Picture shown is me at work in the Apollo 11 Command Module cockpit at Kennedy Space Center in July of 1969 about one week prior to the first lunar landing mission running tests on some of the VHF and Unified S Band communications equipment. Our job as SCO's (Spacecraft Operators) for North American Aviation was to do virtually all of the ground testing of the spacecraft systems. This freed up the astronauts who primarily trained in simulators prior to the actual launch and only were in the Command Module for major tests like the CDDT (Countdown Demonstration Test) and the actual launch. They did not pay me enough to be there after they started the first stage engines. The other picture shows a view of some of my antennas. Lots of others are hidden in the woods.
10-10 # 72672, Southcars #0789, Bellringers #0309, PODXS 070 #507, & Fists # 9263. First operated as an amateur in 1959, but let license lapse for many years due to work pressures.
My last USAF assignment during the cold war was on a radar site on an island off the coast of Iceland maintaining the VHF/UHF ground-to-air and HF radios supporting the radar picket line and the fighters flying out of Keflavik NAS. After getting out of the USAF, where I also worked on Bomark-B missile digital data link control equipment (GKA-5 & FRT-49), I took and passed my FCC commercial radio telephone license with ship radar endorsement test. I then worked on the crew installing the first private telephone system in the US for RCA's Technical Products Division personally soldering over 10,000 connections on the Stromberg Carlson XY mainframe. At the end of that project I moved to the Cape Kennedy area and first worked for FEC as an Instrumentation Technician on lightning detection and ranging equipment on the 500 foot weather tower, then for Chrysler Space Division as an airborne electrical networks technician on the Saturn 1B booster rocket and then as a Senior Apollo Spacecraft Electronic Technician at Kennedy Space Center from 1966-1970 as a Spacecraft Operator (SCO) in the cockpit of the Command Module of the Apollo Spacecraft during ground testing on many of the Apollo missions, including Apollo 11 and Apollo 13.
Mentioned in the book Lost Moon about the Apollo 13 mission that the Tom Hanks movie was based upon due to being present next to the command module at the Apollo 1 fire. I remember looking up and seeing the red plastic covers on the nozzles of the solid propellent escape rocket located on top of the Command Module melting from the 100% oxygen fueled flames coming out of the access ports of the command module that were bouncing off the walls of the white room work area around the spacecraft. I thought that the escape rocket motor was going to light and kill everyone on that level, but luckily it did not as the oxygen feeding the fire ran out. Over the next several months I also participated in the investigation of the fire by helping to document switch positions and disassembling various components of the spacecraft.
I was also inside the Apollo 13 cockpit the night before the launch when they were loading liquid hydrogen. I was cycling the same switch controlling the hydrogen tank stirring pump that I found out later blew up the service module due to it being improperly wired to a circuit with too much voltage for it to handle. One of the engineers told me if the hydrogen tanks had blown on the pad it would have taken the loaded fuel and oxidizer tanks with it and they would have found parts of me in Jacksonville over 75 miles away. Closest I ever came to actually going into outter space. Served on the landing safing team that recovered Apollo capsules and also on the Pad 39 Astronaut Red Rescue team. Received the NASA Apollo Achievement Award for my work on the Apollo program
Upon the shutdown of the Apollo program I got into a much safer job by spending 23 years with the Hollywood, Florida PD getting an Associate degree in Police Science, a Bachelor's degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Management as well as completing a graduate level police executive program at the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville along the way. I started out as a uniformed patrolman and road ID technician and reached the rank of Police Major where I commanded all of the major divisions and units, including the SWAT/Tactical/K9 unit. I also commanded a consolidated E-911 dispatching center for three years that served three separate municipalities. While a SWAT commander I completed the Hollywood PD SWAT school, the DEA Officers Survival School and the FBI course on responding to barricaded suspects and/or hostage situations. I also competed in police combat pistol taking a silver medal at the 1979 Florida Police Olympics. During that entire time I only got into a gunfight and was shot at twice, so it was a pretty cushy job. Particularly since the good guys won both gun fights.
