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This page was updated: 19 DECEMBER 2010
Look for the RED highlights for the December 2010 entrys.
(Be sure to check out the whole page as some new info. is down
the page highlighted in red.)
LOOKING FOR PEOPLE INFORMATION:
CAN YOU HELP?
(If you are looking for Range Rat(s)/Ship Rat(s)
send me as much info as you have and it can be added to this page).
Here is how you can contact me:
Send Email to Joe
NOTE TO OTHERS SEEKING INFO: It would help if when sending me an inquiry to INCLUDE the station/ship where the individual(s) worked and approximately what time frame in years that you knew them. This would realy help, Thanx.
19 DEC. 2010: In Oct '10 Wally Tubell emailed me the following: "I'm trying to find info on Warren Call. He worked on Eleuthera for RCA for a number of years, starting in the mid-1950s. I believe he was a Comm Center Leader/Operator. He was a really nice, friendly guy, well liked by all as best I can remember. Any info at all would be appreciated.
Does anybody remember Warren Call? Any further info. you can provide can be appreciated and will be published here.
19 DEC. 2010: In Sept. '10 Bill Lewis who is the co-administrator for the UNSN Arnold Facebook page, sent out an inquiry asking for help in locating these two ship rats for other ship rats he has been in contact:
Does anybody remember Jim Witcher and John Broome? Any further info. you can provide can be appreciated and will be passed on to Bill Lewis and also published here.
- 1. Joe Windes, (of Radar: American Mariner, USNS Vandenberg, USNS Arnold
1965-66-67) wants to know if anybody knows anything about Jim Witcher who worked in the computer section in the late 60s?
- 2. Dan Carney (of the USNS Arnold) is searching for John Broome, who was the Designate Controller aboard the USNS Arnold in the seventies.
03 DEC. 2010 UPDATE, of Scotty Lonnies 28 AUG. '09 entry directly below: Scotty Lonnie sent me this photo in Nov '10 that shows Les McWhirter, Gary Thompson and Scotty. So you might be able to remember Les McWhirter & Gary Thompson by their faces, this picture was taken at the Conch Club at Grand Turk in 1967. Scotty says they are contemplating their Range Rat future. (I dont think Scotty. who is still working at the Antigua tracking station, thought then that he would be still be on the range !)
(left to right) Les McWhirter, Gary Thompson and Scotty.
- 28 AUG 2009, In Aug '09 I got a nice email from Scotty Lonnie, who I knew from Ascension back in 1971-72, and he lived next door to me in one of the barracks that had a nice garden and patio. Scotty is still working on the range at Antigua. He was reminiscing about many of the people he knew from his Grand Turk days in the 1060s and 70s: A partial list is as follows : "Names I remember from my Grand Turk days were Gary Thompson Telemetry, Pete Halvorsen Telemetry, Hal Muir Telemetry, Les McWhirter, Telemetry, Mike Pasternack, Communications, and George Thompson, Communications. Scotty says this about Les McWhirter: we worked together on Grand Turk at the telemetry site in 1966-67 but he transferred from there to Ascension in 1967. Shortly after that Les got a transfer to Pretoria."
- I am wondering where the above range rats are now. If you have any info. on them please send me any email.
29 AUG. UPDATE, on 14 JULY 2010 I published info from Ray Croley, now living in Tampa FL, who wanted to know about these two PAA RRs: "Has anyone had any contact with John Riley, Medic? He was on Grand Turk and Antigua for a long time. Also D.L. Bilby a Commissary Supervisor?
NOW THEUPDATE: Just a few days after the above info was online I heard from RR Jim Edwards of Melbourne FL who send me the email address of John Riley and said that Riley lives in Tullahoma TN. I sent an email to Ray Croley giving him the email address and he emailed me back that he had made contact with Riley. I also email Riley and invited him to read these range rat pages and sign the RR sign-in book, but as of this date, I have not heard back from him and he has not signed the book. For this reason I will not publish his email address, however if any range rat who has signed in, wants his email address I will share it.
Now who can help with information on D.L. Bilby, a Commissary Supervisor?
I personally remember "Doc" Riley at Grand Turk in Feb. 1962, and have this little story to tell about him.
