DSS-41 Station Directors


The Department of Supply appointed Bill Mettyear (who was later involved in development of the JINDALEE Over the Horizon Radar) as the first Station Director of DSIF-41 (later known as DSS-41).

In 1965, he was succeeded by Dennis Willshire and, in 1967, by Don Cocks.


Photos of Bill Mettyear

Island Lagoon

Bill Mettyear (left) at DSS-41, with the Antenna visible through the Servo window. Undated photo.

Scan: Bill Mettyear Jr.

Island Lagoon

Bill Mettyear (seated) at DSS-41.

At right is Dick Fahnestock, JPL Representative in Adelaide.

(Can anyone identify the other gentlemen? Contact.)

Photo dated 3rd February 1964. Ranger 6 was launched on 30th January, and impacted the Moon at 0942 UTC on 2nd February.

It is unknown if the date on the back of this photo is the date it was taken, or the date it was processed at WRE Salisbury, so it is possible (and quite likely) this was taken during the Ranger 6 mission.

Ranger 6 impacted the Moon as planned, but failure of the power supply meant the TV cameras could not activate.

Scan: Bill Mettyear Jr.

Island Lagoon

Bill Mettyear, left, at DSS-41. In the centre is Dick Fahnestock, JPL Representative in Adelaide.

Photo dated 26th July 1964.

This is immediately before the launch of Ranger 7 on 28th July 1964. Ranger 7 was the first American spacecraft successfully to transmit close up images of the Lunar surface back to Earth.

Scan: Bill Mettyear Jr. Large, Larger.

Island Lagoon

Bill Mettyear, foreground, at DSS-41.

The man on the right appears to be Dick Fahnestock, JPL Representative in Adelaide.


Scan: Bill Mettyear Jr.

Dennis Wilshire

Orroral Valley

Dennis Willshire was StaDir from 9th August 1965 until early October 1967, when he transferred to Orroral Valley after the departure of Tom Reid.

Don Cocks

Island Lagoon

Don Cocks, centre, was Station Director from 1967 until Island Lagoon closed in 1972.

Scan and image repair by Colin Mackellar. Photo thanks to Don Cocks via John Heath.

Contributor David Stokes found a faded copy of the photograph in an opportunity shop in Melbourne (!).

The handwritten text on the back of that copy notes:

From left:

1. A. Harrison – Company Senior Rep., Space Track Pty. Ltd.

2. Alan Perriman – Dept of Supply, Section Leader, RF and Antenna.

3. Tony Legg – Dept of Supply, Experimental Officer 3, Section Leader of Data and Instrumentation.

4. Don Cocks, Station Director.

5. Robert Cotton, Dept of Supply, Asst Admin Officer.

6. Peter Trost, Dept of Supply, Experimental Officer 3, Section Leader, Operations.

7. Frank Williams, Space Track Pty. Ltd, Site Engineer.

John Heath writes, “it would have been taken sometime between April and October 1968 as Alan Perriman was at Island Lagoon only over that period.”

Island Lagoon

Don Cocks, detail from the scan by John Heath of the 1971 staff photo.