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This page was updated: 05 AUG 2013
I AM SO FAR BEHIDE IN UPDATING THESE RANGE RAT PAGES,
BUT BEAR WITH ME I'LL BE WORKING ON BRINGING THEM UP TO DATE....
SORRY FOLKS, HEALTH REASONS AND PERSONAL BUSINESS
HAS KEPT ME FROM THESE PAGES
SO I WILL BE ADDING MORE NEWS, AS TIME PERMITS.
some news may be old news, but NEW to this site,
Look for the RED highlights for AUGUST 2013 information.
(Scroll down to see the 01 JUN. 2013 entry,
where I have NEW info. on Charlie Michael )
(Blue entrys are for older updates)
If you worked on the range, I would like to hear from you, especially if you know of any range rats who have passed on and not listed below. If you can provide any information about where they worked and what years, the year they died etc etc it would be helpful. You can see from many of the below entrys what type of info has been supplied.
If you know any of the range rats listed on this page and want to send more info. about them, you can do that too.
If you are a range rat who just found my website, be sure to check the "Range Rat Introduction Page" (there is a link at the bottom of this page), and also make an entry in the Range Rat Sign-In Book (not to be confused with the Guest book!).
(If you have signed in before, only make a new entry if you have an update or want to make a new comment).
Send Email to Joe
"One less Range Rat is not a good thing".
(The below list is mainly for Range Rats who have died, however there are some people listed who were up-range people, which were included as I did not know their status, and so I am leaving them on the list. In the future, please only send me info. about Range Rats who have worked on the down range islands or ships.)
NOTE: CHANGES MADE TO THIS PAGE ON 01 JUNE 2013:
This page has gotten to be too large, with all of the reports of deaths starting from 2005 through 2013, and so I have split up the reports into 3 seperate pages as follows:
Page ONE (this page) will contain the alphabetical list (above) of known deaths of range rats/ship rats as reported by other range rats. And will also include the most recent reports of the deaths for 2009 through 2013.
Page TWO will contain the reports from range rats that were received in 2007-2008 and can be found by clicking here.
Page THREE will contain the reports from range rats that were received in 2005-2006 and can be found by clicking here.
Please take a look at these other pages (2 and 3) and review them to see if you knew any of these range rats/ship rats who have died. Perhaps you can send additional information about them
In many cases there is hardly any information provided, except for the name of the individual and where he worked.
Send Email to Joe
05 AUG. 2013, JIM HALPAPE DEATH REPORTED BY BOB JOHNSON:
- Bob sent me an email at the end of July saying:
"Joe, Just wanted to let you know Jim, (James Robert Halpape), passed away on 14 September 2012. Jim was 79 at the time. I first met Jim at Pretoria in May 1965 as he was on his way to GBI. He transferred to Antigua in the fall of 1966 and stayed PCS at Antigua until the big layoff in 1970. He was stationed at Ely, Nevada until 1977 and went to California. He was employed by NBC Los Angeles until sometime in the mid 1980's and then returned to Florida. I kind of lost track of him after that.... Bob."
- I also remember working with Jim at Grand Bahama telemetry in the mid 1960's. Jim's passing was also reported on Scotty Lonie's Facebook page in Sept. 2012 just showing Jim's photo.
- Jim was one of the early signers to my Range Rat Sign-in Book way back in April 2005, although he didn't tell anything about his life downrange, he did pen this: "One of the most memorable, beautiful parts of my Life with great Friends and some times long hard hours of work."
- If you also knew Jim Halpape and have more info about him, send me an email and I can post it here.
05 AUG. 2013, FRANK HOLT NELSON'S DEATH REPORTED BY DAUGHTER:
- Karen Nelson Damron (Pikeville, KY) emailed me of the passing of her father in June 2013, she wrote:
"I saw the link to your webpage on the USNS Gen. H.H. Arnold crew and fans page on Facebook. My father, Frank Holt Nelson was what I guess you call a 'Range Rat'. He worked for RCA tracking missiles on various ships (Arnold, Vandenburg, Redstone, and Observation Island) from about 1964 to 1994. After retiring, he
lived the rest of his life in El Paso TX. Unfortunately, he passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack on 16 October 1999 at the age of 68."
- If you also knew Frank Holt Nelson and have some info to add about him, share it with me and eventually it will be added here.
05 AUG. 2013, SISTER REPORTS DEATH OF DON CLARKE, JR.:
- The sister of Donald "Don" Clarke,Jr. sent me info on his passing and I reported it in the Range Rat Sign-in Book in JUN 2013, until I could add it to this page, (its now been deleted from the Sign-in book).
- This is what Christie Michael sent:
"Don passed on in Feb. of 2002. After serving in the USAF, Don hired on with RCA as a radar tech. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but here is a general time frame for his down range time. During the early 60's, Don spent brief times on GBI, San Sal, Dom Rep. and GTK. In '63 he went to Ascension for 18 months on the FPS-16
radar. In early '65 he went to the Bermuda GLOTRAC site for 18 months. Late in '66 his next station was GBI as a chief tech. I believe he went to Trinidad in '68 for about 18 mos. His last station was Madagascar until about July of 1975. He came back to the States (Maryland), worked for Bendix until he retired, and then moved to Florida. He really enjoyed his work and working with his fellow RR's."
- Did you know Don Clarke, Jr., if so and want to share something about him, just send me an email.
05 AUG. 2013, DEATH OF JOHN WEBER REPORTED:
- In Feb 2013 Kathy Gilson Johnson (Boulder MT) emailed me that John Weber had passed away 12 Feb. 2013, of cancer. Kathy said he was a retired Pan Am diver and used to travel the range.
- If you also knew John Weber and have some new info to add about him, or are aware of his obituary, please share it with me since we have so little info.
01 JUN. 2013, RECEIVED REPORT OF DEATH OF WAYNE MELTON:
- A few days ago John Boa, of Ruskin FL emailed me this report:
- "This appeared in the obit notice in the Tampa Bay Times dated Sunday May 19, 2013. Wayne Melton died unexpected on 13 May 2013. Funeral services were held on Tuesday May 21st at 11 AM at St. Mary Catholic Church. Wayne worked for Pan Am Security at both Antigua and GBI late 1960's. Some may remember him as attending the Range Rat reunion at Jim Irby's last October."
- You can read the full obit of Wayne Melton, who passed away on 13 MAY 2013 by clicking here. . The obit didn't say how old Wayne was or give his date of birth.
- I do remember Wayne from either GBI or ANT as I worked both stations. If you have some downrange info. to share about Wayne please send it and I will publish it on this page.
01 JUN. 2013, DEATH OF DONALD DELMAR BERGSTROM REPORTED:
- Ben Hartley sent me the info. on Don's passing on 25 May 2013, saying that Donald Bergstrom, of Merritt Island, age 77, (born 26 Nov. 1935) had died 14 May 2013. Arrangements by Island Cremations Service. I entered this info. in the Range Rat Sign-in Book on 25 May so that other people who knew Don could attend him memorial service that was held on 31 May in Cocoa FL. (The RR Sign-in Book entry has now been deleted)
- Ben said he knew Don when they worked together on Grand Turk in 1957-58 and on Ascension Island 1959-60.
- Don wrote a good report of his range activities in the Range Rat Sign-in Book on 21 MAY 2005, which you can read in the RR Book, by clicking here
and searching for Bergstrom.
01 JUN. 2013, BILL REDMAN REPORTS DEATH OF DON VICKERY:
- Bill emailed me in April 2013 as follows: "Joe, It's just come to my attention, that Don Vickery is absent from your obituary list. Don's been dead for quite a few years, and I didn't know him that well, but he worked in communications in South Africa, Ascension and Antigua that I know of. Once again, maybe there's some troops out there that could add some more details to Don's downrange history. Thanks."
- If you also knew Don Vickery and have some new info to add about him, please share it with me since we have so little info. as it is.
01 JUN. 2013, KEN HARPSTER'S DEATH REPORTED BY CHARLIE WRIGHT:
- In April 2013 Charlie put the below notice in the Range Rat Sign-in Book:
- "Joe, when you update the roll of the dead please add the name of Ken Harpster. His wife Josh wrote me some time ago of his death, of lung cancer. Ken was a long time early range Pan Am DGO and mechanic, serving at ASI (ASC) and SJH that I know of. He married into an old Antigua family and had a home at Paradise View, and "Paradise" it was, overlooking Dickenson Bay (Halycon Cove) and all the way to Ft James at SJH. He is buried at the National Cemetary at Puerto Rico.
Thanks again for this site, Joe. I hope you get to feeling better soon... keep up the good work."
- Now that I've added Charlies info. here, I've deleted his entry in the RR Sign-in Book. Charlie used the abbreviation of "SJH", I'm not familiar with that abbbrev., who can tell me where that is?
- Anyone else who knew Ken Harpster, and/or worked with him, share your info. with me and I'll post it here.
01 JUN. 2013, BILL REDMAN REPORTS DEATH OF CHARLES MICHAEL:
- I heard from Bill in March 2013 and this is what he wrote:
- "Joe: Unfortunately here is another name for your obituary column: Charles Michael. Charlie, as he was known to his friends was a Telemetry engineer at Ascension in the early 60's. I believe after his downrange time he also worked in the PAFB/Cape area. I first met Charlie in 1963 at the Rock. He was known to play a mean trumpet at some of the parties at the Pan Am beach. He was also an avid skin diver, and a member of the Ascension diver's club. Charlie's obituary can be found in the Florida Todays paper."
- UPDATE 05 AUG. 2013, CHARLIE'S WIFE CHRISTIE RESPONDS WITH THE DETAILS:
This was entered in the Range Rat Sign-in Book on 08 JUN 2013 (which I am now transferring over to this page):
"Charlie Michael hired on with RCA in May of '62. He went to FPS-16 radar training (instr. J.P.Ring) at Patrick AFB and then spent 4 weeks TDY on GBI. In July '62, he went back to PAFB for class on the 1206 computer (instr. L. Jernigan). In Oct. '62 he went back to GBI, and then (I believe)on to Ascension, but he was only there briefly. In early Dec. '62 he went to PAFB for training on the Infra-Red system, MILGO, and the 484 computers. Classes ended in Feb. '63 and he went to ASC for 18 months. He belonged to the ASC. Skin Divers Club and really enjoyed it. Next was GLOTRAC training on Eleuthera, which ended in Feb. '65. However, instead of going to a GLOTRAC site, they sent him back to ASC for 6 months to work on the Nike-Zeus system. He was then sent to the GLOTRAC site on Bermuda in Aug. of '65. At that time, Whit Wash(spelling?) was site mgr. Whit left in April of '66 to work at the "Cape" and Charlie was made site mgr. In Nov. '66, Bendix took over the Bermuda GLOTRAC site. Charlie stayed with RCA, but was kept on the site as a consultant until the end of Feb. '67. RCA then transferred him to the Antigua GLOTRAC site in Mar. '67 and we lived there until Oct. '68. After coming back to the States, he worked at PAFB Tech Lab for 2 years. He got caught in the big '70's layoff, but returned to Kennedy Space Center and worked in telemetry at Hanger A & E for the next 28 years. He retired in June of 2000. He will be forever missed."
- You can read the full obit of Charles Michael, age 74 who passed away on 02 MAR 2013 by clicking here. There is a photo of Charlie and also a guestbook if you wish to sign it.
01 JUN. 2013, I FOUND OUT THAT JAMES STOUGHTON HAS PASSED AWAY:
- In my spare? time I like to search the web for Range Rats who I knew and to see what info. I can find. This past Jan. 2013, I discovered in a genealogy Bank that Jim Stoughton had died on 27 FEB 2012 in Indiana at the age of 85 years. He was born 24 APR 1926. No other info. was given.
- I knew Jim on GBI as an acquaintance during the 1960s and early 1970s, I believe he worked somewhere in communications, with RCA. He was a quite guy who seemed to get along with everybody. I remember he always rode a bicycle wherever he went.
- If you also knew Jim Stoughton, and what other island stations (or ships, he worked on) or any other info. you'd like to share it would be appreciated.
11 JAN 2013, RR WILLIAM ERNEST WILLIAMSON OBIT FOUND ON THE WEB:
- On 04 Jan 2013 while I was seaching for Range Rat Obituarys on the web, I found this one, and so far no one else has reported it to me. From what I read in the obit, it seems and I am assuming it to be that of "Willy" Williamson.
- A couple of Range Rats who signed my RR sign-in book mentioned Willy but he never did sign in himself. I have heard others mention his name too but I never had the opportunity to meet him.
- Part of the obit that refers to the Range is as follows:
"He worked for RCA at the Atlantic Missile Range during the “Man in Space” program as Communications Engineer at Cape Canaveral and as Communications Manager at the down range tracking stations on Antigua and Ascension Islands. He was a computer software engineer with Digital Equipment Corp for a number of years before retiring in 1992."
- You can read the full obit of William Williamson, age 85 who passed away on 24 DEC 2012 in Roanoke VA, by clicking here.
- This piece was also mentioned in the obit that I bet most other RRs didn't know: "After retirement he was elected to New Hampshire House of Representatives where he sat on the Education Committee."
- If you also knew "Willy" Williamson and have some new info to add about him, share it with me and eventually it will get put in here.
10 DEC 2012, DEATH OF TOM CHRISTENSON:
- Jack Tolman, yesterday, was the first to report the death of Tom Christenson with a forwarded report from "RonB" (a name not familiar to your editor). The report said:
"I talked with Tom Christenson's wife today and she told me that Tom had died on Tuesday 04 Dec 2012. He died as a result of a massive heart attack. Tom was 80 years old. I first met Tom in 1960 at San Salvador. He worked for RCA at the missile tracking station on San Sal. Later he came to Trinidad and married a Trinidad girl. (signed) RonB"
- So far I have not found an online obit. When I do it will be reported here. If you also knew Tom Christenson and worked with him downrange, send me an email so I can report it here.
04 DEC 2012, JACK TOLMAN REPORTS DEATH OF LEX ADAMS :
I did see Lex mentioned in the Topica Range Rat Message Board, and below are some comments about people who knew him or sent me info. direct:
Tolman forwarded this info from Larry L Smith on 23 Dec '11: "Lex goes back to the late 50's with RCA and was at GBI for several years working at the Radars. He came to Antigua as Radar Leader at the 91.18 MIPIR in the mid 60's and was Radar Manager at Ascension in the late 60's. After the post Apollo "readjustments" he worked at Grand Turk in Command Destruct. In the 70's he was the Sigma Five computer engineer at GBI. He finished his RCA career doing a cutting edge technical/operating job running the original RCA Tech Training Video Studio at PAFB. I can still smell the cigar and remember his obsequious "Bat Shit" stamp. He was a true gentleman, a super technical guy and a great fisherman and story teller. Ray Edester would know more details as he was a long time friend and cohort with Lex."
Elliot Phillips, RDR 3.13 Ldr, 77-82 wrote on 23 Dec 2011: " Hi Joe; Sorry to hear about Lex Adams. He was at GBI in July of 1964 when I arrived. He was assigned to the TPQ-18 which was about 4 miles east of the main base at that time. I believe he left down range and went to the Cape around 1976-77. He was assigned to the radar 3.13 just prior to heading to the Cape. He was a great friend and came in contact to hundreds of personnel in his years up & Down range."
