Subtitled "Some of the Old Timers' Contributions to the Science of Space," this booklet commemorates the accomplishments of the group of engineers posted at Fort Bliss, Texas, beginning in 1945. It includes a brief history of rocket development in Germany from 1929 through 1944, photographs of the 1965 Old Timers Reunion, and a directory of the oldtimers. It also includes a transcript of a speech given by Wernher von Braun in honor of Walter Dornberger's retirement.
The materials include a letter from Walter Wiesman and an Old Timers Reunion booklet. The booklet includes reproduced news clippings, the reunion program, and photographs from Fort Bliss, as well as photographs of reunion attendees and activities with subjects identified. The reunion booklet also includes photographs from a meeting of the Alabama Section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
The information in this dataset is reproduced from Charles Lundquist's 2014 monograph Transplanted Rocket Pioneers. The information includes biographical and professional information that he compiled to produce the book. Each individual represented in the dataset also has a vertical file in the Lundquist Collection at UAH.
Transplanted Rocket Pioneers is a recognition of the early members of the von Braun rocket team, many of whom were key players in the successful moon landing. Many historians conclude that the lunar missions of the Apollo Program could not have been possible without the leadership and experience provided by a corps of engineers, scientists and managers transplanted from Europe to the Unites States after World War II. This fact motivated Dr. Lundquist to deposit this work in the Archives of the Library at the University of Alabama in Huntsville by assembling a file on each of the individuals who came from Europe to participate in the rocketry activities in Huntsville, or, in a few cases, individuals who had other ties to Huntsville.
This dataset includes a standard one-page summary sheet for each subject. Although most sheets are relatively complete, some data are still missing.
The first two lines on each page records fundamental identification information:
Family name Date of birth Place of birth Given names Date of death Place of death
The next standard entry is a statement of the extent of the Archives Holdings, either i) A primary collection of documents housed in one or more banker boxes, usually a separate individual collection ii) A secondary collection in a standard archive box, or iii) a file folder. Next, if there is an oral or video history for the individual, this fact is noted. A statement about the highest education levels of the individual follows. The next five entries, in chronological order, record whether the individual participated in activities at five sites:
1. Raketenflugplatz-Kummersdorf: Individuals engaged in the activities at these sites of early rocket development experiments sponsored first by VfR and subsequently by the German Army.
2. Peenemünde: Included here are individuals who participated in Peenemünde programs under several auspices, including as Army civilian employees, as members of the German military, as contractor employees on site or visiting as needed, and as university employees collaborating as required.
3. Fort Bliss: Individuals who were brought to Fort Bliss from 1945 to 1950.
4. GMDD-ABMA: Individuals who came to Huntsville, Alabama to work for the US Army rocket programs in the decade 1950 to 1960.
5th MSFC: Individuals who were employed by the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center in the 1960s.
Some people had various relationships with UAH and that is so noted. Additionally, a statement of immigration details is noted if pertinent. Finally, a great variety of incidental information is included under Incidental Remarks.
UAH Special Collections welcomes additions of biographical materials to the vertical file in the Charles Lundquist Collection. Please note that the work is that of Dr. Lundquist and may contain errors or omissions which are solely the product of his work on the project, as noted in the introduction of the work.: " Finally, it is pertinent to note that any document containing large files will surely have some mistakes or omission. Any errors are the responsibility of the author alone." As was the wish of Dr. Lundquist, we will strive to make factual corrections to the online copy when necessary.
Gerhard Reisig Dipl.-Ing., later Dr. Gerhard Reisig, was a German-American rocket scientist that worked on the team of von Braun at Fort Bliss. This journal covers his journey to the United States under Operation Paperclip, and includes descriptions of his experience to and through his arrival on December 6th, 1946. In this journal, he discusses numerous parts of his travel and experience in the United States including the rail route taken by the group he was in, reviews of two films of the time, comments on fashion and American society, as well as periodic mentions of food culture especially early in the journal. He additionally copies several articles by hand, some in English, some translated, from periodicals, particularly Time magazine.
Gerhard Reisig Dipl.-Ing., later Dr. Gerhard Reisig, was a German-American rocket scientist that worked on the team of von Braun at Fort Bliss. This journal covers his journey to the United States under Operation Paperclip, and includes descriptions of his experience to and through his arrival on December 6th, 1946. In this journal, he discusses numerous parts of his travel and experience in the United States including the rail route taken by the group he was in, reviews of two films of the time, comments on fashion and American society, as well as periodic mentions of food culture especially early in the journal. The transcript includes links to copies of the articles he transcribed by hand if they could be found.
Written by William A. Schulze, this day book includes notes from his activities at Army Proving Ground at Aberdeen, Maryland in early 1946. Schulze was transported from Germany to Aberdeen in late 1945 as part of the first group of German engineers sent to the United States. During the week of March 17-23, Schulze records his travel from Aberdeen to El Paso, Texas, leaving on Monday, March 18, and arriving in Texas on Thursday, March 21. The day book includes entries on shopping, leisure activities, birthdays, and mail. Schulze's notes reference H. N. Toftoy, Konrad Dannenberg, Wilhelm Jungert, Hannes Luehrsen, Theo Poppel, Erich Neubert, Walter Schwidetski, and others.
Tessmann is standing on the front row on the far left. Schulze is standing directly behind him. Tessmann and Schulze were both engineers who were relocated from Germany to the United States as part of Operation Paperclip after World War II.