The very first African-American to be inducted into the Army Materiel Command’s Hall of Fame is Dr. Walter S. McAfee, who served 42 years as a scientist, educator, supervisor and mentor to the Communication-Electronics Command and the Fort Monmouth community.
He will be posthumously inducted into the 2015 class during a formal ceremony at AMC, Oct. 27.
McAfee served CECOM and Fort Monmouth from 1942 until his retirement in 1985. He helped create a vigorous, inclusive scientific community dedicated to advancing communications and electronics research, as well as paving the way for the advancement of minorities in the federal workplace. In 1971, McAfee was the first African-American employee of AMC to be promoted to GS-16, a “super-grade” civilian position, and predecessor of today’s federal Senior Executive Service.
“Dr. McAfee is one of those individuals whose contributions, both in communications technology and as a mentor to others, makes him an exceptional figure in CECOM’s history,” said Susan Thompson, CECOM historian. “His personal and professional qualities should be more widely appreciated, and therefore, I thought him an ideal candidate for the AMC Hall of Fame.”
Thompson nominated McAfee for the AMC Hall of Fame.
McAfee gained special recognition in 1946 with Project Diana by helping a team of scientists put a human imprint on the moon for the first time with radar. In the 1960s, McAfee developed sensors which were used to detect and track enemy movements during the Vietnam War. McAfee was one of the first recipients of the Army Research and Development Achievement Awards.
Originally an educator in the secondary school system in Columbus, Ohio, McAfee joined the Army Signal Corps in 1942 at then-Camp Evans, New Jersey, located near Fort Monmouth and beginning his long legacy in the AMC command structure.
McAfee was inducted into the Science Hall of Fame at his alma mater, Wiley College, Marshall, Texas, in 1982. He held a concurrent teaching position with Monmouth College from 1958 to 1975, lecturing in atomic and nuclear physics and solid state electronics.
McAfee died in 1995. He is survived by daughters Marsha Ann Bera-Morris of Washington, D.C., and Diane McAfee of San Jose, California.