Born: 1906. Died: 1965-01-01.
Roy W. Johnson was named the first director of the Department of Defense's Advanced Research Projects Agency and served from 1958-1959. As such, he was head of DoD's initial space efforts. Prior to joining the government, he worked for the General Electric Company and retired as an executive vice president.
To further the national space effort pending a decision as to permanent organization, the Secretary of Defense created the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), an organization under consideration since November 15, 1957.. ARPA was authorized to direct or perform advanced projects in the field of research and development. It was also empowered to deal directly with operational elements on all aspects of ARPA projects; for example, to bypass the Army Staff and the Chief of Ordnance in dealing with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency on what was to be the Saturn project. Roy W. Johnson was named ARPA Director. ARPA was to be a centralized group capable of handling direction of both outer space and antimissile-missile projects, whose duties in the space field were to bridge the gap until Congress could consider legislative proposals for the establishment of a National Space Agency.
Following a Memorandum of Agreement between Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) Director Roy W. Johnson on this date and a meeting on November 4, ARPA and AOMC representatives agreed to extend the Juno V project. The objective of ARPA Order 14 was changed from booster feasibility demonstration to "the development of a reliable high performance booster to serve as the first stage of a multistage carrier vehicle capable of performing advanced missions."
Maj. Gen. John B. Medaris of the Army Ordnance Missile Command (AOMC) and Roy W. Johnson of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) discussed the urgency of early agreement between ARPA and NASA on the configuration of the Saturn upper stages. Several discussions between ARPA and NASA had been held on this subject. Johnson expected to reach agreement with NASA the following week. He agreed that AOMC would participate in the overall upper stage planning to ensure compatibility of the booster and upper stages.
Roy W. Johnson, Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), testified before the House Committee on Science and Astronautics that DOD and ARPA had no lunar landing program. Herbert F. York, DOD Director of Defense Research and Engineering, testified that exploration of the moon was a NASA responsibility.