On 24 Dec '11, Jim Eubanks sent me this: "I went into GBI Radar from GBI Communications in Feb 59 by urging from Andy Long. At the end of 59 or early 60 I went to FPS-16 School. I believe Lex went to 16 school about that time. That was a long time ago and my memory isn’t very good any more. I made Leader some time in 1961 and Lex was made Chief Tech/Crew Chief (we had two shifts, Pete Bray was the other Chief Tech.) Richard (Dick) Marchant was one of two site Radar Engineers, he and Lex were like brothers, always together. Ray Edister was another usually found with Dick and Lex, they were often called the Three Musketeers'. They often fished at the old Owens of Illinois landing at North Riding Point. I left GBI in Oct. 1963 and the crew was still there."
Jerry Blackerby wrote on 29 Dec '11, saying: "I first met Lex Adams on GBI when I arrived about the first of August or end of July in 1958. I wrote a story about "Downrange Characters" and there is a part about Lex at the bottom of it, you can read it by clicking here." .
Ray Edister also emailed me on 24 Dec '11 about Lex, but there was nothing new that hasn't already been mentioned here.
Thanks guys for the above info. If you also knew Lex Adams and have some new info to add about him, share it with me and eventually it will get put in here.
- Its been about a year since Tolman sent me info on the death of Lex Adams, and somehow the info. got misplaced until I started reading some of my old emails, sorry about that folks.
On 22 Dec. 2011, Tolman was the first to forward me what little info he knew, I tried to find an obit then but couldnt. Found one today but it didnt have much there and its old, it read:
"Lex William Adams, of Cottrell Hill Road, Lenoir (NC), died Monday, December 19, 2011 at Caldwell Memorial Hospital. No services are planned at this time. Greer-McElveen Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements."
12 NOV 2012: DEATH OF STACEY TABOR REPORTED:
- Kevin Bunker, of Melbourne FL wrote this on 05 NOV 2012, in the RR Sign-in book: "It is with great sadness to announce that another Range Rat has slipped away from us. For those who had the pleasure of knowing Stacey Tabor, you will know the void his family and friends will experience. Stacy was a veteran of Ascension Island, Grand Bahamas Island, and JDMTA. To his coworkers and friends, Stacy’s devotion was second to none. He will be missed but never forgotten. Rest easy."
- Stacey passed away on 02 NOV. 2012, from bladder cancer, at his home in Loxahatchee, FL, at the age of 58. His obit says "He devoted his working career to space tracking programs for NASA, the Air Force, and Navy." You can read the full obit by clicking here. . There is a photo of Stacey, as well as a guest book.
- Did you know Stacey Tabor, if so and want to share something about him, just send me an email.
28 OCT. 2012, JACK TOLMAN REPORTS DEATH OF "SPEEDY" COLLIER:
- Jack was the first one to notify me on 25 Oct. that Dwight A. "Speedy" Collier had passed away, it was a text message he was received with a few lines of when the funeral was.
- I went online seaching for a obit, and found out this one from the funeral home:
Dwight A. “Buddy” Collier, age 80, a native of Silverhill, AL and a resident of Ft. Payne, AL died Wednesday, October 24, 2012. Mr. Collier Served in the United States Navy. He was a licensed chemist and earned many accomplishments in the fields of chemistry and aerospace engineering. He was employed by N.A.S.A. and Radio Corp. of America (RCA) specifically in the Atlantic Missile Range field."
Graveside funeral services were held 26 Oct. 26 2012. You can read the full obit by clicking here.
- I first met Speedy at Grand Turk either in the late '50s or early '60s at Grand Turk Telemetry, and we have been friends ever since until the day he passed away. I think he was liked by just about everyone.
- Fred Perkins, wrote this about Speedy: "Thanks for letting me know about Speedy Colliers passing Joe.I believe the only station I worked with Speedy was on Grand Turk in the 1958-1960 time period.I remember him as being heavily into coin collecting at the time. Speedy also did a little writing on the side. If I remember correctly, he wrote a children's book called "Kathy Goes to Mars" and i think a sequel, but I don't know the title. Also he helped Pan Am Admin Supervisor Tom Elder write his autobiography, which was entitled "Travels and Explorations - a trilogy about Travel, Hypnosis and Anomalies"."
- Arbe "Barney" McDowell emailed me: "I knew Speedy well. I remember the childrens book he wrote and was published titled “Cathy goes to Mars”. I knew him downrange and later on the USNS Redstone."
- "And a tear falls gently from my eye. A loss of a truely special individual. As are you Joe. Thank you for the glue that holds the range experience together." was what Danny Sylvester emailed me upon learning of the death of Speedy Collier.
- Chuck Elgas, C.P. "Rick" Sherlock, and Richard Maniag also sent brief comments about knowing Speedy Collier.
Editors Note. Speedys book is actually titled "Kathy's Visit to Mars, (An Adventure Story for Children)" and is currently selling online for $35.00 used but in good condition. I know he also wrote: "The Little Girl Who Could Perform Miracles".
Does anybody know any other books Speedy has had published? I know that some of his stories have appeared in the MTP news, usually around Christmas time.
21 OCT. 2012, JOE MAKEEVER SENDS IN A CORRECTION:
- Joe contacted me 18 OCT 2012 to let me know the correct spelling of Jack Louthan, as I had it misspelled as "Jack Loudhan", when I first entered the info. back on 16 JAN 2010, and that entry of 16 JAN 2010 has now been corrected.
21 OCT. 2012, THE ISLANDER NEWSPAPER REPORTS DEATH OF A RR:
- IN THE 27 MARCH 2011 issue of the Islander newspaper (on line) it reported a RR death in their email "Weekly Headlines from The Islander Newspaper". The article read in part:
- "This past week, we lost a dear friend and colleague on the US Base. Rebecca Sue Wilson passed away on 14 March 2011, at home in Rockledge, Florida, surrounded by her family. Becky’s illness struck so swiftly, and progressed so quickly, that it is even more difficult to believe that she has left us."
- I did an online search for her obituary, but it did not say anything about her downrange work, only that she was 61 when she passed. You can read the obit by clicking here.
- Rebecca did sign the RR Sign-in Book on 11 NOV 2005, with this comment:
I spent four years (1998-2002) on Ascension (at radar and comm) and loved it. Now I'm at CCAFS and missing the island! The best part is that I made several life long friends there.
- Did you know Rebecca Sue Wilson? If so, email me with some more info. so it can be shared here.
28 JULY 2012, CARL WINKENHOFER PASSES AWAY ON 16 JULY 2012 :
- Today, 28 July 2012, Elliot Phillips sent me an email concerning the passing of Carl Winkenhofer stating: "I received the news of Carl Winkenhofer's passing on July 16th. Wink worked on the ETR from the early 1950's to 1970's when he transferred to AUTEC where he worked until his retirement. Wink was my first boss when I arrived at GBI in 1963. He was the ADDAC/Range Safety Leader at that time. Wink lived in Lantana/Lake Worth after his retirement. We attended the Reunions at Melbourne together each spring for many years until his decline. Wink was 81 years old."
- Elliot also mentioned that the obit was in the Palm Beach Post newspaper. I now have found it and you can read it by clicking here. There is no photo of Carl however there is a guest book.
- I remember Carl when I also worked at GBI TLM during the 1960's, but over time I cannot remember what he looked like. Unfortunately Carl also did not sign the RR Sign-in Book. It would have been nice to have his background recorded in his own words.
- If you also knew Carl Winkenhofer and want to share something about him, just send me an email.
UPDATED 26 JULY 2012, DEATH OF ED MONCHAK REPORTED:
- Leon Lacy sent me an email on 21 July 2012, that Edward M. Monchak had passed away, saying: "I hate to be the bearer of bad news but Ed had a massive heart attack at work at about 4PM Friday afternoon (the 20th July). The EMTs administered CPR as he had a slight pulse but Ed passed away later Friday night."
- Ed wrote a good detailed report of his range activities in the Range Rat Sign-in Book on 20 APR. 2005, which you can read in the RR Book, by clicking here
and searching for Monchak.
- THE UPDATE, 26 JULY 2012, I now have found an online obit for Ed. You can read it by clicking here. There is a photo of him and also a guest book.
- Did you know Ed Monchak? If so, email me with some more info. so it can be shared here.
23 JULY 2012, TOLMAN SEND INFO ON DEATH OF A FRIEND:
- Now this is going way back in my RR notes... Jack Tolman emailed me in Dec. 2010 about a Range Rat by the name of Wayne E. Jones saying that Wayne had died at least 30-40 years ago (which would make it mid 1960s to 1970s). Jack wrote: "He was my Tlm leader at Ascension Telemetry in the early 60's and was the leader of Telemetry shops at PAFB and was sent down to Ascension to help us out at the Telemetry site. He worked both up and down range in the Telemetry field. He was also a super sharp Amateur radio operator (HAM), who could build anything from scratch."
- Who else knew Wayne E. Jones and can provide more info. about him? Having a name like Jones, its hard to find anything by seaching the web. Can you help? Maybe some of you early RR HAMS remember him?
23 JULY 2012, DEATH OF ROBERT DUBOWSKY NOTED:
- In my spare time, I seach the web for anyone who worked downrange and have died, and found the obit of Satellite Beach FL resident Robert Dubowsky. Part of the obit intrigued me, as it reads: "After retiring from the military in 1964 he continued a career in the Civil Service at the Eastern Test Range as a down range manager for multiple missile projects over a period of 20 years."
- Robert did know of my RR pages and sent me this email in 2005: "Hello, During the years 1964 - 1984, I was employed by the then Eastern Test Range at Patrick AFB, Florida. I made seven or eight trips to Ascension. The most memorable was the trip in 1982 during the Falklands War. I shall enjoy reading what is happening at Ascension and will appreciate your placing me on your mailing list. Thank you, Robert Dubowsky, Satellite Beach, Florida", I emailed him back and told him about the Range Rat Sign-in book but heard nothing further from him. Robert died 05 Feb. 2011 at the age of 89.
- You can read the Dubowsky obituary by clicking here. There is a photo of him and a guest book.
- I am wondering who knew Robert and if he was PSC downrange, where and when did he work downrange, etc. Did you know him? Anything you can tell me would be appreciated, so send me an email and share your info.
17 JULY 2012, FRED PERKINS REPORTS DEATH OF CARROLL L. WRIGHT:
- On 09 July 2012, Fred emailed me the following info: "My wife received a call from Lou Wright, Carroll Wright's wife, to say that Caroll had passed away.
He died on 03 July 2012, as his home in Lutz FL, (north of Tampa). Caroll was 86."
- You can read Carroll's obituary by clicking here. There is a photo of him and you can also sign the guest book if you wish.
- Fred said he worked with Carroll for many years on Antigua, where he was Site Chief at the Command site. He knew Carroll spent some time on Fernando many years earlier, where he met his wife Lou, but is not sure what other range stations he worked at.
- Did you know Carroll Wright? Can you provide additional info? If so, why not email me with some more info. about him.
17 JULY 2012, DEATH OF GEORGE JONES REPORTED:
- On 06 July 2012, Paul Hagen of Eva, AL sent me the following info : "I worked with a gentleman named George Jones in Huntsville. I learned he had been on the Range and that he had been at Antigua. As I remember, he was there supporting the early radars, prior to any MIPIR installation. I believe he was PCS there as he told me his wife was with him. He passed away 5 or 6 years ago, in 2006 or 2007. He had lived in Huntsville or vicinity for many years. Does anyone remember him?"
- Who else remembers George and can provide more info of his time on the range, what islands and approx. what years? You can email me with your info., Thanx.
01 JUNE 2012, MANY RRs SENT AN EMAIL OF THE PASSING OF STAYLOR T. "BILL" GOUGH:
- Received many emails, on the death of Bill Gough mostly the forwarding the one from Bill's ex-wife, Gail, as follows:
Gregg's Dad, Bill Gough, passed away a few days ago.
If you could let the old "range rats" know, we'd sure appreciate it - thanks.
4721 Canard Road, Melbourne, FL 32934
- I knew Bill too, having worked with him for many years at GBI in the 1960s and early 1970's, we kept in touch for many years after I left the range. I do know that he later went to Ascension to work, I tried to contact him there but had no luck.
- John Gladden emailed me: "I knew Bill from both GBI and Antigua and saw him after he was back in the US working at TEL-4. Bill's real name was Staylor T. Gough."
- Gene Pugh had added a post (now deleted) in the Range Rat Sign-in Book on May 31: "Just received a sad email that Bill Gough (TLM - Downrange and CCAFS) had passed away a few days ago. No other details known."
- If you knew or worked with Bill Gough, send me an email with your comments so it can be noted here.
09 MAY 2012, FAMILY NOTIFIES ME OF DEATH OF FLETCHER FULLER:
- The day that Fletcher died, a short email message was received stating "Please be advised that Fletcher Fuller passed on 02 May 2012." and also sent additional info. about a memorial but no date was given.
- Fletcher has emailed me In Feb. 2012 from Alaska, asking about info. on the RR-RCA reunion, and I passed the info. to him and also asked him to sign the RR sign-in book on my website, but never heard from him again.
- Glenn Brown was the first to send me some info about his friend after I emailed RRs asking for details about Fletcher Fuller. Glenn wrote: "Fletch and I were friends and co-workers starting in 1963. We were the first operational crew on the Grand Turk TPQ-18 radar. He and his wife, Adelle, stayed on Turk for about 2 years. They lived off-base and I got invited to lots of house parties because of them. Then he went to Antigua for a tour. I dont know just when he left the range and went to work for the RCA Depot Team. I had some friends on the Depot Team, so I usually knew what Fletch was up to. Somewhere along the way, he and Adelle were divorced. In one recent email from him he had planned to attend the RR RCA reunion but he didnt show up."
- LL Smith emailed me with additional info., saying: "I received notice from Fletcher Fuller's former wife, Adelle, that Fletcher passed away on 02 May 2012 in Anchorage, Alaska. He had suffered with heart problems and bladder
cancer. Fletch had a long career with RCA going back to BMEWS in the early
60's and then was at Grand Turk for installation of the MIPIR Radar 7.18 and
worked there for several years. He transferred to Antigua MIPIR Radar 91.18 around 1968 as Leader and I had the pleasure to work with him and enjoy his family, Adelle and "Little Fletcher." There were many parties on the Satellite Club patio under that fabulous Flamboyant tree with steel bands and endless libations. Fletcher then worked with RCA Moorestown and the DLM team. I think he wound up in Anchorage when RCA had the Alascom business. He was a great guy and a true friend gone too soon."
- UPDATE 01 JUNE 2013, Jack Holland, from Banks OR emailed me on 05 MAY 2013 saying: "Fletcher Fuller was on Grand Turk when I was there during 1967/68. I later knew him in Anchorage, Alaska in the mid-70's
and early 80's as we were both working for RCA Alascom at that time. At some point he left Alascom and went to work for GCI, one of our telecom competitors. I remember him as being a particularly dedicated employee because I would see him working away during weekends in his small office which was located near the Grand Turk Submarine Cable terminal equipment room." Jack sent me a link for Fletcher's obituary, but at that link now you have to pay for the information. But see below...
- UPDATE 01 JUNE 2013, I searched for an online obit, and found a good one on a funeral home website, You can read the full obit by clicking here. . I did learn from reading his obit that he was born on 03 September 1937, so at death Fletcher Fuller was 74 years old. At the obit page there is also a guest book that you can sign.
