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A Range Rat
Information Page
For
=> Antigua AAFB, <=
=> ETR Tracking Station #9a <=

  • "I salute -- from my space helmet -- the Range Rats,
    the unsung heroes of the space race to the future."

    Buzz Aldrin, Gemini XII, Apollo XI
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    This is a new page, started: 01 NOVEMBER 2012

    ===>The below info/pictures were previously on the
    Introduction page and moved here,
    & am planning to add new info when possible. Stay tuned!<===


    This is a working page for information about the ETR Range Tracking Station #9a, Antigua AAFB (ANT AUXILIARY AIR FORCE BASE), and I will be adding info received as time permits. You as a former Radio Corporation of America (RCA) or Pan American Airways (PAA) down range employee (rangerats), or other downrange contractors can share information with me. If you have info. about your time at the ANT AAFB please send it to me. (Other contractor employeees who worked at this ETR station/base are also welcome to submit information).

    Click on the yellow box below to go back to the main page of the Range Rat Introduction page where you will find information about downrange people, where they worked, where they are now, their email address (if they wanted it published), what stations/ships they worked on, and news about those who have died etc etc.

    I now have a Range Rat Sign-in book, to be used exclusively by Range Rats (and their famlies) that you can leave a comment of your experience on the range, where you worked, etc, etc. (See the other entrys in this book for examples, if you leave a comment or message not relating to the range the entry will eventually be deleted, for instance a "Howdy" does not qualify as an entry!). You can give your email address (its not required but its requested) so that other range rats can contact you.

    Please do NOT use my "GUEST BOOK" to sign in, that book is for collectors who visit my website, and that is why I made a seperate book for use by Range Rats, called the Range Rat Sign In Book.

    Perhaps you are looking for someone who you used to work with that you lost contact with, you could include it in your message in the sign-in book, or better yet send me an email and I can include it on this page.

    Range Rat Sign-in Book

    If you worked on the Antigua AAF Base, I would like to hear from you.
    Send Email to Joe


  • 15 JAN. 2012: GRAHAM "SCOTTY" LONIE ACHIEVES A MILESTONE!:
    • The December 2011 issue of the CSR UPDATE Newsletter states that Graham Lonie has 46 years with the company in January 2012, evidently this includes his time when he started out with RCA in 1966, and CSR took over, and this time is all downrange. I know Scotty from downrange, the last time was when I was stationed at Ascension in 1971-72 and he was working there in Timing, he is now settled in at Antigua.
    • Scotty Lonie is on FACEBOOK, and if you want to contact him that way and wish him a 46th Anniversary, I know he would appreciate it, or send him an email. His email can be found by searching for him in my Range Rat Sign-in Book listing.

  • 01 JUNE 2008, WOODY BOZARDT MARRIED BY CHAPLAIN JOE KEIPER :

    • Steve Wooden sent this photo recently, it was published in the Aug 1961 Pan Am Clipper magazine. So I would imagine the wedding took place in July or Aug of 1961. Woody Bozardt was the RCA Instrumentation Manager at ANT. The caption that appeared under the photo read as follows:

      CHAPLAIN KEIPER PERFORMS WEDDING AT ANTIGUA.
      ABOVE: GMRD Chaplain Joe Keiper, right, recently performed his
      second down range wedding ceremony in the span of a few weeks when
      he united Ruby Byers, center, with Wilton Bozardt of RCA. Best man
      was Don Akerberg, left, and Maid of Honor was Mrs. Jayne Diverois.
      Setting was Antigua's Horizons Hotel. Chaplain Keiper also per-
      formed his first wedding held on a range base - at San Salvador.

    • You probably already know that Woody Bozardt is deceased. When I added the above picture and caption, the name DAN Akerberg didn't seem right and I asked if anyone had anymore info on him. I knew Akerberg when he was the Telemetry Manager at ANT and I was a telemetry electronic technician working for him when this picture was taken, but I thought his first name was DON.
      23 APR 2009 UPDATE: No one sent any info to me but Gordon Clarke sent him my internet address and he signed the Range Rat Sign-In Book on 06 April 2009. I was correct about his first name being DON instead of DAN, and so the caption below the picture has been corrected.

