Ken Staten

Major General Ken Staten was a Missouri cattleman who was instrumental in the development of the B2 Stealth Bomber. He recently died and his family herd was dispersed on March 10.

Major General Ken Staten was a Missouri cattleman who was instrumental in the development of the B2 Stealth Bomber. He recently died and his family herd was dispersed on March 10.

A Missouri cattleman who was instrumental in the development of the B2 Stealth Bomber recently died and his family herd was dispersed on March 10. Major General Kenneth E. Staten passed away on his farm in Fayette, Missouri, in November 2018. He was 79 years old. James Reed, friend, said Staten was born in Manhattan, Kansas, on a farm. He watched planes fly overhead from nearby McConnell Air Base and after graduating from high school, he secured an appointment to the third class of the U.S. Air Force Academy where he received a bachelor’s degree in military science in 1961. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 1974. Staten was a command pilot with over 4,500 flying hours in more than 45 different types of aircraft. As a fighter pilot, he flew 265 combat missions in the F-100 in Vietnam. He also flew the F-100 in England and the F-4 in Thailand. After returning from Vietnam, Staten turned his attention to the testing and development of new aircraft and weapons system. In 1969, he completed the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School, now known as the Test Pilot School, and remained as an instructor. Later in his career, Staten returned as Commandant of the school. “Ken’s experience in Vietnam and the problem of radar detection by the enemy, led him to search for an innovative solution to create planes the enemy could not see,” Reed said. In 1975, Staten became special assistant to the deputy chief of staff for research and development at The Pentagon where he was part of the cadre of five officers that initiated the low observables “stealth” program. He was the initial project manager of the F-117 Nighthawk, the first aircraft to be designed around stealth technology. The Nighthawk was shrouded in secrecy until it was revealed to the public in 1988. Technology developed by Staten’s team ultimately led to the F-117, B-2 Bomber, F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lighting II multi-role fighter. Reed said during the weekends Staten would go to his farm in northern Virginia and help his daughters raise and show Polled Hereford Cattle. “The connection was evident in the code

A Missouri cattleman who was instrumental in the development of the B2 Stealth Bomber recently died and his family herd was dispersed on March 10.

Major General Kenneth E. Staten passed away on his farm in Fayette, Missouri, in November 2018. He was 79 years old.

James Reed, friend, said Staten was born in Manhattan, Kansas, on a farm. He watched planes fly overhead from nearby McConnell Air Base and after graduating from high school, he secured an appointment to the third class of the U.S. Air Force Academy where he received a bachelor’s degree in military science in 1961. He earned a master’s degree from the University of Southern California in 1974.

Staten was a command pilot with over 4,500 flying hours in more than 45 different types of aircraft. As a fighter pilot, he flew 265 combat missions in the F-100 in Vietnam. He also flew the F-100 in England and the F-4 in Thailand.

After returning from Vietnam, Staten turned his attention to the testing and development of new aircraft and weapons system. In 1969, he completed the U.S. Air Force Aerospace Research Pilot School, now known as the Test Pilot School, and remained as an instructor. Later in his career, Staten returned as Commandant of the school.

“Ken’s experience in Vietnam and the problem of radar detection by the enemy, led him to search for an innovative solution to create planes the enemy could not see,” Reed said.

In 1975, Staten became special assistant to the deputy chief of staff for research and development at The Pentagon where he was part of the cadre of five officers that initiated the low observables “stealth” program. He was the initial project manager of the F-117 Nighthawk, the first aircraft to be designed around stealth technology. The Nighthawk was shrouded in secrecy until it was revealed to the public in 1988. Technology developed by Staten’s team ultimately led to the F-117, B-2 Bomber, F-22 Raptor and the F-35 Lighting II multi-role fighter.

Reed said during the weekends Staten would go to his farm in northern Virginia and help his daughters raise and show Polled Hereford Cattle.

“The connection was evident in the code names given to Stealth projects that were in actuality the names of popular Polled Hereford Bulls at the time,” Reed said. “The program was christened “Senior Trend” after Kiyiwana New Trend which was the breed’s first designated Superior Sire.”

After the Stealth program, he continued in the military including becoming the commander for the 6510th Test Wing at Edwards AFB in California where he was responsible for all flight test activities at the world’s largest flight test base.

His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal with oak leaf cluster, Defense Superior Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Medal with 14 oak leaf clusters.

He married his wife Carol Nicholl in April 1963 and they were married 55 years. Their daughters are Heather Staten and Courtney Bramon.

After winding down his career in the military, he developed a respected herd of cattle on a historic farm in Missouri called Lilac Hill. He also owned land in Mulvane, Kansas.

He was the owner for Lilac Hill Polled Herefords in Missouri for 26 years. He served on the Missouri Hereford Association board for five years including time as president. He was instrumental in merging Missouri’s Polled Hereford and Horned Hereford Associations to better serve breeders. In 2012, he was inducted into the association’s hall of fame.

The average sale record for the Lilac Hill Farm dispersion event this month was $2,439. The top selling bull was Lot 1, herd bull, Lilac Target 22S 36C that sold for $3,900.

The cattle were sold in rapid fashion to buyers from Texas, Tennessee, Arkansas, Illinois and Missouri.

Margaret Slayton can be reached at news@greenacressells.com.