- Posted August 16, 2013 by
Arnold Air Force Base, Tennessee
AEDC pioneer Dr. Wheeler 'Mac' McGregor leaves legacy behind
McGregor, who went to work for AEDC in 1951, was named an AEDC Fellow in 1990.
He was specifically honored for his technical leadership and scientific contributions in advancing state-of-the-art concepts in the area of non-intrusive diagnostic techniques and instrumentation in 2005.
A distinguished UTSI alum¬nus, McGregor is credited with helping to develop a nationally-recognized infrared signature measurement capability at AEDC and using the rocket test facilities to provide key ultraviolet signature data to the early Strategic Defense Initiative program, which subsequently evolved into the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization and ultimately became the Missile Defense Agency.
He also led the establishment of the Plume Data Center, currently known as the Advanced Missile Signature Center at AEDC, a national repository for plume signature data.
McGregor has also served on numerous national advisory panels to guide the development of the Joint Army Navy NASA Air Force plume codes. That data is used to plan space and satellite missions and to help determine national missile defense policy and research.
McGregor was a resident of Manchester. He was the author of many technical papers and published articles in the aerospace field. He was also a member of the founding board and chairman of the Alliance for Community Outreach.
A member of Forest Mill Church of Christ, he was the son of the late Wheeler Kesey and Emma Zada Turner McGregor Sr. He was married to Frankie Marie Simons McGregor who preceded him in death June 15, 2003. In addition to his wife and parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Gerald McGregor and sister-in-law, Eva Lois Underhill.
He is survived by three sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Betty Sue McGregor of Smyrna, Tenn. and William and Barbara Simons and Brown Underhill both of McMinnville; nieces and nephews, Gerry and Marlene McGregor and Melanie and Darryl Anderson both of Smyrna, Tenn. and Gentry and Charlotte Underhill, Donna and Rick Alexander, Cindy and Craig Tilton and Amy Orrick all of McMinnville; great-nieces and great-nephews, Delana McGregor, Matthew McGregor, Ben Anderson, Eric Anderson, Jarrod (Stacey) Underhill, Beth Underhill, Rickey (April) Alexander, Tim Alexander, Nathan (Tara) Tilton, Sarah Tilton, Hannah Tilton, Carissa Vaughn, Brittany Suydam, Ben Orrick and Jeremy Orrick and several great-great-nieces and great-great-nephews.
To read McGregor’s experiences about his beginnings at AEDC see www.arnold.af.mil/shared/media/document/AFD-110927-017.pdf or scan the QR code in the story with a smartphone.