Partin served as Systems Analyst in Research and Engineering, Headquarters Air Force Systems Command, Andrews Air Force Base. Later he was a Research and Development Analyst at AFSC. From June 1961 to Mach 1964, General Partin studied Operations Research at Case Institute of Technology and Statistics at Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. He was assigned, March 1960, to the Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, Headquarters, US Air Force. There, his duty was to be the Development Engineer in the Directorate of Development. He participated in the establishment of the Armament Systems Division and formulation of the Accelerated Ordinance Programme. He also served as Tactical Systems Development Plans Officer in the Directorate of Development Plans.
In June 1967, General Partin completed his studies at the Air War College as a Distinguished Graduate. He then received C-123 Combat Crew Training and was assigned November 1967, as a Special Assistant to the Directorate Tactical Air Control Centre, Headquarters, 7th Air Force, Tan Son Nhut Airfield, Republic of Vietnam. In March in 1968, he was appointed Director, Tactical Analysis, at Headquarters 7th Air Force.
Precision Guided Weapons Development
In January, 1969, General Partin was assigned special duty in the Office of the Secretary of Defence (OSD) as the First Chairman of Development of Defence, Air Ammunition Requirements and Development Committee. With organisational changes in OSD in 1970, additional responsibilities were assigned to him as Assistant for Aircraft and Air Ordinance in the office of the Assistant Director of Land Warfare. June 1970, General Partin was transferred to Elgin Air Force Base, Florida, where he served as Commander of the Air Force Armaments Laboratory. In June 1972, he was assigned as Deputy Director, Development and Acquisition, Deputy Chief of Staff, Research and Development, Headquarters US Air Force, Washington DC.
Awards and Decorations
On 1 September 1972, General Partin was promoted to Brigadier General. In July 1975, he was appointed Deputy for Aeronautical Systems Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. He was a Command Pilot and wore the Missileman Badge. His military decorations and awards included the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with two Oak Leaf Clusters and the Air Force Commendations Medal. As a Military Command pilot and Command Missileman, he flew 4,000 hours, including 37 hours combat. General Partin’s education qualifications included: a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering; Master of Science in Aeronautical Engineering and he completed the classwork and assignments for a PHD in Operations Research and Statistics.
An Innovative Engineer, Scientist and Precision Guided Weapons Pioneer
In all, General Partin served in the US Air Force for 31 years of active duty. He was a pioneer of precision guided weapons on a scientific, technical and executive level, directing organisations engaged in research, development, testing, analysis, requirements generation and acquisition management of precision guided weapon systems. His assignments varied from laboratory to the office of the Secretary of Defence. Among General Partin’s contributions in the fields of research and development management included: Cluster bombs, for which he developed button batteries; designing Puff the Magic Dragon side firing Gatling gun system, mounted in C-47 aircraft; Cruise missiles; GPS (Global Positioning Systems) to deliver precision guided missiles to exact addresses and the development of LASER focused energy weapons.
White House Appointment
In 1989, the White House appointed General Partin Special Assistant to the Federal Aviation Administration, to prepare the white paper on Federal Aviation Administration policy on the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS), operational life for commercial aircraft, anti-terrorism, airport and airway capacity, requirements in the FAA acquisition process and FAA leadership and management development.
Some of his publications include: Global Terrorism Analysis on the Sino-Soviet Conflict; Deadly Failures in Intelligence Analysis and Defence Unpreparedness; The Oklahoma Bombing Murrah Federal Building and TWA-800 Shoot Down.
Christian Family Man
General Partin surrendered his life to Christ as a youth and maintained a strong Faith throughout his life. He was a generous, thoughtful and hardworking Christian who cared very deeply about his country and the church worldwide. He loved his family and is survived by his four children: Kirk Partin (was married to Dallas) of Columbia, South Carolina; Wayne Partin (married to Becky) of Chester, Virginia; Bruce Partin (married to Terry) of Hollace, New Hampshire and Bonnie (married to Mike) Kidd of Fairfax Station, Virginia. He had 13 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren.
First and Foremost Friend
The first home I stayed in the United States was General Partin’s home, in Captains Row, on the Potomac River, close to Mount Vernon, the farm of George Washington. No one organised more meetings, drove me to more events, or hosted me longer in their home, than General Partin. From the first time I landed in the United States, January 1988, General Partin was my most enthusiastic supporter and guide as to how to best communicate to Americans the threat posed to Christians in Africa by Communism and radical Islam.
General Partin introduced me to senators, congressmen, military leaders, radio and TV presenters, key-media people and church leaders. On many occasions, the General drove me hundreds of miles across Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and throughout Washington DC for businessman’s’ luncheons, prayer breakfasts, political meetings, military meetings, radio and TV broadcasts and to give testimony to the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Defence Intelligence Agency, Senator Jessie Helms’ office and many more.
During the many months that we worked together on different projects, we spent many hundreds of hours discussing geo-political issues, history, military technology, contemporary issues and most importantly, Biblical, practical solutions to reclaim our countries for Christ.
On the Potomac
General Partin loved taking me out on his motorboat on the Potomac River, where we could see eagles and other bird life and the imposing Mount Vernon home of America’s first president, George Washington. I enjoyed staying at the Partin home for many reasons, one was the beautiful George Washington Memorial Parkway Forest path, that I often ran along in the early mornings.