- I did learn of a Range Rat who signed the Fuller Obit Guestbook, by the name of Gary Bader (who has yet to sign my RR Sign-in Book), he wrote: "I worked with Fletcher 'Down Range' in the 60's and socialized with him and his then wife Gayle in Alaska. Fletcher was a good man and will be missed by all who knew him."
09 MAY 2012, CHARLIE WRIGHT REPORTS DEATH OF CLIFF DICKERSON:
- On 27 Apr. 2012, Charlie emailed me the following info: "I remembered another PAA Supply troop who has passed on: Cliff Dickerson. Cliff was a retired AF NCO. He served at Ascension for the years mid-1960's to early 1970's and relieved me at Mahe in `973. I am told he stayed at Mahe after the station closed and died there."
- Did you know Cliff Dickerson and can provide additional info? If so, why not email me with some info. about him. I haven't been able to find his obit on line.
22 APR. 2012, DEATH OF CARL BARONE REPORTED BY JIM EDWARDS AND JIM COOK:
- Carl Anthony Barone age 73, died 19 April 2012, in Elba NY. Jim Cook sent in the first report saying: "Joe, another name for your obit list. Carl Barone died 04/19/12. Carl had worked on ships but I knew him in the early seventies on Ascension Isl. He, Sam Currier, and I hiked all over Asc on weekends, many trips to Green Mountain, Letterbox, etc. He laughed a lot and was good fun. Carl worked in comm on ships and Asc and he roomed w/Ed Pye on Asc who you recently added to the obit column. After the big layoff he worked in comm for the NYS police in Batavia NY. He leaves his wife Faye and daughter Melissa. Carl had heart and kidney problems and was only 73."
- Jim Edwards emailed me today saying in part: "Carl was a CCO (Comm Center Operator) on the Range and on ships. He worked for me on the USNS Sword Knot 1966-67 . Also worked at Ascension and possibly other stations."
- Carl's on line obituary (not available anymore) said he worked for Pan-Am/RCA ... and traveled extensively to places such as Ascension, Trinidad and Antigua."
- Jack Tolman's RR website list Carl as working as a Comm Ctr Operator, so he WAS an RCA troop (his obit said Pan-Am/RCA).
- If you knew Carl Barone and can verify that he also worked at Antigua, send me an email. Also if you want to share any info. about Carl it would be appreciated.
22 APR. 2012, SISTER OF DAN SHAFFER REPORTS OF HIS PASSING:
- On 04 Apr. 2012, I got word from the sister of Daniel Patrick Shaffer
, that Dan, also known as Danny, had passed away on 03 April 2012. He is survived by his wife, Jill and other relatives. Dan wrote in my Range Rat Sign-in book that he worked for RCA on the USNS Redstone and the USNS Arnold, in optics and later became the ships photographer. Dan wrote a good detailed report of his range activities in the Range Rat Sign-in Book on 28 MAY 2009, which you can read in the RR Book, by clicking here.
and searching for Dan Shaffer.
- UPDATE 20 OCT. 2012, I now have found Dan's obit and you can read it by clicking here. There is a later photo of Dan, however the guest book has expired.
- NOTE: Dan's father, Bill Shaffer was a long time RCA Missile Test Project employee too, who passed away Feb. 27, 2007, I don't know if his father Bill worked downrange tho, does anybody know?
- Did you know Dan Shaffer? If so, why not email me with some info. about him.
22 APR. 2012, WIFE OF RANGE RAT LEE LYONS REPORTS HIS DEATH:
- Huguette Nelson Lyons signed the RR Sign-in Book on 17 DEC 2011 and reported the death of her husband LEE LYONS, she wrote: "I am Lee Lyons wife, Lee passed away in 1972 in Naples, Florida. Lee worked for RCA and was stationed on Eleuthera from end of 1961 to 1965. Previously he was on the Coastal Sentry ship stationed in Mauritius where we met; Durban South Africa; Ascension; and Grand Turk. We were married in 1961. We lived close to the base on the beach in Eleuthera and also in Governor's Harbor. He was transferred to Kennedy Space Center in 1965 and worked in Mission Control, and we lived on Merritt Island. In 1970 Lee left RCA after 10 years and we moved to Naples FL. We used to have a great time on Eleuthera and had many wonderful friends. I would love to hear from the friends we had on Eleuthera and the Coastal Sentry."
- You can reach Huguette at this email address: email@example.com
- If you remember Lee Lyons from the many places he worked, you can email me with any info. that you wish to share.
01 APR. 2012, JACK TOLMAN FORWARDS INFO ON DEATH OF LOU CARRERA:
- Louis C. "Lou" Carrera, Jr. came to the Trinidad tracking station to work for Engineering. Lou was 69 years old when he passed away.
- Lou's wife, Carol, said "He unexpectedly went home to be with the Lord on 29 March. He passed quietly in his sleep which was a blessing. We are planning a 'Celebration of his Life' on Saturday, 7 April 2012, at 11:00 am at the Florida Memorial Funeral Home Chapel located at 5950 South U.S. Highway 1 in Rockledge, FL 32955. Our planned announcement for the newspaper is in lieu of flowers, we ask you give a donation to your church or favorite charity in his memory."
- If you knew Lou Carrera and would like to share some info. about him and his work downrange, send me an email.
01 APR. 2012, DEATH OF LONG TIME DOWNRANGER SAM CURRIER, REPORTED:
- Bill Redman emailed me in Feb. 2012: ",Unfortunately here is another name for your Range Rat obituary list. Samuel "Sam" Currier died on 10 February 2012 at the age of 74. Sam was a long time downranger, spending time at Pretoria, Trinidad and Ascension as a 1206 Computer tech. I believe Sam may have started with RCA as a tech. at BMEWS. Maybe some of the other range rats out there could add something more."
- You can read Sam's obituary by clicking here. There is also a picture of him on his obituary page.
- Anybody out there who has more info. about Sam Currier being downrange, please send me an email and lets share it here.
01 APR. 2012, MALCOLM MONROE REPORTS DEATH OF WALLY GARRISON:
- In an email from Feb. 2012, "Mac" Monroe reported the death of David W. "Wally" Garrison and said that Wally was a long time Pan Am ships engineer.
- There is just a short obituary for Wally, which you can see by clicking here. Wally, of Melbourne FL was 78 when he passed away on February 8, 2012, surrounded by his family. There is also a picture of him on his obituary page.
- In Feb. 2012 you could see the guestbook on his obituary page, but it's no longer available. One obit guestbook signer did say she knew him from the ship: Observation Island.
- Did you know Wally Garrison, if so, what can you pass on about what ships he worked on and his duties, etc. etc, please send me an email.
12 MAR. 2012: STUART "STU" L. MORSE DEATH:
- Back in Oct 2009, Chuck Elgas has emailed me wanting to know what ever happened to Stu Morrison. I put this question on my "Seeking RR's Page"
and although I remembered the name I didn't think he was a PCS down ranger so I asked RR Bob Johnson, now in California, who has helped me with other RRs who have left the range. Bob replied: "Stu was stationed at Pretoria in the mid 60's. I think he went to Tel4 around 1967 or so. He was still there when I left the range in 1976. He came out here to Ventura, to visit Bill Karnopp in the early 80's and I managed to have a nice conversation with him during that visit. Unfortunately I lost track of him after that. If memory serves me correct, I believe that Stu's last name was Morse."
- Scotty Lonie also emailed me that he also remembers that Stu worked at Tel4.
- I did a little checking around myself and found out that Stu Morse (his correct first and last name was Stuart L. Morse) had died 20 Jan. 1997 at the age of 64. His last address was Titusville FL. And so that mystery was solved.
- If you knew Stu Morse and have something of interest to share about him just let me know, perhaps he also worked at other stations?
12 MAR. 2012: JERRY STROUD REPORTS DEATH OF HIS NEIGHBOR AND FRIEND:
- Way back in 2010 Jerry notified me of the death of Edward Henry Pye, Jr which for some reason I unintentionally omitted, and am now adding here. Jerry said Ed was 74, and died 4 Feb. 2010.
- Jerry gave more info: "I believe Ed Pye worked on GBI and Eleuthera in the Bahamas. He worked with Johnny Walker, who was the site manager for GBI when I worked on the range. Ed bought the house next to mine in 1978 so I believe that is the time he came from being down range and back to the states. Johnny Walker would have more details if you know his email address."
- I did try to contact Johnny Walker, but his email address was no longer valid. If you are currently in contact with Walker, send me his email address.
- If you knew Ed Pye and knew where he worked downrange and what years, or any other info. you would care to share about him. Send me an email.
12 MAR. 2012: MYRL ANDERSON REPORTS DEATH OF MANY RANGE RATS:
- Heres another entry that should have been reported in 2010, I intentionally omitted because it was a long list, I now add all the names he submitted with comments made by Myrl. Need more info. about these RR troops please.
- Leonard L. Hoops, came to Trinidad in 1962 from Bemus in Greenland. Worked on Trinidad Radar 1962-1970. Died 1 April 2005 at the age of 69, in Santa Maria, Ca.
- Bill Ruby, worked Grand Turk TPQ-18 1967-1970. Died Circa 2002 Melbourne, FL.
- Bill Young, worked Trinidad Radar and Grand Turk Radar 1962-1971. Died in Hawaii, date unknown.
UPDATE 09 MAY 2012, Bill Redman of Melbourne FL emailed me 15 MAR. 2012 with this bit of info: "Bill Young was a radar leader at Ascension and Pretoria in the late 1960's, and was with me on the USNS Wheeling on the Pacific Missile Range, 1972-73 as a radar engineer. He was still on the ship when I left in 1973, I don't know his history after that."
Thanx Bill R. for that info. Now who else can help out with more info. on Bill Young?
- Ed Ramey, worked Ascension Radar and Canton TPQ-18 1964-1972.
Bill Hughes also reported the death of Ed Ramey and said that he is in contact with Ed's wife, and that Ed died 20 Jan. 2001, at the age of 74, with a heart attack. Bill also said that he and Ed worked together on the range in radar for many years.
- Ken Harrison, Myrl has no other info. on Ken.
UPDATE 09 MAY 2012, Bill Redman of Melbourne FL emailed me 14 MAR. 2012 with this bit of info: "Ken Harrison was a tech at Trinidad when I was there in the later part of 1967. I heard later, that he had died in Miami, but I'm not too sure how reliable that info is."
Now who else can help out with additional info. on Ken Harrison?
- Charlie Sparger, he worked with the Arcas Acquisition system, Grand Turk 1964-1966, Died 1966 at Grand Turk.
UPDATE 09 MAY 2012, Bill Bailey of Crestview FL emailed me 15 MAR. 2012 with this additional info: "Charley Sparger was Jim Velia and my Room mate in the three man rooms on San Salvador in 1959 & 1960. He had a HAM rig and a TRI-Bander behind the barracks. A wonderful guy. Died in a Miami hospital after heart surgery."
Anyone else who knows Charlie (or Charley) Sparger, please send in your info to me. See the blue link near the top of the page (below the yellow colored table) that says "Send Email to Joe".
- Burke Painter, he worked with the Arcas Acquisition system Grand Turk. 1964-1967 Died 1967 in a Grand Turk diving accident. In DEC 2009, Larry Wenger had told me that he found out, after he left the island, that his roommate Painter had drown in Grand Turk waters, but Larry didnt know his first name. So now we know the first name is Burke.
- Skip Mims, who worked at GBI and Grand Turk Radar. He drowned in 1965 at Grand Turk.
- If you knew any of these 8 RR troops above and can provide additional info. on or about them, share it by sending me an email.
15 JAN. 2012: MORE RANGE RAT DEATHS TO REPORT
- I again did some super sluthing of old RCA Range Rat names, and these are confirmed deaths.
15 JAN. 2012: names added to this large group.
- James P. Hargis, died Dec. 1974, age ?, at city not known.
I am pretty sure I replaced him at Ascension Telemetry back in late 1971, we only knew each other for a few short weeks while he explained his duties which I was to take over. Unfortunately he only lived a few more years before he died at a young age.
Does anyone know how Hargis died?
- James P. John, died Jul. 1983, age ?, at city not known.
- Grady W. Jones, died 05 Jan. 1995, age ?, at Jacksonville FL.
The name Grady Jones, rings a bell in my mind, I may have worked with him on tracking ship "Golf", who knew Jones and who can confirm he worked on ships?
- Robert E. Larson, died 14 Jan. 2008, age ?, at Oklahoma City OK
- Bob L. Rouse, died 19 May 2008, age ?, at Miami FL.
Rouse was, I think from Nicaragua, and I knew him from GTK and ASC. I think he worked in communications, he was my next door roomie at ASC, and really had a muscular build. Who else knew Bob and exactly what section did he work?
- Alfred D. Rowlett, died 08 Jan. 2003, age ?, at Palm Bay FL.
- Joseph F. Smith, died 14 Mar. 1995, age ?, at Cocoa Beach FL.
I (your RR editor) remember Joe Smith was a clerk for the IM at either GTK or GBI, or both stations. Who can confirm this and add more info. about Joe?
- I dont know all of these fellows listed above, but someone out there does, if you knew any of these RR's listed above, share your info. on how you knew them, what stations they worked and approx. what time period, etc. etc.
- I again did some super sluthing of old RCA Range Rat names, and these below are confirmed deaths.
03 JAN. 2009, names added to this large group
- Joe H. Chestnutt, died 14 Dec. 1991, age 82, at Chattanooga TN
(I do remember Joe, he was a stamp collector, who worked on Ascension Island.)
UPDATE 23 APR. 2009: John Gladden emailed me this info on Joe: " I knew Joe at Mahe when I was there from late 1970 until June of 1972. Joe was the Pan Am Motor Pool Foreman while I was there. I remember him as being quite affable.
- Thomas S. Campbell, died 18 Jul. 1980, age 42, at Merritt Is. FL
- John D. Cartlidge, died 11 Aug. 2005, age 67, at Malakoff TX
- John H. Cave, died 13 May 2002 age 74 at Houston TX
- Clyde W. Cato, died 03 Mar. 2008, age 67 at Okeechobee FL
(Clyde was an RCA clerk at Ascension, I personally knew him when i was there in 1971-2). Clyde's obituary can be found at this Kwaj page, click here and scroll down the page. From his obit it tells that he was in the Army and served a tour of duty in Korea. He later spent many years in the South Pacific working for RCA – Range Systems, Lockhead Martin and Raytheon Engineering where he retired. However his obit left out that he also worked on Atlantic side too: the Eastern Test Range, thats where I knew him from.
- Joseph L. Collins, died 20 May. 2003, age 64, at Sebastian FL
(I worked with Joe in Telemetry at GBI in the 1960s, his death was reported earlier on this page but then I did not know the date he died, where he died and his age at death).
- Ralph N. Cron, died 2009 Aug. 1999 age 87 at Pharr TX
(Ralph and I first met at St. Lucia in 1956, & shared an adjoining barracks room for a few months. I don't know what he did at St. Lucia, we used to do a lot of hiking on that island with George Fritz, one big hike was up Little Piton mountain. We both got transferred to Grand Turk and he worked in Timing there.
After he left the range we kept in touch for a good many years then he went into a nursing home in Pharr TX & thats when I lost contact with him, I considered him a good friend, he too was a stamp collector like myself).