I also served as the project manager for a two million dollar computerized dispatching and records management project and a four million dollar 800 MHZ trunked radio system project for Hollywood. I then retired from Hollywood, arresting a suspect for homicide my last night on the job, and served for an additional three years as a police chief in Liberty, Missouri and then for another three years as the first police chief of the Village of Pinecrest, Miami-Dade County, Florida where I wrote all the policies and procedures, procured the equipment and hired all of the police personnel for the new department. I also wrote the specifications and served as the project manager for a new radio communications and enhanced E-911 system for that department before retiring for good from law enforcement in 1999. I taught management and employment law part-time at Webster College (now a branch of Rasmussen College) in Ocala, FL for a year and then retired for good.
Since becoming relicensed back in 2001 I have, for the second time, obtained DXCC (246 worked and 235 countries confirmed), WAS for PSK31, JT65, CW and SSB and now am working on WAS for 160 meters (48 confirmed, need Alaska and Hawaii), and 6 meters (46 confirmed, need Alaska, Hawaii, Washington and Oregon). I also play around with QRP CW JT65 & PSK31 using my FT-817. Main rig is a TS-590S to a Tennadyne T-6 log periodic on a HDBX48 tower. I also have a bobtail curtain for 17 meters, a 15 meter double bazooka, a 80 meter bazooka, a 60 meter inverted v, both 20 meter and 40 meter horizontal collinear wire dipoles, a 20 meter and a 6 meter bazooka, two phased stacked PAR Moxom 6 meter loops on my tower, an Arrow 6 meter vertical at 32 feet, a 80 meter vertical delta loop fed at the corner, an Alpha Delta 160/30 meter sloper, a 10 meter vertical rectangle loop and a 135 foot OCF dipole. I also have a Yaesu dual band FT-6800 with a X-200 Diamond collinear vertical 2/440 antenna at 60 feet and get a range barefoot of about 100 miles on 2 meter FM due to being on top of an 1,800 foot ridge. I recently put up a six element loop fed Innov brand yagi beam for 2 meter SSB at 55 feet and on the first day made a 2 meter SSB contact at a range of 385 miles. Since then I made a confirmed contact of 1,139 miles on 2 meter SSB into Colorado. I just put up a Rhon 20 tower with a five element six meter log periodic at 34 feet for 6 meter SSB and to help me to work all states on 6 meter JT65. I have also finished all of the FEMA incident management system classes, NWS WX spotter class and the nuclear power plant emergency responder training run by Oak Ridge Laboratories as well as numerous Red Cross training courses and belong to the CPARC radio club, the local ARES group. I am also one of my club's many VEC's. I also have taught communications electronics at the local high school in a special program our club was doing to teach students enough to pass their amateur radio license exam. We have been able to get seven new hams from this program, one of whom is very active in our local club.�
On April 14 & 15, 2012 at the 100th anniversary of the Titanic sinking at the Titanic museum at Pigeon Forge, TN I participated as a radio operator with the special event amateur radio station W4S as part of the worldwide ceremonies honoring the Titanic radio operators who kept on station while the ship sank. I also am a Red Cross volunteer.
My hobbies, other than ham radio, are reading, collecting oriental and Alaskan native carved ivory, collecting custom made knives, genealogy research, trap shooting, hunting, boating, fishing, gardening and target archery. As a result of information I learned doing genealogy I found several ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War and just applied to join the Sons of the American Revolution organization. Never had the time to do all this stuff before I retired.
I live on an ideal ham location on four acres on top of a ridge eight miles south of Crossville, TN with my wife and my German shorthaired pointer, Katie.�� My XYL, KJ4ZCK is a General class operator and has traveled to Dayton with me the past four years. She is also active with the local ARES group.
7821453 Last modified: 2017-01-10 03:19:00, 9875 bytes
You must be logged in to file a report on this page
Book Totals: 12891 qso's 2450 confirmed Get a free logbook at QRZ.COM