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Rohr Aircraft Memories
a website for Rohr Retirees and Former Employees
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  • May 10th - Frederick H. "Pappy" Rohr was born in Hoboken, New Jersey (Aeronautics Learning Laboratory for Science Technology and Research, 2004).


  • Rohr family moves to San Francisco, California and Fred's dad opens a new shop that Fred would also work in (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum; Hallett, 1997).



  • Wilbur and Orville Wright fly the "gasoline powered airplane, The Flyer, at Kitty Hawk" (Burkhart and Hunt, pg. 52, 53).


  • The Wright Brothers' first flight (Upton, 1998). 

World War I

  • Fred Rohr served as a quartermaster in the U.S. Navy. His father moves the shop to Fresno, California. After the war, Fred returns to the family business and restores vintage airplanes (Hallett, 1997).


  • "The first air service between Washington and New York begins" (Burkhart and Hunt, pg. 60).


  • Fred Rohr marries his wife Shirley Blade on August 28th (Simley, 1994; Hallet, 1997, p. 400; Marquis, 2008).
  • Rohr joined the Ryan Aircraft Company, on Harbor Drive, which "was switching from fabric-and wooden-skinned aircraft to sturdier metal designs" (Simley, 1994).


  • Fred Rohr becomes "an independent metal parts manufacturer" (Aeronautics Learning Laboratory for Science Technology and Research, 2004).


  • Fred Rohr leaves his father's company to establish Standard Steel Works (or Standard Sheet Metal Works) in San Diego, California (Simley, 1994; City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).
  • Fred fabricated fuel tanks for Ryan Aircraft (Hallett, 1997).


  • Fred Rohr becomes a factory manager at the Prudden Aircraft Company in San Diego (Aeronautics Learning Laboratory for Science Technology and Research, 2004).


  • Rohr obtains his pilot's license (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).



  • While Rohr was working as a sheet metal foreman at Ryan Aircraft Company, then owned by Thomas Mahoney, he and a team of workers called the 'Nighthawks' "did the sheet metal work and built the fuel tanks" for Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis, completing it in 60 days. A photograph was taken with the builders of the Spirit of St. Louis which includes Fred Rohr (visit the Spirit of St. Louis 2 Project's website to see the photograph). The Ryan company then moved to St. Louis leaving Rohr without employment (Simley, 1994; Hallett, 1997).


  • San Diego's Muncipal Airport is dedicated (Schoneberger, 1984).
  • Fred Rohr becomes the Factory Manager at Solar Aircraft Company (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).


  • San Diego's Municipal Airport first building begins construction but the Depression so the building was leased out (Schoneberger, 1984).

The 1930s

  • Fred Rohr designs the first drop hammer, "when the industry moved from cloth to aluminum in the manufacturing process" (Chula Vista Living).



  • The stock market crashes and the Great Depression begins (Dutton, 1970, p. 66).
  • Constuction began on San Diego's Muncipal Airport's Spanish style air terminal (Schoneberger, 1984).
  • Fred Rohr was called out to Boeing Seattle to install his drop hammers (Austin, p. 41, 1969).


  • Fred Rohr leaves Solar Aircaft Company to become a consulting engineer, setting up a line of hammers at the Boeing Airplane Company in Seattle (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).


  • Boeing's company chairperson, Claire Egtvedt, suggested to Rohr that he become a subcontractor, going into business for himself and sell the whole assembly as a power package (Simley, 1994; Schoneberger, 1984).
  • Fred Rohr went back to work in San Diego for T. Claude Ryan, previous owner of Ryan Aircraft Company, who had established another aircraft company, Ryan Aeronautical Company (Simley, 1994; Schoneberger, 1984; City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).

The 1940's

  • California's population was 6 million (Dutton, 1970, p. 63).


  • "President Franklin D. Roosevelt called for the production of 60,000 military planes a year" (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).

