Dr. Julian Davidson, an American Patriotby Representative Mo Brooks
Posted on 2013-02-14
BROOKS of Alabama. Mr. Speaker, Dr. Julian Davidson passed away
on January 31, 2013.
I have personally known Julian Davidson and his wife, Dorothy, for only a few years. But I know enough about Julian Davidson, what he did, and how he lived to know that he was an American patriot who will be sorely missed by his family, the Tennessee Valley, America, and me.
Julian Davidson was born in the small town of Oakman in Walker County, Alabama, on September 2, 1927. He was a proud son of Oakman and Walker County; however, his destiny lay elsewhere.
At the age of 17, Julian Davidson hitchhiked to Montgomery, Alabama, and without permission and despite being underage, enlisted in the Navy during World War II. He served with distinction on gunships loading heavy ammunition into gun turrets. Julian Davidson's naval service gave him an enduring respect and admiration for America's warfighters who serve in harm's way.
After the Navy, Julian Davidson attended classes during the day and worked at a pool hall at night to obtain an electrical engineering degree from Auburn University. After graduation, Julian Davidson joined the Tennessee Valley Authority where he rose to senior design engineer.
In 1961, Julian Davidson began work for the United States Ballistic Missile Defense Organization as an aerospace research engineer, thus beginning his life's passion in a career in missile defense that spanned half a century.
Julian Davidson once briefed Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara concerning using the Nike Zeus missile system for a possible anti- satellite role. Army leadership didn't believe McNamara would do it, so they sent in Julian Davidson, then a junior member of the briefing team to make the presentation. Julian related that ``for some reason, McNamara was very interested and asked how long it would take and how much it would cost.'' I answered 15 months and $15 million. He didn't flinch. He said, Do it. We went through about six decision milestones in that 15-minute briefing.
In time, Julian Davidson became Director of the Advanced Ballistic Missile Defense Agency and one of the youngest people to achieve the rank of senior executive service with the Federal Government.
In 1979, Julian met Dorothy Smith. In 1981, they married in Fairfax, Virginia. Julian loved and admired Dorothy for her intelligence and spark. Julian Davidson used to say that Dorothy ``is the glue that holds everything together.'' He wrote in a speech: I'd like to thank my wife, Dorothy, who in addition to running her company, takes care of family matters, allowing me to do the things that interest me the most, missile development and testing.
Julian Davidson was quick witted when he added: I want you to know the rumor is not true that Dorothy does all the maintenance jobs around the home because I refuse to. I would be happy to do these tasks, except she will not allow me to borrow her tools.
In the 1990s, Julian and Dorothy Davidson settled in Huntsville, Alabama, a community Julian loved very much. Julian started Davidson Technologies in 1996 with just two employees.
Julian Davidson emerged as a leading figure in the Tennessee Valley and believed that if everyone worked for the betterment of the community, regardless of personal gain, everyone benefited. Julian sought to leave our community and country better than he found it, and he did that.
Julian Davidson is a former chairman of the Air Force Studies Board of [[Page H507]] the National Research Council, member of the Defense Sciences Board, and vice chairman of the Technology Assessment Committee of the United Space Command for the National Research Council.
Julian Davidson twice received the Army Exceptional Civilian Service Award. He has received the Air Force Meritorious Civilian Service Award, the MDA Pioneer Award, and the Medaris Award. He is a member of the United States Army Strategic Defense Employees Hall of Fame, the Alabama Technology Hall of Fame, and the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council.
Julian Davidson's impact on America is enormous. He is known by many as the ``father of missile defense in America.'' Julian Davidson is survived by his wife, Dorothy; his four children, Diana Lyn, Janice Faye, Randall Eugene, and Robert Lee; his two grandchildren, Wendy Faith Holderfield and William Blair Peyton; and three great grandchildren, Teagan Holderfield, Shelby Holderfield, and Michaela Holderfield.
America and the Davidson family have lost a great man and a true patriot, and we are all better for having known Dr. Julian Davidson.