On 20 Feb. 1962 John Glenn came to Grand Turk after his Mercury spacecraft splashed down in Grand Turk waters, and three days later Vice President L.B. Johnson arrived in the wee hours of the morning. Many of us RR troops stationed at GTK got up to see this arrival and took pictures of Glenn and the V.P. while they were having breakfast in the mess hall. Later when our pictures were developed it was noticed that John Riley's name appeared in many of them. He had erased all of previous days menu on the mess hall blackboard and printed his own name there in large letters. The blackboard was on the wall at the beginning of the serving line. Later when he was asked about that, he remarked that he knew everyone would be taking pictures of the VIPs at the start of the serving line and they would also be taking a picture of the blackboard, and he would be remembered that way.
If you haven't read my article on John Glenn coming to Grand Turk you can
click here to see it. However this little story does not appear in the article.
29 AUG. 2010, In April '10 Lutisha Tesarek (wife of deceased RR Tom Tesarek) wrote in the RR sign-in book that she was especially looking for Jim Manazari with RCA, who owned a boat with Tom. Also a PanAM weatherman that was on the USNS Vanguard by the name of
George? Meister who then was living in Cocoa Beach & then down range
for a short stay.
Does anybody remember anything about Manazari or Meister? And further info can be emailed to me and published here.
29 AUG. 2010, on 18 JUNE 2008, Dick Maniag said he was looking for: Wendell W.Thompson, however Dick didn't supply and information of where Wendell worked or what year timeframe, 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.
14 JULY 2010, In May '10 I heard from Tom Mowell of Orlando FL, wrote: I saw a number of inquiries and comments on Bill Karnopp on these pages, I knew him in Antigua and had lost all track of him when I left the range. Did anybody pin down where he lives now?
Sorry to say, no one knows what happened to Karnopp, or do they? So it's worth repeating the question. Now who can help?
14 JULY 2010, in his 01 May '10 entry in the Range Rat Sign-in Book Richard Rush of Mandeville LA, who worked at GBI working in Telemetry & Mercury Communications 1962, said he was looking for Paul Walters an RCA Clerk.
Who knows what ever happed to Paul Walters? Send me an email with any news.
14 JULY 2010, in Mar '10 Mel Dorsey of Cleveland GA emailed me asking this question: "I was stationed on Eleuthera Island 1975-76 and made a few friends with the Pan Am support team.
One was Bob (BeeWee) Thompson who ran the generator for the
base. How would one be able to find out about the folks who worked there?"
Although Mel didn't indicate he was with any range contractor, I am assuming he was with NAVFAC on Eleuthera, since he said "stationed there", so who can help locate Bob Thompson?
14 JULY 2010, in Mar '10 Jim Cook of Rochester NY emailed me this note: "Does anybody know what happened to Egon Von Megan? He was a shift leader at the XN-2 when I went there in 61 and went to East Island in Puerto Rico in either 1961 or 1962. Very serious about doing
the work exactly right. Also what happened to Dickie Lee? Last I
heard many years ago he was a programmer for RCA in Atlanta."
If anyone knows these two gents, and what happened to them, send me an email.
14 JULY 2010, in Mar '10 William G. Sewell now located in Colorado Springs CO contacted me and said: "I'm looking for an Air Force buddy. We were stationed at Barksdale AFB, LA in the mid sixties. From there he went with RCA down range...Pretoria. His name is Les C. Mcwherter. or it might have been spelled McWhirter or even McWhorter. I know, I know, but that was pushing 50 years ago. I'm surprised that I can remember my own name.
Thanks to you all for you service and dedication to the space program.
William G. Sewell, USAF Retired."
Who can provide any info on Mcwhirter? Scottie Lonnie in the 28 AUG 2009 entry above said he was remembered Les McWhirter who worked at Grand Turk Telemetry. So I assume that the the correct spelling of his name. Send me an email with any info that you have on McWhirter.
14 JULY 2010, Duane K. Tuttle, from Arden NC, emailed me in Feb. '10, that he was looking for Frank Phelps,who was with RCA, at GBI Radar, 1957-1960.
Any help in finding out what ever happened to Phelps would be appreciated.