August 5, 1940

  • With promises of contracts with Consolidated Aircraft Corporation and Lgeockheed, Fred Rohr and four partners (J.E. Rheim and E.M. Lacey - two engineers from Ryan, and two lawyers Frank H. Nottsbusch and Frank H. Nottsbusch, Jr.) incorporate Rohr Aircraft Corporation in San Diego, California, using the garage in Fred Rohr's backyard as their first workplace. There they designed drop hammers and heat treatment tanks. The next location was a three-story building, a former cabinetmaking factory, on the corner of Eighth and J in San Diego, in San Diego's wholesale district. It had 15,000 square feet of floor space (Brown, p. 214; Simley, 1994; Austin, p. 3, 1969; Greater Riveside Chambers of Commerce, September 1982).
  • "First year revenues were nearly $1.5 million" (Hallett, 1997).
  • Common stock had a par value of $1 per share (Austin, 1969).
  • Fleet purchased 25,000 shares of Rohr stock (Schoneberger, 1984).


August 6, 1940

  • California Secretary of State approves articles of incorporation for Rohr and four associates (Business Wire, August 6, 1990).


October 1940

  • Rohr's 64 employees were working 18 and 24 hour shifts "making Sperry bomb sights for Consolidated and the British government." Rohr purchased 10 acres, optioned another 10 of Santa Fe Land Improvement property in Chula Vista, and began construction on their first factory of 37,500 square feet (Brown, p. 214; Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, September 1982).

November 5, 1940

  • "The Chula Vista City Council held a special election and approved a bond issue of $15,000 to purchase the bayfront site for Rohr Aircraft" (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).



  • Late in 1941, "Rohr was given a contract on Consolidated's B-24 bomber program" (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).
  • Rohr buys 10 acres of land on the Chula Vista bayfront (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).

January 1941

  • By January of 1941, Rohr has 422 employees.
  • Rohr wins a contract to make cowlings for Lockheed's Hudson Bomber (Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, September 1982).
  • Rohr receives an Emergency Plant Facilities Contract to build additional factory and office space (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).
  • On January 14, 1941, Rohr holds its first annual shareholders meeting.
  • On January 15, 1941, Rohr moves into their new building.

Februrary 1941

  • By February 1941, Rohr's new 37,500 square foot building was ready for occupancy (Brown, p. 214).

June 1941

  • On June 15, 1941, Rohr moves into their new buildings (Austin, 1969).
  • To meet the demands of it's wartime contracts, Rohr added another 125,000 square foot factory and 12,000 square foot office in June of 1941 (Brown, p. 214).

July 1941

  • By July 1st of 1941, Rohr has 752 employees (Austin, 1969).
  • By July 31st of 1941, there were 865 employees at Rohr, and sales reached almost $1.5 million (Brown; Austin, 1969). 

October 1941

  • Rohr and the International Association of Machinist and Aerospace Workers Lodge 755 enter into the first company and union agreement (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).

December 1941

  • On December 7, 1941, Japan attacks Pearl Harbor and the United States goes to war. World War II begins suddenly and unexpectantly. At the top of the World War II production, Rohr employed 9,000 people (Dutton, 1970, p. 61).
  • On December 13, 1941, Rohr Chula Vista paints it's windows black as a precaution to alert (Los Angeles Times).
  • On December 15, 1941, President Roosevelt appeals to aircraft factories to increase their production to seven days a week (Los Angeles Times).



  • On January 13, 1942, Rohr holds its second annual shareholders meeting.
  • In May of 1942, Rohr hires it's first female employee (Simley, 1994).
  • Rohr produced "B-24 power packages at a record rate" (Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, Setpmber 1982).


  • Fiftyfive percent of the employees at Rohr are women (Simley, 1994).
  • In January of 1943 the company needed more manpower to meet their production schedules so they purchased the Standard Sheet Metal Works in Fresno, California where there was an adequate labor supply (Austin, p. 29, 1969).
  • In October of 1943, fortyone PB2Y-3s airframes were consigned to Rohr to be completed as PB2Y-3R long range transports. The -3Rs weighed less than 8000 pounds and could carry 44 passengers or 16,000 pounds of cargo (Johnson, 2009, p. 106).



  • By the fiscal year July 31, 1944, military contract had increased sales to $70,658,893 (Brown, p. 214; Austin, Summer 1965).
  • The plant in Chula Vista was 600,000 square feet, employment reached 9,800 and net earnings were $1,825,703. "It was the industrial plant to sign up 100 percent of its employees in the War Bond drive," in less than 24 hours. It produced 31,761 B-24 power packages. And it became the world's largest producer of airplane propulsion units. (Austin, Summer 1965, p. 7, 16).
  • By November of 1944, Rohr had 13,000 employees (Simley, 1994).