- William "Bill" J. Czipulis, died 12 Jul. 1999, age 84 at Enfield CT
(I personally knew "Czip" when I went to work at Telemetry in 1971 at Ascension, look for more info. on " Czipulis " at one of the May 2005 entries), [I am pretty sure thats how he spelled his name when i knew him at Asc].
- I dont know many of these fellows listed above, but someone out there does, if you knew any of these RR's listed above, let me know what stations they worked and approx. what time period, etc. etc.
13 NOV. 2011: SON REPORTS PASSING OF "LEN" MASHBURN:
- On 09 NOV Tim Mashburn emailed me that his father Leonard A. Mashburn
had just passed away that day. Tim related that his father has passed away very peacefully. (I knew Len has been ill for sometime now with Parkinson's Disease, from a earlier email from Tim). Everyone who knew him, knew him by "Len". This is from his obituary just published on line:
Mr. Leonard A. Mashburn, 82, of Saint Cloud FL, passed away on Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 at his residence. He was the husband of Irene M. (Smith) Mashburn. Leonard was born in Judson, North Carolina on August 14, 1929, the son of the late Thomas A. and Martha A. (Allen) Mashburn. He served in the U.S. Navy as a Second Class Petty Officer in the Korean War. He worked for RCA Service Corporation for over thirty years in launch tracking radar as part of the Eastern Test Range in Florida and the West Indies including St. Lucia, Antigua, Grand Turk and Grand Bahama.
Leonard is survived by his wife and two sons; Timothy A. Mashburn of Morgantown, WV; and Daniel J. Mashburn of St. CLoud, FL. Interment will take place at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida at a later date."
- You can read his obit, which is essentially the same as above, by clicking here. you can go there and sign an Online Condolence, as I did today.
- I first met "Len" in 1957 when I transferred to the St. Lucia tracking station, and began working for him. He was the Telemetry Manager. Then many years later our paths crossed when he became the IM at Grand Bahama Island (GBI) tracking station where I was assigned. As far as I am concerned he was one of the best "bosses" I ever worked for and considered him a friend. I think many others will attest to the fact of knowing him as a good friend.
- You can see a picture of "Len" on this page . It is when he was at GBI, scroll down to the 06 JULY 2007 part to see the picture.
- OTHER RANGE PEOPLE WHO KNEW "LEN":
- Fred Perkins, emailed me when he learned of "Len"s passing, and said: "I worked with Len over quite a period when he was working in the office of DownRange Instrumentation."
- In June 2010 Jim Edwards reminisced about Len: "I first knew him when he was the IM at GBI in the early sixties. I was just switching from Weather to Test Ops and he taught me a lot about instrumentation. He had earlier been at one of the UDOP sites in the Cays. Later, he was the Range Radar Manager. A top-notch manager and had a great sense of humor."
- If you remember "Len" Mashburn and would like to add something to this entry, send me an email. He also worked uprange after he left the islands.
13 NOV. 2011: "CHUCK" HEWETT REPORTS DEATH OF A FRIEND:
- In late DEC 2010, Chuck Hewett emailed me this: "Looking over the death list I would like to add one who is not there. His name was Laurie "Lorry" Carl Martin. Lorry was his nick-name. He retired a Lt. Col. from the US Army and came to work with RCA. I knew him in 1959/60 at Eleuthera and he was the test equipment tech there. From Eleuthera he went to Ascension, then to Alaska, I think he died in a car accident. He was born in 1908 and died in 1967. He was a good guy!"
- Do you remember Laurie "Lorry" Martin? Hewett said "Lorry" was quite popular so there should be some RRs who could provide more info. If you have any more info on "Lorry" about his downrange activities or after he left the range, send me an email.
03 NOV. 2011: "OZZIE" OSTROWITZ DEATH REPORTED BY MANY:
- In late Oct I heard from many of you about the passing of "Ozzie" Ostrowitz, this info. is taken from the obituary printed in the Today newspaper:
Walter Ostrowitz, Jr., 71, died Friday, October 28, 2011 at Cape Canaveral FL Hospital. He moved to Merritt Island FL in 1972 from the Caribbean Island of Antigua. "Ozzie" served in the U.S. Navy as a communication specialist with the submarine service. He also dedicated the majority of his life to the Space Program from the Mercury Program through the Shuttle and International Space Station Program.
- You can read his complete obit by clicking here.
- Ozzie wrote a good detailed report of his range activities in the Range Rat Sign-in Book on 16 AUG 2008
which you can read by going to the RR Book, and clicking here.
and searching for Ostrowitz .
- If you remember Ozzie and would like to make a comment about him downrange, send me an email. I remember him from when I worked at GTK in the early 1960s.
03 NOV. 2011: DEATH REPORTED BY PHILL REICHERT :
- In DEC 2010 Phill Reichert of Dover, AR emailed me: "Hi Joe: Was just going over the alphabetical list of deaths and realized I didn't see Ron Cotton. Phill said that Ron was a Ships Operations Manager (SOM) on the USNS Gen. H.H. Arnold and died in the 60s.
- Ronald Leeper of Bernville, Pa wrote me in JUL 2010, inquiring about Ron Cotton, saying Ron was the RCA Manager in the late 1950's and then again he was there in the early 1960s.
- I had found a photo of Ron Cotton in the Oct 1963 Pan Am Clipper magazine, page 18, that was distributed downrange when I was on the islands. This photo showed Ron presenting a service pin to a meteorology operator aboard the General H.H. Arnold, and it mentioned that Ron was the Ship Operations Manager. Ron is also mentioned on the USNS Arnold facebook page and I submitted this photo to the Arnold FB site.
- If you remember Ron Cotton, would you know if he worked for both RCA and PAA, any comment about him would be appreciated. Send me an email.
26 OCT. 2011: 3 RR's SEND IN REPORT DEATH OF "LES" WADDILL:
- In late OCT 2011, Fred Perkins, Leon Lacy & Jack Tolman forwarded me the news that Leslie H. WADDILL had passed away on 21 Oct. 2011. Lacy provided an attachment to his email of the obituary, but I have since found it on the web which you can view by clicking here.
- Part of his obit includes this about his range activities: "Of his greatest work accomplishments he held none in higher regard than the invaluable work he conducted on the Eastern Missile Test Range in the 1960s and 70s and his personal contribution to the TV Marti Project in the 1980s."
- When "Les" signed the Range Rat sign-in book in JAN 2006, he left out his range experience, only writing this "I retired from GE in March 1993, worked a few years for Loral Aerospace, and spent 15 months on Great Inagua Island Before retiring for good in 1995."
- UPDATE ON LES WADDILL: 22 APR. 2012, SCOTTY LONIE SENT IN THIS COMMENT ON 27 OCT 2011: "Les Waddill, I knew him as ISM at Grand Turk in the mid sixties. He was a great guy and one of the great movers on the MTP."
- UPDATE ON LES WADDILL: 17 JULY 2012: in early July, Paul Hagen from Eva, AL sent in this comment about Les: "I went to Ascension in June or so 1974 as an Space Object Identification (SOI) Analyst. Les Waddill was Instrumentation Manager there at the time. I went to GBI in early 1976, about the same time Jack Tolman went there as Radar Leader. Les was also the Instrumentation Manager there while I was there. I do not remember when he left Ascension. I left GBI and went to Metric Systems Engineering at Patrick AFB about 18 months later. I did not see Les again until about 1988 when I visited with him at Cudjoe Key where he was involved in the MARTI activities."
- Please share some of your info. about Les Waddill of what stations he worked at and the years, etc etc, by sending me an email. I Remember him as an IM but memory dims as to when and where.
26 SEPT. 2011: SAD NEWS OF TWO RANGE RAT WIVE'S PASSING:
- Received word on 23 Sept 2011, on Facebook of the death of Billie Ruth Blackerby, wife of Jerry Blackerby (RCA), both of who lived off base in 1958 at GBI. You can read Billie's obituary by clicking here. There is also a guestbook and picture of Mrs. Blackerby.
- In Aug. 2011, Fred Perkins (and others), informed me that Elaine Burbage had passed away, his email read: "Joe, FYI just got a call to say that Elaine Burbage passed away last night (15 Aug). She was the wife of Jim "Jaime" Burbage (RCA) who passed away 14 years ago. Elaine was well known to the Trinidad and Antigua folks, as they spend several years on those bases together.
John Gladden also wrote: "Joe, Jim worked in Telemetry and I met him and his wife on Antigua in 1974 and we became good friends. I saw them frequently around Satellite Beach until Jim was overcome with cancer and I was fighting my own battle with it in the late 1990s. I just received word that Elaine has now also passed on."
- If you would like to share a memory or two about these two downrange wives you can email me. I normally don't publish info. on wives unless they were also downrange, like these two were.
26 SEPT. 2011: DEATH OF DAWSON BETHUNE REPORTED:
- In Aug 2011, Bill Redman of Melbourne FL, sent this email: "Here's another one for your Range Rat Death list. Dawson "Big D" Bethune died Saturday, 06 Aug 2011. Dawson was a radar tech at Ascension, Antigua and the PAFB beach radar 0.14. He may have had some time at Grand Turk also."
NOTE: Dawson was 76 at the time of his death in Rockledge FL. You can see a picture of Dawson and a guestbook to sign by clicking here.
- UPDATE ON DAWSON BETHUNE: 22 APR. 2012, JIM EDWARDS SENT IN THIS COMMENT ON 09 AUG 2011: "Dawson was one of the first black RCA employees to work downrange. I remember him at Ascension radar in the mid 1960's and ran across him from time to time other places."
- UPDATE ON DAWSON BETHUNE: 17 JULY 2012: in early July, Paul Hagen from Eva, AL sent in this comment "With respect to Dawson Bethune, we modified/updated the radar at GBI in 1978 or so by installing the new second generation radar receiver, 32k nautical mile range machine and updated mode switch, i.e. no more relays. This was about the time Xerox decided to get our of the mainframe business and sold/transferred ownership of the Sigma 5s to the Air Force. This was also aabout the time the Sigma 5 at GBI was to be updated. It was owned by the Air Force and not part of the above transfer. It had not been maintained current by Xerox so very few, if any, Field Modification Kits (FMKs) had been installed. Honeywell had assumed responsibility for support of the Sigma 5s at this point and were contacted for FMK support. Ultimately it was determined that we would have to do the updates in house without Honeywell support. All of the FMKs were identified and, I guess, the kits were made available. THis is a long way of getting to Dawson's part in this. He and one of the Metric Systems Engineers, spent several months at GBI installing and verifying each and every FMK installation. This was a massive undertaking for anyone and could not have been accomplished without Dawsons' perserverence and expertise."
- If you also knew Bethune, and any other info that you would like to share about him, please send me an email.
26 SEPT. 2011: BILL COMER DEATH REPORTED:
- In May 2011 Gene Shoemaker, of Las Cruces NM wrote the following in the Range Rat Sign-in book (that part of his entry has now been deleted, since its noted here): "A good friend of mine, Bill Comer,was on the ships 1956. Then Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, 1956-61. Then Trinidad before leaving the range. Bill passed away 2008 from heart problems that had forced his retirement from his job as QA Mgr. at our Cherry Hill, NJ home office."
- If you also knew Comer, and what ship, what sections he worked etc etc, please share some info about him, by sending me an email.
26 AUG. 2011: UPDATE ON WILTON "WOODY" BOZARDT:
- I am listing this new info. about Woody, near the top of this page, so it will be more readily seen, rather than listing it near the original listing of MAY 2005 when his death was first reported by Wally Tubell: "Woody Bozardt (whose real name was Wilton), passed away at the age of 53 in 1981".
- UPDATE 26 AUG. 2011: In Nov 2010 Fred Perkins send me additional info. on Woody Bozardt which clears up Woody's involvement with Radio Shack, he writes: Woody Bozardt did indeed buy a Radio Shack franchise in Clearwater FL when he left the range. I know that is correct because I spent some time there with him. In fact, he talked me into buying a Radio Shack franchise myself, in Fort Lauderdale. But that is another story. After three or four years , Woody turned the Radio Shack over to his sister to run, and went back to the Range - where he subsequently died aboard ship in the Pacific as you mention correctly on the Rangerat pages.
- UPDATE 26 AUG. 2011: In July 2010 Bill Lewis once again provided more info. on Bozardt, he wrote: " A little detective work reveals the following concerning Woody Bozardt.
- 1. First I had published a picture of Wilton "Woody" Bozardt on the USNS Gen. H. H. Arnold fan page of FACEBOOK. It was taken from a group picture of Arnold troops dated Winter 1980/81 provided by Gloria Makowski.
- 2. I next published Woody's wedding picture from your site.
- 3. Your site also mentioned that Woody had died while serving on a ship. I asked if anyone knew if Woody was assigned to the Arnold at the time of his death.
- 4. Wayne Holden replied as follows: " He was Ships manager for a short period that unfortunately ended with his death. We had just left Japan where we had our annual yard work and were headed for Singapore to support the first Shuttle launch when he died. We pulled into Subic Bay to let him off. That was most likely in January or early February 1981. (signed) Wayne Holden, Arnold 1974-82"
- 5. I asked for more info and Wayne elucidated: "...as I recall it was a massive coronary, a flash message had came in during the night and the communications center called his state room and did not get an answer. They searched around the lounge areas and the office and when they could not find him they woke up the Maintenance Manager and he got a master key and opened the state room and found him on the floor. He was probably trying to answer the phone."
- Hope this helps with filling out the histories of a long-term and remarkable Rat. (Thanks Bill for all the info. you have provided!).
- UPDATE 09 NOV. 2010: Bill Lewis made this comment on the USNS Arnold Facebook page on July 2010: "Wilton "Woody" Bozardt was perhaps the ultimate Rat. He worked many ships. He worked many stations. He worked up range and he worked down range. He was married on the Range... and he died on the Range. About the only thing he didn't do (to my knowledge), he wasn't born on the Range." Bill also stated in an email to me that Woody's date of birth was 12 Jun 1928 and date of death was 23 Sep 1981, making him only 53 years old when he passed away.
- UPDATE 14 DEC. 2009: John Gladden who also knew Woody emailed me this in late Nov: "I had met Woody Bozardt earlier on the upper range, but my last contact with him was in 1971 when he relieved Bob Flowers as IM in Mahe. I had heard that after Woody left Mahe, that he left RCA and opened a Radio Shack business But I never knew for sure what happened to him until the original posting of his death on your site".
- 08 NOV. 2009: UPDATE ON WOODY BOZARDT: In July '09 Charlie Wright of Micco FL emailed me this about Woody: "Today I'm remembering Woody Bozardt, a gentleman RCA early ranger. I think he died in the South Pacific while serving on one of the tracking ships."
26 AUG. 2011: NEWS OF RANDALL K. FULLER PASSING AWAY:
- Bill Lewis informed me in June of 2010 that Randall K. Fuller had passed away at the age of 55. Randall had worked on the USNS Gen. H. H. Arnold, T-AGM-9. A complete obituary of Fuller can be found on the USNS Gen. H. H. Arnold FACEBOOK "In Memoriam" page. Randall wrote in my Range Rat Sign-In book, "I worked in Optics and Support aboard the USNS Arnold." He did not indicate his dates of service, but from his age, the seventies seem likely, according to Lewis. He signed in November 10, 2008. Less than a year later, he was dead.
