Admiral Rickover Visits Chicago

By Harvey Rosenblum

While a Quality Assurance Manager at Westinghouse Plant Apparatus Division, prime contractor for the NNPP, I heard numerous stories from people I was in contact with regarding Admiral Rickover. A few of the stories dealt with his reluctance to spend his own money. In this regard, in 1973-74, prior to marrying Eleonore Bednowicz, any time he wanted to see her, he would always arrange for a business trip to either the large valve (A4W Nimitz Class Main Valves) supplier Crane Co., in south Chicago or the Westinghouse Mishawaka Test Lab in Mishawaka, IN. If the latter, he would fly into South Bend, IN. Our lab manager (Max S.) would pick him and take him to the lab (a few miles away). When done with business, Max would have to drive him to Eleonore’s residence in Chicago. On the way, Rickover was brutal. Chewing Max out for not following his directions (e.g., which would have resulted in going the wrong way on a one way street). He also left Max’s backseat in a shambles.

In regard to the wedding. Rickover arranged to have a business meeting at Crane Chicago on the day of the wedding. So, he was on a business trip. He took many trips to Crane. His classmate was VP of Engineering at Crane. (He was just as obnoxious) He ran the guys at Crane, as normal, thru the hoops. They had to work late that night to take action on his wishes. When the Crane managers got home that night they told their wives they had to work late because Rickover was in town. They responded, “Right. He’s in town to get married.”