  • By January of 1945 Rohr had produced 38,000 B-24 power packages (Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, September 1982).
  • In July of 1945, Rohr is acquired by and becomes a subsidiary of International Detrola Corporation "to ensure the company's fiscal health after the War." Rohr Aircraft begins designing radios, refrigerators, and washing machines, andbegins manufacturing toy boats. As a condition of the merger the 25 cent a share quarterly cash dividend was paid to shareholders but was discontinued by the Detrola Board as was the pension plan and the year end bonuses (Austin, p. 42, 43, 1969; Austin, Summer 1965, p. 8; Brown, p. 214; Simley, 1994; Riverside Greater Chambers of Commerce, September 1982).
  • Sales reached $76,000,000 and there were 9,800 employees (Austin, pg. 3, September 1957).World War II ends (Dutton, 1970, p. 66).

August 1945

  • World War II ended and all new orders for aircraft were canceled by the government. Rohr lost 90% of its sales and had to lay off all but 500 employees (Simley, 1994).


  • Sales plummeted to $6,069,100 (note: conflicting info states it was $7,163,483) with net earnings of $390,043 (Brown, pg. 214; Austin, Summer 1965, pg. 8; Austin, pg. 4, September 1957).


  • The postwar boom begins (Dutton, 1970, p. 66).
  • Rohr receives first order from Boeing Aircraft Company (Business Wire, August 6, 1990).


  • Early in 1949, Boeing request help on drop hammers purchased years before (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).
  • October 18, 1949 - Fred Rohr, Rheim, and Shepard formed the Harbor Aircraft Corporation to repurchase Rohr Aircraft. Boeing's large advanced payments on contracts provided "the needed capital to buy out Detrola." Rohr Aircraft Corporation became "R Company" (Austin, 1969, p. 48; Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, September 1982).
  • December 7, 1949, the officers and directors of Rohr purchased the company back. Harbor was changed to Rohr and again became Rohr Aircraft Corporation (Brown; Simley, 1994; Austin, 1969, p. 48).
  • Sales moved up to $24,674,488 with net earnings of $1,233,709 (Austin, Summer 1965, pg. 8).


The 1950's

  • Fred Rohr paid his employees in silver coins.
  • Rohr's son contracts polio and becomes wheelchair bound (Hallet, 1997, p. 400).


  • California's population was 10 million (Dutton, 1970, p. 63).
  • Rohr's common stock doubles in  value (Austin, 1969, p. 52).
  • "The Korean War begins when North Korea attacks South Korea" (p. 132)
  • The "company was bought back and returned to it to independent ownership and control" (Rohr, 1987).


  • The Korean War begins and military orders increase for Rohr (Simley, 1994; Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce, September 1982).
  • January 1951 - dividends increase to 25 cents per share a quarter (Austin, 1969, p. 54).
  • Sales increased to $26,223, 448.


  • Rohr Aircraft purchases and occupies the Eagle's Hall building in Chula Vista. The building's interior space is modified to accommodate small offices and partitions. The west facade is covered with heavy stucco and wrought iron light fixtures are added (McMillan, 2011).

Spring 1952

  • After the start of the Korean War, a contract with Boeing Aircraft necessitated the need for a new plant to handle the overload from Chula Vista. Rohr bought an 80 acre site in Anza Village, just outside of Riverside for $195,626 to build a 200,000 square foot manufacturing plant to produce the Boeing KC-97 Stratotanker power packages. There were already 110,000 square feet of existing buildings on the site (Austin, 1969, p. 57; Brown, pg. 214-215).
  • The barracks were used for production of small parts (Austin, pg. 4, September 1957).
  • The site had been the Camp Anza Army post/training camp during World War II and the Korean War and later been used by the Bill Jack Scientific Instrument Company. One of the barracks was famous for its agriculture, especially its citrus. Anza was a retirement community during this time and was not looking forward to the noise that a factory would create (Austin, pg. 8, Summer 1956; Austin, pg. 59; Patterson, pg. 176; Van Hulle).
  • The building, a reinforced concrete structure, would initially have 2,500 people working in it and had the capacity to hold up to 5,000 people. The new building was necessary due to the steady increase in the backlog of more than $140 million in orders (Wall Street Journal, 15 May 1952).