14 JULY 2010, On 12 Oct '09 Bill Gasell, from Ocala FL wrote in the Range Rat Sign-in Book:
Some names that come to mind: Does anyone remember Bill Scales
(RCA - Mayaguana, San Sal, etc.)? How about Frank Hess or Fred
Beemer (Early days of Ascension)? And how about Rod Randolph
(changed name to Fitzrandolph) from Turk?
If anybody remembers these troops, and has information to share, hopefully not dead, send me an email, maybe just publishing their name on this page, will bring them to this page. Quite a few times that person or a relative googles a name and is led to my range rat pages.
14 JULY 2010, In Oct '09 I heard from from Debba Wainwright Smith , in Greenville SC who asked:
"Does anyone know what happened to
Rick Dawson, (Ascension, Trinidad - RCA. Was in Seattle, WA in 1970s);
Ray Deeley, Bendix/NASA Ascension, left Ascension to go to college in New Mexico in 1968; and
George Cantrell, Ascension, Bendix Site Manager:
If you can you help, send me the info. and I will pass it on to Debba and update these pages.
25 FEB 2010, In Feb. '10, I received an email from Bill Lewis, in Acworth GA who said he was looking for these friends from the Test Equipment Standards Lab (TESL) on the USNS Gen. H.H. Arnold (T-AGM-9) back in the mid-sixties:
Don Peckinpaugh and
Bill also mentioned wanting to know anything about Bob Johnson who to his knowledge was the only other Mormon aboard ship at the time. (He didn't say where Johnson worked aboard the ship tho).
Can you help? If so send me the info. and I can pass it to Lewis and update these pages.
NOTE TO OTHERS ASKING FOR HELP LIKE ABOVE: It would help if when sending me an inquiry to INCLUDE the station/ship where the individual(s) worked and approximately what time frame in years that you knew them. (like Bill Lewis did for 3 of the 4 people he knew) Thanx.
25 FEB 2010, I had an entry on this page
in OCT 2006 saying that I was looking for Ernst (Ernie) Winkler, last station was Grand Turk with RCA in telemetry, moved to Pasadena CA, and lost contact with him. He was a good friend of many of us who worked for him at GTK telemetry.
- UPDATE DEC 2009, I heard from Ed Buryn from Nevada City CA who said Ernie was his roommate at Eleuthera in 1956 and they kept in touch for many years afterwards, and he had visited Ernie in Pasadena CA where he had bought an apartment building, but he cant remember the last time he saw him, probably in the late 1970s or early 80's. He feels certain that Ernie is dead otherwise he would have heard from him.
- I too had kept in correspondence with Ernie and the last I heard from him was in 1974 when his mother died, and then I heard no more from him. I would rather NOT add Ernie's name to my page of Range Rats who have died, until I know something more definite.
- I searched the social security records of people who have died and come up with 4 Ernest Winkler names (none for Ernst, which I always thought was his first name), does anyone remember what his middle name or middle initial was, or his birthday? That would narrow the search and possibly give an answer. Who can help?
25 FEB 2010, In Dec '09 I tried to contact Glyn Reece who I knew from Ascension, (Glyn worked at Telemetry and Mils at ASC 1964-72) and he had signed the Range Rat Sign-in Book in Dec 2007, while he was working for the Union Pacific Railroad. My email came back undeliverable.
Has anyone else been in contact with Reece, and has his current email address?
(I am beginning to find out that many email addresses of the Range Rats who have signed the RR book are no longer valid. You can always check YOUR entry in the RR Sign-in Book by going to
where all the entrys are on ONE page and doing a search for your name.
If it's incorrect, send me an email, and I can update your entry
25 FEB 2010, In Mar '09 I received an email from Bruce Beadell, in Bloomington MN who was looking for email addresses of these close range rat friends of his that he lost track of over the years:
Marvin Mathiessen (sp?) and
Can you help? If so send me the info. and I can pass it to Bruce and update these pages.
28 AUG 2009, In Oct 08 Adolphus M. Sams of Decatur GA put an inquiry entry in the RR Sign-in Book asking about these 2 Range Rats: John McDonald Telemetry Mgr. and Charlie Fox Telemetry-Timing, both who worked on the USNS Vandenberg, from 1965 - 1972. I was able to email him back with what info. I had on McDonald and later with subsequent info on his health condition as of Nov. 2008. Does anyone have any more news about John McDonald since Nov. 2008?
