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Video: The Last Of The Hush-Hush Boys Recalls How GE Built The First American Jet Engine

The year was 1941. World War II was raging in Europe and Nazi bombers over London were as common as rain. It was also when a group of GE engineers in Lynn, Massachusetts, received a secret present from His Majesty King George VI. Inside several crates were parts of the first jet engine successfully built and flown by the Allies. The engineers’ job was to improve on the handmade machine, bring it to mass production and help England win the war.

There were more than a thousand people working on the project, but only a few knew what they were building. One of them was Joseph Sorota, who became part of the inner circle as employee No. 5.Today, he might be the last living member of the team. “Our colleagues called us the Hush-Hush Boys,” said Sorota, 96, during a recent visit at his retirement home in Florida. “We couldn’t talk to anyone about our work. They told us that we could be shot.”

Watch his story. You can also read the full account here.

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