Monday, May 12, 2008

Blessed are the Engineers.

Not many people know who this man is.


His name is David Salonimer, an engineer who worked at the U.S army's Redstone proving ground. He is the father of the modern laser guided bomb. You have probably never heard of him.

His idea, with the collaboration of others has probably done more to reduce human suffering in warfare than any of the peace treaties or political gestures at disarmament since the Second World War. By improving the accuracy of weapons by several orders of magnitude he has spared countless people from becoming collateral damage. He has also probably spared many soldiers and airmen from death and massively increased the military power of his country. In this age of military barbarism he has probably done the most to lessen the miseries of war.

Part of the reason that that area bombing was implemented was because the accuracy of bombing was so low that an inordinate number of large high explosive bombs had to be dropped on a target in order to achieve a probable hit. Given that pinpoint precision is now a real ability of armed forces, military forces have now begun to use the weapon of David, albeit in a smart form. The smart rock.

This guy is an all out legend, yet no one knows of him. As far as I understand it he has won a few engineering awards but that is it. Al Gore gets to win the Nobel peace prize for being an environmental windbag while the man who actually save lives gets passed over. I personally feel he comes second to Henry Dunant in reducing the suffering in war. The world honours its sinners and passes over its saints.

29 comments:

Kredite ohne Schufa said...

I know this person quiet well.He is proud of U.S army.Thanks for sharing about this person.

The Social Pathologist said...

I thought he had passed away. If you do know of him, I'd be pleased if you would let him know of my little tribute.

Ruth Clow said...

Dave Salonimer was my uncle (mother's brother). He has passed away, but our family is obviously extremely proud of his legacy. He was a humanitarian, not only in his career, but in retirement as well. He had a talented seamstress whom he paid to create beautiful hand puppets, which he regularly handed out to children in hospitals who were dealing with tough illnesses.

The Social Pathologist said...

Ruth, thank you very much for writing. I hope I have honored him him some small way. I think you and your family should be justly proud of his achievements. I think that despite our best efforts war will always be part of the human condition and any attempt to reduce its horrors and miseries is to be applauded and its enablers hailed. His everlasting tribute will be in the thousands of men who's lives and limbs will be spared , the thousands of women who will not lament the loss of their loved ones, and in the children who's lives will be filled by their fathers otherwise lost. May he rest in God's eternal peace and live in his everlasting glory.

David W. Salonimer said...

Thank you for remembering my father.

The Social Pathologist said...

He should be remembered more often.

Lawrence said...

I am a nephew of David Salonimer. In the 1990s I became a volunteer helping Vietnamese refugees establish a new life in the Kansas City area, where I live. My uncle's "smart bomb" was first used in the Vietnam War, which saved many lives. It also affected the timing of many of them immigrating to the U.S., enabling me to meet meet and help some of them in a very endearing and beneficial association. My uncle has passed on, but I walk on his shoulders.

The Social Pathologist said...

Hi Lawrence, you should be quite proud of him. I have done a recent post on Harold Gilles, a pioneering plastic surgeon of the First World war. The article links to distressing images of war injuries and speaks of the ruined lives these men had as a result of them. You Uncle prevented injuries like these, and their consequences. Meditate on that for a moment, it is testimony enough of the greatness of his invention.

Esther Salonimer Price said...

I definitely have known this man...he was my brother. I am very proud of Dave's accomplishments, particularly his invention of the "Smart Bomb". I have loved him dearly.
Esther Salonimer Price

The Social Pathologist said...

Thanks for dropping by Esther. You have much to be proud of.

Philip Setchfield said...

I am proud to have been able to spend time with my uncle, Dave Salonimer. He was a wonderful, gentle and bright man with a wicked sense of humor. Uncle David, you are very much missed. Thank you for posting a tribute to this unique genius.

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