MEMORIES OF WOOMERA - 7
First of all , I want to thank you for the web site about Woomera. I was privileged to be assigned to the launch team for the Sparta project conducted at the Woomera Test Range. Our first launch was in November 1966 and our last one was the WRESAT launch in November 1967. As you know, we used the modified Redstone rocket with second and third stages added.
To me, Woomera is a special place and I have great memories of the time I spent there. Some of my fondest memories include:
The "Chow" at the Senior Staff Mess. Much of it was outstanding but some of it was not so good, probably not compatible with the American palate. On the nights that the mess was serving something that our crew deemed "not so good" we barbecued on the barbecue grills that were located in the front of the mess building.
The movies shown weekly outside the Senior Staff Mess on the Veranda.
The quite long trip from the SSM to the Area 8 launch area(about 35 Miles?). One of our crew, Ron Payne, who had his own assigned Commonwealth vehicle, hit at lease five kangaroos during our stay there. Got so bad, that they started painting 'roos' on the right front fender of Ron's car, kind of like the fighter and bomber crews of World War II.
The "Launch Parties" oh my, oh my, when one of our shots went off it was "party time" and the whole town showed up at the mess.
The people of Woomera, who took great care and pride in the work that they were doing, all of them, from the Commandant to the least member of the operation.
The stories told by the Native Affairs Officer (Mr. McDougall ?) I still have copies of some of his slides that were taken on his trips into the farthest reaches of the outback.
Tales of the fabled Len Beadell - - I also have a couple of books written by him.
The evenings spent at the mess playing pool, or cards, or just visiting with the facinating people assembled there from all over the world.
I was very pleased to find your site, perhaps sometime when I have more time, I will write again and share some more of my memories of a very special place, Woomera, South Australia.
Marshall town, Ia
I was web surfing and found your site on Woomera. I thought it was very interesting since I spent a couple of years 1992 to 1994 there with the US Navy. I worked at the Joint Defense Facility they had there along with 6 other US Navy personell and Air Force, American and Australian. You brought back wonderful memories for me everything from the flies to the fun trips to Adelaide. I just thought I would drop you a line an say thanks.
North Carolina, USA
I spent 2 of the best years of my life in Woomera from 1982-1984. My father is USAF. I loved the people, the village and the atmosphere. I sure miss Woomera. I have my memories and your site brought back many of them. Thanks.