  • 31 OCT 2006: ANTIGUA AAFB & ASCENSION AAFB MAKES HISTORY ON 31 OCT 1957:
    • In October 1952, the Air Research and Development Command approved a plan to extend the Eastern Range's length to 5,000 miles to meet SNARK and NAVAHO missile testing requirements. Antigua, St. Lucia, Fernando de Noronha and Ascension were tentatively selected as host sites, and agreements were negotiated with the governments of Britain, St. Lucia, Brazil and Ascension to authorize construction.
    • The St. Lucia and Ascension agreements were signed on 26 June 1956, and the Brazilian Agreement was signed on 21 January 1957. Following an exchange of notes with the State Department, Britain granted the U.S. access to Antigua on 15 January 1957.
    • The Eastern Test Range supported its first 5,000-mile-long mission, a SNARK test flight, on 31 October 1957. This was when Antigua and Ascension AAFB supported their first missile launch and both stations were then declared operational.
    • It has been my practice to commemorate important space events and I thought it would be appropriate to mark this important date in the history of these two stations in 1977. Being a stamp collector who also collects special covers (envelopes), I also prepared and issued special commemorative covers (envelopes) for the 20th anniversary. The covers were then mailed to the islands for postmarking on that date of 31 Oct 1977 at the Antigua and Ascension postoffices. Examples of my efforts are shown below

      (In 1957 I was working in telemetry at the St. Lucia AAFB tracking station and so I too took part in tracking this particular Snark flight. In later years I also worked at both Antigua and Ascension tracking stations).
      FMF Local Post Antigua AAFB/Snark anniversary cover
      This special cover was issued by the FMF Local Post commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Antigua AAFB becoming operational by the tracking of a Snark missile.
      Snark launch
      A Snark missile launch.
    • To see the special envelope prepared for the Ascension anniversary click on this link:
      Ascension Cover

  • 25 JUNE 2006, THE SATELLITE CLUB, ANTIGUA TRACKING STATION:
    • Walt Wisnicky sent me this piece of info. last year (May 2005) about the Antigua club (Sorry Walt for the long delay in getting this on line)
    • In 1957, I was the guy who started the "club" in a single quonset hut. I had two wooden lawn chairs, a couple folding chairs and the ice had to be procured from the icehouse on base. It was put in two big barrels with a plank between and a cigar box for a cash register. It quickly became popular then and I got permission to move it to another quonset where it became the Satellite Club. I gave it the name because I was the Minitrack guy that had just returned from training for the first thing to stay in space on the U.S. side--I shudder to remember the sputniks that went up first.
      I ran the club for 1 and a half years, putting in a real bar, backbar, jukebox etc. I resigned the job after throwing the biggest party known at the time when I rented the fort (Fort James) for an all day blast--took the bartenders and all the booze up those 92 stairs to the parapet overlooking the harbor. Hired two bands: the Hell's Gate and the White Star to play. PanAm provided steaks on the beach and a great time was had by all.
      I worked on the range from 1956 to 1959, with RCA at St.Lucia, Antigua, Grand Turk. and was a Minitrack pioneer, also the Instrumentation Coordinator at Antigua. Received degrees-taught college on USN ships. I left Antigua to go to Grand Turk at the conclusion of the murder trial with Jack Burke--the company clerk then. Do you remember? I was the witness for Jack and at the conclusion of trial, they fired Jack and transferred me out for safety reasons. After a boring 6 months on Turk, I terminated. (In 1956 I was at St.Lucia for some 3-4 months then went to Washington D.C. for Minitrack training, back to St. Lucia and on to Antigua in '57).
      Joe, if you worked at any of the outlying sites on St. Lucia, I know you must have worked in some fashion with me. I was all over the telemetry, radar, comm, plotting board sites. Which reminds me, Bob Hankal was in radar in the trailer by the ops building. He died in 2004 in Orlando. I am in constant contact with Ben Juhl who alerted me to your site. He was on Antigua for a couple months and works intermittently for CSR with a lot of trips to Ascension. Well, more later. I'll be waiting to see if you recall any of this stuff.....Walter


    POSTAGE STAMPS ABOUT THE RANGE

    The left stamp issued by the USA on the day Astronaut John Glenn successfully splashed down in Grand Turk waters.
    The middle stamp issued by the Bahama Islands shows a radar antenna. Grand Bahama Island, Station No. 3, had a radar station.
    the right stamp issued by the Dominican Republic shows the Mercury capsule orbiting earth. There was a tracking station (No. 8) in the Dominican Republic, at Sabana de la Mar, in 1956, however (DOM) closed in 1957 long before the Mercury flights of 1960-63.

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    Range Rat Introduction Page.



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