Interviewed by Hamish Lindsay (71 minutes, 26MB mp3 file)
00:24 Born in Melbourne, then moved to Ballarat.
00:50 1949 Joined RAAF, Graduated Engineer 1954.
October 1963 to start as Senior Engineer at DSIF 41, Island Lagoon, Woomera to late 1967.
04:22 Lunar and planetary unmanned exploration – Ranger, Lunar Orbiter.
05:12 Transfer to Tidbinbilla to be Deputy for Manned Flight.
05:30 Life in Woomera.
08:00 Island Lagoon.
08:57 Early Minitrack, DSIF 41.
09:40 Staffing issues.
10:44 Life, responsibilities, equipment at the Station.
14:22 Bill Mettyear, Station Director. John Haseler, Deputy. Don Cocks, later StaDir. Most had service backgrounds, mainly Navy and Air Force.
16:50 American visitors. Lunar Orbiter – contractors for Mission Dependent Equipment, Boeing.
19:30 Arrived in time for Ranger VI. Ranger VII first success.
20:20 Typical Ranger pass, and pre-mission simulations / JPL. Good experience for Apollo. World-wide network simulations.
24:35 Aim for 48 hour break before the mission started.
Normally one crew of 12 hour shift, until actual mission.
25:30 Tracking sequences after launch.
27:55 Approaching the Moon. Ideally two stations in view. Australia and South Africa both performed very well.
Very high intensity. Asleep behind equipment during 3 day mission.
32:30 Moved to multiple shifts for long duration planetary missions. Helped with radio astronomy. WRE radio astronomers. VLBI with Parkes and Goldstone. Shift from South Africa to Spain.
35:40 Handovers between stations.
37:00 Lunar Orbiter. Long duration missions.
Film assembled at the station. Moon mapped in detail, including the lunar far side.
40:00 First time Earth was seen from the Moon. Very exciting.
40:40 Public relations problems.
43:00 Ranger data shipped back on tape. Lunar Orbiter: Film flown back to USA.
44:15 Ranger VI TV camera failure most disappointing event. Post-mission party became a wake. Jack Dickinson. Ranger VII made up for the failure.
47:25 Remembrances of Ranger VII. Great trepidation. Cheers. Post mission party.
50:00 Friendly rivalry with South Africa. During Apollo, similar rivalry. Madrid. Doug Hogg (DSS 51 Hartebeesthoek, Station Director).
52:10 Tidbinbilla. Sent to set up the MSFN Wing for Apollo. Operational interface with Honeysuckle. Carnarvon and Muchea not to be forgotten. Some involvement with Surveyor. Acting StaDir then StaDir.
55:00 Island Lagoon backed up Tidbinbilla for Surveyor 1.
Dr William Pickering’s “disastrous success”. Hughes MDE.
59:30 Surveyor very important for Apollo.
60:40 Apollo. Apollo 11, tracking Command Module. Sense of excitement. Looking at the TV when the CSM behind the Moon. Mind-blowing. Proud to be part of the mission.
63:50 Apollo 8. Apollo 9. Tidbinbilla antenna designed for sidereal rates. Need for commands to the LM.
Using Acquisition antenna. Power transformer fire (during Apollo 11).
70:10 Letter of thanks from the Apollo 11 crew.