April 1952

  • A 1950 D.P.A. defense program approved 9,169 certificates for new defense projects of which the total proposed cost exceeded $18.5 billion. Rohr Aircraft in Riverside received 65% of $2,103,283 for aircraft parts. The 65% represents fast amortization (Wall Street Journal, 30 April 1952).

June 1952

  • In addition to a $10,000,000 V-loan, Rohr negotiated a $735,000 building loan at 5% interest with Security National Bank of Los Angeles for the new plant (Austin, pg. 60).

July 1952

  • An informal ground breaking for the new building in Riverside was held. Fred Rohr and Joe Rheim rode on a bull dozer to move the first dirt on the factory site. There was also a luncheon at the Mission Inn where the executives and technicians were staying.
  • The wheat crop was harvested and sold for $90, and the building size tumble weeds were removed. Old buildings were converted or torn down and new buildings were built (Austin, pg. 59; Brown, pg. 215).

July 19, 1952

  • Rohr awards a $1,084,710 contract to the M.H. Golden Construction Company to build the 200,000 square foor building. Construction was scheduled for July 21 for completion in November (The Wall Street Journal, pg. 8).

December 1952

  • The first unit was completed at the Riverside plant (Austin, pg. 8, Summer 1956; Austin, pg. 4, September 1957).
  • Rohr has 875 employees at the Riverside plant (Wall Street Journal, pg. 17).



  • On January 10, the "first Riverside made power packages" for the Boeing KC-97 tanker were shipped from Riverside to Boeing in Seattle (Austin, pg. 60; Austin, pg. 8, Summer 1956; Austin, pg. 4 September 1957).
  • February 16, Rohr Riverside steps up it's production of the KC-97 power package since installation of it's equipment in it's first completed one-third of the new factory (Wall Street Journal, pg. 11).
  • "An armistice ending the Korean War is signed at Panmunjom, North Korea" (p. 132).



  • Sales are up to $100 million (Brown, pg. 214).
  • Rohr is awarded a large contract for the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport (Simley, 1994). 
  • A new Rohr plant is built in Winder, Georgia (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).
  • September 1954: Rohr acquires the rights of Royal R. Rife, Jr's Measuring Telescope (Dave@dfe.net, April 4, 2005).
  • December 12, 1954: Rohr employees were paid in silver dollars as part of their response to a recall movement (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).


  • Rohr has 4,000 employees, drawn mostly from the areas, and is the largest employer in Riverside County (Austin, pg. 60; Brown, pg. 215).
  • The Rohr Manor, a "2-story wood and brick house built in 1938 by Chula Vista contractor Howard Sebastian," is "purchased with a large parcel of land" by Rohr Aircraft Corporation "for the recreational use of its employees" (City of Chula Vista Public Works Operations, 2010; Wikimapia).
  • January 1955: A strike, which last 6 weeks, is called but the plant remains open during picketing (Austin, pg. 60).


  • "33,595,00 in New Orders at Rohr." The Lockheed's Electras were to be built in Chula Vista (The AeROHRcrafter, February 1956, pg. 3).
  • Rohr Aircraft Corporation is the largest employer in Riverside with 2,050 employees and an annual payroll of $8,750,000 (The AeROHRcrafter, pg. 7, February 1956).
  • Sales are over $90,000,000 (Austin, pg. 12, The AeROHRcrafter).
  • Dividends increase to 35 cents per share (Austin, 1969, p. 54).
  • Rohr opens a engine build up facility for Boeing, to supply the aft fuselage section for the 707, in Auburn, Washington (Kepos, 1994; Simley, 1994).
  • "Rohr was nettled by local merchants who voiced doubts about the company's fiscal support of the community. So one payday, Rohr distributed 320,000 silver dollars to his employees, and the heavy coins were soon spilling out of cash registers throughout the city." (Bigelow, B. V. (1997, Dec 12). Rohr will get a new name after takeover completed. The San Diego Union - Tribune, pp. C.1-C-1.)