Also need any info on Range Rat Charlie Fox, send me an email so I can post it here on this website.
21 FEB. 2009, In Jan 09 Jim H. Cook of Rochester NY put an entry in the RR Sign-in Book asking about these Range Rats: Dickie E. Lee, Radar tech at GBI and Radar Leader at Ascension and Pretoria. Brother of Bob Lee at Ascension same time. Arnold Beland, sent to Little Carter Cay in Sept 1960 to work on the MPS-25, then to Pretoria in Apr 1962. He married a S.A.girl and went to Australia and started a TV service store, had 4 boys I believe. Bob Lawson, in communications at Pretoria, then GBI then to Alaska. Glenn Keeler, TTR at Ascenion, married a British nurse at ASC then went with RCA communications in Alaska. Finally John Kobolecki (spelling?) who worked at TTR radar on ASC then to the Andros Range.
If you have any info on any of these Range Rats, send me an email so I can post it here on this website.
14 SEPTEMBER 2008, In August Bob Bonner a PAA weatherman wrote: "A fellow who worked at Grand Turk in the PanAM weather station was a good friend of mine by the name of Dennis Davies. He was married to a South African girl from Cape Town. I was on the trip to Cape Town on the Timber Hitch or Coastal Crusader and I believe it was in 1960 and Dennis met his wife there on that trip. I've tried the internet but cannot get and solid leads of where he might be today".
- UPDATE ON DAVIES, 28 AUG 2009, I heard from Bonner in July 09 that Davies has passed away, this was his email message: "Frank O'Leary who I knew on the range happened to see the info that I was looking for 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. You can add Dennis Davies to the list of departed rangerats, that list is getting to damn long for my liking.
03 AUGUST 2008, Quite a few years ago Wayne Witham asked me if I had any any information on RCA employee Dave Powell, such as his current address or phone number. Wayne said Dave was Down Range for several years at Mahe Seychelles from 1965-1968, but not sure where he moved to up-range from there but was certain he remained on the Range. It's taken me 3 years to get this put on my website!! (a request that just fell thru the cracks, sorry Wayne). Howabout it folks, anybody know Dave Powell and where he is or what happened to him?
If you have any info. send it to me and I can publish it here and pass it on to Witham.
03 AUGUST 2008, Joe Frasketi (thats me): is looking for range rat friends from long ago: When I worked at Antigua telemetry back in 1961 I knew Shelby Copeland the Chief Technician, and other tech's like me: Harry Hillman, Steve Fischler and Bill Karnopp. I also remember Andre Champagne, he was old back then and most likely passed on by now, anybody remember these troops and what happened to them after they left the range?
One more ANT tech that I hung around with was Gene Hilst (his last known address was Beloit Wisc), I kept it touch with him for many years after he left the range but lost contact some years ago.
If anyone has additional info. on these these RCA troops, send it to me and I can publish it here. Would be nice to find out where they are now.
- 09 AUGUST 2008, Bob Johnson wrote: "Shelby Copeland and Harry Hillman transferred to GBI telemetry in the spring of 1962. Steve Fischler was transferred to GBI telemetry in the fall of 1962. Bill Karnopp stayed at Antigua telemetry until late summer of 1965 and the transferred to Pretoria and remained there until the station shut down, which I believe happened in 1970. In 1983 my daughter and I stopped in a Burger King here in Ventura CA and in walked Bill Karnopp. Evidently he was laid off after the Pretoria shut down and ended up working at the Navy telemetry site at Pt. Mugu. THe last time I saw Bill was at the Oxnard airport in June of 1995. He is no longer listed in the phone book, so I assume he has retired and went back to Kansas.