- Please share a memory or two about Fuller if you knew him, by emailing me.
24 AUG. 2011: JIM CASKEY SEND INFO ON 3 SHIP RATS WHO HAVE PASSED AWAY:
- In May of 2010 Jim reported these 3 deaths, you can also find more info about these Ship Rats on the USNS Gen. H. H. Arnold FACEBOOK page:
- William "Bill" Leonard - died 16 Sept. 1994 in Koloa, Kauai HI at age
66. Bill assignments include USNS Arnold, BMEWS(Alaska), and KREMS(Kwajalein).
- Billy H. Morefield - died 16 Dec. 1997 in Florida at age 65. Billy's
assignments included USNS Arnold, AUTEC and TRADEX (Kwajalein).
- Paul G. Vise - died 31 Mar. 1999 in Lexington SC at age 68. Paul's
assignments included USNS Arnold, KCC/Kwajalein, PAFB Range Engineering and Aerostat.
- If you also knew any of these 3 troops above and want to add share your comments about them, you can send me an email.
24 AUG. 2011: GRAND NEPHEW EMAILED ME OF DEATH OF "DOC SKI" NORBERT PSZCZOLKOWSKI:
- In May of 2010 Vince Harzewski, emailed me this info: "I am the grand nephew of Norbert Pszczolkowski ("Doc Ski") and he was stationed at Eleuthera, Grand Turk, Ascension, and Antigua during the Gemini and Apollo missions. (I did find his name on the website of Jack Tolmans list of Range Rats). He never talked much about what he did. He retired to Jupiter, FL where he passed in 1991. I would very much like to correspond with anyone that knew him.
- If you knew Doc Ski and want to contact his nephew, his email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
- I knew Doc Ski from Grand Turk sometime in the 1960s when I was stationed there, I think he worked in Radar or on the plotting boards. I never knew his last name. (Sorry to be so late in reporting this, I am way behind in my updates, poor health the main reason.
- If you also knew Doc Ski, and what sections he worked and would like to add something to this post, please send me an email.
17 APR. 2011: ROBERT "BOB" BAKER DEATH REPORTED:
Bob was one of the early ones who signed the Range Rat Sign-in Book way back in Aug. 2005, and has contributed much range info. for these pages over the years.
Send me an email if you want to say something about Bob, and I will publish it here.
- Tom McCarthy reported the death of Robert "Bob" R. Baker, Sr.
via his Range Rat Message board at Topica.com, with the obituary that apeared in the Lompoc Record of 10 Apr. '11. If anyone wants to read the full obituary, send me an email. I will shorten it here:
Bob passed away from cancer on Sunday, 03 April 2011, in Pensacola, FL. at the age of 77. He was born and raised in Florida and was a pioneer in the aerospace industry, beginning his career with Pan Am in 1956, working at the Air Force ETR, at Patrick AFB FL, and on tracking ships that traversed the Atlantic Ocean for missile/space vehicle tracking and recovery. Later, Bob worked at Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center for Pan Am as Superintendent, Range Scheduling for the Eastern Test Range. In 1970, he moved to Lompoc, CA, and worked for ITT/FEC at Vandenberg AFB until retiring and going to work for NASA/ Caltech-JPL in Pasadena, CA. After retiring from JPL in 2000, they lived in Destin, FL, for several years before moving back to Crestview, FL. Memorial services were held in Fort Walton Beach, FL, on April 23, 2011.
17 APR. 2011: DEATH OF GERALD S. RENTON REPORTED:
- Leon Lacy sent me an email on the 16 April that Gerald "Jerry" Renton died (see below), saying that he had been very ill for about a year or so and spent a large amount of time in the hospital, then a few months at home where he died.
- CORRECTION OF DATE OF DEATH OF GERALD RENTON: 22 APR. 2012, LEON LACY SENT IN THIS CORRECTION ON 15 NOV 2011: "Gerald or Jerry died on 26 March 2011 instead of the later date I reported, sorry about that."
- Lacy also gave some background on where and who Jerry worked for: "Jerry worked for RCA at Grand Turk CMD Destruct Site from 1965 through 1969. He left there to work for RCA Service Company at various locations on the East Coast also spending some time at Camden, N.J. When RCA went out of business, he went to work for Bankers Life, servicing their RCA Mainframe Computer."
- Unfortunately Jerry did not sign the Range Rat Sign-in Book. If you knew him and would like to share your comments about him, send me an email.
UPDATED 07 DEC. 2010: DEATH OF MIKE GRANT REPORTED BY MANY RANGE RATS:
you can read his obit which appeared in the Florida Today Newspaper website once there, you will notice that there are two guestbooks to sign if you wish, one at the bottom of the page is the Newspaper one, and at the bottom of the page it also directs you to the funeral home where you can sign the guest book there. These are two different guest books.
If anyone has more info about Mike Grand and wants to share it, send me an email.
- In the past few days I heard from quite a few RRs who informed me that Virgil J. "Mike" Grant had passed away on 04 Dec. 2010, from a brain seizure and I was told that he had been fighting brain cancer for the last year. On 11 Feb 2008 Mike made an entry in the Range Rat Sign-in book and you can read his remarks by clicking here when you get there, use your web browers search feature and search for Mike Grant. Mike said he started working at Antigua Telemetry in July 1966 and worked there until October 1979 when he went to Tel-4 at KSC. From his obituary it is noted: "Mike, whose actual name is Virgil J. Grant
worked in Telemetry for fourteen years down range on the islands of Antigua, Ascension and Grand Turk."
- Part of Mike's RR sign-in Book entry that I particulary like to mention here:
"Working on the Range during the period I was there was like no other place or time that I can think of. It was the people that made it. We still know and keep in touch with a lot of our friends from those days...what great memories !!!"
06 DEC. 2010: DAUGHTER REPORTS DEATH OF THOMAS A. McDONALD:
- On 28 Oct. 2010 Rhonda Nobles signed the RR Sign-in Book stating that her father, Thomas Alfred "Mac" McDonald, had worked on Eleuthera for PanAm, he was a baker and most people called him "Mac". He worked there from the early 50's and she believes he retired from there around the very early 70's. (70, 71 maybe 72). She goes on to say that he died of colon cancer June 28, 1996 when he was 88 yrs old. She's seen one picture of him in his 'baker outfit' basically a white t-shirt, white apron and white cap or hat.
- If anyone has any information about Thomas "Mac" McDonald or maybe pictures she would love to see them. You can share them with me and I can pass them on to her, send me an email.
06 DEC. 2010: FRED SCHAEFER REPORTS DEATH OF THREE RR FRIENDS:
Anyone who has more info. about these 3 GBI Range Rats and wants to share them send me an email.
- Fred suggested in Oct 2010 that these 3 RCA range rats ought to be listed:Richard "Seaweed" Saville, from GBI (he was Fred's business partner), he died about 5 years ago, Fred says from too much island punch! (Editors note: I believe he was also called "Rick" Saville, as he was on GBI same time I was there).
- Ken Waltz from GBI and PAFB, who departed a few years back. He had
a one of a kind collection of lightning stones (in the old days the
Bahamians kept one in their ceiling to protect them from a bolt out of the
blue, they were jade looking & smooth)
- Chuck Mullins, another GBI "wire room" friend, who many years back
went to live on the FL west coast with his brother.
09 NOV. 2010: DEATH OF STAN ELLIS REPORTED:
- In March 2010 I heard from Amy Browning, Colorado Springs CO, the wife of Stan Ellis, she wrote: "Stan was the Pan Am medic on Grand Turk from 1982-1984, stationed next on GBI in 1984-85, and finally on Antigua until
June, 1987. He died of lung cancer in October of 2001. I was married to him during his time downrange.
- If anyone has more info about Stan Ellis and wants to share it, send me an email.
16 OCT. 2010: BILL LEWIS SENDS NOTICE OF DEATH OF SAM REDFORD:
- Lewis was informed by the wife of Sam D. Redford that he had passed away 15 Oct. 2010 of a heart attack, she said it was quick and he didn't suffer and he died at his beloved ranch in central Texas.
- Lewis (who is one of the administrators of the facebook page USNS GEN H.H. ARNOLD tracking ship) said Sam was the former Ship's Instrumentation Manager (and believes he was the second following Sam Candler) of the ARIS ship, USNS GEN H.H. Arnold in the late sixties.
- Red had signed the Range Rat Sign-in Book in June '06 and this is what he wrote: "Hired by RCA Service Co. in late summer 1966 and assigned to the ETR ARIS project, USNS Vandenberg and USNS Arnold. Served on each ship as required until 1971 when I transfered with RCA to Kwajalein and the KREMS PRESS tracking site on Roi Namur. Left RCA and government service in 1977 and went into private busness. Rejoined RCA in 1980 and the GEODSS project. Remained with GEODSS, but changed employer to TRW in 1983 where I remained until retirement in late 2000. I currently ranch in Central Texas and raise Santa Gertrudis Cattle."
16 OCT. 2010: ADDITIONAL INPUT ABOUT RANGE RAT PAUL LEGER:
- In an email to me in Mar. 2009 Elliot Phillips reported the name of Paul Lejuare (? sp) who had died and was not on this list, with no further information:
- IN SEPT. 2009 I REPORTED THIS: Tom McCarthy wrote me in June '09 that the name that Elliot reported as Paul Lejuare (of which Elliot wasn't sure of the spelling) is most likely spelled Paul Leger who was Manager of Trinidad Radar as he recalls. Tom further writes that it seems like Paul was actually up range, but the Trinidad Radar was his responsibility and that Paul was a Canadian therefore the French name, which was pronounced 'Le ghere.
- 16 OCT 2010: ADDITIONAL INFO RECEIVED In Nov. '09 I heard from Fred Perkins who wrote this: "Was just looking over the updates of range rat deaths on your site. In your update dated 06 March 2009 you mention Paul Leger. He was variously described as Manager of Trinidad Radar and a Pan Am Base Accountant. Paul was neither. However, he was RCA Manager of D/R Instrumentation in the late 60s. He was my boss when I worked as IM at Grand Turk and Pretoria in 67 and 68. He came to MTP from the BMEWS Project, where he had worked I believe as an engineering manager. He was a great guy to work for, and traveled a lot downrange, although he never was actually stationed downrange. He died of a heart attack around 1970 I believe, although I'm not sure of the year."
- If anyone has more info about Paul Leger send me an email.
16 OCT. 2010: ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON ROLIN EBANKS:
- In June '07 it was reported on these pages the death of Rolin Ebanks by Jim Edwards with a few details about his downrange life. You can now read more about Rolin in the Range Rat Sign-in Book with entrys made by 2 of his 4 daughters in Jan 2010, just use your web browers search feature and search for Ebanks.
- Sally Ebanks (England) wrote this at the end of her entry: "Down range" is in our blood and we will always be "The Ebanks rangerat family".
16 OCT. 2010: WALLY TUBELL REMEMBERS DICK SAAR WHO PASSED AWAY SOME YEARS AGO:
- In Sept '10 Wally emailed me this about Dick Saar: "He was the Radar Manager at Grand Turk and Mayaguez in the mid to late 1950s, Test Planning Engineer at AUTEC in the 1970s, 80s and 90s. Passed away in West Palm Beach FL about five or six years ago (which would make it 2004 or 2005). A great guy and super smart. He was my first down-range room-mate (1955-56)."
- 06 DEC. 2010 UPDATE: Fred Schaefer emailed me in Oct. 2010 that Saar also worked on GBI for many years.
- Send me an email if you knew Saar, and can provide anymore info about him.
19 SEPT 2010: DEATH OF WILLIAM "BILL" FOWLER REPORTED:
- Jack Holland of Banks OR sent me an email today with news of Bills death, Jack knew William "Bill" Fowler from the range saying "I don't know his full work history on the ETR but he was the PanAm fire and security chief on Antigua back in the 68 to 72 time frame, and Bill had been a resident of Alaska since 1972".
Bill passed away on 03 Sept. 2010, his obit appeared in the Anchorage Daily News website but if you want to read it you have to pay for that service, wot a bummer.
- If you knew Bill, and know more about his work on the range, send me an email.
19 SEPT 2010: JIM BOYTER REPORTS DEATH OF ALSTON "WALLY" WALLACE:
- Jim Boyter from Palm Harbor FL relayed the info that Alston "Wally" Wallace passed away on 29 April 2010 after a two year battle with cancer. The following info was gathered from the obit in the Arizona Republic newspaper: "Wally", 78 years old, passed away at home with his family around him. He fought a courageous two year battle of cancer. He joined the marines after graduation from college and became a Naval Aviator in 1954. He loved to fly. In 1957 Wally went to work in the Aerospace Industry and managed missile tracking stations all over the world. He was lucky enough to meet all seven Mercury Astronauts. (If you would like me to forward you his complete obit as it appeared in the paper, send me an email).
- Boyter also recalled that he knew that "Wally" was a PanAm BOM at Antigua and Ascension, and was Manager of Range Operations at the cape in the mid sixties for
- 06 DEC. 2010 UPDATE: Jim Edwards emailed me in Sept. 2010 with this additional info. on Wally:
- "He arrived at Ascension as an ABOM when I was running the Weather station there in 1960 . When Alan Shepard landed at GBI in May 1961 we had a very busy three days. Stan Monfette was acting Base Manager, and Wally was sent in
to help out (I was Wx Station boss, but was pressed into service to help keep the news media in check). In November 1963 Wally was Base Manager at Antigua. I was an ABOM at GBI and was sent TDY to provide vacation relief for Wally. He left Pan Am in 1968 and went to work for Ford Aerospace in Mountain View California. I visited him there while on vacation. In later years I heard stories about his adventures in Viet Nam and Thule Greenland. The dust never settled when Wally was round."
- Thanks Jim for this interesting piece on Wally.
- Anyone who has more info. about "Wally"s time on the range, send me an email.
08 SEPT 2010: JIM BOYTER REPORTS DEATH OF CHARLIE ANDERSON:
- Jim emailed me today of the death of Charles "Charlie" Anderson and that after searching for years, he found Charlie's obituary on line toward the end of July 2010. Charlie had passed away on 02 June 2010 in Colorado. Jim knew Charlie at San Salvador in 1960-1961 and that he was an RCA employee in the communications center at that time. You can read Charlie's obit at the funeral website and can visit and sign the guest book if you wish. Jim also wrote a nice long piece in the guest book, its worth reading.
- Send me an email if you would like to make a comment or observation of working with "Charlie".
29 AUG 2010: WENDELL W. THOMPSON, FRIEND OF DICK MANIAG, HAS PASSED AWAY:
- In 2008, Dick Maniag emailed me that he was looking for Wendell W.Thompson, however Dick didn't supply and information of where Wendell worked or what year timeframe it was, etc. so it took a while to come up with an answer. While looking at the facebook page for the USNS Gen H.H. Arnold, I happened to find out that Wendell was a ship rat, and upon further sleuthing in ancestry records, I found out that Wendell had died in 2002. Wendell was born 31 August 1925, and died 16 June 2002, in Melbourne, Brevard County, Florida. While there is no place of birth listed for Wendell, it is known that he was in Maryland when he first obtained his Social Security card. Wendell worked in Telemetry aboard the Arnold back in the mid sixties. If you go to the USNS Gen H.H. Arnold facebook page you will find a photo of Wendell in their "In Memoriam" photo album (plus many other ship rats that are not listed (yet) on this page who have died.