  • Rohr employs 3,500 workers, including 40 at Rohr Riverside's Pain Shop (Austin, pg. 4, September 1957).
  • The Chula Vista plant installs its first computer (Austin, 1969, p. 83).
  • The "sales and earnings of Rohr Aircraft" "are sharply on the rise in the current fiscal year ending July 31, 1957." "Employment increased 25% to 9,950 in the past year alone" (Barron's National Business and Financial Weekly, 1957, April 1).
  • "Rohr opened the Auburn plant to assemble jet power pods and to facilitate service to the Boeing Aircraft Company in Seattle" (Rohr, 1987).


  • Rohr employment is at "an all time high" with 10,028 employees at the Chula Vista plant, 4,106 in Riverside, and 144 in Auburn, Washington and Winder, Georgia plants (Rohr Magazine, May-June 1958).
  • Rohr stock splits, dividends are 25 cents per share (Austin, 1969, p. 54). 
  • "Commercial jetplanes are introduce" (p. 133).


  • Rohr's stainless steel honeycomb sandwich sales double (Williatt, 1959, p. 3).

The 1960's

  • The company experiences "a decade of growth and accomplishment unmatched in its 20-year history" (Austin, 1969, p. 78).
  • The company builds satellite antennas by launching the Rohr Antenna Division; boats, rocket motor cases, nozzles, deep-submergence vessels, modular housing, and ground and transit vehicles (Hallet, 1997, p. 400).
  • Mid-1960s: New methods of bonding together magnesium, aluminum, stainless steel, fiberglass and titanium are developed (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).


  • Early 1960: Aircraft manufacturers, including Rohr, are setback by a "sudden decline in aircraft production" as piston engine aircraft is phased for the approaching jet age (Austin, 1969, p. 77).
  • Due to interest in space exploration the Company bids on and recieves "a contract to build and erect a 60-feet diameter tracking antenna" for installation in Alaska (Austin, 1969, p. 89).
  • Rohr ventures into modular housing, large solid rocket motors, steerable space antennae, high-speed rail cars, city transit cars, city transit buses, marine construction, automated warehousing," and more with the exception of the Riverside plant which continued to manufacture structural components (Brown, pg. 215).
  • The Electra program is cancelled (Austin, 1969, p. 92).
  • "The first company-sponsored holiday for Rohr employees was organized by the Recreational Club" (Rohr, 1987).


  • Rohr constructs a 60 foot tracking antenna in Alaska (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).
  • Rohr begins experimenting with factory made homes of steel frame construction in a small pilot plant in Riverside, and acquired a manufacturing facility in Fullerton. The corporation, Modular Components Corporation, built houses with steel frames, wall panes of polysyrene beads, asbestos cemet, hardwood, plywood and finished gypsum board. The houses which could be built in 2-3 days were to be constructed in Borrego Springs Park, Eagle Mountain (near Indio), Victorville, Las Vegas and in Southern California. A model home was built in Victorville (Austin, pg. 13, 47, 1965; Austin, 1969, p. 95 ).
  • Rohr Chula Vista begins "producing unitized bathrooms - floor, walls, ceiling, bath tub and shower unit integrated in a seamless fiberglass structure" (Goodrich, 2004).
  • Rohr drops the word 'Aircraft' from it's corporate name and the company becomes Rohr Corporation (Austin, pg. 13, 1965).
  • Rohr enters the antenna structures field (Austin, pg. 44, 1965).
  • The Arlanza area of Riverside where Rohr is located is annexed to the city of Riverside (Patterson, pg. 177).
  • First US manned space flight (Upland, 1998).
  • Rohr receives "patent for a proprietary sound suppressor-thrust reverser design" (Rohr, 1987).


  • With developer Irvin J. Kahn, Rohr builds all-metal framing and modular complex on the 14,000 Los Penasquitos Rancho in San Diego (Showley, 2009).
  • Rohr Aircraft's subsidiary Modular Components Corp "announced it will turn out walls of polystyrene foam plastic to provide homes with better than normal insulation" (Thomas, p. 15, 1962).


  • California's population reaches 20 million (Dutton, 1970, p. 66).
  • Co-founder Burt Haynes is appointed President of Rohr (Simley, 1994).
  • Antenna Division is created.Rohr designs a 210' precision radio antennea for NASA's Goldstone deep space instrumentation facility. This system will "improve the communications capability of the deep space network " (Flight International, 14 February 1963, p. 242).
  • The Hall of Giants building is constructed at the Riverside plant (p. 28).