- UPDATE 14 SEPTEMBER 2008, More news about Bill Karnopp:
In March 2008 Ray Miller wrote from Hanapepe, Hawaii and said: "I'm an Apollo RR from the tracking ship USNS Mercury T-AGM-21. Was the Group Leader on the FPS-16 until NASA released us from support requirements. When I left the USNS Mercury I ended up at the Pacific Missile Range Facility on the island of Kauai in Hawaii in '71. When I got here Bill Karnopp was a tech on the MPS-25 S/N-5 radar that he followed up here from Pretoria, SA. Bill and I worked together for about 3 years and then he left for other pastures. I don't have a clue where he might be today". That Karnopp, sure gets around. Does anyone have any info. on where Bill is today?
18 JUNE 2008, Dick Maniag is looking for: Norm Williams, Jack Cain..
If you have any info. send it to me and I can publish it here and will contact Dick.
18 June 2008: Jack Tolman wrote: "I'm trying to find L.M. (Tex) Boyd, Tex was my leader on the Costal Crusader in Recife".
If you have any info. send it to me and I can publish it here and will contact Jack.
14 MAY 2008, HOOT RINGO FOUND! Dennis Dyer of Melbourne FL sent me some info on Hoot saying that Hoot winters near Cocoa FL and gave me a phone number, which I passed this info to Mary Lynn Thorne. She was able to then contact Hoot and this is what she emailed me: "Joe, I found Hoot Ringo. He is 84, older than I thought he would be, but he is still alive and relatively active. Bud is dead. Bud was younger than Hoot. His telephone number is in Rockledge FL. He doesn't have a computer and don't want one. ha! Thanks for the info. Mary Lynn Thorne".
John Kish from Rockledge FL has also reported that "Hoot Ringo went to Virginia and built a cabin in the mountains and settled in there." (Maybe his summer home? but this has not been checked out yet).
- ON 23 FEB 2008, Two old timers have mentioned "Hoot Ringo" when they signed the RR book. Rodger Fowler, said: With the encouragement of Hoot and Bud Ringo in 1956 my brother and I started our employment with RCA. Mary Lynn Thorne, who goes way back in Range history, said she was in Range Survallience with Hoot Ringo in 1955 and asks: Does anybody know anything about Hoot Ringo?
See my 14 MAY 2008 entry, Another UP-RANGER found!
21 FEB 2008, A while back before Scotty Fetterman died, he wrote me about a list of all the Trinidad troops who were stationed there, and when he was making his list he had heard that Ron Blackburn still have an old personnel roster from Trinidad but he didnt know where Ron was.
Is anyone in contact with Ron Blackburn?, or know his whereabouts (living or dead), if so, send any info to me: Joe Frasketi (my email link is near the top of page and at the bottom of this page).
14 MAY 2008 UPDATE, Dennis Dyer of Melbourne FL says Ron Blackburn is still around and lives someplace in North Melbourne.
SEPT 2007, Dick Maniag is looking for Robert (bob) Tarian (or it might be spelled Taran) of tech school and Antigua. If you have any info. send it to me and I can publish it here and will contact Dick.
MAY 2007, SEARCHING FOR INFORMATION ON BUD CREECH:
An Air Force buddy of Bud Creech found this website on April 28th (and signed the Guest book, because he was not a range rat) only to find out that Bud had died in Aug. 2006, here is what he wrote: "I have been searching for Lorne D. Creech since 1956 or so. 'Bud' and I were in the US Air Force in 1950 to 1951 through
school, etc. I believe his call was W4NMO, Mine was W3RYJ. When
he went down-range, I lost contact.... Anyone having any more
information about 'Bud' and family, I would sure appreciate
hearing more details. I'm so sorry to found he died in August,
2006. He was worth knowing... a good person... miss you Bud.." signed Jim Reed, Dushore, PA 18614, If you would like to contact Jim
MAY 2007, Charlie Wright signed the RR Sign-in book 28 Mar. 2007 and asked does anyone know whatever happened to Warren Way - the "Pig Roast King" - and Al Huff (two more "real characters")? If you have any info. send it to me and I can publish it here and contact Charlie.
JAN 2007, Joe Frasketi (thats me): is looking for range rat friends from long ago: Bengt H. (Ben) Johnson who hails from Dedham MA, and was a marine; Clarence L. Dillingham(of Cliffside NC) and Earl Satterfield (from Belleville IL), all 3 I knew from Grand Turk in the late 50's & early 60's; Jack Moody who I knew from St. Lucia and Grand Turk in the late 50's & early 60's. He was from Darwood MD and I believe he moved to VA after leaving the range. Jack had a son William Lee Moody and a daughter Michelle Lynne Moody. Anyone who has any info. on these troops please send an email to me so I can post it on this page. If you are in contact with them, let them know about my Range Rat page and Sign-in book. Can you help?