- If you would like to make a comment about Wendell Thompson, send me an email.
16 AUG 2010: BILL LEWIS SENDS NOTICE OF DEATH OF "WOODY" REEVES:
- Lucian Woodard "Woody" Reeves, USN, (Ret.), age 91, died peacefully in Daytona Beach, Florida on 07 August 2010 with family at his bedside. Woody joined the U.S. Navy in 1940 and was stationed aboard the USS Medusa (AR-1) at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941. After retiring from the Navy in 1960, he worked for General Electric in Owensboro, Kentucky and then with RCA at Cape Canaveral, Florida. He did optical engineering work during the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo space programs, installing, repairing and maintaining telescopes, cameras, and other optical equipment.
In 1968, he began a new job working on the intelligence gathering ships, USNS Hoyt S. Vandenburg (TAGM-10) and USNS General H.H. Arnold (TAGM-9). Woody was promoted to Ship's Systems Engineer during this time and retired from RCA in 1983.
Final arrangements are tentative but a memorial service will be scheduled near the end of August at Florida National Cemetery in Bushnell, Florida where Woody will be buried with full military honors next to his wife, Roma. His family requests that donations be made to the Florida Veterans Foundation, Inc., 4040 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida 32399; Odyssey Hospice, 149 South Ridgewood Avenue, Suite 400, Daytona Beach, Florida 32114; or a charity of your choice.
You can read his complete obit at Tallahassee Democrat .
- Send me an email if you would like to make a comment or observation of working with "Woody".
19 JULY 2010: DEATH OF GLENN STEPHENSON REPORTED
- "Mac" Monroe informed me a few days ago about the passing of Glenn Stephenson who served on the USNS Redstone. Glenn's obit was published in Florida Today and reads in part: "Glenn Renneau Stephenson - Rockledge FL - 69, died Thursday, 15 July 2010 at Wuesthoff Hospice Care Center. He was born in Rome, GA. Following his time in the Navy he continued his service in the Defense Industry including over twenty years onboard the USNS REDSTONE. Funeral services will be held Thursday afternoon, July 22nd at St. Mary's Catholic Church in Rockledge FL. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Wuesthoff Brevard Hospice, 8060 Spyglass Hill Road, Viera, FL 32940." You can read his complete obit at Florida Today.
- Who remembers Glenn? Must be many people who remember him if he spent 20 years aboard the USNS Redstone. Send me an email.
- There was an appropriate poem with his obit that I am publishing here, appropriate for Glenn and others who served aboard ships:
There is a port of no return,
where ships may ride at anchor
for a little space and then,
some starless night,
the cable slips, leaving an eddy at the mooring place...
Gulls, veer no longer.
Sailor, rest your oar.
No tangled wreckage will be washed ashore.
15 JULY 2010: SON OF THOMAS RUDOLPH TESAREK REPORTS HIS FATHERS DEATH.
- On this page, in AUG. 2009, I erroneously made an entry where I had the names mixed up of the son and father, and so the below is a correction:
Thomas E. Tesarek wrote in the RR Sign-in Book in May '09 that his father Thomas Rudolph Tesarek had passed away in 2002. Saying that his father worked at Cape Kennedy in the early 60's, then in the mid 60's worked on Grand Turk. He also worked on the USNS Arnold; on Johnson Atoll; then at JPL at Goldstone, finally retiring in Barstow CA. The son lived with him on Grand Turk and really enjoyed his time there, saying it was a great time to see all that was going on in the space industry.
- After the son made his entry, Lutisha Tesarek, the wife of the deceased, also made an entry in the RR Sign-in Book on 11 APRIL 2010, making this comment: "After leaving RCA, we returned and lived on the Black Douglas, a 150 foot converted mine sweeper helping Lou Black with his treasure hunting - he was building a one man submarine and bought a small island about 15 miles away." (But she didnt say where...)
- If anyone else knew Thomas Tesarek, like what sections he worked etc., and wants to comment further, let me know and I'll publish it here.
02 APR. 2010: DEATH OF "VERN" BONSALL REPORTED:
26 OCT. 2011: INFO. UPDATE ON V. BONSALL, (see below):
- Jim Edwards emailed me at the end of March that Vern Bonsall had died on 26 March saying that he didn't know if Vern worked downrange much, but he was a fixture at Tel IV for many years.
- I knew Vern from downrange but just what island I can't recall, maybe Puerto Rico or Antigua. I found his obituary on the internet after learning of the news from Jim, and learned his first name. I bet many of you didn't know his first name was "Oathel", I always knew his as Vern. In part his obituary reads:
"Oathel Vernon Bonsall of Rockledge FL was 78. A loving husband, wonderful father, community activist and a retired engineer, passed away Friday 26 March 2010 at Wuesthoff Hospice. He was born in Santanta, Kansas. He served two years in the U.S. Army Signal Corp before moving to Puerto Rico and meeting the love of his life Awilda Bonsall. The family moved to Merritt Island in 1965 where he continued to work for RCA for 37 years. He and the Bonsall family were founding members of Divine Mercy Catholic Church. He served as a volunteer at Cape Canaveral Hospital Auxiliary, Boy Scouts of America Adult Leader, Docent at the Air Force Museum Cape Canaveral."
- I emailed Bob Johnston who I knew would know more about Vern and this is what he wrote: "Vern was the telemetry leader at Antigua from 1962 to sometime in 1965. From there he went to Tel4 as a leader. Sometime after that he moved over to operations supervisor,(or coordinator), I'm not sure of the exact title. He was in that position when I left the range in November of 1976."
- If you knew Vern and/or worked with him and would like to add something to this report send me an email.
- 26 OCT. 2011: Phil Keeler wrote in APR 2010, "I think he was at GBI in the 50's."
- 26 OCT. 2011: In APR 2010 Tim Eastland wrote on death of Bonsall: "Vern Was at Mayaguez in 1960 our families spent many a weekend afternoon clamming on the beach, and downing lots of cerveza India (Vern and me, that is... not the families)."
- 26 OCT. 2011: In APR 2010 Wally Tubell also wrote this about the death of Bonsall "Vern and I worked together at Mayaguez in the 1957-59 period. He was there when I got there, and he was there when I left. During that period he was a rock-solid Leader at Telemetry.
I can't remember exactly when he moved to the Cape, but I believe it was some time around 1960, although Tim Eastland says he worked with Vern at Mayaguez in the 1960-61 period.
In the early to mid 60s, Vern and I were part of a small, one-deal, real estate 'joint venture.' Our partners were Burt Snell (RCA, but never full time down ranger), Dick Saar (GTK, Cape and long-time AUTEKnik) and Norm Tucker (Mayaguez, ASC, Cape, Patrick and AUTEC). We called ourselves "Rock Associates" -- I think I was the culprit who came up with the name as a reference to Asc and the other isolated DR sites. With some of our down-range savings, we bought 12 acres of land on US #1 in Grant (10 mi south of Melbourne) which at the time seemed like a promising growth area. But, our timing turned out to be horrible --- I-95 was completed in that area a few years later, a circumstance that devalued property on US #1 quite a bit. Just goes to show you, 'steely eyed missile men aren't always cut out to be entrepreneurs.' Sadly, the old Rock Associates gang is now down to Norm and me. Burt died in a plane crash about 15 years ago, and Dick passed away about six or seven years ago. May they all rest in peace."
19 FEB. 2010: FRED PERKINS REPORTS DEATH OF A FRIEND:
- Charles Griffin. Fred said "I worked with Charlie at several locations, a great guy." The following info was taken from his published obituary:
Charles Griffin, 80, passed away peacefully at home on Friday, June 26, 2009. He bravely fought a two and a half year battle with cancer. "Charlie" joined the USAF in 1946 and participated in the Berlin Airlift, serving his country until 1953. Charlie worked for RCA/GE government services from 1954 to 1989, working as manager in various areas from Grand Bahama Island to PAFB, Ascension Island, Trinidad, Antigua, Colorado Springs, CO, Anchorage, Pt. Barrow, AK and Andros Island. After 35 years he and his wife Ann retired to Cocoa.
- If you would like to make a comment about Charlie Griffin, send me an email.
19 FEB. 2010: DEATH OF MIKE PASTERNAK REPORTED:
- Last year Barney "Mac" McDowell emailed me that Mike Pasternak had died about 10 years ago. Mike was a teletype/crypto tech and spent about 20 years on the Range.
- I remember the name and believe he worked at Grand Turk when I was there.
- Did you know Pasternak and what islands/ships he worked on? if so send me something about him so I can fill in the blanks about him.
19 FEB, 2010: JIM EDWARDS REPORTS 3 MORE DEATHS:
- In a Dec '09 email, Jim Edwards told me of these deaths, but he didn't know when they died:
- Mac McGee Brown was a Control Tower Operator at San Salvador for a
while and then many years at Ascension.
- Harry Larsen was a retired Navy Chief who was Supply Supervisor
on the USNS Twin Falls and finished out his career at Ascension.
- Charlie Whitetree was a Seneca Indian from Oklahoma. As an RCA
Tech he worked for Jim on the USNS Coastal Crusader. Jim also believes that
Whitetree also worked on the ARIS ships.
- UPDATE 09 NOV. 2010: Bill Stewart emailed me in March '10 with more info: he wrote: "Noticed your report of the death of Charlie Whitetree. Charlie was a friend. We worked together on several ships, the last I remember was the Sampan Hitch, where Charlie was the comm tech. I was told he died in the late 1960's in an automobile accident."
- UPDATE 09 NOV. 2010: Jim Caskey reported this on the Facebook "In Memoriam" photo page where there is also a picture of Charlie: "Charles Whitetree (born 17 Feb. 1938; died Jun. 1973 ) was a member of the Seneca Nation of the Iroquois Federation of American Indians from Oklahoma. He was in the Key Crew that sailed with the USNS Arnold from New York. He worked in radar on the Digital Ranging Machine. He was still aboard in December 1965 and I don't know how much longer."
- UPDATE 24 AUG. 2011: Bill Lewis emailed me a long time ago (24 Aug '10) with additional info on Whitetree: " Charlie was born in Oklahoma in Feb. 1938 and died at the young age of 35 in June of 1973. These dates are from the Social Security Death Index. Charlie was still aboard when I left the Arnold in 1966. He left good memories in those few short years".
- Did you know any of these 3 above? Mac McGee Brown, Harry Larsen, or Charlie Whitetree?, if so send me anything you have so it can be added to this page.
25 JAN. 2010: DEATH OF TOM TEEL REPORTED:
- in a recent email, Gene Pugh, had this to report: "Was advised by Jim Gilmore (Comm Ctl ASC 1960's), that his ex-roommate, Tom Teel (ASC Tlm 1960's) recently passed away. Gilmore had kept in touch with Tom throughout the years.
I am sure many of you remembered Tom."
- Did you know Tom Teel, if so send me something about him so it can be added to this page.
25 JAN. 2010: LOUIS C. EMARD'S DEATH REPORTED:
- Jack Tolman forwarded this information about Louis C. Emard, also known by the name of "Bud" and "Buddy", was from Rockledge FL, and died on 21 January 2010 at the age of 78. Tolman said "I worked with Buddy for 2 years in Antigua when I was the site engineer at Radar 91.14, this was from 1973-75. I think Buddy spent many years on Antigua as he had a wife and kids there."
- Leon Lacy said Buddy was "the father-in-law of Joe Sutton".
- UPDATE 16 OCT. 2010: John Gladden emailed me in Feb. '10 with more info: "just saw on your web site that Buddy Emard passed away in January. I was surprised to learn that he had lived in Rockledge prior to his death. I knew Buddy and his family on Antigua in 1973-74. I believe I first met Buddy at Trinidad, when I used to make some TDY trips out of Cocoa Beach. I remember that he won the best costume prize at the Satellite Club one Halloween by keeping silent until the judging was over. He was a friendly and well liked person."
- If you knew Louis and any other details about his life downrange, please send me an email so it can be recorded here.
25 JAN. 2010: JIM EDWARDS & OTHERS REPORT DEATH OF FRED CARMAN:
- Jim emailed me a few days ago that Fred Carman had died recently, saying Fred was a Fire/Security employee with Pan Am down range and that Fred worked for him at GBI for several years.
- Arthur Newport also wrote saying that he knew Fred Carman from 1966 and that they roomed together at Antigua and later on Ascension. as well as Art could remember, Fred was on almost every range station at one time or another and that he didnt stay in one place for very long. Art ended his email with this message: "ITS A SAD DAY TO SEE ANOTHER RANGE RAT GONE. Fred was a true friend."
- Jack Tolman forwarded additional info: Fred A. Carman of Melbourne FL passed away on 21 Jan. 2010 at the age of 86 and that Fred worked for Pan Am and Harris Corp. in Fire and Security. Calling hours will be 6 to 8 p.m. on Monday, 25 January at Florida Memorial Funeral Home. A funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26th in the funeral home chapel followed by entombment at Florida Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorials can made to the American Cancer Society or the William Childs Hospice House.
16 JAN. 2010: JACK LOUTHAN'S DEATH REPORTED:
- Joe Makeever called me a few days ago to let me know that another RR and ham operator Jack Louthan had died very recently. Joe said Jack was the Antigua communications engineer, stationed there from 1961 to probably 1965.
- If you knew Jack and any other details about his life downrange, or of his death, please send me an email so it can be recorded here.
16 JAN. 2010: ARTHUR NEWPORT REPORTS DEATH OF "CHUCK" ROLLEN:
- On 05 Jan '10 Arthur sent me an email saying "Sad to inform every one that Charles "Chuck" Rollen died on 02 Jan 2010. Chuck was a retired supervisor at the cape. He was also down range at Grand Turk, Eluthera, Grand Bahama Island and probably other stations too".
- Did you know Chuck Rollen, if so send me something about him so it can be added to this page.
16 JAN. 2010: DEATH OF ED GLADSTONE:
- I often search the world wide web for deaths of range rats and recently came across an article about Ed Gladstone, who died in 1989. He was a Range Rat and worked on San Salvador for General Electric as an electrical engineer. His family wrote a nice article about his life downrange from his audio tapes that he left behind, which is published on Larry Brunetti's GE Range Rats website.
Here is a link to the article "Memories of San Salvador". It's worth reading.
- If you knew Ed Gladstone and want to share any info. about him, send me an email. I'm listing him as "Ed" here but if his given name was Edward or something else, please let me know too.
24 DEC. 2009: MORE INFO ABOUT JOHN FACKER:
Your editor (thats me, Joe Frasketi) listed the first deaths of Range Rats on these pages which started in early 2005, of those who I personally knew and knew that died, one was:
- John Facker. John was one of the first RCA employees who I met when I went to the RCA indoctrination at Patrick Air Force Base, back in Oct 1956. John was a RCA transfer from Cherry Hill NJ, although there was a 25 year age difference between us, we hit it off good. I didn't see him again until the day I was scheduled to go downrange, and met him at the PAFB hanger 800 on 05 Dec. 1956, and learned that we were going to the same station: Dominican Republic, he as the IM and me as a timing technician. I later worked for John at Grand Turk and later at Ascension in 1971, (I think he was Station Engineer at ASC). Strange as it was that we started our downrange career at the same time, we both left RCA at the same time. John and I rode back to PAFB from Ascension in Aug. 1972, both of us taking the layoff. He was the first to start calling me "FRAS" while we were at the Dom. Rep. station and that nickname stuck with me during my range career and he preferred to be called just "FACKER". While we were on the range but at different stations we always kept in touch at Christmas time with a card and after we left the range with other correspondence or a phone call. On two occasions when I happened to be in the Melbourne FL area I looked him up. One time visiting with another RR oldtimer, Henry "Hank" Taylor, who we both knew from our Grand Turk days, and another time John and I traveled up to Port Orange FL to visit another retired RCA old timer Bert Berthelsen. Facker died in Aug. 1998 at the age of 89.