  • An Architectural Division was created for home building (Austin, pg. 13, 1965).
  • Antenna and Space Products Divisions are established (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).
  • The Hall of Giants, home of the Space Products Division, in Riverside is completed. It is 7 stories high for the large machines and products manufactured there.


  • Rohr became one of the largest antenna suppliers in the country. It then began patrol and rescue boat, tug and yacht hull manufacturing (Simley, 1994).
  • By 1965, Rohr had five plants. Three in Calfornia - Chula Vista, Riverside and Fullerton; and Winder, Georgia and Auburn, Washington. The plants occupy 67 buildings with 2,300,421 square fee and another 220,000 square feet used for the Antenna Division. Rohr owns 423 acres and leases 36 acres mostly for parking spaces (Austin, p. 17, 1965).
  • August, 1965: Burt Raynes obtains a United States patent for Prefabricated modular home construction.
  • November 8, 1965: Fred Rohr has a stroke and passes away (Simley, 1994).


  • Rohr "employment exceeds 11,000 and sales backlog is over 330 million dollars" (Flight International, 1966).
  • Rohr receives large orders "to provide nacelles, struts, and thrust reversers for Boeing's new 747 as well as nacelles and pylons for Lockheed's enormous C-5 Galaxy (Simley, 1994).
  • Rohr is invested in the International Aerospace Hall of Fame (Aeronautics Learning Laboratory for Science Technology and Research, 2004).
  • Rohr's dividends are 20 cents per share (Austin, 1969, p. 54-55).
  • Rohr, IBM and Pacific Telephone Company develop RADAR (Rohr Automated Data Acquisition and Retrieval), a system that was unique to the aerospace industry (Austin, 1969, p. 85).
  • June 1966: Rohr holds interviews in London for aircraft engineers (Flight International, 1966).


  • "Total revenues increased more than $50,000,000 to $249,000,000 - a new record" (Rohr Corporation 1967 Annual Report).
  • "Rohr was selected to manufacture the propulsion pods for the Boeing Model 2707 supersonic transport (SST)" (Rohr Corporation 1967 Annual Report).
  • "The Board of Directors authorized a three-for-two stock split and increased the dividend by setting a quarterly rate of 20 cents a share on the new shares" (Rohr Corporation 1967 Annual Report).
  • "Backlog of firm orders at year end continued above the $400,000,000 mark" (Rohr Corporation 1967 Annual Report).
  • "Capital expenditures of 7,300,000 materially increased your Company's productive capacity" (Rohr Corporation 1967 Annual Report).
  • "The largest financing program in the Corporation's history increased capitalization by $30,000,000" (Rohr Corporation 1967 Annual Report).
  • "The 75,000th engine pod was delivered by Rohr to its customers" (Rohr Corporation 1967 Annual Report).


  • January 1968: Automove, an automated warehousing system, which is connected to RADAR goes into operation at Rohr. It provided "controlled storage and flow of work-in-progress parts and tools" (Austin, 1969, p. 86). 
  • Rohr's Space Products Division has "150,600 square feet of manufacturing spaceand an order backlog of more than $30 million" (Goodrich, 2004).


  • Rohr Corp. is incorporated in Delaware.
  • Rohr contracts with the US Federal Aviation Administration to conduct "a full-scale study of the economic feasilibility of the mass modification of existing low bypass-ratio turbofan engines to acoustically treated nacelles" (Flight International, 31 July 1969, p. 161).
  • February 19,1969: "Rohr Corp get F-14A subcontract" (New York Times).
  • July 1969: Rohr signs a "contract for the production and delivery of BART's revolutionary electric transit cars." "The initial contract called for delivery of 250 cars, with the first 10 vehicles to serve as test prototypes" (San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District, 2010).
  • July 16, 1969: Apollo 11 begins it's trip to the moon (Waite, 1999).


The 1970's

  • Rohr disposes of it's nonaircraft operations (Brown, pg. 215).


  • Rohr becomes involved in marine technology (City of Chula Vista Heritage Museum).
  • Rohr creates "a 137,000 square foot facility at Chula Vista to build BART rail cars for the San Francisco transportation system" (Rohr, 1987).


