In the USA, Gerhard Neumann became a legend, "Herman the German" made an unusual career at the engine-group General Electric. His life was just like a novel:

After having been an apprentice in a garage in Frankfurt an der Oder and having graduated from the engineer-school of Mittweida near Chemnitz he travelled to China in 1939, searching for a job. During the outbreak of World War II he got kept as hostile stranger by the British in Hong Kong. From 1941 on he served as Master Sergeant under General Chennault at the legendary Flying Tigers of the U.S.-Aircorps in China and also worked during dangerous missions behind the Japanese lines for the American Secret Service later.

In 1946 the German engineer was sent to Washington where he could report on the secrets of Japanese aircraft-engineering. The American Congress enabled the American citizenship for Gerhard Neumann by the so called "Lex Neumann" that was made only for him.

New plans for jobs failed in China. After an unbelievably adventurous, 16 000 km long trip through Asia in a Jeep, together with his American wife, Neumann settled down finally in the USA and reached the top of the gigantic engine-group General Electric within just few years.

The J79, the first jet-engine which enabled flights of mach 2 and which was built in series for the Starfighter and the Phantom belonged to his masterpieces. And finally General Electric got leading producer of Airbus-engines, by the help of the CF6, the first engine for civil aviation, built for the Airbus A300, the DC-10 and the Boeing 747.

"Herman the German" who could seal radiators with horse-dung and learned to build motor-parts from buffalo-horn did not only revolutionize the engineering of modern jet-engines with his practical-genious inventions: he was convinced that one had to get "dirty fingernails" in practical work in order to get successful in leading positions as well. His unconventional management-style got very popular in the USA. Gerhard Neumann's autobiography is adventure-novel and story of a fascinating part of the modern jet-era at the same time.

Gerhard Neumann
"China, Jeep und Jetmotoren - Vom Autolehrling zum Topmanager"
ISBN 3-925505-04-0
Aviatic Verlag
Planegg, 1989