What other stations did Facker work at, can you can fill in the blanks? Or if you knew him maybe you would like to add something here too. I am surprised that so far I have not heard much from other RRs about Facker.
14 DEC. 2009: DEATH OF CHARLIE OWENS REPORTED :
- In late Oct '09 Bruce Watson emailed me: "I noted that the name Charlie Owens was not listed on your RR death page. Charlie was supply supervisor on Ascension in 1964 and on Antigua in 1965, 66 & 67. He was a retired army colonel and a lawyer who participated in the Nuremberg Trials in 1945 & 1946. He was one of the nicest people you would ever want to call a friend and boss. I am sure there are many of the old Supply troops that can attest to this. He should be listed on your site as a reminder of a gentleman and a friend.
- If you knew Charlie Owens and what year he passed away, or any other info. about him that you want to share, send me an email. I'm listing him as "Charlie" here but if his given name was Charles or something else, please let me know too.
20 NOV. 2009: BRUCE WATSON REPORTS DEATH OF JIM HOY:
- In Oct '09 Bruce wrote: "I attended Len Sluder's services recently and checked your site to see if Len had been added, which he had. However, while going over the other names on the list I noted that the name of Jim Hoy was not listed. Jim was the Admin Mgr at GBI in 1959 & 60. I don't know where he was stationed after that but I heard that he had passed away a few years back. Maybe one of the other RRs has info concerning Jim."
- UPDATE 14 DEC. 2009: John Gladden emailed me in late Nov with more info: "Jim Hoy went to Eleuthera after he left GBI and was the Admin Sup there for at least three years. He was there when MISTRAM was installed in 1963 when I first met him. He was instrumental in getting improvements implemented for Pan Am down range procedures."
- Did you know Jim too? What other locations was he stationed and/or what year did he pass away, if so, send me an email. I'm listing him as "Jim" here but if his given name was James, please let me know too.
20 NOV. 2009: DEATH OF BOB STATTS REPORTED:
- In Oct '09 I heard from Charlie Wright about the death of Bob Statts, he emailed me this: "I looked over the list of the Rats deceased & saw that the name Bob Statts is not listed. Bob was a Pan Am Supply Supervisor for many
years of the early Range. Later he served in the mid-east, then
back to the Cape. His wife Barbara and son Jon live it the PAFB
area. Bob was my boss at Antigua and Mahe, the best to work for
and always good times."
- UPDATE 14 DEC. 2009: John Gladden emailed me in late Nov with more info about Bob: "Bob Staats not only worked in Supply, he also did some base accountant work and he worked out of the Cocoa Beach offices for a while. He relieved me as Supply Supervisor in Mahe in 1972, after which he went to the middle east for a short time. The contract there was terminated because of the local government overthrow and all the U.S. personnel were sent home. Bob was one of the lucky ones who was able to come back to the range to finish out his career. I had seen Bob off and on in the Indialantic area along the beaches after he retired. He and Bob Husby, another former Pan Am supply supervisor, showed up at one of my old watering holes a few years back. We spent a couple of hours reliving our days down range and draining the keg."
- If you also knew Bob and if you'd like to add some info. about him please send me an email. I'm listing him as "Bob" here but if his given name was Robert, please let me know
08 NOV. 2009: A LIST OF SHIP RAT DEATHS REPORTED BY RAMON "RAY" SMITH:
- In Oct '09 Ray who worked on the USNS Arnold, Redstone, Twin Falls & Vandenberg, wrote: "Here are some names to include:"
- William "Bill" O'Sullivan, who served on the USNS Arnold, killed by a
motorist on 520 walking to Cocoa Beach FL.
- Roger Page, a USNS Redstone SIM, who died enroute to antigua.
- Dan Vida who served on the USNS Arnold, died in Cocoa Beach FL, of natural causes.
- Mel Linton, in telemetry at the cape then on the USNS Arnold, died by suicide.
- Roger Quilling, of the USNS Redstone, died at his home in Cape Canaveral FL.
- UPDATE 09 NOV. 2010: Bill Lewis reported to me in March '10 that Roger Quilling's date of birth was 11 July 1935, and his date of death was 10 May 1999. So that would mean he died at the age of 63."
- If you knew any of these ship rats above please email me, I would like to know approx. when they died. If you were a friend of any of these Rats tell me something more about them that might be of interest to others.
08 NOV. 2009: WALLY TUBELL & OTHERS REPORT DEATH OF ERNIE PEGHINY:
- In June '09 Wally Tubell wrote: "Sadly, here's another death to report, although many RRs already know about it. Ernie Peghiny -- the world's best
servo engineer -- passed away 24 April '09. He worked on the range for many years, starting back in the mid-1950s, traveled downrange and to ships extensively, and was much loved and greatly respected. He was also a wounded WWII veteran. Great guy. May he rest in peace."
- I did not report Ernie's death here as I had heard that Ernie was not downrange PCS, and I am trying to keep this list mainly for Range Rats and Ship Rats. If I was to include up range people this list would never end and so some other names that have been sent to me have also not been included here. From Wally email it looks like that Ernie did work downrange.
- Others who have also reported his death to me said his name should be included on the above list even though he was not a PCS downranger but he had spent a good portion of his work downrange, and it looks like Ernie was well thought of by many downrangers. Bill Bailey wrote me this in May '09: "Ernie Lee Peghiny's name will be recognized by many range troops as the 'Servo Expert bar none', my friend and mentor. One of the finest men I've known.
- I've located his obituary, which you can find by clicking here and scrolling down the page.
26 OCT. 2009: LEON LACY & OTHERS REPORTS DEATH OF LEN SLUDER:
- Received an email today from Lacy with brief info. that Leonard E. "Len" Sluder had passed away. Jack Tolman forwarded info. that there was a brief notice in "Florida Today" about Len's death.
- Further info. received today from Jim Edwards who knew Len, said: "Leonard Sluder died from cancer on 23 October 2009, he was with Pan Am about 20 years downrange and 10 years on the Range Bases staff at PAFB. He worked at Grand Turk, Grand Bahama, and mainland Sites. He was Base Manager at Ascension, Antigua a couple of times, Pretoria, Mahe, Eleuthera, and Grand Bahama. Was also a SOM on one of the knot class ships. He was a great guy to work for. He was 87 years old".
- John Gladden emailed me that he also knew Len: "Len was the BOM at Mahe and at Antigua when I was stationed at those bases. He was on the range a long time and was Base Manager at other stations, Ascension being one of the others and the one where I first met him in the early 1960s. Played a lot of golf with Len at Antigua and back here in the states after I left Pan Am and he retired. I knew his wife and daughters and my sympathies go out to them.
15 OCT. 2009: RECENT DEATH OF "WALLY" LANDERS REPORTED:
- Bob Johnston sent me an email 2 days ago telling me: "Joe, We received word last night that Walter L. "Wally" Landers had passed away Monday morning (12 OCT 2009) at his home in Ventura, CA. Wally came on the range 1n 1966 and worked at Eleuthera subcable. He transferred to GBI subcable in the summer of 1967 and transferred to GBI Telemetry in January 1968. Wally left the range in 1971 and worked for Kentron at Edwards AFB, CA and Philco-Ford at Vandenberg AFB, CA. Wally went to work for Comsat Corp. in Santa Paula, CA and Hughes Satellite in Fillmore, CA."
- If you were a friend of "Wally" & would like to make a comment, please send me an email.
15 OCT. 2009: SON REPORTS DEATH OF FATHER:
- I heard from Mike Sisk a few days ago telling me: "I am the son of Jim Sisk who was a range rat for about 12 years. I did not see my dad's name on the list of those who died. He was the Maintenance Superintendent at Eleuthera in the early 1960's. He died in 1968 of a heart attack on Grand Bahama Island. He
spent time on many of the down range islands that included Trinidad, Ascension Island, Eleuthera, and Grand Bahama Island.
- If you worked with Sisk and would like to add something to this entry, please send me an email.
07 OCT. 2009: DEATH OF DANIEL E. KAYLOR REPORTED:
- In Jan '09 I received an email from his daughter Lt Col Sandra Carol Allen saying that her father Daniel Estill Kaylor had passed away in March 2007. She noted that Daniel worked at Eleuthera probably in the late fifties or early sixties and finished his career at the Cape. All she remembers is that he was involved in missile tracking on the island and she was just a little girl at that time. One thing she remembers is that her dad was an artist and he created a statue on one of the islands to represent the people that did the job he did. She knows for sure as she has seen the photo.
- Does anyone remember Dan Kaylor and can you provide more info. as to what job he had at Eleuthera, and elsewhere, and perhaps has any details about the statue?
20 SEPT. 2009: DAUGHTER REPORTS DEATH OF FATHER:
- Colleen Johnson Davis emailed me in June 09 saying: "I would like to add my fathers name to your obit list as he passed away a number of years ago.....
William C Johnson, from Merritt Island, died in March 1994. Dad worked a good many ships under RCA and CSR I think, and his last position was as the Ships Inst. Manager on the Redstone. These are the ships he worked on:
USNS Arnold: May 1963 – April 1965 & Jan 1974 - June 1974;
USNS Vanguard: Sept. 1965 - Nov. 1966 & June 1974 - Sept. 1975;
USNS Twin Falls: Nov. 1966 - Dec. 1969;
USNS Vandenberg: June 1974 - Sept. 1975; and
USNS Redstone: Dec. 1969 - Dec. 1973 & Dec. 1975 - Oct. 1988.
I was able to witness the Vandenberg sinking this year in Key West-- it was a sight to behold. Since my father worked on that ship it had a special meaning. I started to wonder about the Redstone where he spent a number of years and it led me to you site."
- If you worked with Johnson and would like to add something to this entry, please send me an email.
20 SEPT. 2009: ASCENSION RANGE RAT BIVIN SMALL DEATH REPORTED:
- Kathy Gilson-Johnson from Kwajalein wrote me in May 09... "Joe, I heard from Deb Jackson, that Bivin Small had passed away. He worked in construction on Ascension Island. I don't remember the years - I think late 80's & early 90's.
- Did you know Bivin and can you provide more info about him and where he worked and when he died, etc. etc?...
20 SEPT. 2009: BOB McKINNEN'S DEATH REPORTED:
- "Mac" Monroe sent me this info in March 09 that was forwarded to him from another RR: John Bohrer, who said this news was for the people who served on the ETR and particularly to those on the ARIS ships, that Bob McKinnen, who was an AB on the Vandenberg and Redstone had passed away in March 2009, having lost his battle with lung cancer. He was 68 years old.
- Russell Fowler, who also wrote to "Mac" and commented that "Bob was a deck hand and very friendly, I knew him on the Vandenberg".
- Who else knew McKinnen and wants to share some info about him? Send me an email.
20 SEPT. 2009: SON REPORTS DEATH OF RCA TROOP IN RR SIGN-IN BOOK:
- Gary A. Smith signed the RR Sign-in book on 07 Feb 09 writing that his father Delone B. Smith, who was called "Smitty" by his friends, worked for RCA at the Cape and on the USNS Gen. Hoyt S. Vandenberg from 1969 to 1972, working as an electronic Tech, also noting that "Smitty" was sent to Trinidad for schooling before joining the Vandenberg. Gary relates that he has a patch that his father gave him from the USNS Vandenberg-TAGM-10, that he will never give up. Gary said his father died November 6,1976 at the age of 48.
- If you worked with "Smitty" Smith, and would like to make a comment about him, I will publish it on this page
20 SEPT. 2009: DEATH OF BOB "DOC" GILL REPORTED BY SON:
- On 28 Jan 09 Peter Gill wrote in the RR sign-in book and later email corresponce to me that his father was hired in 1957 and worked at first at PABF and the Cape. Then he began his range career and was eventually stationed or worked on GBI, San Salvador, Eleuthera, Grand Turk, Mayaguez Puerto Rico, Antigua, Trinidad, Ascension, GBI and Mahe. He thinks Bob left the range in the early 70s and passed away in 1989. Peter said "Doc" and wife and some number of his four children lived with him on different stations at different times. Peter lived with him in Puerto Rico. "Doc" worked for PanAm and served on most of the bases, including a couple on the Pacific side at one time or another in the capacity of Med/Rec Supervisor.
- UPDATE, 15 OCT. 2009: John Gladden emailed me yesterday with this info. about Bob Gill: "I met Bob while I was still in the Cocoa Beach office in the early 1960s and he was working in Environmental Health out of the cape. Then when I went down range I was stationed with him at Mahe in 1970 - 71 and again at Antigua in 1974 - 76 where he was indeed the Med/Rec Supervisor. We played golf at Cedar Valley Golf Club in Antigua and after I was laid off in 1977 I met Bob back here in the states here we played some more golf in the Melbourne, Florida area until he moved to Oak Ridge, TN with his second wife. It was in Oak Ridge that he passed away. Bob was as fine a friend as anyone would ever want. He always had a smile for everyone and cheerful conversation. He was one of those people that could make the clouds disappear on a gloomy day. I never heard anybody say a disparaging word about him." Thanks John, for this personal info on Bob.
- Anyone who wants to add something further to this entry about "Doc" Gill, I can publish it here.
20 SEPT. 2009: CATHY GORETSKY REPORTS DEATH OF HUSBAND:
- On 28 Jan 09 Cathy wrote in the RR sign-in book that her husband Larry Goretsky had passed away on 28 Jan. 1986, stating that he had worked for RCA downrange in 1956 and in 1958 they got married and they lived in the Darlington
Apartments in Mayaguez Puerto Rico. In the fall of 1960 Larry put in for a transfer to the Cape. She remembers so many friends and the family activities at the Clearview Club, saying that living in Mayaguez was a wonderful time in their lives.
- If you remember Larry Goretsky and want to add something to this entry, let me know and I can publish it here.
28 AUGUST 2009: BOB BONNER REPORTS DEATH OF FRIEND:
- In July 09 Bob emailed me that his good friend Dennis Davies who worked at Grand Turk in the PanAm weather station had passed away. He said "Frank O'Leary, who he knew on the range, read the RR page where I was seeking info on Davies, and told me Dennis had passed away a few years ago. With Franks info I was able to talk to Dennis's wife in Hawaii and indeed Dennis passed away in 2006." Bob had told me earlier that Dennis met his wife, a South African girl from Cape Town and he believes they were married in 1960, when Bob was on a trip to Cape Town on the USNS Timber Hitch or Coastal Crusader.
- If you knew Dennis, and would like to make a comment about him, let me know and I can publish it here.