  • November 3, 1971: Stockholders voted "to change the name of the company from Rohr Corporation to Rohr Industries, Incorporated" (Rohr News, November 1971).
  • Rohr purchases the Flxible Company from an Loudiinville, Ohio bus manufacturer (Simley, 1994).
  • November 28, 1971: International Association of Machinists strike against Rohr Chula Vista (New York Times, 1971).



  • Rohr establishes an assembly plant in Toulouse, France to supply the European Airbus consortium (Simley, 1994).


  • November, 1974 - "The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) commenced a lawsuit against" Rohr and 17 other parties (Rohr, 1975, page 30). 



  • In February of 1976, Raynes is fired and is replaced by Fred W. Garry, a former executive from General Electric exec (Simley, 1994).
  • March 1976: Rohr Night at Disneyland
  • Rohr builds Amtrak's Turboliner trains (Goodrich, 2004).


  • Rohr sells Flxible to Grumman for $40 million. Grumman later sues Rohr $500 million for misrepresentation of Flxible's quality as some of the undercarriage components of the buses cracked alleging that design flaws were not disclosed. The lawsuit was dismissed in court (Simley, 1994).
  • Rohr enters into a production contract with Rolls Royce (Rohr, p. 44).


  • Defense spending is increased by President Carter. Rohr's board refused to turn away any new business and then was subsequently unprepared for it. Garry resigned and was replaced by Carl L. Sadler, who was formerly a Sunstrand executive (Simley, 1994).

The 1980's


  • Rohr's 40th anniversary (Rohr, 1987).


  • Carl L. Sadler retires and is replaced by Harry Todd (Simley, 1994).
  • In April of 1982 Rohr Riverside begins offering CPR classes to its employees (Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, September 1982).
  • Rohr Riverside "employs approximately 2,500 people" (Greater Riverside Chambers of Commerce, September 1982).


  • An assembly plant in Foley, Alabama is established for additional work for the Lockheed C5-8 (Simley, 1994).


  • Rohr reports "a 24% increase in net income, to a record $47 million, for the fiscal year ended June 30, despite a 1% drop in revenues, to $607 million" (Johnson, 1985). 
  • 4th quarter earnings "were $12.4 millio, up 19%-the 20th consecutive quarter of improved profitability." Revenues "rose 3% to 153.4 million" with a record operating profit margin of 13.5% (Johnson, 1985).
  • Commercial orders accounted for 65% of the company's revenues (Johnson, 1985).
  • Moody's and Standard & Poors raise Rohr's credit rating for strong operating performance and improved balance sheets (Johnson, 1985).
  • Rohr joins an international team that developed the engine propulsion system for the European based Airbus Industrie's A320 airliner (Johnson, 1985).
  • Rohr "became a systems integrator for nacelle systems on several programs, with responsibility for the integration and management of the design, tooling, manufacture and delivery of the complete nacelle system" (Rohr, p. 40).


  • Rohr's revenues are $626.7 million (Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1991)


  • 2,500 more workers are hired (Brydolf, 1993).
  • A two week strike in Feburary and inefficient production cause Rohr to lose an additional $5.3 million (Brydolf, 1993; Rowe, 1987; Rohr Industries, Inc. 1987 Annual Report, page 47).   
  • February 1987: The Airbus Industrie A320 makes its first flight (Rohr Industries, Inc. 1987 Annual Report).
  • March 1987: Rohr sold $150 million in 9.25% 30 year subordinated debentures (Rowe, 1987).
  • Rohr has "trouble meeting tougher government contract standards" (Brydolf, 1993).
  • Rohr's debt increases (Brydolf, 1993).
  • October 1987: Rohr purchased the financially troubled Fairchild Aircraft Corporation composite bonding operations (Simley, 1994).
  • October 1987: Rohr raised $115 million in 7% 25 year convertible subordinated debentures (Rowe, 1987).
  • Rohr forms a Space Products Division (Rohr Industries, Inc. 1987 Annual Report, page 3)
  • Annual sales reach $663.4 million, "an all-time high" (Rohr Industries, Inc. 1987 Annual Report, page 3).


