Gary A. White – SAR Member 196840
After high school, I enlisted in the United States Air Force where I trained pilots in navigation procedures, became a weather officer, and provided weather support for manned spacecraft operations. As a result, the Air Force selected me to obtain a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology.
I subsequently developed several classified systems and was a program manager and spacecraft Mission Director. I served in Vietnam. After my military retirement in 1982, I had contractor assignments with the National Security Agency, the USAF Space Command, and the Central Intelligence Agency. Some of my projects and system are credited with ending the Cold War and countering terrorist actions. Many of these systems are still in operation today.
I’ve been involved at various levels in the Boy Scouts including Order of the Arrow and as a council board member.
In 2014, my hometown’s Alumni Association honored me for my professional contributions, by placing me on their Wall of Honor. http://schools.olatheschools.com/buildings/wallofhonor/2014/09/29/gary-a-white/
My hobbies are writing, amateur radio, and flying. I’ve won several awards for my short stories and recently published my first full-length novel, ‘Roy’s Run.’
I’m proud to be an active member of the SAR Patrick Henry Chapter.
My fifth great-grandfather, Thomas Farnsworth, fought in the battles of Concord and Bennington. The following is a narrative of his unit’s role in the March and Battle of Concord. (“Our Buckner Heritage” by J. Ricketts).
Growing dissatisfaction over the oppressive yoke of England led to the raising of a colonial militia in New Ipswich, NH. An old-timer, Mr. Isaac Appleton, remembered seeing the first training of this militia in 1771, when he was nine years old. He stated that the group was made up of not less than 100 men.
Thomas Farnsworth, served as the unit’s drummer. By April of 1775, the Ensign of the training group, Thomas Heald, had risen in rank to Captain, and it was he that led Thomas Farnsworth’s unit to Lexington, where the famous shot was fired at North Bridge, the “shot that was heard round the world;” and then led them beyond that, to Cambridge, moving fast on the tail of the British troops who were fleeing to Boston.
The following passages describe vividly what transpired in New Ipswich following the Lexington Alarm: “The Effect of the Lexington Alarm in New Ipswich, April 20th, 1775. The Committees of Safety in the various towns spread the news in all directions; and so rapidly had messengers sped from town to town, that before nightfall, not a place within a hundred miles but had heard the news, and in many instances with almost every kind of exaggeration. The intelligence reached this town [New Ipswich] about two o’ clock in the afternoon; the Committee of Safety immediately assembled on the common and fired three guns in quick succession, the signal that had been agreed on in case of a sudden alarm.
“The people rapidly assembled, and in less than two hours, a great proportion of the male population met on the little common in front of the meetinghouse. After a short consultation with the oldest and most experienced, it was decided to prepare as many as possible and march for Concord. The town’s stock of powder and lead was taken from the magazine, then situated on the beams of the meeting-house, and distributed to such as had not a supply, a careful account of it being taken by the selectmen.
“In the mean time, the alarm was extending through the remote parts of the town, and some of the men who were at work in the woods or distant fields did not reach the usual training ground till sunset; and as provisions had to be collected, so much time was consumed that probably but few commenced their march before dark.” (“New Ipswich in New Hampshire” by Pauline Carrington Bouve, pages 6-7, www.usgennet.org.)
The account continues: “Several parties proceeded as far as Captain Heald’s, where they took a few hours’ repose; and others spent most of the night in and near the middle of the town, but took up their march before daylight; and before the sun rose the next morning not less than a hundred and fifty men, the very bone and muscle of the town, were pressing forward, some on foot and some on horseback, towards Concord.
“Provisions were collected and forwarded in carts, under the direction of the Committee of Safety. Deacon Appleton, like Cincinnatus, had left his plough in the furrow at the moment of the alarm, and soon after, mounted his horse and carried the news to Peterborough. The next morning, a company from that patriotic town, with Captain Wilson in command, passed through New Ipswich, then nearly deserted by the men, the Deacon hastening on with them, not even stopping to take leave of his family, though he passed near his own door.”