JAN 2007, Hal Lund: asked about a couple of ham radio friends from the range: Rick Dawson who was on Ascension; & Bud Clabough who was on San Sal, Ascension and Mahe. Anyone who has any info. on these troops please send an email to me so I can post it on this page. If you are in contact with them, let them know about my Range Rat page and Sign-in book. Can you help?
JAN 2007, Jack Bendick: who worked at Antigua & Ascension recently wrote that he wants to know if anybody know the whereabouts of Cliff Barnard or Bill Karnopp? Anyone who has any info. on these troops please send an email to me so I can post it on this page, or notify them to sign the Range Rat Sign-in Book.
JAN 2007, Fred Matos: who signed the Range Rat book Jan 2006 is looking for these range rats he used to work with: Chuck Mullin, Tony Juarez, Marco Terrasez (spelling?), and Al Larew. Anyone who has any info. on these guys please send an email to me so I can post it on this page, or have them sign the Range Rat Sign-in Book.
OCT 2006, Dan Searle: who signed the Range Rat book today is looking for these range rats: Frank Rose, Bill Genaw, Grady Jones, Dave Beierle, Fred Thompson, Ray (Kit) Fenimore, Ray Kelley, Carl Pyle, and George Beasley. Anyone who has any info. on these guys please send an email to me so I can post it on this page
OCT 2006, Joe Frasketi (thats me!) says I am looking for Ernst (Ernie) Winkler, last station was Grand Turk with RCA in telemetry, moved to Pasadena CA, and lost contact with him.
AUG 2006, RANGE RAT FOUND!: Marty Gilligan was looking for Billy Joe Volner who was both on St. Lucia and Grand Turk during the late 1950s and 60s. And he has been found, see entry at Feb 13, 2006 on the Range Rat Introduction page.
AUG 2006: Way back in Jan. 2006 Marty Gilligan was inquiring about anything on Charlie Kefner, who worked in communications on Ascension. He wasnt sure of the spelling and said it could be spelled a dozen different ways. Does anybody remember Charlie and the correct spelling of his name? Or if you know where he is, send me an email.
MAR. 2006, Bill Gasell of Ocala FL signed the RR sign-in book on 20 March 06, said he worked for Pan Am on Grand Turk (two different tours), Mayaguana, Ascension, and ended up running domestic satellite tracking stations at Vero Beach. and asks: Does anyone remember these folks from mid to late '50's? Sid O'Neal, "Doc" Roberts, Lamar Morgan, Bill Scales, Hank Petron, "Jake" Jacobson, Don Price (Domestic Satellites), Barbara Julian (Secy. in Range Bases office), Karl Kreeb, Dick Purcell. Would be nice to locate some of the range rat folk! Anybody have any clews out there? send me an email and I can post it on these pages, and if they are still living, why now invite them to check in and sign the Range Rat sign in book.
EARLY 2005: These are names of people who worked at the Dominican Republic Tracking Station in 1956/57, Joe Frasketi (thats me) had their names written on slides I had taken while I was stationed there: Ray Smith; Jim Westridge; Terry Lane; Jack Manass (Spelling ?); Lou Perry; 'Red' Jones; Jerry Smith; John Fought; John 'Red' Durham; Randy Lundy; Paul Leofsky; Doudy; and Winestein. (These last two, I dont have their first names).
OCT 2005, NEW INFORMATION on Dominical Republic Tracking Station Personnel: Bud Creech said that "Terry Lane now lives in N. Miami Beach; John 'Red' Durham lives in Florida somewhere and that 'Red's wife Estela Durham was hit by a car in Santo Domingo and killed qute a few years ago. Also Randy Lundy died some 6 or 7 years ago".
Anyone having additional info. on Randy Lundy please send it along. Maybe Terry Lane and 'Red' Durham will eventually sign in.
Here is how you can contact me:
Send Email to Joe