  • 12,091 people were employed by Rohr (Simley, 1994).
  • In the spring of 1989 stock topped $37 a share (Brydolf, 1993).

The 1990's

  • September 1990: "Rohr Industries' European subsidiary opened a 170,400 square-foot facility" (Renstrom, 1990).
  • Rohr closes its Aurburn, Washington and Hagerstown, Maryland plants and postpones opening the Arkadelphia, Arkansas plant (Rohr, p. 23).

1990 - 50th Anniversary of Rohr Chula Vista

  • Harry Todd retires and is replaced by Robert Goldsmith (Simley, 1994).
  • "Rohr begns trimming the work force "(Brydolf, 1993).
  • Rohr has a break-even year (Brydolf, 1993)
  • Rohr's revenues grow to $1.078 billion in fiscal 1990 (Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1991).
  • August 6, 1990: Rohr celebrates 50th anniversary of its founding (Business Wire). See also: Douglass, E. (1990, Aug 06). Rohr has a reason to celebrate | chula vista company marks its 50th birthday. San Diego Tribune, pp. AA.1-AA-1.



  • Rohr's earning rise to $30.5 million (Brydolf, 1993).
  • Rohr has 11,600 employees worldwide (Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1991)
  • September 18, 1991: Rohr receives the 1991 Congressional Hispanic Aerospace Award (Hulewicz, 1991).


  • Rohr becomes Rohr, Inc.
  • Rohr's employees now number 9,230 (Simley, 1994).
  • Rohr's earnings drop to $1.5 million on sales of $1.3 million (Brydolf, 1993).
  • February 1992: Rohr announces plans to open a 225,000 square foot facility iin Arkadelphia, Arkansas, naming George Ryan as the General Manager (Webb, 1992).


  • IEA is "Rohr's fifth- largest customer, providing Rohr with 9 percent of its $1.2 billion in fiscal 1993 sales" (The San Diego Union-Tribune, 1994, June 14).
  • January 1993: Robert Goldsmith announced his retirement, doing so without naming a successor; and the U.S. Attorney's Office began investigating "for allegedly fabricating results of its parts testing" (Simley, 1994).
  • April 1993: Robert Rau becomes Rohr's chief executive officer to help the company - "focusing on debt reduction and positive cash flow" (The San Diego Union-Tribune, 1993, May 28; Brydolf, 1993).
  • Spring 1993: Rohr announces the planned closure of the Hagerstown plant due to a slump in sales (New York Times, 22 July 1993).
  • Rohr has a $254.5 million loss on sales of $1.2 billion (Brydolf, 1993).
  • July 31, 1993: Rohr was employing approximately 6,500 people (Rohr, p. 23).
  • August 1993: Rohr announced that it will pay $4.03 million to settle sharholder lawsuits" (Brydolf, 1993).
  • October 1993: Rohr stock sells for less than $10 a share (Brydolf, 1993).


  • January 21,1994: Rohr announces it's intent to sell its business jet production line and certain assets of Rohr Aero Services, Inc. (Rohr, p. 29).
  • January 30, 1994: Rohr has 5,154 employees (Rohr, p. 23).



  • "Sales for fiscal 1995 were $805 million, down 12 percent from the year before, and projections for fiscal 1996 indicate a further decline" (San Diego Business Journal, January 8, 1996).
  • "Operating profit margin in 1995 was 8 percent, up from 5.6 percent in 1994" (San Diego Business Journal, January 8, 1996).

August 1996

  • "Riverside has the highest percentage of eligible employees participating in the Plan at 99.53%." A reference to Rohr's 401(k) Savings Plan (Rohr News).


  • September 22, 1997: The B.F. Goodrich Co. agreed to buy Rohr Inc. for $1.3 billion. Rohr had 4,550 employees worldwide (The San Diego Union-Tribune, September, 1997).


  • Rohr Chula Vista begins using Ren Shape TM 5168 boards "in the production of wing-engine nacelles for the MD 11 commercial aircraft" (American Machinist, May 1998).


  • In February, a 1950s era refurbished 10-ton drop hammer found in a salvage yard was moved to it's new downtown location next to the Chula Vista Museum (Chula Vista Living).
  • On March 27th, Rohr's historic Drop Hammer was dedicated (Chula Vista.)





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Last updated: 07-27-2020