15 AUGUST 2009: "MAC" MONROE SENDS OBIT OF WILFRED P. ELLIS.
- Wilfred P. Elllis of Cocoa, FL. died 10 Aug. 2009, age 87,at his home. He served in the military for over 25 years encompassing World War II, Korean Conflict, Cuban Missile Crisis, and the Vietnam War. He received a special commendation for his participation in the Cuban Missile Crisis awarded to him by President John F. Kennedy. After retiring from the military Wilfred was employed by RCA Company as the navigator, tracking missiles from his last assignment on the USNS General Vandenberg.
- Mac didnt know or remember meeting Wilfred, but someone else out there should have known him and can send me more info. about his work on the Vandenberg. (I bet he wasn't called Wilfred on the ship either).
15 AUGUST 2009: DEATH OF LARRY LUDWIG REPORTED.
- Steven Thomas of Apex NC wrote me in May '09 of the death of Larry Ludwig in Merritt Island FL in 2007, of cancer. Saying Larry worked many years in range communications and then wrote computer programs for the USNS Vandenberg and USNS Arnold and made many TDY trips to the ships.
09 AUGUST 2009: DEATH OF GERALD "JERRY" MELLOTT CONFIRMED.
- in April 2009 Dev Hunsley wrote asking about Jerry and said that Jerry was
a commcenter leader on San Sal, Antigua, Ascension & GBI. Dev thought Jerry had passed away several years ago. I wrote him back and said he had died, as I had checked the social security records some time ago, and learned that Jerry had died 15 May 2000 at age 60 in Orlando FL. But that I had not yet recorded it on this page. Which I am now doing.
- If anyone else knew Jerry and would like to add something about him, I will include it here, just send me any email.
17 JUNE 2009: RR FRIENDS REPORT DEATH OF JERRY CALLENDAR
- In an email sent to Mo Calvert Jerry's sister, Beverly Martindale, reported that on 17 May 2009 Jerry Callendar had passed away in the Scottsdale (AZ?) hospital. Jerry Blackerby sent a message via the Topica Message Board saying that he knew Jerry when he worked at the GBI radar. Bob Doane also reported that he knew Jerry well during their radar days at GBI.
- What years did Jerry Callendar work at GBI or anywhere else downrange? Please share your info and send me an email.
17 JUNE 2009: DAN CARNEY REPORTS DEATH OF RR SHIPMATE
- In May 09, Dan reported to me that Dave Martin had passed away in the mid 1990's, saying "Dave was the Comm Mgr. on the USNS Arnold and served in similar capacity aboard the USNS Vanguard. Dave was my first supervisor aboard the Range Ships... I never had a bad day aboard these ships. Some were better than others, but never a bad one."
- Who else knew Dave Martin and wants to share some info about him? Send me an email.
17 JUNE 2009: DEATHS OF DR. NEWLANDER, BOWSER AND SHUBERT REPORTED:
- In May 09, Jim Edwards sent me news of 3 more RRs who have passed away
- Dr. W.O. (Bill) Newlander, he was the Pan Am medical doctor at Ascension for many years. Also served RCA in the same capacity at Thule Greenland at one time. Died 17 April 1998.
17 JUNE 2009: Joe Frasketi (that's me) said: I found his obituary on the Albuquerque NM Journal website today. Dr. Bill's first name was Willet, and he served in the Army Air Force in World War II as a B-24 pilot. He graduated from the University of Michigan Medical School and was Chief Surgical Resident at the University of Michigan Hospital. He died just two days before his 76th birthday).
- Bob Bowser, an RCA tech and Instrumentation Manager on the knot
class ships. He was on the USNS Sword Knot with Edwards in 1966-67. (Don't have any info. on when Bob died).
- Dave Shubert, he was a tech aboard the knot class
ships: USNS Sword Knot and others. Died in 2001 .
- Who can supply more info. on these 3 RR's above? send me an email.
17 JUNE 2009: BRUCE WATSON REPORTS DEATH OF 3 MORE RR'S TO ME IN APR 09
- With this information, all three below worked with him on Eleuthera in 1961 and 1962
- Gene Banes, Bruce said he believes Gene died in 1991, but not sure and says that Gene was the aide to General Sands and left the AF and came to Eleuthera to save up to attend college. After he received his degree he worked at Range Bases in the legal department.
- Gordon Chase, passed away in 2007 according to Bruce, he goes on to say that Gordon was the son of Mr. Chase who was a BOM but he can't remember the elder Chase's first name.
- Walt Taylor, died in 2008, according to Bruce, and doesn't have any more info. on him, saying he is sure there are a lot of RR's that can add to Walt's assignments.
- If you can supply anymore info. on the 3 RR's above send me an email.
17 JUNE 2009: DEATH OF GLADYS (WEY) SINGLETON REPORTED
- Jim Edwards has reported in MAR 09 of the death of Ms. Singleton, she replaced Paul Buyers, the GBI base accountant. Jim says when GBI shut down she worked on the property inventory team downrange until the end of the PanAm/RCA contract in 1988. She died about 10 years ago.
- Anyone who knew Ms. Singleton and would care to share something about her, please send me an email. What does the "Wey" stand for? Her Maiden name, nick name or ???
16 MAR. 2009, DAUGHTER REPORTS DEATH OF TOM KING:
- I received an email today via the Topica.com Range Rat message board with this information: "I am sorry to do this via e-mail but was not sure how to reach many people otherwise. I am Tom King's daughter Marcia & I regret to inform you that my father passed away on Sunday 15 March 2009. Services are tentatively planned for Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Sharpes / Cocoa, Florida on Monday 23 March 2009 at 10:30 a.m. My home telephone number is 321.426.4790 and my e-mail is email@example.com. I do not have any way to access his voice mail at his home at this time so please do not leave any messages at his home.
- Tom was another Range Rat old timer, who I knew back in the late 50s when I worked at Grand Turk Telemetry when he was the Northrop telemetry engineer. You can read Tom's entry of 30 March 2007 in the Range Rat sign-in book, where he summerized his work on the range: "Many Years of working with and for wonderful, talented, dedicated people on a 'real', meaningful functional space effort."
Tom also wrote this excerpted piece in the Topica message board on 12 April 2007: "It is great that the people that made such a contribution to the space effort are being recognized for their efforts and sacrifices. For all the high level puffery we see and read about; without the range rats, none of it would have happened." This was in response to Tom McCarthy's suggestion of a Range Rat Hall of Fame.
- If anyone wants to add more info about Tom send me an email.
06 MAR. 2009, DEATH OF HOTALING AND GAGNER REPORTED:
- Jim Cook from Rochester NY emailed me in Jan 09 about these two range rats with the following info:
"Rick Hotaling, RCA was at GBI in 60-62 at the FPS-8 radar, my first work place downrange. Later I saw Rick on ASC in about 1972 when he was working for PAA weather at the cape. About the first range getogether I heard he had killed himself. A search of Fla Today newspaper obits might confirm this.
Some years ago I heard that Dick Gagner had died in Pretoria. Dick had originally worked at Pretoria telemetry, but he later worked at the radar computer van after we got there. Dick and Jake Moore were famous for their (Christmas in
July) parties, that being Pretorias'winter. Dick was ex-navy I think and really smart. He taught himself the radar computer, designed and built his own computer, (including the P.C. boards). He married a S.A. girl, started his own business in S.A. and died there about 6-8 years ago. If Jake Moore is still w/us he might have details."
- If anyone wants to add more info about Hotaling and Gagner send me an email.
06 MAR. 2009, ELLIOT PHILLIPS REPORTS MORE RR DEATHS:
- In an email to me Elliot listed these Range Rats who have died and were not on my list:
- Paul Leger
UPDATE 16 OCT 2010: Information about Paul Leger has been moved to the 16 OCT 2010 entry near the top of the page as a seperate entry as it was confusing the way I had reported it here in this section because of two RRs who were named Paul.
- Jim Mershon
- Paul Buyers
- UPDATE 16 OCT. 2010:
UPDATE 23 APR. 2009: John Gladden wrote a few days after I posted this info, and said: "I knew Paul Buyers at GBI in 1969 when Thor Tessem was BOM and Dave Avseck was Admin Supt. Paul was the Base Accountant and did my local purchase for me in Freeport to support the Supply operation. That was forty years ago, but seems like only a few months."
UPDATE 17 JUNE 2009: In MAR 09 Jim Edwards wrote me that Paul Buyers was the Pan Am Base Accountant at GBI for many years, retiring about 1981. Jim didn't think he worked at any other downrange bases. His replacement at GBI was Gladys (Wey) Singleton, and she died about 10 years ago.
- Anyone who knew Jim Mershon of which nothing is known, and can supply any info about him: where he worked down range, what time periods he was on the range, etc etc., send me an email.
15 FEB. 2009, ANOTHER VANDY SHIPMATE GONE, 12 FEB 09:
- "Mac" Monroe's email of 12 Feb 09 reports that Philip F. LaGana who had been suffering with a brain tumor had lost the battle today. Mac forwarded an email from his wife Debbie which stated that Phil, who was 79, did not want to have a viewing or memorial service at a funeral home. His request was that a party be held for the rejoicing of his life. His wife is working with the Coast Guard and the higher echelon on seeing if his ashes can be sunk with the USNS Vandenberg in Key West (where the ship has now become an artificial reef). Phil loved the Vandy and the people he worked with both on the Vandy and the USNS RedStone.
- Mac goes on to say: "Hopefully arrangements can be made for Phil's ashes to be emplaced on the Vandy. It is hoped that there will be a grotto onboard for urns, as I am aware of several people who's wishes were/are that their ashes be interred on the Vandy after she is sunk."
- If you worked with Phil, and would like to make a comment about him, I will publish it on this page
15 FEB. 2009, GEORGE TERZIAN DEATH REPORT:
- "Mac" Monroe sent me the obituary recently of George Terzian of Merritt Island FL, who died on 05 Feb 2009 at the age of 76. George came to Cocoa Beach in 1960 with RCA. He worked on tracking ships USNS Twin Falls Victory and the USNS Redstone. Later with GE he sailed on the Observation Island in the Pacific. He worked with Grumman and ARC on J STARS. He retired from GE/RCA after 25 years. (info taken from his obituary).
- If anyone would like to add additional comments about George, send me an email.
15 FEB. 2009, JACK TOLMAN REPORTS DEATH OF JOHN V. THOMAS:
- Tolman forwarded Jacks obituary to me in late Jan., John V. Thomas of Melbourne FL died on 23 Jan 2009 at the age of 86. He joined RCA as a radar manager in 1957 and came to Florida in 1958 and worked at Patrick AFB FL and at downrange radar sites. (info taken from his obituary).
UPDATE 23 APR. 2009: In Feb 09 I received this info from Bill Redman: "In answer to your request about John Thomas's downrange experience, I know he was radar manager at Ascension in September 1965 when I left for South Africa. He had only been there a short time before I left. I believe he replaced Gordon Clark. I don't know where he went after Ascension. Hope this helps."
- UPDATE 17 JUNE 2009: In MAY '09 Bill Bailey said he spent a couple of years with J.V. Thomas at Andros (AUTEC).
- Can anyone else provide info as to what downrange sites John worked, or if you want to make comments about him, send me an email.
23 JAN. 2009: CHARLIE ANDERSON ADDS TWO NAMES TO THE ABOVE LIST
Charlie Anderson of Colorado Springs CO, recently made a comment that he was saddened to see so many former friends on this death page, and sent me news of two more of his friends who have passed on:
- Lonny Higdon, a Pan Am F/S (Fire/Security) employee. I first meet Lonnie in 1960 on San Salvador. We worked together on Antigua too. Lonnie was
assigned to the Indian Ocean Tracking Station (Seychelles) as F/S Chief. He later retired to Greensboro, GA where he died of a massive heart attack while walking in his yard. Lonnie and I remained great friends and had many, many great times. I can't remember the exact date of his demise."
- Charles "Chuck" Maner, A Pan Am roving electrician. Chuck, as many will remember died in a private plane crash off Grand Turk Island. Chuck was a "Stunt" pilot and I had the pleasure of going up with him on several occassions. However, I was in the "Conch Club" on Turk the day he went down.
UPDATE 09 AUG. 2009: MORE INFO ON "CHUCK" MANER: In Feb. 09, Debba Wainwright Smith from Greenville, SC wrote...
"Dear Joe: Thank you so much for setting up these wonderful RR pages. So many
names bring back so many memories; some good; some bad; some sweet; some sad, and some really funny!
You asked about "Chuck" Maner, here's what I know: He and Don Schultz died on Sunday, June 7 1970. Don had been to lunch with my father and I, and he and Chuck set out from there to fly to South Caicos to refuel the plane Don had brought down from Grand Bahama that morning, (he shared the plane with Jim (?) Base Manager from Alaska). Doing aerobatics on the way back to the Grand Turk airstrip, as you know, they stalled out and went into the sea by South Beach. I was working for them both at the time and socializing with Chuck!! The sadest part was that he had promised me if he flew to South Caicos he would buy me a hat with blue ribbons. One of the few things that came to the surface after the crash was a hat with blue ribbons!"
Anyone who has more info about Lonny Higdon and "Chuck" Maner that they would like to share please send it so I can include it on this page. I had asked to know more about Maner's untimely death and when it occurred and Debba Wainwright Smith came through with more info as published above. Thanks Debba for telling the rest of the story.
15 JAN. 2010: AM SEEKING MORE INFO ON "CHUCK" MANER... Does anyone know if he resided in the Seychelles during 1966?
23 JAN. 2009: FRIENDS REPORT DEATH OF LARRY HAZELBAKER
- Wally Tubell forwarded this info from Jim Caskey: "Larry's nephew said that Larry Hazelbaker passed away 24 December 2008 due complication from a stroke he suffered in late November." There is now an obituary on Shermie's Kwaj web site click here and scroll down the page. Wally goes on to say "Some of you undoubtedly knew and worked with Larry back in the 1960s. On the ETR, as best I can recall, Larry worked on ships as a tech and leader in the mid 1960s, He was a great guy. Really smart and wonderful to work with. A real friend."
- From his obituary I saw that Larry was in the U.S. Marine Corps where he became a sergeant and trained as a electronics technician. He was later employed by the RCA, General Electric Aerospace and Martin Marietta companies.
- Jim Caskey, sent me more info on Larry's background: "He worked on range ships in support of NASA programs and KREMS Project(TRADEX Radar), Republic of Marshall Islands. Retired in 1993 to Rifle, Colorado. A memorial service is planned in June 2009 in Rifle." (Caskey, worked on the ETR MTP Ships Program in 1967 and later went to kwaj and enjoyed island living so much that he stayed 25+ years).
14 JAN. 2009, BOB PENCE ADDED TO DEATH LIST:
End of PAGE ONE of Range Rat Deaths.
- Jack Tolman forwarded this info. to me about Bob Pence who had passed away some years back, killed by a family member. He worked at Fernando, Ascension and Pretoria.
- 15 FEB 2009, Jim Cook from Rochester,NY sent more info about Bob Pence who was with RCA: "I first met Bob at GBI in the fall of 1960. Don't know for sure why he was there because he was sent to ASC and worked on the FPS-16 there I'm sure. When we went into Pretoria with the MPS-25 Bob came as the first radar leader. He married a South African girl and I heard later he had left the range to go to school at the U of Fla. I lost track of him but I also heard he had been killed."
- If anyone had any additional info. about Bob, forward it to me so I can publish it here.
Click here to go to PAGE TWO: Death Notes from 2007-08.
Click here to go to PAGE THREE: Death Notes from 2005-06.