Redstone 1

 Initial Missile Firing Lab staffing:

From “ The Redstone Fact Sheet”, by the KSC Historian, Aug, 1973.

The newly established Missile Firing Laboratory in July 1953 under Dr. Kurt Debus consisted of;

The Mechanical Section under Albert Zeiler:                                                                       Thomas Pantoliano, U. Reed Barnett, Robert Gorman, William Grafton, Andrew Pickett, Glen Deuel, Jewell Campbell, Homer Barkley, James Jackson

The Guidance Control and Network Section under Dr. Hans Gruene:                                     Isom Rigell, W. O. Chandler, Russell Gambill, George Dannals, Almon Walker, James Davidson

The Radio-Frequency and Measuring Section under Karl Sendler:                                         James Rorex, Grady Williams, Frank Childers, William Ealy, William Gant

Military Project Office under Captain Rocco Petrone

Redstone One was launched on August 20, 1953

These are good detail pictures – click on them to expand and clarify.

Redstone 1 arrival in Florida

Redstone 1 arrived at Patrick Air Force Base shortly after midnight on July 28,1953. Some six and one-half hours later, it was moved into the temporary assembly building on the Cape. Prelaunch checkout and test began on July 30. In the photos below, names are in work. Remember to click twice on the photos to show detail.


NB4image1 numbered

Above, 1. Dr Gruene, 9. Dr. Debus




  Erection at the Pad
Redstone 1 at the Pad

Can anyone identify any of the people above?

Redstone 1 viewed from the Service Structure

Redstone people081

The above photo courtesty of John Hilliard shows Redstone 1 from the Service Structure. Note the railroad rails and timbers for the Service Structure.


Can anyone identify this fellow?

Overall View of Redstone 1 on Pad 4


Click to clarify and enlarge.

A view of Redstone 1 on Pad 4. The Blockhouse for pads 3 & 4 is at far left center and the blockhouse for pads 1 & 2 is lower and more toward the center with black top. Pad 3, where the Bumper launches took place, is just to the lower right of Pad 4. Click here to jump to the view of the V2 Bumper on Pad 3. The mark from the V2 launch stand is still (2015) visible on the concrete of Pad 3

Redstone 1 Launch Aug 20, 1953


The above photo is no longer confidential

The Blockhouse for Pads 3 & 4

Description from the Air Force Space & Missile Museum including the two blockhouse photos: You can see the blockhouses also above in the overall view photo.


Blockhouse Pads 3 & 4











Blockhouse current


November 30, 1951 – The blockhouse, located about 200′ from the pads and similar to that for Pads 1 and 2, was completed. Two mirrored vision ports, one direct vision port, and a ladder to the top of the roof provided a view of the pads. Two concrete tunnels connect the blockhouse to the pads. They were 4′ by 6’8″ and 5’8″ by 5’8″ by 6’8″.

The Redstones were launched from Pad 4. The Blockhouse was shared with the Bomarc and equipment had to be brought in and out for launches. See the Redstone 3 narrative.

Post Launch Group Picture

Below is a partial group picture taken after RS-1 launch. It appears to be the mechanical group. Click to enlarge.

RS-1 Mechanical Group Picture numbered


1. Albert Zeiler

2. Bob Moser

3. Bob Gorman

4. C. A. Reed

5. Andy Pickett

6. William Grafton

7. Pittman

8. Reed Barnett

9. Jay Campbell

10. Waller


Redstone 1 twenty year anniversary celebration

The Photo below from the Sendler Collection in the KSC Archives is not identified, but appears to be a gathering of the launch team from the Redstone 1 launch, possibly the 20 year anniversary. Click on photo to expand.

Redstone 1 20 yr numbered copy

Names; 1 Reed Barnett, 2  Bob Gorman, 3  Jay Campbell, 4  Ike Rigell, 5 Sgt. Lipkens, 6  Dr. Kurt Debus, 7 Andy Pickett, 8 W. O. “Curly” Chandler, 9 Frank Childers, 10 Tommy Pantoliano, 11 Jim Davidson, 12 Karl Sendler, 13 Albert Zeiler

Redstone 1 Reunion

Redstone 1 vets in front of the Pad 3/4 Blockhouse on October 16, 2014

RS1 Reunion at the Pad 4 Blockhouse


Left to right; William Grafton, Reed Barnett, Isom “Ike” A. Rigell, W. O. “Curly” Chandler

If you have information to share, please leave comments (names, corrections, suggestions, etc.) in the comment box at the bottom of the page for each topic.  Thanks.

One Comment

  1. I’ve been to the pads many time by guided tour only, each time getting a little better view on the history of Pads 1-4. I’m trying to locate the position of the Bumper Block House, long since removed from the site.
    I have the old arrival which looking south east shows the pad and blockhouse, but gives little insight as to where it was located realitive to contemporary terrain.

    Any ideas or can someone provide a Google Earth view pinpointing the location?

    Many thanks!

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