There’s a Snake in the Laundry
One funny incident, which showed the difference in our cultures and communication styles was in February 1988. I heard the General calling out loudly: “Peter! Come here! There is a snake in the laundry! Get rid of it!” I dashed down into the basement, which, while lower than the street level, was on the level of the garden, which led directly to the Potomac River. I opened the door to the laundry, collected a broom and a rake and proceeded to coax a 4-foot long snake out from behind the washing machine into the garden and then wrapping the snake around the rake, carried him off the property and deposited the snake into the bushes, some distance away.
As I returned, the General stood there in obvious shock: “You let it go!” he admonished me.
“You told me to get rid of it, Sir.” I responded.
“I meant kill it!” declared the General.
As a conservation-minded South African, that thought had never crossed my mind.
“It was not poisonous, Sir.” I responded.
“How do you know?” demanded the General.
“Well, General, it was a very plain snake without any exotic markings and was probably a simple mole snake, of no threat to humans.”
The General related this story on numerous times to friends at various meetings. Here he told this African to get rid of a snake and I had just released it into the wild, without killing it!
Strategic Bombing Meant Collateral Damage
The General related to me how distressed he was in studying the strategic bombing of cities during World War 2 and the enormous loss of civilian lives. “63 Cities in Germany were devastated with over 2 million people killed by the RAF and USAAF Strategic Bombing Offensive, during WW2. As a Christian, I knew that such an enormous loss of civilian life was unacceptable. I prayed for the Lord to guide me as to how we could bring about precision bombing, to take out for example, the bridge, without destroying the entire town around the bridge.” “The bombing of cities was not only unethical, but counter-productive, wasting vast amount of ordinance on civilian targets, it lengthened the war, rather than shortening it.”
From Peenemünde to Precision Guided Weapons
He related to me how tonnes of advanced research came out of the German Army Research Centre at Peenemünde Test Site. Professor Wernher von Braun and his scientists were “decades ahead of the rest of the world” in missile and rocket development and precision guided technology. They devised a wire guided bomb with which they managed to destroy a Soviet Warship. On this basis, General Partin became a pioneer of precision guided weapons in the US Air Force. Some of these weapons, he tested during the Vietnam War, for example, taking out a strategic bridge with a single bomb, without any “collateral damage” amongst the civilians living on each side of the river.
Exposing the Oklahoma Bombing as a False Flag
When, on 19 April 1995, the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, collapsed, killing 168 people, General Partin immediately declared: “Someone is lying!” As one of America’s foremost weapons experts, General Partin could immediately see that the damage pattern on the building was not consistent with a truck bomb on the road, but could have only been the result of a building demolition team imbedding explosives in the actual reinforced concrete pillars holding up the building. General Partin declared that the pattern and magnitude of the damage in the Oklahoma bombing was “technically impossible without supplementing demolition charges on the columns and header beam.” The smooth failure modes and exposed steel rebar, were clear signs of contact charges. The positioning of the collapsed columns and header beam also showed that it could not have been caused a truck bomb. Otherwise they would have been blown at least slightly inward, but instead they had come straight down. The General declared that is was absurd to hold that a truck bomb blast was powerful enough to take down large, steel reinforced, concrete columns and still leave sheet rock, planters, furring strips and other light decorative materials virtually undamaged. The structural damage was consistent with a professional demolition team, who had imbedded the explosives in the heavily reinforced concrete beams and columns.
Bomb Damage Analysis by Military Scientific Engineer
By 13 July 1995, General Partin released his 23-page report entitled Bomb Damage Analysis of Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, Oklahoma City. The study includes five-full page colour photographs taken of key areas of the crime scene and the General provided “irrefutable evidence that at least 4 demolition charges were set off at 4 critical columns of the reinforced concrete structure at floor level.” The report also included an important aerial view diagram of the Murrah Building, showing the position of the truck bomb in relation to the building damage and a computation, by the General, of the damage potential of the blast wave pressure in concentric circles as it radiated out from the blast force. The General diagrammed the effects of the bombing, showing light building materials basically untouched, yet heavily reinforced columns disintegrated, far from the truck bomb. “Now you can’t have the blast reaching clear into column B3 and bringing down that heavily reinforced column at the same time, not even blowing off this light covering from the column!”
The Official Story Violated the Laws of Physics
The General made clear in official reports given to congressmen and to the FBI and on TV Shows and public meetings, that the official story, that the horrendous damage to the building had been caused solely by a truck bomb, simply just did not add up. The reported facts contradicted, not only the laws of physics, but also a lifetime of personal experience of a weapons ordinance developer. There could be few engineers in the world with more impeccable credentials in the field of explosives, than General Ben Partin. He had field tested all types of explosives on a broad spectrum of structures and targets, was the earliest advocate for the Focused Energy Weapons Programme and the first Chairman of the Office of Secretary of Defence Joint Service Air Munitions Requirements and Development Committee responsible for Air Munitions Development for the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.
Courageous Christian Crusader
General Partin was a brave and tireless crusader for the truth. He worked hard to provide me with platforms to speak up for the Persecuted Church in Mozambique, Angola, Zimbabwe and Sudan. He also provided practical insights, which assisted the Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army (SPLA) in their fight for freedom against Islamic Jihad in Sudan. We praise God for this innovative scientific genius, who loved the Lord, his family, his country and the Church worldwide. General Partin was a true friend and a great example.
General Partin can declare: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the Faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7
We praise God that our Lord Jesus Christ is “…the Resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live…” John 11:25
Yours in sure and certain hope of the Resurrection.
Rev. Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Visit www.GeneralPartin.com to view some of General Partin’s Global Terrorism Analysis articles.