Mr. James Hait was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 19, 1906 and graduated from Rennselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1928.
His record as an inventor, designer, developer, and producer of Ordnance materiel is unsurpassed by any other individual. His contribution to the free world's defense preparedness, as demonstrated by his contributions to Ordnance as an industrial executive since 1940, is uniquely outstanding. He conceived, designed, developed, and produced vehicles such as the Landing Vehicle Tracked (LVT) of World War II fame, the M59 Armored Personnel Carrier, and the world's first mass produced, aluminum armored combat vehicle, the M113 Armored Personnel Carrier.
He continuously produced vehicles that met stated military requirements at the lowest possible cost to the Government. He had a unique ability to sense the ultimate user's needs, and acted on those perceptions to design and develop the equipment desired. By 1950, his leadership within FMC (then called Food Machinery and Chemical Corporation) resulted in the corporation's dedication to a defense commitment of great proportions.
Mr. Hait founded, organized, and led the FMC Ordnance Division, which stands today as one of the free world's leaders in the design, development, and production of tracked military vehicles. That organization grew into the current FMC Defense Equipment Group, which designs and produces defense equipment for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps.