Monday, September 16, 2013

I had worked at the Washington Navy Yard in 1971-1972 as a computer programmer; don't know if I was in Building 197 but I might have been

I actually worked at the Washington Navy Yard myself as a “Mathematician” GS-9, from March 1, 1971 to September 22, 1972, at the Naval Command Systems Support Activity (NAVCOSSACT).  I left in 1972 to go to Univac in New Jersey.
My duties most concerned Fortran programming of a missile intercept simulation.  In those days, we punched cards (or had them punched from coding sheets) and submitted compiles and executes in batch and had to wait for them to come back.  Typically, you could get two compiles a day in.
I worked on the third floor of a four-story building not far from the Gate, and often parked on Water Street when I didn’t carpool.  We worked from 7 AM-3:30 PM.  The building was white and concrete.  I don’t know if it could have been Building 197, which could have been renovated with an atrium created in the intervening years.
There was an “inner sanctum” on the third floor for people with Top Secret clearances.  I had a Secret, but the results of my BI for the TS were ambiguous, but I was not asked to leave.
The Univac 1108 computer was on the fourth floor, along with the mailslots for submitting jobs.

I had gotten the job because I knew someone who worked there through chess clubs.  The particular individual had actually played a USCF rated match with me in 1965, and split four games.  (Black won all four games!)  I went to NOVCASSACT after my layoff from RCA in February 1971, my only layoff until 2001.  

Below is the NCIS Building (2008).  If someone knows what building NAVCOSSACT was in, please comment.  

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