Digital Presentations

Welcome to the launch of our new series of digital presentations titled “Dahlgren Museum Talks.” In the coming months, we’ll be offering an array of talks about interesting facets of Dahlgren history, some from presentations in the past and some that are brand-new.

July 2, 2020

Below is a link to our recent Facebook Live event with Ira and Gladys West. Hear Dr. Gladys & Ira West discuss how they overcame social and racial barriers to become technology pioneers beginning in the 1960’s. Gladys’ work led to the development of our modern Global Positioning System (GPS). She was also inducted into the Air Force Space and Missile Pioneers Hall of Fame. They are true Legends!

Dr. Gladys & Ira West – June 23, 2020

June 16, 2020

This month’s addition to our virtual series of Dahlgren talks is a memorable evening from 2016. The topic is the base’s evolution “From Proving Ground to R&D Center,” and the stellar panel included Jim Colvard, the iconic technical director at NSWCDD in the 1980s who passed away this year: Dr. Robert Gates, former department head at NSWCDD and former technical director at NSWC Indian Head; retired Dahlgren mathematician Elizabeth Agnew, the daughter of the late Russell Lyddane, technical director at NSWCDD in the 1950s; and CAPT Joseph McGettigan, the commander of NSWCDD in the early 2000s.

It’s an hour of brilliant insights into the extraordinary evolution of Dahlgren. It’s also a reminder of how sorely we miss our dear friend, Jim Colvard.

From Proving Ground to R&D Center: The dramatic evolution of the Dahlgren Naval Base


June 11, 2020

One of the Foundation’s Board Members, Dr. Robert Gates, recently had an article published in the Summer 2020 issue of Air Power History, the journal of the Air Force Historical Foundation. They have graciously granted us permission to share the article with our members here. Click the image or link below to open the article about the famed Norden Bombsight.

The Norden Bombsight and the U.S. Naval Proving Ground by Dr. Robert V. Gates


April 29, 2020

We begin with the video of “The Navy Comes to Dahlgren,” one of our most popular forums at the University of Mary Washington, Dahlgren Campus. It was offered in September of 2016, and featured as panelists longtime Dahlgren residents Brucie Gouldthorpe and the late Marybelle Ashton, as well as renowned King George historian Elizabeth Lee. They talk about the Dahlgren that existed before and shortly after the Navy established the base in 1918. Their presentations made for a memorable evening.

September 8, 2016 – The Navy Comes To Dahlgren